Tag Archive: Attack

The After-school Snack Attack: Strategies for Busy Moms

With kids back in school, moms face a set of challenges that somehow seem new every year. One of those challenges is what to feed kiddos who race in the door hungry after a long day in the classroom. As a savvy mom, you know that snacks can help your kids meet their nutritional needs – as long as you pick the right ones. That’s where it can get a bit tricky because in addition to being healthful, the snacks need to be loaded with kid appeal plus be quick and easy to grab. Try some of the following ideas from the different food groups to create a snack that will give your kids calories (energy), meet their nutritional needs, and taste great as well!
• Banana Tortilla Treat – Grab a whole wheat tortilla, spread with peanut butter and sprinkle with low-fat granola. Put a peeled banana on top and roll the tortilla.
• Combo-licious – Top a scoop of cottage cheese with canned fruit. Choose peaches, pears, mango, pineapple or fruit cocktail.
• Wrap It – Spread fresh hummus on a whole wheat tortilla. Add thinly sliced carrots, zucchini, cucumber, or whatever veggie your kids prefer. Roll it up and go!
Feeling rushed in the afternoons? Plan ahead and create a healthy snack shelf at eye level in your pantry and in your refrigerator for kids to grab and go. You might try the following:
• String cheese and a small can of fruit.
• Fat free or 1% flavored milk (chocolate or strawberry)
• Pre-cut raw veggies (celery sticks, baby carrots, cucumber slices) in zipped baggies beside low-fat yogurt dip, cottage cheese or hummus.
• Snack-sized applesauce
• Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
• Flavored rice cakes with peanut butter to spread
• Microwave popcorn
• Whole-grain crackers on the shelf and sliced cheese in the ‘fridge

With just a little planning, you can avoid snack-time stress and help your kids learn healthy eating habits at the same time.

For more ideas, check out these snack tips for parents. 10 Choose My Plate Snack Tips



Author: Ginny Hinton – ghinton@ufl.edu

Santa Rosa County Extension Agent with UF/IFAS. Focus areas include nutrition, food safety, injury prevention, and healthy families. Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University of West Florida. Master’s degree in Public Health/Health Education from University of South Florida.

Ginny Hinton

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/the-after-school-snack-attack-strategies-for-busy-moms/

Shark Week is over… so what do we know about shark attack?

Shark Week is over… so what do we know about shark attack?

Yep, each year cable TV broadcast their classic summer series SHARK WEEK. Actually there are several shark series running now.  It all began with Jaws in the early ‘70’s and ever since Americans have been enthralled with programs on these animals.

Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Gulf of Mexico. Credit: SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory; Collection of Brandi Noble, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC.

Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Gulf of Mexico. Credit: SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory; Collection of Brandi Noble, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC.

We have learned a lot about sharks over the years, and have a better understanding of their behaviors. As fascinating as that information is, it is still the cause of attack that interest most people.  There is a great fear of these animals, despite the statistics that say the risk of attack is very low.  Millions will watch Shark Week with wonder and awe… and will be a little reluctant to enter the water afterwards.  Of course the attacks that occurred on the Carolina’s last summer has some on edge.


So what is the actual risk? In the June edition of Smithsonian magazine there is an article that discusses the possibility of actually eliminating mosquitoes from our environment – that’s another story – but in the article they quote some statistics from the National Institute of Health.  They mention the number of humans who die from mosquito bites each year.  According to this data 725,000 humans die each year, worldwide, from diseases transmitted from mosquito bites.  Between 20,000 and 200,000 from parasites transmitted by snails.  Between 55,000 and 60,000 rabies transmitted from dogs.  And for shark attacks… 6.  Annually 6 people die each year from shark attacks.  Think about that… the number of humans who swim in the world’s oceans each year… approximately 50 will be attacked and 6 will die.  It is fair to say that the risk is very low.


Dr. George Burgess, Florida Museum of Natural History, is the “keeper” of the International Shark Attack File. This database houses all the unprovoked shark attacks that occur worldwide.  By definition an unprovoked attack must (1) occur in its natural environment – no bites in aquariums will count, (2) the individual did not grab or poke at the shark.  Biting the boat is not considered an attack under their definition either.  Based on this, 2015 was a record year.  164 attacks were reported worldwide, 98 of these were logged as unprovoked.  This broke the 2000 record of 88 however only 6.1% of the 2015 attacks were fatal – compared to 11% in 2000.  Dr. Burgess stresses this point.  What we are seeing is an increase number of swimmers in the oceans each year.  It is only natural that the number of attacks would go up.  Even though the number of attacks are increasing the number of people entering the water is increasing at a greater rate – the actual rate of attacks/human in the water is decreasing, and has been for over a decade now.  Another factor in the increase number of attacks is the University’s improved method of collecting data.  Originally it was by word of mouth and phone calls.  Today with go-pros, cell phones, and the internet, they are logging attacks that were missed in previous years.


Why are fatalities so low?

Dr. Burgess points to better safety procedures and first aid, particularly in the U.S. 59 of the 98 shark attacks logged last year were in the United States.  Six of these were fatal (1.7%) which is much lower than the rest of the world (12.8%).  Dr. Burgess states that our safety and first aid programs are responsible for this.  Florida ranks number one among states with 30 attacks.  This probably does not make the visitor to our area feel good, but most of these were in Volusia and Brevard counties.  There were no attacks in the Florida panhandle in 2015.  Of those attacked, 49% were surfing, 42% were swimming, 9% snorkeling, and no attacks occurred for SCUBA divers.

The Scalloped Hammerhead is one of five species of hammerheads in the Gulf.  It is commonly found in the bays.  Photo: Florida Sea Grant

The Scalloped Hammerhead is one of five species of hammerheads in the Gulf. It is commonly found in the bays. Photo: Florida Sea Grant

Many of these statistics still make folks nervous but when compared to parasites and motorcycle accidents, the risk is very low. Sharks are actually fascinating creatures which provide ecological services to our system – such as culling sick and diseased snapper, creating a stronger healthy snapper population.  The majority of the programs shown during Shark Week will not discuss these characteristics of the creature but focus on attack stories.  Well… enjoy the shows but remember that, though shark attacks do occur, and they can be horrific, they are very rare and should not keep you from enjoying our Gulf.

Enjoy your holiday.


Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/01/shark-week-is-over-so-what-do-we-know-about-shark-attack/

Army Worms Attack Winter Grazing in Jefferson County

Armyworms are still around. Scout cool season forages to make sure they don’t add stress to the crop.

Submitted by Jed Dillard, Jefferson County Agriculture Agent

Winter grazing planted in reasonably moist dirt is struggling to survive five to six weeks with little-to-no rain. The situation has gotten even worse in Jefferson County. Army worms have decimated some fields.

The late showing of worms in summer pasture produced a late crop of eggs. The eggs have hatched and, without sufficient cold weather, the larvae are eating aggressively. Timely treatment will control this pest. Check with your Extension Agent to analyze your specific situation and options.

For control options on armyworms download:  Insect Management in Pastures


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/11/16/army-worms-attack-winter-grazing-in-jefferson-county/

Artistic Summer Snack Attack

School’s out!  One way to get creative with all this extra time and to eat nutritiously is to make and eat healthy snacks.  Like an arts and crafts project, making a snack can be a great summertime activity.  Bonus:  the kids get to eat their artwork and you get to sneak nutritious foods into their day for a healthy diet.

Some works of art need the following elements:

  • Foundation – slices of whole wheat bread, tortillas, English muffins, lettuce leaves, rice cakes, zucchini or cucumber rounds, apple or pineapple slices.
  • Glue – peanut butter, low-fat cream cheese, cheese spread, hummus, refried beans, low-fat yogurt, jam, pizza sauce, or low-fat ranch dressing.
  • Bling – seeds, nuts, grapes, raisins, match stick carrots, olives, beans, low-fat granola, diced fruits and veggies.

Start from the foundation and work up to the bling.  Create faces, animals, or landscapes.  Let the plate be your canvas.  It’s a great way to try a new food or sample a food prepared in a totally different way.Variety of healthy snacks made into artwork

For other works of art, use toothpicks, skewers, popsicle sticks, or edible pretzel rods to make shish kabobs.  Cut out cheese shapes with small cookie cutters and add to the stick alternating with cut-up fruits and vegetables.  Make a beautiful edible bouquet.

Kids also are more likely to enjoy new foods if they are served in fun containers.  Try using mugs, champagne glasses, ice cream cones, or party hats.

Be sure to include nutritious foods from all the food groups as your artists create throughout the summer:  load up on fruits and vegetables, incorporate whole grains, and go lean on the dairy and protein.

No sitting around loading up on unhealthy “junk” foods out of boredom this summer.  The time for healthy edible snack art is now.


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/06/01/artistic-summer-snack-attack/

As Summer Approaches, Spider Mites Attack Ornamental Shrubs


Spider mites and thier "webbing" on a Blush Noisette Rose. Photo Credits: Matthew J. Orwat

Spring is rapidly turning into an early summer. As heat increases so will the incidence of spider mites on ornamental shrubs.

The first indicating factor of damage is a yellow mottling on the leaves of the plant, which is caused by the piercing and sucking mouthparts of the spider mite. As they feed they damage leaf tissue, eventually disfiguring the leaves and causing complete abscission.  Additionally, fine webbing will be noticed on the stems and leaves on which the mites will lay their eggs. Although the most obvious damage to the plant is disfigurement, this leaf damage weakens the plant and may lead to eventual death of plants already weakened by other insects or diseases.

Scouting and rapid action is necessary to prevent spider mite damage, since the spider mite life cycle ranges from 5-20 days. The optimum temperature for development of spider mite infestations is 80 ° F.

Spraying broad spectrum insecticides might seem like a good solution, but these insecticides will eliminate the numerous natural predatory insect species which feed on spider mites. The popular insecticide, Carbaryl, has been shown to actually increase mite populations in some studies. One simple, non-toxic solution for spider mite control is to use a forceful stream of water to wash off spider mites and their web-like structures. This would need to be carefully performed to reach all affected parts of the plant, particularly the undersides of the leaves. Repeating this process several times will achieve reasonable mite control. Additional low-toxicity methods include the application of insecticidal soaps and high grade horticultural oils. These need to be applied carefully, since application of these products in high temperatures can damage certain shrub species. Please consult your labels carefully.

As a last resort, if insecticides are needed, the most narrow-spectrum product possible needs to be selected. It is also advisable to rotate insecticides, since mites are known to develop resistance to a particular product when used alone.

For a table of available miticides or to learn more please cosult “Selected Miticide Use for Ornamantal Plants” and “Twospotted Spider Mite”


Submitted by Matthew J. Orwat, Washington County Horticulture Extension Agent



Spider mite leaf damage on a Blush Noisette Rose. Photo Credits: Matthew J. Orwat


Spider mites and thier "webbing" on a Blush Noisette Rose. Photo Credits: Matthew J. Orwat




Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/05/10/as-summer-approaches-spider-mites-attack-ornamental-shrubs/