Be a Hero this Halloween

(Family Features) Being a hero goes beyond dressing up in a costume this Halloween season. Children, families and schools across the country can channel their own superpowers to help deliver lifesaving supplies to children in need this October.

Halloween customes

One way to use your superpowers is to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, which began in 1950 when girls and boys across the United States collected coins in hand-painted milk cartons to help children affected by World War II. Celebrating its 69th year, this nostalgic tradition continues today as America’s longest running youth volunteer program with generations of children running door to door holding signature orange boxes and singing, “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.”

With over $180 million raised for health care, education, nutrition and more, the program has evolved into a month-long celebration of the power of kids helping kids. Throughout October, kids, parents and teachers across the country can be real superheroes by collecting donations, big and small.

Equipped with the iconic orange boxes, families can raise funds that add up to lifesaving change. As little as $1 can provide safe water to a child for more than 2 months; $3 can provide seven packets of therapeutic food; $5 can provide a pack of 10 notebooks and $7 can provide one warm fleece blanket for a child.

Halloween has become a “heroic” way to help others and build the next generation of global citizens. When kids trick-or-treat for a cause, they learn about global issues and feel empowered to make a difference.

Start creating real-world change by picking up your own little orange box. With the support of Visa Inc., the iconic box will glow in the dark, allowing superpowers to shine even brighter.

Visit to download a DIY change box, donate online or find an event near you. Share your story on social media with #TOT4UNICEF, #WeCanAllBeHeroes and #KidsHelpingKids.

Source: UNICEF

Add Mexican Flair to Game Day Favorites

Game Day Favorites(Family Features) Football season, for many people, is just as much about the food as it is about the football action. No matter who is playing and if you are at a tailgate or living room watch party, only one thing is for sure: football and flavors go hand-in-hand.

When you’re huddling up to figure out how to score a touchdown with your game day spread, consider taking your snacks to the next level by adding an authentic Mexican flair. Opt for traditional Mexican ingredients like chorizo, queso fresco or cotija in meals and snacks that are already football mainstays, including nachos, tacos and quesadillas, and consider all the possibilities that incorporating these flavorful ingredients can add to other classic dishes like sliders and potato skins.

Ideal for tailgate season, Cacique, one of the country’s top Mexican food brands, offers Mexican-Style Queso Dips – made with real queso fresco and available in Queso Blanco, Southwestern, Jalapeño and Chipotle flavors – and Fully Cooked Chorizos – made with authentically seasoned premium pork shoulder and available in classic, Chorizo with Bacon & Potato, Chorizo with Eggs and Chorizo with Queso varieties – to help fans easily add Mexican flavor to indulgent game day favorites. Both use high-quality ingredients and are microwavable, so they taste authentic and can be ready in minutes so no one misses any of the big plays or touchdowns.

Consider these twists you can add to your favorite game time snacks:

* Loaded Avocados: Give avocados the potato skin treatment by loading them up with delicious toppings like chorizo, queso fresco and crema – just don’t eat the skin.

* Cheese Fries: Drizzle queso dip over French fries or top with crumbles of flavorful Cacique Chorizo and Cotija in a recipe like these Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chorizo and Cotija.
* Robust Sliders: Skip regular beef patties and spoon the rich seasoning and punch of flavor that chorizo brings to your favorite slider rolls then top with your favorite cheese and salsa.

* Mac and Cheese: For a new take on mac and cheese, toss cooked macaroni noodles with your favorite Cacique Queso Dip and top with crushed tortilla chips in a recipe like this Southwestern Mac and Queso.

Discover more ways to incorporate Mexican flair into your game day spread at

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chorizo and Cotija

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide sticks
3 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 package Cacique Fully Cooked Chorizo
1 cup Cacique Cotija, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 400 F and lightly grease large, rimmed baking sheet.

In large bowl, toss sweet potato sticks with olive oil.

Lay fries in single layer on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 15-18 minutes, shaking pan several times, until tender and lightly browned.

When fries are almost done baking, microwave chorizo 3-4 minutes.

To serve, place golden brown fries on serving platter and spoon chorizo over top. Sprinkle with cotija and fresh cilantro.

Southwestern Mac and Queso

1 package Cacique Queso Dip
1 box macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
1/4 cup Cacique Queso Fresco, crumbled
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed

Microwave queso dip 2-3 minutes; stir. Pour over cooked macaroni and toss until thoroughly coated.

Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco and crushed tortilla chips over macaroni before serving.
Source: Cacique

6 Keys to the Best Possible Stroke Recovery

(Family Features) Strokes change more than 795,000 lives in the United States each year.

In fact, according to the American Stroke Association, brain blockages or bleeds are one of the most common causes of disability and the fifth-leading cause of death. Starting the right rehabilitation program as soon as possible may help survivors recover better. One patient’s rehab journey might include balance, strength or mobility, while another might need speech or other therapies.

stroke rehabilitation

“The residual impact of a stroke can vary widely between patients in terms of deficits and severity,” said Pamela Duncan, Ph.D., F.A.H.A., American Stroke Association volunteer and professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Health. “A rehabilitation program designed for you, where you need it, whether at a hospital or at home, is critical.”

For example, Jessica Alfonso was just 33 when she suffered a stroke. She credits her husband, Pablo, with saving her life – not just through the quick thinking that ensured her prompt medical care, but for being her voice as she worked to regain her ability to speak, read, walk and eat independently.

“He was with me for six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation,” Alfonso said. “Encouraging me and helping me communicate with my team while I re-learned everything. Without him, I may not have survived my stroke and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.”

The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke(tm) initiative, nationally sponsored by Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services, provides tips and resources for stroke survivors and their caregivers such as:

* Ask your doctor for an assessment of physical and cognitive challenges you face after a stroke and a specific plan to address each challenge.

* Work with your doctor to create a plan to manage risk factors to prevent another stroke. This may include being physically active, not smoking and managing your blood pressure.

* While recovery can occur years after a stroke, the most rapid recovery typically occurs during the first three months. As soon as your medical team gives the “all clear,” start your personalized rehabilitation program right away.

* It is recommended by American Heart Association guidelines that patients who can tolerate and are eligible for rehab at an inpatient rehabilitation facility receive it. However, rehabilitation can happen anywhere from a formal rehabilitation facility to the comfort of your home. Ask your medical team for recommendations on the best local rehab options to maximize recovery.

* Talk with your health care provider about any financial constraints, such as ability to pay for medications, so a plan can be developed to identify alternative community resources.

* Communicate and follow up regularly with a team of health care providers as some challenges – such as remembering medications – may not be immediately clear.

“For many survivors, your functional state prior to the stroke plays a big role in how you recover,” Duncan said. “Working with your team of loved ones and health care providers to find and stick with the best rehabilitation program for you is key.”

For more information about recovery and how to make informed decisions after a stroke, visit
Source: American Heart Association