Thursday, October 27, 2016

October, National Apple Month: Health Benefits and Recipes

Health Benefits
Apple is a fruit rich in antioxidants and a good source of fiber. Quercetin is an antioxidant found in apples and may inhibit lung cancer. Pectin found in apples help treat diarrhea and constipation by adding bulk to the stool. Other benefits being studied include treatments for diabetes, heart disease, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood levels of LDL, reducing risks of Alzheimer’s, and decreasing bone fractures.

Apple seeds should never be eaten. They contain the poison cyanide.

Let’s not forget the peel. The apple peel contains ursolic acid, a chemical that may prevent muscle wasting.

There may be some truth to “An Apple a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away”.


Baked Sliced Apples

Yield: 2 servings

2 Apples, cored and sliced
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Lemon-Lime Soda, diet
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
1/2 cup Bran Flakes
1/2 cup Applesauce, unsweetened

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon-lime soda. Toss to combine.

2 Layer sliced apples in a baking pan.
3 Combine cinnamon, bran flakes, and applesauce. Place mixture over apples.
4 Bake 45 minutes or until apples are tender.
5. Serve with low fat vanilla yogurt or ice cream.

Apples - Health Benefits with Allison Parker, MS, RD

References and Resources
1. U.S. Apple Association
2. WebMD: Apple
3. U.S. Apple Association: Recipes

Nutritional Analysis Services
Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional analysis and food nutrition facts labels for your recipes and menus utilizing an extensive research database. A great service for the Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, Recipe Websites and Blogs. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information.

For more information, visit Dietitians-Online Nutritional Analysis Services

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN

Celebrate National Farm to School Month

The National Farm to School Network advocated for the creation of National Farm to School Month and now organizes the annual celebration in October. National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food.

The National Farm to School Network has also developed resources and activities to promote Farm to School Month in schools, communities and media outlets. All of these tools are available on

Here are some ways you can help us get the word out about Farm to School Month:
   • #F2SMonth - Use this hashtag in your social
Media Messages
   •@FarmtoSchool - follow on Twitter
   • Follow on Facebook

Learn more about the movement throughout October. They will be sharing stories and information on their blog about how farm to school is empowering children and their families to make informed food choices and contributing to their communities. 

The resource database is home to even more information and includes searchable tags for Farm to School Month as well as topics like farm to preschool, school gardens and procurement.

Celebrate National Farm to School Month

Many farm to school programs begin with a small activity generating interest and engages the whole community.

Organizations and Businesses
   • Become an official Farm to School Month partner! Partners commit to using their communications channels to spread the word about Farm to School Month. Suggested messaging and weekly updates will be provided by NFSN. Contact:
   • Show your support for Farm to School Month by becoming an official sponsor! Contact:

   • Plan nutrition education activities, such as Harvest of the Month, featuring a local food product that is in season.
   • Connect instructional school gardens and garden based learning activities to the curriculum.
   • Organize farm tours or trips to the local farmers’ market.
   • Send information about Farm to School Month to parents.

School food service professionals
   • Promote Farm to School Month on the school menu and in the cafeteria. Find logos, posters and more at
   • Do a taste test of local products or feature one item for lunch, breakfast or snacks.
   • Create a farm to school salad bar using local products.

   • Connect with your local school and offer to conduct a classroom session during October or offer to host a visit to your farm.
   • Promote Farm to School Month on your farm or at your farmers’ market booth with posters and other materials, which can be downloaded or ordered from

   • Visit your local farmers’ market. Buy something you’ve never tried before, cook it and share with your family and friends.
   • Cook with seasonal products as much as possible. Find out what products are grown in your region and when. Most State Departments of Agriculture or Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters can provide you with a regional crop calendar.
   • Volunteer at your local school to support a school garden or classroom educational activity.

To learn more, visit the National Farm to School website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Health Benefits of Pink Foods

Health Benefits of Pink Foods

Pink Grapefruits contain lycopene. Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red color. It is one of a number of pigments called carotenoids. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. Current research is exploring the role of lycopene in relationship to preventing heart disease and cancer of the prostate, breast, lung, bladder, ovaries, colon, uterine, and pancreas.

Pink Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, pink salmon is rich in calcium, protein, magnesium and potassium; and contains iron, niacin, selenium, and vitamins A, B-12, C and E. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation and help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.
Beets are a good source of fiber, potassium and folate. Researchers believe the red pigment (called betacyanin) in beets may protect against the development of cancerous cells and might play a role in reducing the inflammation associated with heart disease.
Raspberries contain high levels of ellagic acid, a polyphenol and antioxidant being studied as a food in the fight against cancer. Raspberries are also rich in anthocyanins, a flavonoid compound that gives them their red color. Anthocyanins may help protect the circulatory, cardiovascular and neurological systems. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber; and is a low-glycemic index food.

Red Onions are a natural sources of quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin is being studied for treating conditions of high cholesterol, heart disease, circulation problems, diabetes, cataracts, peptic ulcers, inflammation, asthma, gout, chronic fatigue syndrome, preventing cancer, and for treating chronic infections of the prostate. Quercetin research is evaluating the effectiveness of increased endurance and improved athletic performance. Red onions also provide allicin, an organic sulfur compound responsible for the taste and smell of onions. Allicin may protect against inflammation, allergies, and bacteria; and may reduce the risk factors of certain types of cancers.

Guavas are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, potassium, and manganese. A guava contains about 4 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps, protects cells from free radical damage. Currently there is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of guava in the treatment of colic, diarrhea, diabetes, cough, cataracts, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. More research is needed to evaluate the usefulness of guava for these conditions.
Yogurt, Raspberry, Low Fat or Fat-Free Yogurt has been associated with a wide range of health benefits, due to its bacterial cultures and the many nutrients it contains. Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium. Some research shows that yogurt with probiotic cultures may help improve the immune system; reduce yeast infections in women; help with digestion; and reduce colon and other cancer risks. Calcium has beneficial effects on bone mass and may help prevent osteoporosis. Many people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy yogurt. One serving of yogurt is one eight-ounce cup or serving.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
NBCAM Organizations Working Together
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
American Cancer Society (ACS)
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Radiology (ACR)
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)
Men Against Breast Cancer (MABC)
National Medical Association (NMA),
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
National Cancer Institute (NCI),

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25, World Pasta Day

Pasta is a type of noodle and commonly referred to a variety of pasta dishes. It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine. Usually pasta is made from unleavened dough of durum wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked and served in any number of dishes. It can be made with flour from other cereals or grains, and eggs may be used instead of water. Pastas are divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca). 

Both dried and fresh pasta come in a number of shapes and varieties. Common forms of pasta include long shapes, short shapes, tubes, flat shapes and sheets, filled or stuffed, and decorative shapes.

Nutritional Information

How Pasta is Made

Making Pasta with Children


Recipe: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Diced Tomatoes
Serves One

2 oz Whole Wheat Spaghetti (1 cup cooked)
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
1 large Tomato, diced (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

1. Prepare spaghetti as per manufacturer’s directions.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and oregano; simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add spaghetti to skillet; toss to coat with tomatoes.
5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Nutritional Information

Resources and References
1. Wikipedia: Pasta   This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
2. Cooking Light: Pasta Recipes

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, Food Day - From Our Garden to Our Table

Welcome to our food day celebration!

Food Day inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies. Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies.  The 2016 Food Day theme is "Toward a Greener Diet."

1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods.
2. Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness.
3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger.
4. Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms.
5. Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids.
6. Support fair conditions for food and farm workers.

Planning Our Food Day Meal
Every family is unique. When planning our meal we considered foods from our garden, finances, physical abilities, including finger foods and easy to chew and swallow; and color – the theme for our dinner. 

Our family and friends come from diverse backgrounds with physical and emotional challenges or chronic illnesses, such as Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Heart Disease.

Our Meal
The main course is a tri-color pasta with a variety of toppings to choose from.  Our garden provided us with tomatoes, onions, broccoli, cucumbers, and basil. We purchased spinach, pasta sauce, locally grown fruits, part-skim mozzarella and for the meat eaters we had ground turkey meatballs and shredded chicken.

In addition, we prepared a red, white and green grilled cheese sandwich from the US Dept of Health and Human Services cookbook
Keep the Beat Recipes, recipes. A free copy of the cookbook is available on their website. 

The dessert was a big hit. We made fruit kabobs using locally grown fruits  and paired with low fat ice cream and for Jake we prepared a smoothie using the same ingredients.

From Our Garden

Adaptations and Individual Preferences

My son Jake was born with Cerebral Palsy and is a quadriplegia. He is unable to hold utensils and requires a straw to drink fluids. Finger foods and a weighted cup with a flexi straw usually provide him the most independence.

Resources and References
Food Day
Facebook Food Day
Twitter Food Day
Pinterest Food Day

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Eat Right with Colors

Music: The Wonderful World of Color, Walt Disney and Disney World.

Eat right with colors explores the health benefits associated with eating foods of many colors. Including color diversity in your meals and food choices enhances your intake of a wide range of nutrients. 

Red and Pink Foods
Apples, Beets, Cayenne, Cherries, Cranberries, Guava, Kidney Beans, Papaya, Pink Beans, Pink/Red Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Bell Peppers, Red Cabbages, Red Chili Peppers, Red Corn, Red Currants, Red Grapes, Red Onions, Red Pears, Red Peppers, Red Plums, Red Potatoes, Red Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelons

Green Foods
Alfalfa, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Chives, Collard Greens, Cucumbers, Dandelion Greens, Edamame, Endive, Fennel, Green apples, Green Beans, Green cabbage, Green Grapes, Green Olives, Green Onion, Green Pears, Green Peas, Green Pepper, Green Tomatoes, Honeydew, Kale, Kiwi, Leeks, Lettuce, Limes, Mint, Okra, Oregano, Parsley, Pistachios, Snow Peas, Spinach, Sugar snap peas, Swiss Chard, Tarragon, Tomatillo, Wasabi, Watercress, Zucchini

Blue and Purple Foods
Blue Grapes, Blue and Purple Potatoes, Blueberries, Dried Plums, Plums, Eggplant, Pomegranates, Elderberries, Juniper Berries, Kelp (Seaweed), Purple Belgian Endive, Purple Cabbage, Purple Figs

Yellow and Orange Foods
Apricots, Bananas, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cheddar Cheese, Citrus Fruits, Clementines, Corn, Creamsicle, Garbanzo Beans, Golden Apples, Golden Flax Seed, Golden Raisins, Grapefruit, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin Oranges, Mangoes, Nectarines, Orange Jello, Orange Peppers, Orange Tomatoes, Oranges, Papaya, Parsnips, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Pineapple, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Saffron, Salmon, Spaghetti Squash, Squash Blossoms, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Whole Grains, Yams, Yellow Apples, Yellow Beans, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Summer Squash, Yellow Wax Beans

White and Black Foods
White: Cauliflower, Coconut, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions, Scallions, Horseradish, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Millet, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Quinoa, Shallots, Soy Products, Sunflower Seeds, Tofu, Turnips, White Beans, White Corn, White Sesame Seeds

Black: Black Beans, Black Cherries, Black Currants, Black Mushrooms, Black Olives, Black Quinoa, Black Raspberry, Black Rice, Black Sesame Seeds, Black Soybeans, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Prunes, Raisins, Seaweeds, Tamari (Soy Sauce)

Wellness News employs adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information ( 

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Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN
Jake Frank

Michelle Canazaro
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