How to Care For Your Skin after a Sunburn

Living in Arizona you are bound to get at least one sunburn in your lifetime.

Danger of sunburn in direct bright sunshine

It is important to take precautions to prevent this from happening, as too much sun exposure causes your skin to age more quickly and could cause more serious ailments like skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, children are especially at risk: One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

Mistakes happen, however, and despite your best efforts you may find yourself at home with a sunburn. There are things you can do to take the edge off and to lessen the impact of the burn, and we have listed some of them for you.

Sunburn Care for Adults

Severe, and blistering burns can make you ill, and you should probably seek treatment from a doctor. For milder burns, follow these steps from the Skin Cancer Foundation to relieve discomfort:

  • If you feel the tale-tell tingling of a burn or see any sign of skin reddening on the skin, get out of the sun and begin treatment. A sunburn can sneak up on us and they can take up to four to six hours for symptoms to appear. A touch of pink at the lake or pool could turn into a huge problem later.
  • Take in extra fluids. Any burn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body and can cause you to become dehydrated. Replace body fluids by drinking water, juice or sports drinks.
  • To get some relief, take ibuprofen. It will cut back on the swelling and redness that may occur and could possibly help prevent some long-term skin damage. It will also help treat the headaches, slight fevers, and chills that are common side effects of sunburns. Acetaminophens will help to treat the pain, but they do not have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Cool and soothe your skin by taking a bath in tepid water.
  • Keep the area moisturized by adding a light moisturizer, like Aloe Vera, to the skin. Having the aloe chilled in the refrigerator before application is very soothing. A moisturizer with vitamin C and/or vitamin E is another good option. Moisturize frequently to make peeling and flaking less noticeable. Never peel, pick or scrub at the affected skin, and never break any blisters you may have.
  • Until your burn has healed completely it is best not to expose it to more sun. If you have to go outside keep the affected area covered and stay in the shade.

Sunburn Care for Children

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, young skin heals faster than older skin, but it is also less able to protect itself from injury, including injury from the sun. Babies that are under six months in age should not be exposed to the sun. Babies that are older than six months should be protected from the sun and wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect their eyes. If your child becomes sunburned, the Skin Cancer Foundation offers this advice:

  • For babies under a year in age, a sunburn should be treated like an emergency, and you should call your child’s doctor immediately.
  • Children one year or older should see doctor if they have severe pain, blistering, lethargy or a fever of 101 F or higher with their sunburn.
  • Keep your child hydrated with juice and water to replace any body fluids they may lose, especially if they are not urinating regularly.
  • If they have a fever of 101 F or higher give them acetaminophen for some relief.
  • The American Academy of Dermatology suggest using a cool compress on the affected area for 10 to 15minutes a day for some relief for your child. This could help keep them from rubbing, scratching and picking at the affected area.
  • Cool their skin in a tepid bath.
  • Apply Aloe Vera over the affected area. Dab the Aloe Vera on, never rub. Be careful not to use lotions or creams that have any of these things listed in the ingredients: petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine as they can irritate a child’s sensitive skin.
  • Keep your child from breaking blisters to help prevent infection and scaring.
  • If your child feels dizzy, weak, cold, or sick to their stomach you should take them to the doctor.
  • Keep your child out of the sun until the burn has completely healed.

The best thing you can do for your skin and your children’s skin is to not burn at all, use sunscreen, cover up with clothing and hats and avoid the sun as much as possible between 10 AM and 4 PM. The Skin Cancer Foundation says to remember these easy steps when you apply your sunscreen.

  1. Apply one ounce of sunscreen or a golf ball-sized amount at every application.
  2. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating a lot.

Stay covered, stay safe!


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5 Herbs to Grow Indoors

One of the easiest and most useful gardens to grow is the kitchen herb garden. Herbs are easy to maintain and can grow well in small areas. There are many herbs that do well in an indoor setting, and you don’t need any special lights! Herbs will do just fine in a brightly lit window.

Kitchen herb garden with lemon balm, sage, parsley and thyme pot

Growing herbs indoors is a great way to enjoy that fresh just-picked taste year round.  According to garden writer, Kris Wetherbee, it is easier to start with healthy plants as opposed to seeds. Starting with a plant will start you months ahead compared to starting from seeds.  They will need a bright space, like a sunny window, a room with skylights, or a sunroom. The room temperature should have good air circulation and be between 55 and 75 degrees.

Most herbs used for culinary purposes grow best with around five to six hours of bright light. When choosing your location keep nearby trees, a patio, or roof overhangs in mind so that your herbs are not covered in too much shade.

You can use any container that is six inches or bigger to grow your herbs in as long as it contains drainage holes. A larger pot provides room for growing roots, which means a bigger plant to harvest from.

When you grow herbs indoors they are slightly less productive than plants grown outdoors, but they still provide plenty of flavor for your favorite foods.


  1. Basil Not only is basil a tasty addition to your dishes, but having a pot of basil indoors repels flies. Basil is usually added at the last moment as cooking it will quickly destroy the flavor. The best type of basil to use for cooking is Genovese.

You can store fresh basil for a small period of time in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or for even longer in the freezer after being blanched. This herb has weaker flavor dried than it does when it is fresh.


  1. Chives The chive has a mild onion-like flavor. The ‘Grolau’ chive grows in abundance in windowsill gardening. When harvesting cut the leaves to soil level to keep new ones coming in.

Chives can be dry-frozen without harming the taste, which allows the home-grower to store it in large quantities.


  1. Rosemary An upright variety of rosemary like the Blue Spire or Tuscan Blue are best for indoor growing. Rosemary needs more sun than some of the others, so make sure you are keeping it in a well-lit place in the house. It is very sensitive to overwatering, but you also don’t want to let the soil completely dry out either, so be careful with it.

Fresh rosemary will keep 10-14 days in the refrigerator and four to six months in the freezer.


  1. Mint The mint plants can be very invasive so they need to be in their own pots. Peppermint and spearmint are both great indoor choices. Peppermint goes nicely in teas and a little bit of it will go a long way.


  1. Thyme Lemon Thyme and French Thyme are good to use in cooking. Thyme plants like six to eight hours of sun everyday so make sure you choose a well-lit location for this herb as well. Fresh thyme is more flavorful than dried, but once picked only has a shelf life of around a week, so it is best to pick as needed.


When a recipe calls for a “sprig” or “bunch” of thyme it is referring to the whole form. When is specifies spoons (tablespoons/teaspoons) then it mean only the leaves. You can easily remove the leaves from the stem by scraping them off with the back of a knife or even by pulling through the tines of a fork.

Other herbs will do well grown indoors as well.  If you follow the planting and growing directions on the plant when you purchase it you should have little to no trouble with your indoor herb garden.


For recipes featuring the herbs above, click on “recipes” on the Fill Your Plate home page and then type in the herb you are looking for. Once you do recipes like the Basil Butter Sweet Potato Patties will pop up for your enjoyment.


Basil Butter Sweet Potato Patties

  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil, finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts, roasted
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced or garlic, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Stale whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


Boil, steam or microwave the sweet potato until it is tender; drain. Mash the sweet potato with butter in a medium bowl; stir in the basil, nuts, garlic, cheese and breadcrumbs; when cool enough to handle, shape the sweet potato mixture into 8 patties. Heat the oil in a large pan, preferably non-stick, and cook the patties in 2 batches, until browned on both sides and heated through; serve with your choice of meats and salad greens.

Provided by: Kelly Saxer of Desert Roots Farm

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Arizona’s Five C’s

Anyone who attended school in Arizona as a child has heard of the five C’s: Copper, Cattle, Citrus, Cotton, and Climate.

The five C’s have been the driving force behind Arizona’s economy for many years. Traditionally one or more of the five C’s have been behind the growth of Arizona towns and communities. They provide jobs, opportunity and economic security.

Arizona Flag

It is impossible to go a day without benefiting from at least one of our five C’s. The clothes on your back and the pillow you lay your head on are possible because of cotton. Most electricity current is run through copper wires. The milk you drink and the hamburger you eat, not to forget the numerous beef by-products you use daily are all thanks to our cattle. We have citrus to thank for our OJ in the morning, and of course the climate for our numerous hiking and out-door activities throughout the year.

The five C’s were essentially the building blocks of Arizona and for that reason deserve a closer look.

Arizona Copper

Arizona has been referred to as the “Copper State” and the star in the center of our flag is even copper in color. The reason for this is that since 1910 Arizona has been the nation’s top copper producer. In fact, Arizona produces more copper than the other 49 states combined.

  • According to the Arizona Mining Association, the combined direct and indirect impact of copper mining is worth up to $34.2 Billion in the U.S. economy and 12.1 billion in Arizona.
  • From the 1880’s to the 1920’s numerous Arizona towns were built around mining claims. Jerome and Bisbee are two such towns. No longer mining towns, they are historical tourist attractions.
  • According to the Arizona Experience, Morenci and Bagdad, still significantly contribute to Arizona’s gross exports. The Morenci open pit complex is the largest copper mine in North America and the largest employer in Greenlee County.
  • In 2013, 65% of US copper came from Arizona mines.
  • Kelly Norton, President of the Arizona Mining Association says that, “The average annual salary of Arizona mining jobs is over twice the average salary of all other industry in Arizona.”
  • During the great depression demands and price for copper dropped, so Arizona started to make its license plates from copper to increase demands and to keep AZ miners employed.
  • Some of our copper mines offer tours if you wish to learn more first-hand about Arizona’s copper industry.


Arizona Cattle

Much like mining, cattle ranching brought people to Arizona. During its peak around 1918 Arizona had as many as 1.75 million head of cattle that provided beef to the nation. Though the cattle industry is about half of what it was then, it is still an important “Arizona C” and remains a large source of revenue for the state.


Arizona Citrus

In 1889 commercial citrus production began in Arizona when a man named W.J Murphy planted his experimental citrus orchard near what is now known as Phoenix. Murphy planted around 1,800 young orange and other fruit trees that he had brought over from Southern California. His trees were so successful that he planted other varieties of citrus like lemon. Because of Arizona’s climate our fruits were ready before California’s allowing Arizona farmers to sell to the Eastern markets first.

  • Arizona commercial citrus groves are found in the warm climates of Maricopa, Mohave, Pinal, and Yuma counties. These groves grow crops of grapefruit, lemons, oranges, and tangerines.
  • Arizona is one of only four citrus growing states in the nation. Southern California, Texas and Florida are the other three.
  • Today in Arizona citrus is only grown on about 20,000 acres across the state. At its peak in 1970 there were nearly 80,000 acres of citrus groves across the state.
  • Arizona is the second largest producer of lemons in the United States, falling only behind California.
  • Arizona is the fourth largest grower of oranges and grapefruit.
  • In the year 2000 Arizona grew 13% of the nation’s tangerines, ranking us third in the nation.
  • Yuma County is Arizona’s largest citrus growing region.
  • Nearly 95% of the nation’s lemons are grown in Arizona and California.


Arizona Cotton

Cotton growing became a “cash crop” for Arizona in the 1910’s. It was during that time that a new cotton, Pima long-staple cotton, started to be grown in the state. At its peak there were nearly 800,000 acres of cotton fields grown in Arizona. Today there are only around 200,000 acres. However, Arizona is to this day a leading cotton growing state along with California, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.


Arizona Climate

Climate refers to our states weather, which is considered mild. Meaning that we don’t have a whole lot of weather changes. Arizona is sunny most of the time and many people like to visit for that reason, which positively effects our economy. Today climate refers to Arizona’s tourism industry.

Back before antibiotics and vaccines were discovered people would come to Arizona believing that sickness was the result of the polluted air in crowded cities. They believed that Arizona’s climate would help prevent illness. Many pioneers would find the cold, dry, and clean air in Northern Arizona refreshing and rejuvenating. Many tuberculosis patients were cured by living in tents and huts with screened porches in the dry air near Phoenix and Tucson.

Natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, saguaro forests and ancient ruins would also draw people to the state, along with warm weather being a draw in the winter months. Whether it was for recreational or health purposes, the climate attracted people to Arizona supporting a large portion of the economy. Climate, to this day, brings in a lot of revenue for the state.

Arizona’s climate also plays a key role in our agricultural industry. Our semi-arid climate and average rainfall allows farmers to plant and harvest crops all 12 months of the year. This helps to bring more revenue into the state as well.


You can learn more about three of the five “C’s”, cattle, citrus, and cotton, here on Fill Your Plate.


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The Incredible, Edible Flower?

When people think flowers they think weddings, romance, and decoration. But, did you know some flowers can go far beyond that? There are some flowers that are edible and are a part of many cuisines across the globe.

Fresh salad ingredients lettuce flowers spinach on rustic wood

Flowers are often included in European, Middle Eastern and Asian dishes. Squash blossoms are commonly found in Mexican and Italian fare, and rose petals are found in several Indian dishes.

Flower petals are often found in salads and teas and are regularly used as garnishes for desserts. Adding flowers to food is a great way to add color and flavor. Some flowers are a little more on the spicy side (like chive blossoms) and others are more floral and fragrant. Some have a flavor reminiscent of your favorite herbs.

Cooking with flowers allows for much culinary creativity. We have put together a list of 10 edible flowers to help you get started on your floral food journey.

  1. Allium Plants in the allium family include onions, chives, leeks, garlic, and scallions. All blossoms from the allium family are edible and flavorful. In fact, the entire plant is edible. 
  2. Basil The basil blossoms come in a range of colors, from white to pink to lavender. Their flavor is similar to the leaves, but are milder. When soaked in water, the seeds of several basil varieties become gelatinous, and are used in Asian drinks and desserts such as faluda, sherbet or hột é. 
  1. Chamomile These flowers are small and resemble daisies. They have a sweet flavor and are most commonly used in teas. Chamomile teas are often used in treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders, and hemorrhoids. People who suffer from ragweed allergies may also be allergic to chamomile. 
  1. Dandelion The entire dandelion plant is edible. The flower is slightly bitter and the leaves are a little more grassy-sweet. For a special treat, get out early in spring and look for the crown, which is the cluster of new buds that sits above the taproot. These are the sweetest parts of the plant.
  1. Dill The yellow flower of the dill plant tastes a lot like leaves of the herb, but make the dish more colorful. 
  1. Lavender Sweet and spicy the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes. It is often used in salads and dressings. Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black, green, or herbal teas. 
  1. Radish Radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite. 
  1. Squash and pumpkin Blossoms from both are perfect for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using. 
  1. Sunflower We all know you can eat the seeds, but you can also eat the petals and steam the bud like an artichoke. 
  1. Violets Sweet in taste and make beautiful garnishes. These flowers are excellent additions to salads.

When you don’t know what a flower is for sure it can be dangerous to consume. Only eat the flowers you know for certain are edible. You should consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants to be sure. Your best bet is to eat flowers you have grown yourself. That way you are positive what you are eating and you can avoid contaminants from pesticides or pollutions. With all flowers be sure that you are only eating the petals and are removing the pistils and stamens before consumption. You should also introduce flowers to your diet gradually as they can exacerbate allergies.24


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Feeding Picky Toddlers

Parents of toddlers know that meal time can be a huge stress. Getting your child to eat more than just their chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese is a dreaded affair.

Girl And Healthy Broccoli Diet On White

As a parent you may feel as though you are doing something wrong, or maybe even feel like you have failed in some way. Rest assured you are not alone.

Toddlers are naturally picky eaters. That’s right, it isn’t only yours (even though it may feel like it is). Kids between the ages of one to three pick and poke at their food for developmental reasons. In the first year of life your child grows rapidly, often tripling their birth weight. After that first year your toddler will gain weight at a slower pace, so they will need to eat less food.

As parents we also need to be in touch with our own expectations about how much a toddler “should” eat. Expecting toddlers to eat large amounts of food at every meal is unrealistic as a toddlers stomach is only about the size of their closed fist. So what we perceive as picky eating, may just be a full tummy.

To help you deal with your toddlers’ erratic food behaviors we have scoured the web looking for some helpful tips and tricks. This is what we found.


  1. Offer a snack tray. Any parent of a toddler knows that they are always on the go. They never sit still, for anything, and that includes food. Toddlers are busy little explorers and this lifestyle will affect their eating patterns. It is easier to feed your toddler with snacks throughout the day than having them sit through a lengthy meal.

Put bite-sized portions of healthy foods into each section of a muffin tin or ice-cube tray and place it on to an easy to reach table. As your toddler makes their rounds through the house, they can stop and snack a bit, and, when they are done, continue to play and explore.

Good foods to include in your toddlers’ tray are:

  • Apple pieces
  • Shredded deli meats
  • Cubed or shredded cheese
  • Raisins
  • Sliced grapes
  • Macaroni salad
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Avocado chunks
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Cheerios
  • Banana
  • Peas or beans

Inconsistent food patterns are as expected as a toddlers mood swings. One day your toddler may eat next to nothing, and the next eat exceptionally well. Focusing your attention on a nutritionally balanced week, as opposed to looking at it day by day, may make the situation easier to handle. Buying the right foods and preparing them nutritiously (baked and steamed rather than fried and baked) and creatively like this will definitely help make sure your toddler is getting the proper nutrition.


  1. Drink it. Some toddlers would rather drink than eat, and that is okay! Make your toddler a healthy smoothie. This way they are still getting nutrients they need and you are avoiding a melt-down. Searching for toddler smoothies on Pinterest or the web will give you many recipe ideas. Here is just one of the many out there:

Avocado – Blue berry Smoothie


¼ avocado

¼ c blueberries

½ banana

¼ c baby oatmeal (iron fortified)

¼ c whole milk yogurt

1 tsp flax seed meal

¼ c water

2-3 ice cubes


Puree all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 48 hours.


  1. Make it fun. The Mayo Clinic offers these suggestions:
  • Serve broccoli and other veggies with a favorite dip or sauce.
  • Cut foods into various shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Offer breakfast foods for dinner.
  • Serve a variety of brightly colored foods.

Having your toddler make fruit and veggie selections at the store and having them help you with preparation is another way to make eating healthy foods fun for your toddler. They love to help their parents, take advantage of it!

Parents know toddlers love to smear! Show them how to use a table knife to spread fruit concentrate, cheese, or peanut butter onto crackers, rice cakes and toast. (You will, of course, closely supervise to avoid any possible injury.)


  1. Lead by example. Toddlers are notorious for mimicking their parents’ behaviors, and that is no different when it comes to food. The more health foods you eat, the more your toddler is likely to try and add to their developing palate. So make sure that the food choices you make for yourself are in line with the foods you want your toddler to eat and enjoy.

It is also important to try to not show disinterest or disgust yourself when trying new foods. Parents who show that they don’t want to try new foods (through words, body language, and even facial expressions) will find that their children will also refuse to eat new things. Your toddler will more than likely be less willing to try something new if you haven’t tasted it first or show disinterest in the food being introduced.


  1. Be sneaky. Camouflage fruits and veggies in other foods. Try adding them to rice or macaroni and cheese. Veggies can be hidden into dessert foods as well as a healthier snack/dessert option for your toddler. Great hidden vegetable and fruit recipes can be found on the web and Pinterest, like this one here:

Black Bean Avocado Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies


1 – 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

½ of a large extra ripe avocado

1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (important to use a VERY good quality powder!)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup chocolate chips of choice, plus 2 tablespoons for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.

Place all ingredients besides chocolate chips into blender or food processor. Process or puree until ingredients form a smooth batter. If the batter is WAY too thick and won’t process then add in a teaspoon or two of water. This batter needs to be very thick in order to produce fudgy brownies. Add in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and fold into batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of remaining chocolate chips. You can also fold in nuts or swirl in peanut butter. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out somewhat clean and top of the brownies begin to crack.

Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 12 delicious squares.


  1. Consistency is key. The Mayo Clinic suggests sticking to a routine. Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. You can provide milk or 100 percent juice with the food, but offer water between meals and snacks. Allowing your child to fill up on juice, milk throughout the day might decrease his or her appetite for meals. When you do sit down for a meal make sure the television and other distractions are off. This will help your child focus on eating.


These are just a few things you can do to help encourage your picky toddler to eat better foods. We encourage you to search for more creative ideas and yummy recipes. Just remember that their eating habits won’t change overnight. Small steps that you take each day can help promote a lifetime of healthy eating. If you are still concerned it is best to seek for advice from your toddler’s doctor.


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