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HEALTH SCAN

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SMALL WONDERS

And baby makes three?

"Little Parents, First Baby"

Will baby Charlie be little or average-size? That's the question that propels the one-hour documentary, created by Gayle Kirschenbaum, that airs on Discovery Health on Tuesday at 8 p.m. as part of "Baby Week."

The show, a sequel to "Little Parents, Big Pregnancy," opens with dwarf couple Becky and Craig Hennon getting laid off from their jobs and moving from Herndon to Ohio. Though the Hennons' stature gives them some extra challenges, such as being able to reach the upper shelves in grocery stores and carrying their moving boxes, most of the documentary focuses on the mundane challenges of raising a 6-month-old. ("We usually give him a bath first, around 7:30," Craig reports. "Then we get him all dressed up for bed, then we usually put him to bed about 8:15. 8:30-ish he usually lays down . . . .")

Despite slow spots, it's tough to flip away because viewers know that the results of a DNA test to determine if Charlie has a genetic mutation that causes dwarfism are coming. "I'm scared because, knowing he can go through all of these hardships down the road if he is a little person -- the surgeries, being picked on by people," Craig says.

FOOD-SAFETY ADVICE

Eat the chicken before the egg?

StillTasty.com

A few minutes spent on this Web site could rescue you during a "keep or toss?" moment in front of the refrigerator. The "ultimate shelf life guide," created by a Canadian mother-daughter duo who both have experience in consumer affairs, includes a database of food storage times based on official recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among other government agencies. Interesting tidbits: Bread stored in the refrigerator will go stale faster than bread stored on the counter; do not rinse raw chicken before cooking; and an opened bottle of white wine will keep in the refrigerator for only three to five days.

In addition to preventing illness, information from the site could save people some money. For instance, an article decoding the difference between "use by," "best by" and "sell by" dates reveals that the date stamped on egg packages is usually used as a guide for stores rather than for consumers. Raw eggs maintain their best quality for about three to five weeks after purchase, assuming continuous refrigeration, so there's no need to buy a fresh dozen on the "sell by" date.

-- Rachel Saslow

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