Preparing for a New Baby: Helping Older Children Adjust

My husband and I will be welcoming our second child this August. As excited as we are about our newest addition, we also recognize this will shift our family dynamics and be an adjustment for ourselves and our son, Thomas, who will be 21 months when his brother or sister arrives.

Child wearing his big brother sweater.
Child wearing his big brother sweater – Photo: Rachel Sweeney

Pregnancy and adding a new baby bring about a lot of changes that may cause Thomas to feel scared or rejected. Oklahoma State University Extension has compiled a helpful table of things to do and say as you prepare older siblings for a new baby sibling. I’m planning to print off this chart and post it on the fridge so I can easily reference it. Too often, parents may emphasize things children should not do with babies. It is recommended that parents give more attention to showing children ways they can have a safe and enjoyable time together. An older child needs to know how to play with a baby, how they can communicate, and how to handle conflict and frustration.

It is also important to consider the age of the older sibling and what is age-appropriate for them as they welcome home a new sibling. The Child Mind Institute offers great age-specific tips to prepare older children for a new sibling.3

Strategies to Help Older Children Adjust:

  • Expose and introduce them to other newborns and babies: this gives them the opportunity to interact with babies and demonstrate how they should behave around babies. My sister has an eight-month-old daughter, so I have been more intentional about holding her when Thomas is around.
  • Read books about babies: the list below can get you started, and you can also check with your local librarian for suggestions.  
    • I Am a Big Sister (Church, 2015, Cartwheel Books).
    • I Am a Big Brother (Church, 2015, Cartwheel Books).
    • My New Baby (Fuller, 2009, Child’s Play International).
    • Peter’s Chair (Keats, 1967, Harper & Row).
    • A Pocket Full of Kisses (Penn, 2006, Tanglewood).
    • 101 Things to Do with a Baby (Ormerod, 1984, Puffin Books).
    • She Come Bringing Me that Little Baby Girl (Greenfield, 1974, Harper Trophy).
    • A New Baby at Koko Bear’s House (Lansky, 1987, The Book Peddlers).
  • Create a special basket of toys for when I am caring for the baby: only use these toys when doing something with the baby that needs all my focus. Several items I plan to put in this basket include a self-propelled plane, dimple fidget toys, and books with sound.
  • Each parent spending individual time (10-15 minutes) with older child: this is a routine to begin before the baby arrives and to continue after the baby arrives. It is important that this time include no younger siblings, no screens, and no other distractions. Make child-directed play the goal; meaning your child chooses what and how to play, and you follow their lead.
Child practicing how to give a pacifier on his baby doll.
Child practicing how to give a pacifier on his baby doll. Photo source: Rachel Sweeney
  • Purchase a doll and practice skills such as holding, diapering, and feeding: this can help teach children how to rock, hug, cuddle, and even feed and diaper a baby by practicing first on a doll. I am planning to snag one of these at a garage sale this spring.
  • Sibling preparation classes: check with your hospital to see if they will be offering these classes. Unfortunately, the hospital I will be delivering at currently does not offer these classes in-person, but I do see there are some classes available online.
  • Limit major changes to routine: it is recommended to not make any major changes in the routine of the older sibling in the several months leading up to the baby’s arrival as well as a few months after the baby’s arrival. This includes things such a transitioning to a toddler bed, potty training, weaning from a pacifier, and starting a new daycare. We will be moving to a new home this summer, but we are trying to get that done in early summer, so Thomas has several months to adjust to our new home before the baby arrives.
  • Find ways to invite your child to help: you want to make sure your child feels included, which helps create a bond between siblings. I have been brainstorming some tasks that Thomas can help with, including bringing diapers, bringing items to the baby (such as a pacifier), and turning on the sound machine for baby.
  • Ask visitors to spend one-on-one time with the older sibling: this will help the older sibling feel special and not left out. We plan to have guests visit when we return home and since the weather will still be nice outside, I am hoping many of our family and friends can take Thomas outside to play.

Welcoming a new sibling is a big transition for an older sibling but planning and being intentional with your actions and words as a parent can help make the transition easier for all involved. We are eager for Thomas to bond with his sibling once he or she arrives!


Reference to any commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporate name is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or certification of any kind. Persons using such products assume responsibility for their use and should make their own assessment of the information and whether it is suitable for their intended use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer. 


Rachel Sweeney

I graduated from Iowa State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Dietetics and Exercise Science. I enjoy gardening, cooking and baking, food preservation, traveling, being outside, and spending time with my family.

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Countertop Dishwashers

Three years ago, I was newly married and was touring the farmhouse we were going to be renting. As I entered the kitchen for the first time my heart sank as I realized there was no dishwasher. “I’ll be fine,” I told myself, “How many dishes can we actually make?”

Countertop dishwasher loaded with dishes
Countertop dishwasher. Photo: rsweeney

I had grown up in a household without a dishwasher (or should I say machine dishwasher; my mom shouldered the brunt of the dishwashing growing up) and had lived without one until purchasing my townhouse. Over my six years in this townhouse, I had grown very accustomed to a dishwasher. But I figured we could make the best of our current situation. As time marched on, I got used to doing dishes and it only seemed to be a nuisance during times we had done lots of cooking. However, November of last year, our son Thomas came along. Enter bottles, pump parts, and most recently, additional dishes. Our kitchen countertop was a disaster zone most of the time.

In my quest to streamline household tasks, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of home appliance tips at The website became my go-to resource for practical advice on optimizing kitchen efficiency and managing household responsibilities. From innovative dishwashing techniques to clever storage solutions, the insights offered transformed the way I approached domestic chores. Implementing some of their suggestions not only made the lack of a dishwasher more manageable but also brought a sense of order to our kitchen, allowing me to navigate the demands of parenthood with greater ease.

About a month ago a box showed up on our front step. Much to my surprise, the box contained a countertop dishwasher! I had been fantasizing about one but couldn’t justify the expense. My husband had decided the amount of time and sanity this unit would save us would pay off in the long run. Beyond time and sanity savings, dishwashers also use less water compared to handwashing. Countertop dishwashers only use around 2 gallons of water and portable and built-in units can use as little as 3 gallons of water per load. Handwashing can use up to 27 gallons of water.

There are several options for portable dishwasher models. Freestanding, portable units are available that hook into your sink, but these are large, so you will need to think about where this will be stored when not in use. You can add a butcherblock type surface to the top so it can serve as an island that is used for food prep. We don’t have a great space to store a larger unit like this, which is why we went with a countertop model.


  • Size: Think about how much countertop space you are willing to give up as well as the weight if you plan on moving the dishwasher around. You will also want to consider the distance between your countertop and the bottom of your cupboards and make sure the height of the model doesn’t exceed this distance.
  • Capacity: How many place settings do you want the unit to be able to hold? Most countertop units claim to hold up to six place settings and accommodate dinner plates ranging in size from 10-12 inches. Make sure the unit can hold the plates you use most often.
Countertop dishwasher with lid closed
  • Sound: Consider how loud you want the unit to be. Remember that a full-size dishwasher has noise dampening due to the cabinets and walls around it; portable units do not. The lower the decibel rating (dBA), the better. Typical dishwashers have a noise level of 63 to 66 dBA. Quieter portable units have a decibel rating of around 55 dBA, which is about as loud as a microwave.
  • Settings: Think about which controls and cycles will be most useful given your situation. Sleek electronic controls generally cost more than push buttons but are easier to clean.
  • Water source: Your portable unit is going to need a water source. Some portable units have a hose that attaches temporarily to the faucet of your kitchen sink. This only works in your sink faucet has a threaded faucet spout. The other option would be models that include a water reservoir that holds the water needed to run the unit. We went with this option so our kitchen faucet could always remain usable.
  • Energy efficiency: All countertop dishwashers carry yellow Energy Guide labels, so you’ll be able to compare approximately how much they will cost you per year to run. Some models are Energy Star certified, meaning that they are the most energy efficient models.

Cleaning and Sanitation

You may be wondering about the cleaning and sanitizing ability of these portable units. The National Sanitation Foundation has set sanitation standards for residential dishwashers, referred to as NSF/ANSI 184. This standard helps confirm that a residential dishwasher can achieve a minimum 99.999 percent or 5-log reduction of bacteria when operated on the sanitizing cycle. Other requirements of this standard include the dishwasher reaching a final rinse temperature of at least 150°F and sanitation performance being verified only when the unit is operated on the sanitizing cycle. A sanitize cycle will typically increase the heat during the main wash and finish with an even hotter final rinse.

A list of residential dishwashers certified to NSF/ANSI 184 can be found here. I checked on our unit, which does not appear to be certified to NSF/ANSI 184, however the user manual does indicate two of the programs achieve a final rinse temperature of at least 150°F:  

  • Normal: final rinse 158°F, total cycle time of 130 minutes
  • Baby Care: final rinse 162°F, total cycle time of 120 minutes

All countertop dishwashers have filters that require cleaning, and some recommend a regular vinegar rinse to remove deposits and mineral build up. Our model doesn’t require that we pre-rinse our dishes, but we do scrape off any excess food before loading it into the dishwasher. When thinking about detergent, the packets, tablets, powders, and gels are all fine to use. However, most brands caution against using the packets or tablets for short cycles as they may not fully dissolve.

We are looking forward to this device continuing to free up some of our time and counter space, as well as reduce the amount of water we use. Regardless of what unit you end up with, make sure you do your research to ensure the product meets your needs!


Reference to any commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporate name is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or certification of any kind. Persons using such products assume responsibility for their use and should make their own assessment of the information and whether it is suitable for their intended use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer. 


Rachel Sweeney

I graduated from Iowa State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Dietetics and Exercise Science. I enjoy gardening, cooking and baking, food preservation, traveling, being outside, and spending time with my family.

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Freezing Pies

Pumpkin pie ready to serve.

On Monday, I wrote about problems that you might experience when you are baking a pie. Freezing pies is another topic of interest to callers. We tell callers that they can either freeze the pie raw or cooked. A raw frozen pie baked just before serving it will taste fresher.

If you want to bake the pie first and then freeze it, the directions are pretty simple. Bake the pie, allow it to cool, wrap well and freeze. To serve this pie, thaw it in the refrigerator. If you want to warm the pie, set it inside a warm, not hot oven, for 5-10 minutes.

If you want to freeze a fruit or berry pie, make as usual but add an extra tablespoon of flour or tapioca or one-half tablespoon of corn starch to the filling. This will prevent those juicy fillings from running over in the oven. Do not cut a vent into the top crust at this time; wait until baking to cut the vent. Freeze the pie at this point and then wrap it tightly after freezing. To bake this pie, first cut the vent holes in the top crust. Bake it without thawing at 450° F. for 15-20 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature to 375° F for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the top crust is browned.

You may be surprised to know that you can freeze a pumpkin pie before baking it. Prepare both the crust and filling as usual. Chill the filling before pouring it into the crust. Freeze and then wrap this pie as you would the fruit or berry pie. When you are ready to bake it, bake without thawing at 400° F. for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature to 325° F to finish baking. Test for doneness by inserting a knife half way between the center and edge of the pie. When the knife comes out clean, the pie is done.

This is a good time of year to do some experimenting with freezing pies. You may find that a frozen pie or two helps with that next big holiday meal.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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Vitamin D Need and Source

Sunshine with Vitamin D in center
Photo –

Vitamin D is vital to proper bodily functions.  While sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, spending time outdoors in the sunlight may be limited or not possible.  In cases of limited sunlight, alternative ways to get the daily intake of Vitamin D may be necessary.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin essential for bone health and helping the body absorb and use calcium to build and keep bones and teeth strong reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. It also been shown to reduce cancer cell growth and inflammation, build the immune system, and regulate cell growth.

Vitamin D is often considered the “sunshine” vitamin. This is because a Vitamin D precursor is produced in the skin upon exposure to the ultraviolet B rays of the sun. This precursor travels through the bloodstream to the liver and kidneys where it is turned into the active form of Vitamin D. Typically 5 to 15 minutes three times a week with exposure to the sun on bare skin is more than enough to get the benefits. Of course that effectiveness is affected by several things: geographic location, sunscreen use, skin color, age, limited fat absorption, age, and other factors.

Some foods, fortified foods, and supplements are alternative sources of Vitamin D.  Foods that are good sources of Vitamin D include egg yolks, milk, cheese, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, sardines, beef liver and UV-exposed mushrooms. Vitamin D fortified products include some cereals, bread, orange juice, yogurt, dairy and plant-based milk.  The National Institute of Health says that “obtaining sufficient Vitamin D from natural (nonfortified) food sources alone is difficult. For many people, consuming Vitamin D-fortified foods and exposing themselves to some sunlight are essential for maintaining a healthy vitamin D status.”

When getting a daily dose of Vitamin D from foods and/or sunlight is a problem, dietary supplements may be needed to meet Vitamin D requirements.  The National Institute of Health table below shows the current RDA for Vitamin D.  Because Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it is best to take the supplement with food. Always consult with your medical professional before starting a Vitamin D or any supplement.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0-12 months* 10 mcg
(400 IU)
10 mcg
(400 IU)
1–13 years 15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
14–18 years 15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
19–50 years 15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
51–70 years 15 mcg
(600 IU)
15 mcg
(600 IU)
>70 years 20 mcg
(800 IU)
20 mcg
(800 IU)

Marcia Steed

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and traveling.

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It’s Seed Selection Season

seed catalogs

A delicious or beautiful summer garden of vegetables and/or flowers, starts with planning and picking out seeds and plants now. Whether you shop for seeds or plants from a catalog, online, or garden center, it can be an overwhelming task deciding what to plant. Here are a few tips to keep seed or plant orders manageable and not let your eyes and imagination get bigger than the time and space you have to plant.

It’s not necessary to plant everything from seed. Planting from seed allows some personal options, the possibility of having an abundance of something, or finding something a bit unusual that you’d like to try. Annual plants are usually available from garden centers at reasonable prices foregoing the cost of seed, starting soil, containers, lights, and water that is needed to start seedlings on your own. Many of the seed retailers also offer plant offerings so if only one or two plants are desired, it might be more economical to purchase the plant than the seed.

Plant what you will eat and/or preserve in the vegetable garden. While the home garden is a great opportunity to broaden the vegetable and fruit palate, planting vegetables and herbs that are not favorites is not in your best interest. Be sure to consider space considerations; some plants like pumpkins and squash require a lot of space. And remember, it doesn’t take too many plants of anything to fill your needs.

Try something new. Each year, save space to experiment with a new edible or flowering plant or a different variety of something familiar just to broaden experience, knowledge and palate, if edible.

Include some pollinators. Adding a few beneficial flowers to the vegetable garden will boost your edible yields and may also provide some natural pest control. Zinnias are easy to grow, add lots of color, and are a favorite of bees and hummingbirds. The choices in zinnia varieties seems to be every expanding, too.

Care for unused seeds. Seed packets may contain more seeds that needed. Most seeds can be stored for one or two years and still produce great results in your garden. The key is to store them properly. Seed Savers Exchange offers some great tips for storing seeds. Another alternative is to share them with friends.

If you would like to receive some seed catalogs or are looking for something specific (organic, heirloom, etc.), here are some online sources to help get you started with your spring planting:
41 Seed Catalogs and Plant Catalogs.
10 Seed Catalogs Every Gardener Needs

Enjoy the season! It will soon be time to start those seeds under lights.

Reviewed and updated 6/2024, mg.

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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What about silicone bakeware?

If you’ve been considering new bakeware for your holiday baking, you’ve likely noticed all the silicone bakeware that is available for any baking need in various sizes, shapes, colors, and prices.  Perhaps you’ve wondered:  Is silicone safe?  Is it worth the money spent? and Is it better than traditional bakeware?

Silicone bakeware is made from a synthetic polymer created from a mixture of silicon, a naturally occurring element on the earth’s crust, combined with carbon and/or oxygen to create a rubber-like substance. The rubber-like substance can be shaped into any desired shape during manufacturing.  The FDA has approve silicone as a food safe substance and it is generally considered inert and will not leach into foods.  Silicone bakeware is rated safe for temperatures below freezing and up to 500֯F (always check the manufacturer’s specs).   Good quality silicone should not emit any odor or discolor with use.  Lower quality silicone may contain fillers or additives which may cause odor during baking and discolor over time.

Silicone bakeware is durable, non-stick, and quite flexible. A wide variety of silicone products are available for the kitchen beyond bakeware. Potholders,  trivets, spatulas, whisks and other utensils, collapsible mixing bowls and strainers, ice cube trays, rolling pins and mats, and much more have become commonplace. Silicone baking pan liners provide a non-stick surface for baking sheets and jelly roll pans making for quick and easy cleanup. It can go directly from the oven to the freezer or vice versa, is microwave and dishwasher safe, and easy to clean.  Since silicone is naturally non-stick no additional oil or grease calories are needed to prep the mold.  However, a small spritz of cooking oil could be helpful with the more decorative molds with sharp corners or intricate designs. Another special feature of silicone is that it’s a great insulator. This means that it both cooks evenly and also cools down quickly. While metal or glass bakeware retain heat, silicone bakeware cool enough to handle within minutes after removal from the oven. Silicone bakeware can go straight from oven to table allowing the molds to be a serving dish, too.  They can also be used for non-baked foods that require molding or even arts and crafts projects.

Silicone bakeware should always be used in conjunction with a firm surface like a cookie sheet to prevent burns and flipping baked goods to the floor.  In most cases, baking and cooling time is the same as for traditional bakeware.  While quite durable, beware of sharp objects and direct heat; a knife will cut through silicone and direct heat will melt it.

While silicone bakeware offers some distinct advantages and tradeoffs over the traditional alternatives, the question remains: are they for you?  I have a few silicone pieces and enjoy using them.  However, some products are simply made better in a traditional pan; others are better in silicone.  Muffin cups are my favorite.

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Avoiding Wasp Stings

Last year we were at a professional golf tournament and I felt something land in my hair. As I was trying to brush it away I got stung on my hand. I quickly removed my ring and watch as my hand started to swell! Fortunately it was not in a spot where it could be life threatening like in the mouth or throat. My natural instinct is to wave my arms and run away but I know that is not what I should do!

Here were some very helpful tips from Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management on how to avoid getting stung:

  • Avoid moving quickly when a bee/wasp comes near you since they are more likely to sting when you surprise them.
  • If a yellowjacket lands on you try and wait for it to fly off. (I wish I thought about this before I got stung)
  • Smashing yellowjackets releases an alarm pheromone that sends a signal to other yellowjackets in the area to attack.
  • Be sure and look in cups or cans of pop containing sugary drinks. They like sweet liquids and can sometimes sneak into pop cans or cups. Drinking through a straw would keep you from getting stung if a bee would like to share your drink.

If you happen to get stung near the throat or mouth call 911 and get some ice to help reduce swelling. This can be life threatening if it causes your throat to swell shut. Anyone who is hypersensitive to stings needs special attention. Watch for signs like dizziness, difficulty breathing or skin color changes and go to the emergency room right away.

Nonallergic reactions to stings include pain, itching, redness and swelling. This can last for up to a day or two after the sting. After getting stung wash the area as quickly as possible around the sting to try and remove some of the venom. Using ice will help to reduce some of the swelling. An antihistamine can help with the swelling and discomfort that comes from a sting. If you are at home, try applying a paste of meat tenderizer and water to the sting spot to help break down the venom which also helps with the swelling and pain.

I hope that you can enjoy the time spent outside and stay free of stings! But if you do get stung you will know the best course of action.

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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A bit of history

Did you know that AnswerLine is 42 years old? We were looking at some of the history of AnswerLine last week and Marcia thought that our blog readers might be interested in a bit of our history too.

A woman named Mary Jo Williams came up with the idea for AnswerLine. It was a part of her thesis in Graduate school.  She had an idea to help consumers get their questions answered quickly, while saving the time of the Extension Specialists that had many other duties, including presenting and writing programs.  When the toll free line was piloted, it was so successful that the trial was stopped and AnswerLine began.  We have had many different staff members over the 42 year span of operation.  One of the things that has remained consistent is that about 2/3 of our calls are food related questions; so operators have always needed a good background in Food and Nutrition.

Back in the day, the operators had four, four drawer file cabinets with little cards that contained answers to questions. They had a long phone cord and a good memory to be able to help consumers.  As the computer age began to take over, AnswerLine began an in-home data base.  The information from those cards was put into the computer, as well as other hard to find information.  We still use that data base today.  But we also do some advanced searching on the internet to find current research based information.

Our role as operators has changed from the early days at AnswerLine. It used to be that callers needed oven temperatures, times, and had quick questions about how to freeze different foods.  Today’s callers more often need assistance with more complicated procedures.  During this time of year, we get a lot of calls about home food preservation.  It is pretty common to talk someone through the method to freeze a vegetable fresh from the garden, or how to use the pressure canner or water bath canner.  Some of these calls can get a bit long as we often need to persuade someone to use safe, tested recipes instead of a recipe that has been handed down through the years. We appreciate your patience when we are busy answering one of these long calls.

We do have 4 operators on our line. Myself, Beth Marrs, Marcia Steed, and Marlene Geiger.  I’m sure you feel acquainted with all of us through phone calls and our blog posts.  We sure enjoy working with you and answering all of your questions.  Keep calling us.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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Party Ideas

punchThe beginning of December is a great time to start thinking about holiday parties. It might be fun this year to serve punch as a beverage this year. Typically, we don’t have a lot of recipes at AnswerLine, but we do have quite a few punch recipes in the AnswerLine files.  I thought it might be fun to share them with you.

These punch recipes will go great with most foods.  They will be delicious with both sweets and savory foods.

If you are using a punch bowl, you may want make your own ice ring.  We suggest that you use some of the punch to make the rings.  Then, when the ring melts it does not water down your punch like a ring made of water.  If you wish a clear water ice ring, allow the water to set 10-15 minutes before putting it into the freezer.  Loosen your ice ring by running water over the metal ring.  Then slip your ring into a plastic bag. This will make placing it into the bowl much easier, and less messy.



CRANBERRY PUNCH                                                      8 servings

1 1/4 qt. cranberry juice cocktail

2 whole cloves

1 stick cinnamon, 2 inches

1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1 cup water

2 cups club soda

Heat 1 cup cranberry juice with spices. Simmer, covered 5 minutes. Remove spices. Add remaining cranberry, orange juice and water. Chill. Add club soda just before serving.


RASPBERRY PUNCH                                                       Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

2 pkgs. frozen raspberries or strawberries                       2/3 cup sugar

2 cups orange juice, fresh or frozen                                 1 can (6 oz.)  frozen lemonade

1 quart ginger ale

Thaw the berries, sprinkle with sugar and mash with a fork or potato masher. Mix berries with orange juice and reconstituted lemonade.  To serve, pour fruit mixture over ice and add the ginger ale.



HOLIDAY PUNCH                                                             Serves 80-100

12 -6 oz. cans frozen or canned orange juice                                1 -6 oz. can frozen or bottled lemon juice

8 quarts cranberry juice cocktail, chilled                        5 quarts bottles sparkling water or ginger ale

Reconstitute orange and lemon juice with 3 cans of cold water per can of juice and continue, following above directions. If fruit juices are combined ahead of time reserve the sparkling water and add just before serving.  Slices of orange, maraschino cherries and other fruits may be frozen in ring molds or other shapes and used in punch bowl for decorative purposes.



RHUBARB-LEMONADE PUNCH                                  Serves 10-20

3 cups sliced fresh/frozen unsweetened rhubarb           3/4 cup sugar

1 6-oz. can frozen pink lemonade concentrate            3 cups water

1 -16 oz. bottle (2 cups) sugar-free lemon-lime carbonated beverage

In saucepan combine rhubarb, sugar, lemonade concentrate, and water. Cook till rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes.  Strain and chill the syrup. Just before serving pour chilled syrup over ice in punch



CHRISTMAS PUNCH                                                       Makes 3 quarts, serves 40

4 cups strained orange juice                                              1/2 cup lemon juice

1 quart cranberry juice cocktail                                        1 pint sparkling water

2 trays of mint ice cubes

Place juices and sparkling water in punch bowl. Add mint ice cubes.  let stand 10 minutes.  Garnish with orange slices studded with whole cloves.



PINK PUNCH                                                                      Serves  30 – 40 (5 – 6 oz punch cup)

1 large box banana strawberry gelatin                            2 Cups boiling water

4 cups cold water                                                                 1 Cup sugar

8 oz. bottle lemon juice                                                      48 oz. pineapple juice

2 quart 7-Up




CRANBERRY PUNCH                                                      Serves 25-30, Makes 2 1/2 quarts

1/2 cup sugar                                                                        1/2 cup water

2 cups cranberry juice cocktail                                         1 cup orange juice, frozen or fresh or canned

1/2 cup lemon juice, frozen or fresh or canned             1 quart ginger ale

Cook sugar and water together to the boiling point. Then continue cooking 5 minutes longer.  Cool slightly and mix with the three juices.




2 large pkg. gelatin, your flavor or color                         4 cups boiling water

4 cups sugar                                                                          9 cups cold water

2 cups bottled Real Lemon juice                                      2  46 oz. cans pineapple juice (not grapefruit juice)

Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Add rest of ingredients and freeze. Four hours before serving, remove from freezer.  To serve, add 2 large bottles gingerale. (If you use lemon gelatin, reduce lemon juice to 1 cup and increase water to 5 cups)  Serves 25-30.


Before choosing any of these punch recipes, look at the ease of making the punch and the amount you will need for your gathering.  A bit of advance planning will allow you to enjoy your gathering.  Enjoy!






Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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