Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28, Food on a Stick Day


Food on a stick is thought to be among the earliest examples of human utensils. The “Kebab” is a dish consisting of small pieces of meat and vegetables threaded onto skewers and grilled. The kebab originated in Persia and later spread to the Middle East and Turkey. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on location and traditions, it may be beef, goat, chicken, pork, fish or seafood. Today the kebab is found worldwide. There are numerous variations of foods you can add to a stick and it's not just limited to meats.

Highlighted below are some of Bon Appétit's Best Foods on a Stick; Fun and Nutritious with Barbara Beery, a kids' cooking instructor and 59 foods on a stick from the Minnesota State Fair.


Modified Vegetable Kebabs with Saffron Butter, 6 servings
Ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine 
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 medium zucchini, each cut crosswise into 6 rounds
2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch squares
1/2 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ears fresh corn, each cut into 6 rounds
6 10-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained

Directions
Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Stir in saffron. Cool 1 hour. Alternate 3 zucchini rounds, 3 red bell pepper squares, 3 red onion pieces, and 2 corn rounds on each skewer. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush kebabs with all but 2 tablespoons saffron butter. Season with salt and pepper; grill until vegetables are tender and brown, turning frequently, about 20 minutes. Brush with remaining butter.

Nutritional Information (1 serving with margarine). 127 Calories; 8 g Fat; 1 g Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 15 mg Sodium; 3 g Dietary Fiber

Nutritional Information (1 serving with butter). 127 Calories; 8 g Fat; 5 g Saturated Fat; 20 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 15 mg Sodium; 3 g Dietary Fiber 
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Passion Fruit and Guava Pops, 8 servings
No modifications were made.
Ingredients
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
7 to 8 ripe passion fruits (about 11 ounces), halved, wrinkled on outside
1 11.5-ounce can guava nectar (about 1 1/2 cups)

Equipment
8 3-ounce disposable paper cups
8 ice pop sticks or lollipop sticks

Directions

Combine 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in small bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. Using spoon, scoop flesh from passion fruits into sugar mixture. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl; press on seeds with rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible (you will need 1 cup strained liquid); discard seeds in strainer.

Divide passion fruit mixture among eight 3-ounce paper cups (about 2 tablespoons for each). Stretch plastic wrap tightly over top of each cup, covering completely and securing each with rubber band. Insert ice pop stick or lollipop stick through plastic wrap and into mixture in each cup (taut plastic will hold stick in place). Place cups in muffin pan, tilting cups at angle. Freeze until passion fruit mixture is set, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, stir guava nectar, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in 2-cup measuring cup until sugar dissolves. Chill mixture until cold. Remove cups with frozen passion fruit mixture from freezer; stand cups upright in muffin pan. Peel back some of plastic wrap on each. Pour guava mixture atop frozen passion fruit mixture in cups, dividing equally. Cover with plastic wrap, secure with rubber band, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Do ahead. Keep frozen. Use scissors, cut off paper cups from pops and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (1 serving). 74 Calories; 0 g Fat; 0 g Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 19 g Carbohydrates; 0 g Protein; 11 mg Sodium, 1.7 g Dietary Fiber


Fun and Nutritious
Food on a stick can be fun and nutritious. Barbara Beery is a kids' cooking instructor. In the following video, Barbara shows how to make healthy foods on a skewer.


State Fairs and Food on a Stick
Putting food on a stick is popular at many state fairs because you can eat and walk at the same time. The food choices go from simple to the bizarre and many items are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. The video below shows all of the 59 foods on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair from 2006.


Resources

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
The Challenges of Feeding



As a parent of a child with disabilities and a Registered Dietitian my goals are to provide Jake as many tools and resources to allow for maximum independence; while providing nourishing meals. Through mistakes, observations, experiences and the help of very wise health professionals we adapted our environment to achieve these goals. Lately, I've noticed the goals need to be revised as Jake gets older. 

1. Utensils were not used in our home for a long time, except when we had guests over. Jake and I ate a lot of finger foods. It was difficult for Jake to hold the utensils. As I watch Jake get older, I have noticed his muscles getting tighter. He now asks for help in feeding – most of the time. 

2. For drinking, we use a weighted cup base, this is to prevent spills. We would place a cup inside with a flexi straw and Jake would be able to drink on his own and whenever he would like. Lately, I've noticed a lot more spills.

3. Jake loves to dine out and have dinner parties. I never had to worry about getting him to try new foods. Jake is a culinary explorer.

4. I love his understanding of food and nutrition. Jake has a wonderful sense of taste, as he combines different flavors. He creates meals based on colors, designs, and nutrition. Jake is my inspiration, as can be seen in my art and photography.


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Assistive technology to facilitate independent eating and drinking

The first video describes feeding challenges encountered by persons with disabilities and the advances in assistive technology. It’s not an endorsement of the Mealtime Partner Dining System, but the video shows good examples of challenging eating/feeding situations.




Eating and Drinking: Children with Cerebral Palsy



Quadriplegic Eating Utensils


Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26, National Spinach Day

Nutrition Information
Spinach is fat free; saturated fat free; cholesterol free; low calorie; high in dietary fiber; high in vitamin A; high in vitamin C; high in iron, high in folate; and a good source of magnesium.

Selecting and Storing Spinach 
1. Choose fresh, crisp, green bunches with no evidence of insect damage.
2. Store spinach loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel.
3. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use within 3 to 5 days.



Oxalic acid and Spinach

The oxalic acid in spinach binds with iron, which inhibits iron absorption. You can improve the absorption of iron from spinach by eating it with foods that enhance iron absorption; such as foods rich in vitamin C.

Serving Suggestions
1. Add spinach to a pasta or rice recipe.
2. Enjoy a spinach salad with a variety of ingredients.




References

1. Spinach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Top 10 ways to enjoy Spinach, Fruits and Veggies more matters 
3. Spinach: Nutrition . Selection . Storage
Fruits and Veggies more matters 






Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25, Pecan Day

Pecans are a good source of fiber and protein. They  
are sodium-free and cholesterol-free.
A healthy snack, but watch the portion size.



Nutrient Analysis Services
Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional 
analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information. Contact: Dietitians-Online.comSandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LD, FAND at recipenews@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015, Diabetes Alert Day
Take the Diabetes Risk Test

March 24, 2015 as Diabetes Alert Day.

The American Diabetes Association is at the forefront of the fight to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes. They provide education, promote awareness, advocate on behalf of diabetes patients and are the authoritative source on diabetes in the United States.



Resources
Check-up America: Diabetes Basics
National Diabetes Education Program  
Tips for Teens with Diabetes: Make Healthy Food Choices

To learn more about the American Diabetes Association and events planned for Diabetes Alert day,
Visit
American Diabetes Association Alert Day.


Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, Chip and Dip Day - Looking for healthy alternatives for chips?




Resources
1. Lauren Swann, Pinterest: Healthy Chip Board on Pinterest
2. Lauren Swann, Pinterest: Healthy Dips board

March 23, National Puppy Day
Health Benefits


Health Benefits of a Pet



Studies have found that:
• Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
• People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
• Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
• Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than those without pets.
• Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
• Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

Caring for a pet can help with those healthy lifestyle changes by:
• Increasing exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule.
• Providing companionship. Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
• Helping meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
• Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
• Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
• Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.

Pets and older adults
The key to aging well is to effectively handle life’s major changes, such as retirement, the loss of loved ones, and the physical changes of aging. Pets can play an important role in healthy aging by:
• Helping you find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a pet can bring pleasure and help boost your morale and optimism. Taking care of an animal can also provide a sense of self-worth.
• Staying connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement, illness, death, and moves can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Dogs especially are a great way for seniors to spark up conversations and meet new people.
• Boosting vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Pets encourage playfulness, laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

Resources and References
American Humane Association
5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health
The Therapeutic Benefits of Pets


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