Friday, March 25, 2016

Nutrition Label Blooper - Lindt Easter Chocolate Carrots

Nutrition Label Blooper

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.


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

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right
Try Healthy White and Black Foods

White and Black Foods

Food Sources
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, Milk, Eggs

Do you know any other WHITE foods?

About White Foods
The white food category is diverse and includes fruits, vegetables, grains, milk, eggs, and tofu. The fruits and vegetables are a good source of fiber and tofu is relatively high in protein. Eggs and milk are an excellent source of protein and milk is rich in calcium, vitamin D, potassium and magnesium. Potassium is also found in potatoes, which assists in protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism and essential for normal heart function.

White fruits and vegetables contain the natural color pigment anthoxanthins; a type of flavonoid, which range in color from white or colorless to yellow and exhibit antioxidant properties. Allicin is a phytonutrient found in garlic and onions. Allicin may help reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, act as an anti-inflammatory and may function as an antioxidant. Quercetin is another anthoxanthin found in onions and shallots. Quercetin may lower the risk of heart disease and act as an anti-inflammatory.

Ways to Increase White Food Intake:
  Add onions, garlic or shallots to salads, entrees or soups.
  Snack on sunflower seeds.
  Try tofu in soups or prepare as a main-course.
  Add white beans to salads or season and serve as a side dish.
  Try a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk at bedtime.

Food Sources
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)

Do you know other BLACK foods?

About Black Foods
Black colored foods are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Black Rice contains vitamin E and the antioxidant anthocyanin.  Black Lentils are rich in iron and fiber and may help in wound healing and lowering blood cholesterol.  Blackberries are high in the antioxidant polyphenolic, which may reduce inflammation. Blackberries are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and manganese. Black Soybeans are high in fiber and protein.  Raisins and prunes help in the treatment of constipation.  Raisins are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium, and calcium. Prunes are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and copper.

Ways to Increase Black Food Intake:
  Add raisins to hot cereal or use as a snack.
  Add blackberries or black raspberries to salads or yogurt or carry as a snack.
  Substitute black rice for brown rice.
  Use black sesame seeds on fish or salads.

Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). My staff started the project in September 2010. Over the next five months, we would take over 600 photographs of colorful foods in order to create the March presentation for NNM. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (

Prepared by
Wellness News (
Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN
Jake Frank
Lance Li
Jonathan Cruz News

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