Saturday, October 25, 2014

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


Shapes





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











Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, Food Day - From Our Garden

Welcome to our food day celebration!



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
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



The meal would feed six people, each with unique needs.

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.




When purchasing pasta, I look for shapes about one-inch long and easy to hold, such as Rotini (a helix or corkscrew-shaped pasta).  As a backup plan, sandwiches are easy to make from most recipes and a perfect finger food.





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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22, National Nut Day





Nuts once considered a high fat, high calorie food is now being recognized as a Nutritious Snack with essential fatty acids, omega fats, protein and many vitamins and minerals.





Answers Below

Health Benefits of Nuts

How Nuts are Prepared


Recipes and Marketing Nuts
Planters Commercial


Oregon Hazelnut



Sharon Palmer, RD - Steel Cut Oats
Risotto with Walnuts


Resources and Answers
1. Peanuts
2. Cashews 
3. Walnuts 
6. Pecans
7. Macadamia
8. Almonds 




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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
References
.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
American Cancer Society (ACS) www.cancer.org
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists www.acog.org
American College of Radiology (ACR) www.acr.org
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) www.asco.org
The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) www.amwa-doc.org
CancerCare www.cancercare.org
Men Against Breast Cancer (MABC) www.menagainstbreastcancer.org
National Medical Association (NMA), www.nmanet.org
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) www.ons.org
Prevent Cancer Foundation www.preventcancer.org
Susan G. Komen for the Cure® www.komen.org
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) www.cms.gov
National Cancer Institute (NCI), www.cancer.gov

Monday, October 20, 2014

World Osteoporosis Day
October 20




The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is the leading consumer and community-focused health organization dedicated to the prevention of osteoporosis and broken bones, the promotion of strong bones for life and the reduction of human suffering through programs of public and clinician awareness, education, advocacy and research. Established in 1984, NOF is the nation's leading voluntary health organization solely dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health. 


Strong Women Make Stronger Women



Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. Of the 10 million American’s estimated to already have osteoporosis, eight million are women and two million are men. 

What can you do to protect your bones?
Osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are not part of normal aging. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood and continue throughout life.
1. Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well balanced diet.
2. Engage in regular exercise.
3. Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
4. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.



What Women Need to Know
Females are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and broken bones. 
• Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
• Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
• A woman's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
There are multiple reasons why women are more like to get osteoporosis than men, including:
• Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men.
• Estrogen, a hormone in women decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.

Are You at Risk for Developing Osteoporosis?

Uncontrollable Risk Factors
•           Being over age 50.
•           Being Female.
•           Menopause.
•           Family History.
•           Low Body Weight/Being Small and Thin.
•           Broken Bones or Height Loss.
Controllable Risk Factors
•           Not Getting Enough Calcium and Vitamin D.
•           Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables.
•           Getting Too Much Protein, Sodium and Caffeine.
•           Having an Inactive Lifestyle.
•           Smoking.
•           Drinking too much alcohol.
•           Losing Weight.
There are also medications and diseases that can cause bone loss and increase your risk of osteoporosis.


Calcium and Vitamin D 
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are essential to building stronger, denser bones early in life and to keeping bones strong and healthy later in life. Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients for bone health.

Calcium-Rich Food Sources 
Dairy products, such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are high in calcium. Certain green vegetables and other foods contain calcium in smaller amounts. Some juices, breakfast foods, soymilk, cereals, snacks, and breads have calcium that has been added. 

Vitamin D Sources
There are three ways to get vitamin D:
• Sunlight 
• Food 
• Supplements 

Three Steps to Unbreakable Bones


You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood. But it shouldn't stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action.

Resources and References. To learn more about Osteoporosis, please visit the following Foundations.
World Osteoporosis Day
International Osteoporosis Foundation 
National Osteoporosis Foundation  1150 17th Street, NW Suite 850 Washington, DC 20036 • 1.800.231.4222

Sunday, October 19, 2014

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 farmtoschool.org.

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: info@farmtoschool.org
   • Show your support for Farm to School Month by becoming an official sponsor! Contact: info@farmtoschool.org

Teachers
   • 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 farmtoschool.org
   • 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.

Farmers
   • 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 farmtoschool.org.

Families
   • 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.

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

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