Sunday, March 31, 2019

National Nutrition Month and Beyond



National Nutrition Month®  is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. In addition, National Nutrition Month® promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as a valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.

National Nutrition Month® Campaign

During National Nutrition Month® and Beyond, help the Academy achieve its vision of a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition.


Key Messages:
1.      Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
2.      Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
3.      Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways
    to use leftovers later in the week.
4.      Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as
    MyPlate encourages us to do.
5.      Continue to use good food safety practices.
6.      Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
7.      Realize the benefits of healthy eating by consulting with a registered dietitian
    nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice
    to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.


Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. The goal is to increase awareness of the registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.



Be sure to visit the Academy's National Nutrition Month® website during the upcoming months for new and updated resources to help make National Nutrition Month® celebration an infinite success!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
Reference
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month®

Saturday, March 30, 2019

April News, Events and Resources
in Nutrition, Food, and Health
for Journalists, Writers,
Educators and Bloggers


Current News, Resources and Events in Nutrition, Food, Health, Environment, Safety and Disability Rights. Encourages awareness and inspires ideas for Journalists, Educators, Consumers and Health Professionals.





April Highlights




National Autism Awareness Month; April 2nd World Autism Day
Keep America Beautiful (3/1 - 5/31)

Global Child Nutrition Month
National Volunteer Month

Alcohol Awareness Month
Cancer Control Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Defeat Diabetes Month
Stress Awareness Month
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month
National Donate Life Month
National Parkinson's Awareness Month 
World Habitat Awareness Month
Fresh Florida Tomatoes Month
National Garden Month
National Pecan Month
National Soft Pretzel Month
Soyfoods Month 
National Youth Sports Safety Month
Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month 
Jazz Appreciation Month
April 22 Earth Day
 

March 30, 2019 Earth Hour at 8:30 PM local time


Earth Hour 2019 Reminder. 

Be a part of a Worldwide Event. 

Today at 8:30 pm local time join the World 

in turning off your lights for one hour.

#CONNECT2EARTH




Our connection to Earth and nature is undeniable: Our planet's gain is everyone’s gain.

Biodiversity – the rich variety of life on Earth – continues to decline year on year. We must urgently prioritize our planet’s biodiversity and nature. #Connect2Earth was created to organize our efforts, allowing us to shed light on topics impacting our planet’s well-being.

How do you #Connect2Earth? Get involved now by starting conversations, sharing your thoughts, and spreading the word about our connection to this place we call home.


Around the globe, food production, distribution, management, and waste threaten wildlife, wild places and the planet itself.
Today, 7.3 billion people consume 1.6 times what the earth’s natural resources can supply. By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion and the demand for food will double.
Food production is sufficient to provide for all, but it doesn’t reach everyone who needs it. About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted each year—four times the amount needed to feed the more than 800+ million people who are malnourished.
By improving efficiency and productivity while reducing waste and shifting consumption patterns, we can produce enough food for everyone by 2050 on roughly the same amount of land we use now. Feeding all sustainably and protecting our natural resources.

WWF works to secure a living planet that will sustain a more affluent population. From refining production and distribution to combating waste and environmental impacts, we want to improve how the world grows, transports and consumes this precious fuel.


Official Earth Hour 2019 Video: #Connect2Earth




Within hours, people in a record 134 countries and territories across the globe will switch off their lights for an hour in a unified show of support for action towards a sustainable future for our planet.




Healthy Diet for a Healthy Planet


About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 24, 2018 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. In 2010, Earth Hour created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and territories and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a landmark environmental action.

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global Network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

The event will cross the globe over 24 hours, from the first lights being dimmed in Fiji and New Zealand to lights being turned on again in Samoa. The transition will last longest in Russia, where 11 time zones are covered.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pledged his support for Earth Hour saying: “Let us join together to celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure
human well-being. Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light.”

Resources.
How You Can Help
50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again. Simple ideas that make a big difference in your budget and help save resources too.

To learn more about how you can be involved visit 
Earth Hour

Thursday, March 28, 2019

National Triglycerides Day

Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of fat. They are the most common type of fat in your body. They come from foods, especially butter, oils, and other fats you eat. Triglycerides also come from extra calories. Your body changes these extra calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. When your body needs energy, it releases the triglycerides. Your VLDL cholesterol particles carry the triglycerides to your tissues.
Having a high level of triglycerides can raise your risk of heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease.

What causes high triglycerides?

Factors that can raise your triglyceride level include
  • Regularly eating more calories than you burn off, especially if you eat a lot of sugar
  • Being overweight or having obesity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Certain medicines
  • Some genetic disorders
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes
  • Liver or kidney diseases

How Triglycerides is Diagnosed


What are the treatments for high triglycerides?
You may be able to lower your triglyceride levels with lifestyle changes:
  • Controlling your weight
  • Regular physical activity
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting sugar and refined foods
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Switching from saturated fats to healthier fats

Some people will also need to take cholesterol medicines to lower their triglycerides.
Resources.
2. What Are High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides? American Heart Association

3. Triglycerides, MedlinePlus



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 
_____________

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Whole Grain Sampling Day

Whole Grain Sampling Day The Whole Grains Council is holding a Whole Grain Sampling Day. The goal is to have people trying new foods with whole grains. Stop by the Whole Grains Council to learn more and meet some of the companies participating. 

Identifying Whole Grains
Whole Grain Stamps


There are three different varieties of the Whole Grain Stamp: the 100% Stamp, the 50%+ Stamp, and the Basic Stamp.

  • If a product bears the 100% Stamp (left image above), then all its grain ingredients are whole grain. There is a minimum requirement of 16g (16 grams) – a full serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 100% Stamp.
  • If a product bears the 50%+ Stamp (middle image), then at least half of its grain ingredients are whole grain. There is a minimum requirement of 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 50%+ Stamp. The 50%+ Stamp was added to the Whole Grain Stamps in January of 2017 and will begin appearing on products in the spring and summer of 2017.
  • If a product bears the Basic Stamp (right image), it contains at least 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain, but may also contain some refined grain.

Examples of Whole Grains
Read the label and look for the following
whole grains as the first ingredient:

Amaranth 
Barley 
Brown Rice 
Buckwheat
Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
Corn (Polenta, Tortillas, Whole Grain Corn/Corn Meal) 
Farro 
Kamut® 
Millet 
Oats, Whole Oats, Oatmeal 
Quinoa 
Rye, Whole Rye 
Sorghum 
Spelt 
Teff 
Triticale Wild Rice
Whole Wheat Flour



Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash





Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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 

Diabetes Alert Day
Take the Diabetes Risk Test


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 25, 2019

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.



Pecan Day is a commemoration of the plating on a pecan tree by George Washington at the Mount Vernon estate March 25th 1775. The pecan tree sapling was given to him by Thomas Jefferson, who had planted a few pecan trees from the southern US at Monticello, VA.

The pecan is native to southern North America. First cultivated by Native Americans, 

There are many ways people can enjoy pecans – like grabbing a handful to munch on, adding them to salads, making a pecan pie, eating pecan crusted fish or having pecan ice cream.



           Butternut Squash with Pecans



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

National Cerebral Palsy Day
The Different Sides of Cerebral Palsy
Feeding Challenges


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

The Different Sides of Cerebral Palsy





Each year March 25 commemorates National Cerebral Palsy Day. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic “palsies”- disorders that impair movement due to damage of the developing brain. CP usually develops by age 2 or 3 and is a non-progressive brain disorder, meaning the brain damage does not continue to worsen throughout life. However, the symptoms damage often changes over time- sometimes getting better and sometimes getting worse. CP is one of the most common causes of childhood disability.

About 10,000 infants are diagnosed with CP and up to 1,500 preschoolers in the U.S. are recognized as having CP each year. The United Cerebral Palsy Association estimates that more than 764,000 Americans have CP. Congenital cerebral palsy caused by a brain injury during a baby’s development in the womb is responsible in about 70% of the children who have the condition. It is present at birth, although it may not be detected for months. An additional 20% have congenital cerebral palsy due to a brain injury during the birthing process. In most cases, the cause of congenital cerebral palsy is unknown, however, some possible causes are:

An infection during pregnancy may damage a fetus’s developing nervous system. They include rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus (a herpes-type virus), and toxoplasmosis (an infection caused by a parasite that can be carried in cat feces or inadequately cooked meat). Other undetected infections in pregnant women are being recognized as an important cause of developmental brain damage in the fetus.

· Severe jaundice in the infant. Jaundice is caused by excessive bilirubin in the blood. Normally, bilirubin is filtered out by the liver. Often, newborns’ livers need a few days to start doing this effectively, so it’s not uncommon for infants to have jaundice for a few days after birth. In most cases, light therapy clears up jaundice and there are no lasting health effects. In rare cases, severe cases of jaundice can damage brain cells.

· Rh incompatibility between mother and infant can be a cause of cerebral palsy. In this blood condition, the mother’s body produces antibodies that destroy the fetus’s blood cells. This leads to jaundice may cause brain damage in the newborn.

· The physical or metabolic trauma of birth can be a cause of cerebral palsy. This can produce brain damage in a fetus whose health has been threatened during development. Severe oxygen deprivation to the brain or significant trauma to the head during labor and delivery can be the cause of cerebral palsy.


Feeding Skills

Feeding skills have been cited as a contributing factor that can affect life expectancy of those with CP. Managing these can positively affect the life span of an individual with cerebral palsy. When people with cerebral palsy have feeding and digestive challenges, a nutrition care program can be beneficial. Skilled registered dietitian nutritionists work with physicians to adjust diet, food intake and nutrition supplements enhance overall health. Effective dietary therapy can be devised to meet the individual’s unique needs taking into account digestive challenges and the ability to properly chew, swallow and self-feed.

Nutrition practitioners can adjust textures and consistency of food by pureeing, chopping, and grinding foods for a smoother eating experience. Foods can be softened with broth, gravy, milk, or juices. Liquids can be thickened to improve swallowing. Self-feeding is a skill that significantly enhances the quality of life for someone with a disability, although caregivers, family or friends may still be needed. Speech therapists can teach patients, their friends, or caregivers about adaptive feeding tools that can accommodate different levels of ability. Appropriate techniques can include space between feedings, to allow for natural swallowing, or feeding smaller portions throughout the day. In the most severe cases, some people with cerebral palsy rely on a feeding tube for partial or total nutrition intake. It is important to adjust to allow sufficient time between bites and drinks for natural swallowing. Some meals should be scheduled around medication times to avoid stomach upset, curb appetites and address feelings of being tired.

If a person with cerebral palsy has trouble with asphyxiation, reflux, or pneumonia, he or she should avoid foods, such as nuts, seeds, and hard or stringy foods. Diets can be changed to provide more calories, better balance, compensate for deficiencies and enhance digestion. Vitamin, minerals, and food supplements may help with malabsorption or who tire when eating. High fiber choices can curb constipation while prune and apricot juices may provide natural laxative qualities. Some people with cerebral palsy need to control drooling and aspiration, in addition, use long-term anti-seizure medications can contribute to an increased risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and bacterial infections. Dietitians may advise substituting added sugars and carbonated drinks with fresh fruits and vegetables. Dentists will encourage proper dental hygiene like regular brushing, drinking fluorinated water and regular checkups

Many people fight stereotypes and those with disabilities are no exception. Barriers individuals with disabilities face begin with people’s attitudes that are often rooted in misinformation and misunderstandings of what it’s like to live with a disability. One misconception is that all people living with disabilities are brave and courageous, but people with disabilities just need to adapt to a currently different lifestyle. Sometimes wheelchairs are used as typical mobility devices rather than for people who are only ill or sickly. In past decades, segregating people with disabilities in separate schools and institutions reinforced the perception that people with disabilities could only interact with others who have disabilities. Any person who does not have a disability can offer assistance, but most people with disabilities prefer to take responsibility for their own care when physically possible both in the community, within all parts of society. It is okay for curious children to ask questions about a disability. Discouraging curious children from asking questions teaches children that having a difference or disability is wrong or bad. Many people with a disability will not mind answering a child’s question. People with disabilities go to school, get married, have families, do laundry, grocery shop, laugh, cry, pay taxes, get angry, have prejudices, plan and dream about their future like everyone else. It is important to encourage participation from people with disabilities by providing accessible meeting and event sites. It is important for advocates to speak up when negative words or phrases are used about people with a variety of disabilities.

Cerebral palsy can affect someone who has it in a variety of ways. Some people with cerebral palsy can be impacted by having limited verbal ability, limited cognitive ability, all four limbs affected or just their legs impacted. Some people use one cane or crutch; some people use a walker or two crutches. Some people use a manual wheelchair or motorized wheelchair. Some people may have some nutritional issues due to some difficulty feeding themselves or having digestive issues. You may have met one classmate, colleague or friend with cerebral palsy, but that does not mean even everyone is impacted in the same way by the same diagnosis. All people with disabilities deserve the same level of respect and it is important to help those with disabilities advocate against social misconceptions.


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