Sunday, December 15, 2019

From “As Purchased” to “Edible Portion”
How to Analyze a Recipe using a Nutrient Database

Dr. Frank has over 25 years’ experience as a Nutrient Analysis Expert. She has worked with the media, cookbook publishers, recipe bloggers & websites. Dr. Frank wrote “From As Purchased to Edible Portion,” as an essential tool for anyone providing nutrient analysis.

Purchasing nutrient analysis software and learning how to use the program is only useful if you have the knowledge to convert “as purchased” ingredients to the “edible portion.” This book describes how to read a recipe and enter the correct ingredients and amounts, in order to provide an accurate nutrient analysis.

Do you have the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze a recipe? Take the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Nutrition Analysis is part of our everyday life. We have grown accustomed to nutrition information being readily available. But what if a recipe has no nutrition information or even worse the information is wrong?

People with medical conditions might not try the recipe. There are millions of people who have special dietary needs, such as low calorie, carbohydrate controlled, high protein, low protein, low carbohydrate, low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium, high fiber, gluten free, lactose free, peanut allergies, and these are just a few of the diets available.

Many people believe if they just buy a nutrient analysis program, they can provide an accurate nutrition analysis for a recipe. This is far from the truth.

Recipes are usually written based on what the consumer needs to purchase. The individual analyzing the recipe must evaluate the recipe based on the actual food ready to eat (unless the food is meant to be eaten whole.)

A nutrient analysis program cannot cook or prepare meals. A person must have skills in Food Science, Culinary Nutrition, Cooking and Preparation Techniques, Purchasing Guides, Yield Factors, and Nutrient Analysis Software.

An essential tool for analysis is the food conversion and equivalent tables. These databases provide information on AP (as purchased), EP (edible portion), waste, marinating, straining, percentage of bones; difference between a raw or cooked weight; comparison of weight versus volume measures. Many nutrient analysis software programs do not provide this information for all items; therefore it must be calculated manually or estimated.

Most Americans believe one cup is equal to eight ounces; and they would be right if we were referring to a liquid. In selecting the correct measure of a food, it is critical to know whether the food is measured by weight or by volume. Weight measures include grams, ounces, and pounds. Volume measures are listed as teaspoons, tablespoons, fluid ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons.

Do you have the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze a recipe? 

Below are a series of questions to determine your knowledge of foods and recipes in order to perform a nutrient analysis. The answers can be found at the following link. Answers to Quiz

1. How much does one cup of cheerios weigh in ounces and grams?

2. How many apples should you purchase to yield 2.75 cups, peeled, cored, and chopped?

3. The recipe states to purchase one pound potatoes. Directions: Bake potatoes and peel. How many ounces will be left?

4. How much lobster would you analyze, if provided with a 1.5 pound lobster in a shell? The answer should be in ounces.

5. Recipe states to purchase one pound chicken breast with bone and skin. Directions: Broil, remove skin. How many of ounces of cooked chicken will you analyze?

6. How many cups of cooked kidney beans would one pound dried kidney beans yield?

7. How many cups of all-purpose flour would a two pound bag of flour yield?

8. Recipe states to purchase one pound lean ground beef and broil. Drain fat. How many ounces of cooked ground beef would you analyze?

9. Recipe states to marinade chicken in refrigerator overnight. Prior to cooking, the marinade is drained and discarded. What percentage of the marinade should be included in the analysis?

10. You are preparing the analysis of a chicken broth. The directions state to strain and reserve the chicken and vegetables for another time. How would you analyze the recipe?

Consider adding nutrition information for your online recipes and menus.

An invaluable service for the Media, Publishers, Writers, Chefs, Recipe Websites and Blogs. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Celebrating Alabama's Birthday and Fried Green Tomatoes

Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state on December 14, 1819. Alabama's agricultural outputs include poultry and eggs, cattle, fish, plant nursery items, peanuts, cotton, grains such as corn and sorghum, vegetables, milk, soybeans, and peaches. Although known as "The Cotton State", Alabama ranks between eighth and tenth in national in cotton production.

The fried green tomatoes in Alabama are legendary in their own right, and hundreds of slices are dished out daily throughout the state. Other popular foods include fried catfish, country fried steak, fried dill pickles, fried okra, fried chicken, and fried apple pies.

The fried green tomatoes in Alabama are legendary.

Fried Green Tomatoes, yields: 6 servings

½ cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 medium green tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Combine cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal.
3. Brush 1½ teaspoons oil over the bottom of a 12-inch cast-iron or other ovenproof skillets.
4. Heat skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.
5. Add half the tomato slices to the skillet in a single layer and cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
6. Turn slices over and transfer skillet to oven.
7. Bake tomatoes for 9 minutes or until golden and tender. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with remaining 1½ teaspoons oil and remaining tomato slices.
8. Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

The American Peanut Council proclaims peanut butter one of America’s favorite foods. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, niacin, and folate. It is enjoyed by many of all ages.

Below are a few ways to enjoy peanut butter - be creative and enjoy.

The National Peanut Board has a fun website filled with recipes, classroom activities and fun facts. Did you know...

*It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.

*There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

*By law, any product labeled "peanut butter" in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.

*Peanut butter has been banned in some schools due to peanut butter allergies. Make sure to read the ingredient label.

A Journey through the Years
with Peanut Butter

Peter Pan Peanut Butter, 1957

1960's Skippy Peanut Butter

Kraft Peanut Butter, 1987

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

November, Sweet Potato Awareness Month: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Cranberry-Walnut Relish

Recipe: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Cranberry-Walnut Relish,
 serves 2
1 medium Sweet Potato
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar 
2 teaspoons Unsalted Margarine or Butter, room temperature 
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
Dash Ground Nutmeg 

1/4 cup Cranberry-Walnut Relish
2, 1 oz slice Raisin Bread
2 teaspoon Honey

Preheat oven to 400° F. Pierce the sweet potato several times with a fork.   Place sweet potato on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. 

Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato and place in a small bowl. Leave the potato skin intact. Add unsalted butter or margarine and the spices to the sweet potato and mash. 

Divide the mashed sweet potato in two and add back to the potato skins. Place on baking sheet and heat for about 10 minutes or until browned. 
Top each stuffed sweet potato half with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cranberry-walnut relish.

Nutrition Information
Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C, good source of dietary fiber and potassium. They are naturally fat-free; saturated fat free; low sodium; and cholesterol free.

2. EatingWell, Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Pumpkin Spice Hummus, The Complete Hummus Cookbook

The Pumpkin Spice Hummus (featured below) welcomes the holiday with the aroma and flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. This is just one of the recipes found in the “The Complete Hummus Cookbook,” by author Catherine Gill.

The Complete Hummus Cookbook is a guide to the many ways you can prepare hummus. The Complete Hummus Cookbook provides information on the perfect food to pair hummus with as well as how to make different kinds of hummus with chickpeas, black beans, lentils, edamame, and green peas. 

With over 100 recipes for everything from appetizers to meals, to side dishes and desserts, the cookbook will have everyone enjoying the delicious, nutritious, and very versatile ways of presenting hummus.

Pumpkin Spice Hummus

Serves 8

½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup canned chickpeas, drained or equivalent cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
⅛ cup lemon juice or juice from half large lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons water

1. Using a food processor, blend all ingredients until the desired consistency is reached and hummus is well-combined. 
2. Add more water to make hummus less thick or more salt to taste, if desired.

Tip: This hummus looks lovely with a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top and few pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) on top as a garnish.

About the Author.
Catherine Gill is a writer, blogger, and holistic vegan chef who specializes in natural and health foods. She studied and found her passion in writing, literature, and social science in college. She runs the popular blog The DirtyVegan since 2010, focusing on comfort-food-style vegan recipes that are fun, accessible, and healthy. She also ran Dirty Vegan Foods, a vegan bakery specializing in veganized versions of classic desserts. She has an active social media presence on Twitter (@TheDirtyVegan) and on Instagram (@thedirtyvegan_official). She is also the author of The Dirty Vegan Cookbook.

Monday, November 18, 2019

November 19, Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

Though today we look at the caffeine in Carbonated Beverages, this is also an opportunity to view the caffeine in energy drinks that have been cited as the cause of some deaths and is currently being investigated by the US FDA. Some energy drinks contain 2 to 3 times the amount of caffeine found in soda.

How much Caffeine is too much?
Mayo Clinic

Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks.
Although caffeine use may be safe for adults, it's not a good idea for children. And adolescents should limit themselves to no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day.

Even among adults, heavy caffeine use can cause unpleasant side effects. And caffeine may not be a good choice for people who are highly sensitive to its effects or who take certain medications.
5-Hour Energy Drinks: FDA Looks Into Caffeinated Beverage

Hidden Dangers of Caffeinated Energy Drinks

Caffeine (mg) based on 12-ounces Soda

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day

National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day is an event that takes place each October. Parents visit their children’s school and have lunch with them in the cafeteria. The goal is to learn more about what goes into putting together a healthy lunch, and for parents and school officials to open the lines of communication so they can work together to provide kids with the healthiest meals possible.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Columbus Day and a Look at Scurvy

On the evening of August 3, 1492, Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera, Spain with three ships: the Niña, Pinta and Santa María. The land was sighted on October 12, 1492. Columbus called the island San Salvador (today it is known as the Bahamas).

Scurvy was a major health problem onboard Christopher Columbus ships. Fresh fruits and vegetables were not taken on these long voyages due to spoilage. This resulted in a high incidence of scurvy among the sailors. The relationship between scurvy and Vitamin C had not been discovered yet.

The typical foods brought on these long journeys consisted of water, vinegar, wine, olive oil, molasses, honey, cheese, rice, almonds, salted flour, sea biscuits, dry legumes, salted and barreled sardines, anchovies, dry salt cod and pickled or salted meats (beef and pork). Fresh livestock included pigs and chickens were part of the ship's provisions. Fish was readily available.

Foods were commonly salted and pickled as a method of preserving food. The crew was served two meals a day. Foods were mostly boiled and served in a large wooden bowl. The sailors ate with their fingers because they had no forks or spoons. There was a lack of proper sanitation. Hand washing before meals was not required.

There is a legend that during one of Christopher Columbus's voyages some sailors had scurvy and wanted to be dropped off at one of the nearby islands and die there rather than dying on board. While the men were on the island they ate some of the island's fresh fruits and vegetables and to their amazement began to recover. When Columbus's ships passed by several months later, the captain saw the men were alive and healthy. The island was named Curacao, meaning Cure.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Pirates For Sail talks about
Scurvy Awareness and Prevention
Filmed at Piratz Tavern, Silver Spring, MD 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Make a Muscle, Make a Difference, Make a Donation to MDA

The MDA Telethon was a labor day tradition throughout my life. Then in 1988, I gave birth to a son with Cerebral Palsy. The telethon became more important. It was a reminder we were not alone in a fight against childhood muscular diseases. I remember a theme reminding me about the importance of food, "Make a Muscle, Make a Difference". Here are some foods that can help you make a muscle.

In Loving Memory of Jerry Lewis
(1926 -2017)

To Jerry Lewis - Thank you for getting families, communities, organizations, corporations, and the medical field together to find a cure and to help others live independent lives.

Make a Donation to MDA 

Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (1987) 

"You'll Never Walk Alone"

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

All About Whole Grains Month

Stop by the
Whole Grains Council to learn more about whole grains and try some new recipes.
Identifying Whole Grains

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:

Brown Rice 
Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
Corn (Polenta, Tortillas, Whole Grain Corn/Corn Meal) 
Oats, Whole Oats, Oatmeal 
Rye, Whole Rye 
Triticale Wild Rice
Whole Wheat Flour

Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sneak Preview: 2020 National Nutrition Month - Eat Right, Bite by Bite!

The theme chosen by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for National Nutrition Month 2020 is Eat Right, Bite by Bite! 

I am a National Nutrition Month fan. This year’s theme provides numerous opportunities to teach nutrition for all ages. From our children's first bite, picky eaters, teen and adult choices, cultural influences, disability feeding, and aging. 

"The theme’s rhyme and simple food treatment not only appeals to kids and kids-at-heart but “bite by bite” also supports the philosophy that every little bit (or bite!) of nutrition is a step in the right direction. Small goals/changes can have a cumulative healthful effect. Nutrition doesn't have to be overwhelming.

Most importantly, Eat Right, Bite by Bite is fun, positive, kid-friendly, inclusive of and adaptable for all eating patterns and cultures, and accessible and easy to understand."

Resources and materials will be available in early 2020 at  

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Dietitian’s Perception of Food Styling

This photograph took 18 hours and 215 shots. Many times it takes longer, and sometimes I know after a few hours I’ve caught what I am looking for. 

Food Styling
Most food stylists have a background in the culinary arts, many are professional chefs. They have knowledge of nutrition, cooking techniques, and food science. The role of the food stylist is to make the food look attractive in the finished photograph. 

I’m a different type of food stylist. My experience comes from nutrition, dietetics, food science, recipe development, gardening, and portion control. The biggest difference is portion control and I enjoy working with only fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. 

My goal is to create and illustrate wonderful and appetizing foods using portion control. I want those who view the photographs to experience a feeling of satiety. 

The Process

I start with a sketch, which includes a grocery list. However, I do leave myself open for specials, sales, and the unusual.

I prepare 3 identical dishes. (One for Jake; the second is the one I play and create with, and the third is called the "Hero" - to be used in the final picture.

I have numerous locations I like to photograph from (inside and outside). 

The Den is my studio with extra lights, umbrellas, reflectors, etc.. I use stone, wood or tile tables. Also, the fireplace creates a nice backdrop. 

I'm a collector of cloth napkins, baskets and bottles; and I use them in my photographs. Below are some of the different areas I photograph in the den and in dining room.

Inside: Kitchen table; Kitchen window; Kitchen Chair; Food Prep Counter.

Outside: I have a collection of large logs I’ve arranged throughout my yard. Depending on the time of day, I will use them as a stand or background. I also love to use my garden as a background, the food tastes better. 

Plates/Accessories. I usually stay with basic colors, so as not to distract from the food, since I like working with foods of many colors. To decorate the image, I like using napkins, herbs, fruits, vegetables, baskets, parchment paper, etc. 

I sometimes wonder if we took the same amount of care and preparation creating a meal or dessert from fruits, vegetables or whole grains; rather than a high calorie, high sugar, and high-fat pastry would we make the same choices. 

This is a book, I have found very useful, "Food Styling, the art of preparing food for the camera." The author, Delores Custer is passionate about her work and it shows.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Take the Food Color Challenge
Rich in Beautiful Colors and Endless Possibilities
National Nutrition Month

The Food Color Challenge celebrates the 2011 American Dietetic Association National Nutrition Month (NNM) theme, "Eat Right with Color." Angela Lemond, a registered and licensed dietitian (AKA “Mommy Dietitian”) created the challenge to encourage public participation and awareness of the numerous nutrients and health benefits of eating foods with many colors.

I read the challenge to the members of our household. To my delight, they wanted to participate. The individuals who share our home come from diverse backgrounds with physical/emotional challenges and/or chronic illnesses, such as Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Seizure Disorders, Cancer & Heart Disease. We function as a family and came together due to medical and financial concerns.

This would be a memorable day. Our first meal together from planning, shopping, preparation to finally sitting down and eating as a family.

Family Members: Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN (Camera Person, Narrator, House Mom, and Registered Dietitian); Jake Frank (22 years old; Menu Planner and Taste Tester); Jonathan Cruz (19 years old; Menu Planner and Food Prep); Lance Li (22 years old; Menu Planner, Shopper and Food Prep); David Bradbury, CNA (32 years old; Nurse's Aide and assisted with feeding); Paul Mitchell (40 something years old; Camera Shy).

Our Guests: Michelle Canazaro (22 years old; Food Prep and Taste Tester) and Cory Munce (21 years old; Food Prep and Taste Tester)

When planning our meal we considered finances, physical abilities & of course, color.


Our goal was to keep the cost around $2.00 per person. We looked for store coupons, specials and purchased store brands when available. We asked our guests to bring a food listed on our menu.

Then a strange miracle occurred. Before I left for the market, I went to get the mail. Someone had sent us a $50.00 Publix gift certificate. Without the gift certificate, the cost per meal was over $3.00 per person and with the gift, we were able to purchase food for a few days.

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.

At times, Jake’s muscles get so tight he requires assistance with feeding. This was one of those times - the day we made our video.

Other considerations, included:
· Vegetarian
· Mechanical Soft or Puree Foods
· Hates Vegetables
· Low Sodium

Food Choices
I gave everyone a picture list of foods with various colors. (Some of our family members are unable to read.) From the list, we prepared our menu. I was pleased to learn, everyone liked spinach (except Michelle, but that would change.)
Menus and Recipes 

Fruits and vegetables are foods I try to have readily available everyday and throughout the day. I find when members of our home snack on low calorie - high fiber foods they are less likely to overeat at meals and during the day. The cheese is usually available a few times a week.

Sliced Green and Red Apples
(1/2 cup, 33 calories; 1.5 g Dietary Fiber)
2 Carrots and 2 Celery Sticks
(17 calories; 1.2 g Dietary Fiber)
Green and Red-Purple Grapes
(1/2 cup; 52 calories; 1 g Dietary Fiber)
Cheese Cubes, Reduced-fat Cheddar & Monterey Jack
(1 oz; 81 Calories; 0 g Dietary Fiber)
Trail Mix with Cashews, Peanuts, Raisins, Dried Banana Chips
(1/4 cup; 188 Calories; 2 g Dietary Fiber)
Fat Free Ranch Dressing for Vegetables
(1 Tbsp; 21 Calories; 0 g Dietary Fiber)
Low fat Yogurt Dip for Fruits
(2 Tbsp; 28 Calories; 0 g Dietary Fiber)

Tri-color Pasta Bar

1. If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain.
2. Tri-color pasta, cook according to manufacturer’s directions.
3. Dice tomatoes and onions; combine and toss gently; set aside 3/4 cup to use with the salad and/or pasta toppings.
4. Dice bell peppers and add to the salad and topping ingredients.
5. Heat garlic with cooking spray in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, but not browned.
6. Add onions and tomatoes, continue cooking until soft.
7. Add spinach; toss gently. Cook until the spinach is heated through. Place in a serving dish and reserve 1/2 cup spinach mixture per serving for the following sandwich recipe (Red, White and Green Grilled Cheese).
8. Prepare turkey meatballs and pasta sauce using your favorite recipes.

Serving the Pasta: Create a “Pasta Bar”

1. Place pasta in a large serving bowl.
2. Serve the following sides around the Pasta:
  a. Spinach mixture, cooked
  b. Diced Tomatoes, Onions and Peppers
  c. Shredded Part-skim Mozzarella
  d. Turkey Meatballs, 1.5 oz each
  e. Shredded Chicken
  f.  Pasta Sauce
  g. Tossed Salad

Nutritional Information:
Tri-color Pasta (without meat).
351 Calories; 17 g Protein; 55 g Carbohydrates; 5.3 g Dietary Fiber; 6.2 g Fat; 15 mg Cholesterol; 3288 IU Vitamin A; 0.6 mg Vitamin B1; 0.4 mg Vitamin B2; 51 mg Vitamin C; 46 mcg Folate; 340 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 648 mg Potassium; 343 mg Sodium

Tri-color Pasta (with meatballs and chicken).
439 Calories; 35 g Protein; 55 g Carbohydrates; 5.3 g Dietary Fiber; 7.9 g Fat; 53 mg Cholesterol; 3295 IU Vitamin A; 0.6 mg Vitamin B1; 0.5 mg Vitamin B2; 51 mg Vitamin C; 47 mcg Folate; 344 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 715 mg Potassium; 382 mg Sodium

Red, White and Green Grilled Cheese
From the cookbook, “Keep the Beat Recipes” developed for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The cookbook also includes information on cooking, nutrition, and feeding children (including picky eaters). A free copy of the cookbook is available on the NHLBI website.

1. Preheat oven to 400 ºF. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat for about 10 minutes.
2. Assembling the Sandwich
  a. Take one slice whole wheat bread and top with 1/2 cup Spinach mixture, cooked and cooled from the recipe above.
  b. Top with 1/4 cup Part-skim Mozzarella Cheese
  c. Cover with second slice of whole wheat bread.
3. Use cooking spray on the preheated nonstick baking sheet.
4. Place the sandwich(es) on the baking sheet.
5. Bake for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the bottom starts to brown.
6. Carefully turn the sandwich over and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until both sides are browned.
7. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:
283 Calories; 16 g Protein; 37 g Carbohydrates; 7.3 g Dietary Fiber; 7 g Fat; 15 mg Cholesterol; 4273 IU Vitamin A; 0.3 mg Vitamin B1; 0.3 mg Vitamin B2; 17 mg Vitamin C; 51 mcg Folate; 333 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 597 mg Potassium; 470 mg Sodium

Dessert or Snack

Fruit Kebab
1. Purchase disposable wooden skewers. With young children or people with limited hand and arm mobility, cut the pointed tips off and seal securely with tin foil or a soft material to prevent injury.
2. Purchase enough fruit to yield about 3/4 cup per person.
3. Choose a variety of fruits and cut into slices, wedges or chunks. Grapes and strawberries use whole.
4. Place the pieces of fruit on the skewer to create a colorful arrangement.
5. “Enjoy the fruits of your labor”.

Nutritional Information:
43 Calories; 0.6 g Protein; 11 g Carbohydrates; 1.2 g Dietary Fiber; 0 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 877 IU Vitamin A; 21 mg Vitamin C; 11 mg Calcium; 0.2 mg Iron; 165 mg Potassium; 6 mg Sodium

Fruit Smoothie, 2 servings
1. Place in blender the following ingredients:
  1/2 cup Skim Milk
  1 cup low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
2. Cover and blend the milk and ice cream
3. Add 1 to 1-1/2 cups of assorted fruit. Remove large pits from fruit and if using an orange, remove the peel before placing in the blender.
4. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses to serve.

Nutritional Information:
170 Calories; 7 g Protein; 30 g Carbohydrates; 1.2 g Dietary Fiber; 3 g Fat; 15 mg Cholesterol; 1270 IU Vitamin A; 0.1 mg Vitamin B1; 0.1 mg Vitamin B2; 19 mg Vitamin C; 46 mcg Folate; 213 mg Calcium; 0.3 mg Iron; 255 mg Potassium; 110 mg Sodium 

Memorable Moments

Michelle.  “The tri-color pasta is great.” (Even after I told her, spinach was one of the ingredients.) We laughed and Michelle said, “I guess I must like spinach.”

Lance.  “I never realized there were so many healthy foods that look and taste good.”

Jonathan. “I think lemonade is the healthiest drink in the world.”

Cory. ”I’ll have a little bit of pasta; I’m full from making the fruit kebabs.”

Jake. “Mom - You haven’t cooked since I was a baby. This is good; can we do it again?”

David. “This is beautiful watching the kids help plan and prepare a healthy meal together.”

Paul. “I can’t believe you got everyone involved.”

Sandra. I’ve always worried what would happen to Jake once I was gone, but as I looked around the room I saw laughter, friendship and new family connections being formed. Yes, this was a memorable day, so rich in beautiful colors and endless possibilities.

Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). Many of the food art photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (

Jonathan Cruz
Michelle Canazaro
Cory Munce

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