Sunday, April 23, 2017

National Youth Sports Safety Month

Written by Tracy S. Williams, BS, Nutrition Educator. 
Learn more about Tracy at Tracy's Plate


April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, created to focus attention on sports safety and injury prevention for children and teen athletes. Proper nutrition is also important for healthy youth athletics. Eating right will help children and teens to be healthier and stronger for competition and in their daily life.



Feeding Young Athletes

While feeding a child athlete may seem like a challenge, it only requires a little knowledge and extra planning. Children need optimal nutrition for fueling and recovery from training as well as meet the calorie demands of growth and maturation. It is important to help kids refuel with carbohydrates, focusing on family mealtime before and after practice or competition.

It is ideal for the family to sit down together for a pre-game breakfast. Three hours beforehand, an optimal pre-game breakfast could include sliced and slightly grilled potatoes, paired with scrambled eggs and nutrient rich fruit such as berries and orange juice or fat-free or low-fat milk. Hydration is always important before, during and after practice and competitions. Dehydration occurs when your child fails to adequately replace fluid loss through sweating. Dehydration that exceeds 2% of body weight loss harms exercise performance, so make sure your child replace fluid loss after exercise performance, so make sure your child drinks small amounts of water throughout the game. Potassium and carbohydrates are important nutrients to replenish after exercise. Potassium and carbohydrates are found in bananas, potatoes, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt or milk. Chocolate milk is a particularly good post-competition recovery beverage.

If you have more than one child in sports, the hours after practice or a weekday competition may require snacking before dinner. Have pre-prepared snacks ready when kids arrive home hungry after a hard after-school practice or game. These snacks can be cut-up fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and smoothies. For a tasty and filling post-game family dinner, serve baked or broiled lean cuts of meat such as lean beef or pork, chicken breast, salmon or tuna. Add whole grains, like whole-wheat pasta with a low-fat tomato or cheese sauce. Toss in vegetables or include a side salad. Parents and kids should complete their meal with fruit for dessert, such as baked apples or pears along with a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk. Or create an instant yogurt parfait with layers of low-fat vanilla yogurt, fresh, frozen or canned fruit, and crunchy whole grain cereal. Be sure to consume all five food groups throughout the day, protein, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy to give your family and young athletes the nutrients and calories they need.

Eating Adequate Calories and Nutrients

Young athletes often push themselves harder than usual, training intensely to gain a competitive edge. This increased activity requires eating more calories to meet the demands of training and recovery in addition to calories needed for growth and development. Children and teens may not understand how their calorie need translate into daily food choices. Bone health is a major concern as girls and boys build 60 to 80 percent of their lifetime bone mass by age 18. If young athletes restrict their eating to keep weight down for sports like gymnastics, skating or wrestling, bone growth may be diminished. Restricted diets can also be low in calcium, vitamin D, which contributes to poor bone formation.

Other potential effects of eating too few calories are increased risk of injury, and lowered endurance and decreased muscle strength. It can also reduce response to training, decrease coordination, and impair judgment and increase irritability and depression. The good news is correcting low calorie intake can get athletic performance back to optimum levels.

It is important for parents to teach their children about the calorie demands of their training and the relationship proper nutrition, to good bone health and injury prevention and optimal training. Keep an eye out for weight loss and changes in mood as well as create a supportive environment in which girls and boys can consume three meals and one to three snacks per day. Missing one meal on a regular basis can result in an inadequate calorie intake.

School Nutrition for Athletes

A well balanced diet provides children and teen athletes with the calories and nutrients they need to power their workouts and support their rapid growth. According to a study in the 2006 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children and teens who play team sports have slightly better eating habits and higher intakes of key nutrients than kids who do not, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Today breakfast is often available at school, so if students are late risers or are not ready to eat when they get up in the morning, they can still grab breakfast before class. When kids do not eat breakfast, they miss out on a big chunk of their day’s nutrition. That can rob them of important nutrients and also take its toll on their energy levels at practice later in the day.

Active kids need protein to support growth and build and repair hardworking muscles. Today protein is leaner than ever because of USDA guidelines encouraging schools to limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of overall calories. That means leaner meats, skinless chicken and low-fat dairy in yogurt parfaits, bean and cheese burritos, and egg and cheese wraps for breakfast. Turkey burgers and southwestern chef salads and rice and bean bowls at lunch.

Carbohydrates are the optimal fuel for sports and exercise because they are naturally used for proper energy. The best place to get them is from slowly digested, nutrient-rich whole grains. At breakfast kids will now start their day with whole grain versions of cereal, mini pancakes, and zucchini or banana bread. For lunch they will dig into whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken sandwiches on whole grain buns and baked chicken tenders with brown rice.

Good hydration should begin early in the day before kids even set foot on the playing field. While sports drinks might be a smart move, water is better for hydration for training that only lasts an hour. Sports drinks are best when used for a two hour training session or during games.

Parents can provide nutritious meals after a game or training session. Hard training could contribute to eating disorder if athletes do not have proper nutrition. School cafeterias can contribute to proper nutrition for student athletes. Nutrition will always be a key component for the safety and strength for all athletes.
           


April 23, National Picnic Day - Food Safety


Picnic Food Safety


Before you begin setting out your picnic feast, make sure hands and surfaces are clean.

Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood should be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.

Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. This will prevent the perishable foods from being exposed to warm outdoor temperatures.

Limit the number of times the cooler is opened so as to keep the contents cold longer.

Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared and cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler.


For more food safety tips, visit 


http://homefoodsafety.org





Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 22, Earth Day
March for Science


Small Changes, Make a Big Difference

April 22, 1970 was the first Earth Day and it awakened almost 20 million Americans from all walks of life to launch the modern environmental movement. From that first earth day came the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other environmental laws. Today the Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.


Earth 50 


A Billion Acts of Green®
A Billion Acts of Green® – the largest environmental service campaign in the world – inspires and rewards simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. 


Earth - Small Changes make a Big Difference

YouTube has a wide range of resources, from the young, older, news, family, scientist, schools, communities, governments and industry describing how they are making a difference and how we can make a difference in saving our Earth.

Mobilize The Earth


Green Mom

Cost of Food
Americans have been spending less and less on what we eat. But those savings come with a high cost: obesity, diabetes, and big health care bills. Here's a look at how our diet has changed over the last 50 years, and what we can do to make it better.


Recycle Guys


Friday, April 21, 2017

April is National Donate Life Month


April is National Donate Life Month
Find out how you can get involved.

 

Risk Factors For Organ Failure
* Obesity
* Diabetes
* Hypertension/Heart Disease/Stroke
* Life Style Choices

 Reduce Risks with Healthy Habits
* Stay Heart Healthy
* Follow the US Dietary guidelines
* Follow an Exercise program
* Go for an annual check-up with your Doctor

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20, Lima Bean Respect Day


Lima beans are fresh in summer, though they are most commonly found dried, canned or frozen, all year long. Lima beans are also known as "Butter Beans"  in many parts of the United States.

There are warnings to avoid raw lima beans because they contain linamarin (also called cyanogens), which releases a cyanide compound when the seed coat is opened," according to Fruits and Veggies Matter. Linamarin is deactivated during cooking.

Nutrition Information

Modified Recipes
Lima Bean Burgers

Serves 4
Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) can lima beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray. 
2. In a medium bowl, mash lima beans with a fork until thick and pasty. Finely chop bell pepper, 
onion and garlic and stir into mashed beans.
3. In a small bowl, stir together egg whites, chili powder, and cumin. Stir the egg mixture into the 
mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. 
4. Divide mixture into four patties. 
5. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.
6. Serve on a whole wheat hamburger bun with kale, onion, tomato slices, and avocado.

Nutrition Facts: 255 Calories; 12g Protein; 44g Carbohydrates; 9g Dietary Fiber; 6g Total Sugars; 5g Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 28mcg Folate; 4mg  Iron; 358mg Sodium

with Mint Vinaigrette (original recipe) from Emeril Lagasse, 
"Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Eating Fresh"

The recipe needed very little modification, but with a few changes we were able to lower the calories, fat, sodium and sugar content. Excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and Folate and a good source of iron and calcium.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture
presents a Food for Thought 
video on Lima Beans.

Lima Beans: Educational Resources

Butter Beans and Lima Beans (PDF)
University of Florida. Sarasota County Extension.
Explores the difference between butter beans and lima beans.
Also provides nutritional information and recipes.

Kentucky Lima Beans (PDF)
Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Information about selection, storage, preparation and a recipe.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

National Park Week - Food Safety

National Park Week is America's largest celebration of national heritage. It's about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks! It's all happening in your national parks. The National Park Service is once again partnering with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week from April 15 to 23, 2017.

April 19 - National Garlic Day
Effectiveness of Garlic as a Medical Treatment


Garlic comes from the lily family and is the edible bulb from a plant. It is used as a spice to enhance the flavor of foods and in medicine, Garlic claims have been made to cure heart disease, cancer, colds, hair loss, bug repellant and many other medical conditions.

The medical research on the safety and effectiveness of garlic has been limited, flawed, inconclusive or failed to prove its curative powers in most of the claims made.

The following conditions have been rated based on the scientific evidence available as to the effectiveness of Garlic as a treatment. From Medline, a service to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services. Go to Medline for a complete listing of the findings presented.

Ratings
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use;
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use.

High Cholesterol (Rate B). Multiple studies in humans have reported small reductions in total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins ("bad cholesterol") over short periods of time (4 to 12 weeks). It is not clear if there are benefits after this amount of time. Effects on high-density lipoproteins ("good cholesterol") are not clear. This remains an area of controversy. Well-designed and longer studies are needed in this area.

Anti-fungal, applied to the skin (Rate C). Several studies describe the application of garlic to the skin to treat fungal infections, including yeast infections. Garlic can cause severe burns and rash when applied to the skin of sensitive individuals.

Anti-platelet effects, blood thinning (Rate C).   Garlic has been associated with several cases of bleeding, therapy should be applied with caution (particularly in patients using other agents that may precipitate bleeding).

Atherosclerosis, hardening" of the arteries (Rate C).   Preliminary research in humans suggests that deposits of cholesterol in blood vessels may not grow as quickly in people who take garlic. It is not clear if this is due to the ability of garlic to lower cholesterol levels, or to other effects of garlic.

Cancer (Rate C).  Preliminary human studies suggest that regular consumption of garlic (particularly unprocessed garlic) may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer including gastric and colorectal malignancies. Some studies use multi-ingredient products so it is difficult to determine if garlic alone may play a beneficial role. Further well designed human clinical trials are needed to conclude whether eating garlic or taking garlic supplements may prevent or treat cancer.

High blood pressure (Rate C).  Numerous human studies report that garlic can lower blood pressure by a small amount, but larger, well-designed studies are needed to confirm this possible effect.

Tick repellant (Rate C).  In early study, self-reports of tick bites were significantly less in people receiving garlic over a placebo "sugar" pill. Further well designed study is needed to confirm these results.

Upper respiratory tract infection (Rate C).  Preliminary reports suggest that garlic may reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. However, this has not been demonstrated in well-designed human studies.

Diabetes (Rate D).  Animal studies suggest that garlic may lower blood sugar and increase the release of insulin, but studies in humans do not confirm this effect.


Heart Smart® Tip of the Day: Garlic with
Darlene Zimmerman, RDN




Does fresh-cut garlic really
reduce the risk of heart disease?



Why go to the market,
when you can grow garlic in your garden.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 18, National Animal Crackers Day


Animal crackers are usually in the shape of circus animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and elephants. During the late 1800's, animal crackers were imported from England to the United States. The first batch of animal crackers were made by Stauffer's Biscuit Company in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or "Nabisco Brands." In 1902, the animal cracker's box officially became "Barnum's Animals" with the circus themed box.

Animal Cracker Nutrition

Create Fun and Healthier Snacks





Shirley Temple - Animal Crackers in My Soup







Monday, April 17, 2017

April, Emotional Overeating Month



Do you eat when you are anxious or excited? Does food make you feel better? If so, you may be conditioned to turn to food for comfort. April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month.

For many people, eating is something to do when you're bored, tired, anxious or dealing with emotions. Often these behaviors can lead to overeating. But eating to cope with emotions can lead to more negative feelings (guilt, lack of personal control and poor self esteem) and perhaps to a cycle of mood-triggered eating.

If you eat because of emotions, start keeping a food record of what you eat, when you eat and why you eat. Recognizing what triggers eating can often make it easier to make changes.


How to stop emotional eating with
Susie Garcia, RDN






Resources
1. Emotional Eating: What Helps, WebMD 



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day of the Mushroom

Growing Your Own Mushrooms

How Mushrooms are Made


Different Ways to Enjoy Mushrooms



1. Add mushrooms to egg white omelet.
2. Sauté, Grill, Broil, Roast or Steam mushrooms. Add to soup, salads, pasta, rice - the combinations are numerous.
3. Add fresh mushrooms to salad.

4. Stuff mushrooms

Resources
1. Fruits and Veggies, More Matters: Mushrooms: Nutrition, Selection, and Storage
2. Wikipedia, Mushrooms
3. Kitchen Dictionary: Mushroom


Wishing you the Joy of Easter
















The Easter Egg

Where did the colored Easter eggs come from? The egg is a symbol of new life, rebirth and the celebration of spring. The early Christians describes the egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.

After a long hard winter with small amounts of food, an egg for Easter was quite a treasure. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during Lent. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.


Nutrition Label Blooper-----

Nutrition Facts
A medium-size chicken egg is only 70 calories and rich in protein. Check the chocolate eggs below and compare.


Wishing you the Joy of Easter

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Wishing you the Joy of Easter
Let's Talk about Safely Handling and Preparing Eggs

Wishing you the Joy of Easter





Let's Talk about Safely Handling
and Preparing Eggs

Food History: April 15, 1955, McDonald's corporation
opens first franchised restaurant
by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois


McDonald’s Meal Builder allows you to create your own meal combinations. As you build your meal, you see the nutritional breakdown. An educated consumer has the ability to make wise food choices.
  
Ray Kroc Documentary McDonald's History

Friday, April 14, 2017

National Pecan Day - Food Styling: Butternut Squash with Pecans

April is National Pecan Month








Butternut Squash with Pecans



April 14, International Moment of Laughter
The Health Benefits of Laughter

"People who laugh actually live longer than those who don't laugh.
Few persons realize that health actually varies according to
the amount of laughter."
James J. Walsh, MD


Having a good laugh usually makes us feel good about ourselves.
This can be a factor in motivating a person to lose weight.




I Love to Laugh

Babies Laughing

A research published in the International Journal of Obesity discovered laughter can be beneficial in weight control.

Laughing helps burn calories by increasing the heart rate by 10 to 20 percent: The metabolism increases as well, meaning you will burn more calories at rest once you have stopped laughing.

Scientists calculated 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter.

Laughter can relieve physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which promotes an overall sense of well-being.

Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which may benefit the cardiovascular system.

Laughter may benefit people with diabetes. One study showed after watching a comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after listening to a boring lecture.

Laugh because it feels great,
because it is healthy for you and
because we take ourselves too seriously.
It’s time to lighten up.

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Make Lunch Count Day for Our Children's Health and School Performance


Lunch plays a serious role in children's health and school performance. Studies have shown children skipping lunch, are likely to have trouble concentrating in the classroom, lack energy for sports and overeat on low-nutrient snacks. Whether children eat lunch at home, enjoy a lunch or pack a lunch box these ideas our apply for all.
The goal of lunch is to provide a nutrient-rich meal to fuel our children’s brains and bodies for the afternoon. Look to create a lunch with a nutritional punch and appeal. Try the following ideas to create lunches your child will not waste.
Let Your Children Help Plan
When kids help plan their lunches, they are more likely to eat them. If your child's school has a lunch program, review the menus together and pick the ones they would enjoy. When kids eat school lunch, they are more likely to consume milk, meats, grains and vegetables, which gives them a higher nutrient intake over the course of a day. School lunch is a great cost and nutrition value.
If your child prefers a lunch packed at home, create a method that works for both of you. Make a checklist of what your child likes in each food category. Agree on some protein, a grain, at least one fruit and veggie, a dairy product (if not buying milk at school) and an optional small sweet or snack item.
Make a plan for the next week. Take about an hour of free time (and grab a child or partner to help) and bag items for each day, except sandwiches. The sandwiches should not be prepared ahead of time.
Variety is the Basis of Well-Balanced Nutrition
Don't worry if a child wants the same lunch for two weeks in a row. The child will probably change to something else before long. Work around pickiness by creating a list of substitutes. For example, if sandwiches are in the "don't like" column, what else might work?
  • Deli turkey + cheddar slices in roll-ups, pretzels, apple wedges
  • Tortillas + cream cheese spiced with taco seasoning + rotisserie chicken rolled up and cut into pinwheels, cherry tomatoes
  • Little salads with protein (cheese, nuts, beans)
  • English muffin + marinara sauce + shredded mozzarella for homemade pizza bites, grapes

Make the Food Attractive
We eat with our eyes first. We are attracted to foods by the packaging, so you can compete with the best. Use a reusable lunch bag or box with a favorite color or cartoon hero. Make foods as bright and colorful as a rainbow. Have fun with shapes and size — use cookie cutters on sandwiches or make mini-muffins. Endless possibilities. 
Reference.
1. Kids Eat Right, Lunch is in the Bag
2. Kids Eat Right, Making the Grade at Lunchtime
3. Peanut Blossom, 30 Days of Lunchbox Recipes

Nutrition.gov News

Dietitian Blog List