Monday, August 31, 2020

August, National Sandwich Month - Use Your Creativity


August is National Sandwich Month. The sandwich was named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. During the 1700s, it is said John Montagu created the sandwich because he wanted to eat his meal with one hand.



The nutrition information for the sandwiches presented in the collage can be found on Dietitians Online Facebook album, "All About Sandwiches." 

Resource: Build a Better Sandwich, @produceforkids 

Greatest Movie Sandwiches



Kids Eat Right Month - The Kid Friendly Kitchen


Help your kids start young and master simple cooking tasks before moving on to more complex skills. Use these age-appropriate ideas to keep your kids excited, safe and well-educated in the kitchen! To learn more, visit Kids Eat Right at Kid-Friendly Kitchen Tasks Infographic





August 31, National Trail Mix Day
The Food Label Detective:
Emerald Trail Mix


*FDA 21 CFR 101.9 Nutrition labeling of food. FDA regulation allows manufacturers to round a number of servings to the nearest 0.5 serving, as long as they use the term “about”. Serving size is based on RACC = Reference Amount Customarily Consumed per Eating Occasion.


One Serving Size: 1oz (28g)
130 calories per Servings
Package Size: Net Wt. 2.25 oz (63.8g)
About 2 Servings per package

Findings
Actual Serving per Package = 2.3
299 Calories per Package

Read the Label; an Educated Consumer has the knowledge

to make the Best Choices.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August 29, More Herbs, Less Salt Day and
National Lemon Juice Day

Instead of salt, use spices, herbs, lemon juice,
and/or vinegar to 
enhance the taste of your food.
The health benefits are life-long.



Wikipedia has provided an extensive list of culinary herbs and spices. The list does not contain salt (which is a mineral) or plants used primarily as herbal teas or medicinal herbs. Explore the different flavors and cultures.

Tips for Selecting and Storing
Herbs and Spices


Spice it Up with
Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD


Where does sodium come from?
Sodium comes from natural sources or is added to foods. Most foods in their natural state contain some sodium. However, the majority of sodium Americans consume comes from sodium added to processed foods by manufacturers. While some of this sodium is added to foods for safety reasons, the amount of salt added to processed foods is above what is required for the safety and function of the food supply.

Reading Labels
When you buy prepared and packaged foods, read the labels. You can tell the sodium content by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel of a food. Listed are the amount for sodium, in milligrams (mg), and the “% Daily Value.” Also read the ingredient list to watch for the words "soda" (referring to sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda), "sodium" and the symbol "Na" to see if the product contains sodium.

Salt and/or Sodium Descriptors

Salt-Free:  Meets requirements for "sodium-free."
Sodium Free: Fewer than 5 milligrams sodium per serving.
Very Low Sodium:  35 milligrams or less sodium per serving.
Low Sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving 
Reduced Sodium:  At least 25 percent less sodium per serving.
Unsalted:  Has no salt added during processing. To use this term, the product it resembles must normally be processed with salt and the label must note that the food is not a sodium-free food if it does not meet the requirements for "sodium-free".

The FDA and USDA state an individual food that has the claim "healthy" must not exceed 480 mg sodium per reference amount. "Meal type" products must not exceed 600 mg sodium per labeled serving size.

Sodium and Hypertension.
In order for a food to make an Allowable Health Claim, it must contain a defined amount of nutrients. In relationship to sodium and Hypertension, the amount is 140 milligrams or less sodium per serving.

American Heart Association (AHA)
The American Heart Association recommends you choose and prepare foods with little or no salt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day (less than 3/4 teaspoon of salt).
The AHA is working with federal agencies to identify ways to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply. The association is encouraging food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium in foods by 50 percent over a 10-year period. AHA will help Americans lower the amount of sodium they consume by the following strategies:
 1. Reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply,
 2. Make more healthy foods available (e.g., more fruits and vegetables); and
 3. Provide consumers with education and decision-making tools to make better choices.

 
Tips for reducing sodium in the diet
 1.  Choose fresh, frozen or canned food items without added salts.
 2.  Select unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas, and lentils.
 3.  Limit salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
 4.  Avoid adding salt and canned vegetables to homemade dishes.
 5.  Select unsalted, lower sodium, fat-free broths, bouillons or soups.
 6.  Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses, and low-fat yogurt.
 7.  Use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food. 
 8.  Add fresh lemon juice instead of salt to fish and vegetables.
 9.  When dining out, ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
10. Don’t use the salt shaker.





August 27, Banana Lovers Day: Nutrition, Selection, Storage, and Recipes



Selection
Choose bananas that are firm and free of bruises. Bananas are best to eat when the skin color is solid yellow and speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.


Storage
To ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.


Recipes
If you love bananas, Eating Well has a collection of Banana Recipes you are sure to enjoy.


Chiquita Banana The Original Commercial 
Produced by Disney Studios in the 40's, this commercial appeared only in movie theaters, and for over 50 years kept us humming its catchy tune.


DOLE Banana Growing and Planting
Dole explains the growing and planting of bananas.


Banana Farm
The banana farm at EARTH University uses socially and environmentally responsible practices at every stage of the process. The farm plants trees along river banks to promote biodiversity and reduce harmful erosion. In addition, they do not use herbicides. The farm's eco-friendly practices produce some of the most flavorful bananas in the world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

National Dog 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

August 25, National Banana Split Day - Fruit Festival




Ingredients
1 Banana, split in half
1 Kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
4 Strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup Cherries, sliced
1/2 cup Orange Segments
1/2 cup Low Fat Ice Cream, optional









Saturday, August 22, 2020

National Tooth Fairy Day
Nutrition and Your Child's Dental Health


Healthy teeth are important to your child's overall health. From the time your child is born, there are things you can do to promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. For babies, you should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby's toothbrush. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots or stains.

For all children, you should
1. Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are two years old. You might start sooner if a dentist or doctor suggests it.
2. Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
3. Schedule regular dental check-ups

Forming good habits at a young age can help your child have healthy teeth for life.






Resources
1. WebMD. Nutrition and Your Child's Teeth
2. National Institute of Health, Child DentalHealth








August 22, Eat a Peach Day - Nutrition, Safety and Presentation

Presentation. Transform a peach into an eloquent dessert. Cut the peach into slices or cubes and serve in a dessert glass. Somehow the presentation makes the peach taste sweeter and the experience filling.



Peach Nutrition
Low fat; saturated fat-free; sodium free; cholesterol free; 
good source of vitamin C.





From Fruits and Veggies, More Matters:
Peaches
How to Select
Choose peaches with firm, fuzzy skins that yield to gentle pressure when ripe. Avoid blemishes.

How to Store Peaches and Nectarines
Store unripe peaches in a paper bag. When ripe, store at room temperature for use within 1-2 days.


Resources.
Georgia Peach Council
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters. Peaches
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Peaches 





Friday, August 21, 2020

August 21, National Senior Citizen Day - Keep Older Americans Healthy and Fit

National Senior Citizens Day 

On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5847 creating National Senior Citizens Day to be August 21.

On this day, we are encouraged to recognize and show appreciation for the value and contribution of older people to home, family and society. It is an opportunity for us to show our gratitude for what seniors have achieved in their lives and their contributions to our communities.

Things to do with Older Adults
- Spend time together.
- Show our appreciation.
- Volunteer to help.
- Enjoy a walk together.
- Go out for dinner.

If you are a senior citizen, enjoy your day. Make sure to take advantage of senior citizen discounts and specials.



The goal is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. 


Benefits of Getting Older

Global Aging


Shopping and nutrition tips
for senior citizens

from Elisa Zeid, MS, RD

Resources and References
to Help Eating Well as We Age

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

August 19 - World Humanitarian Day - Inspire Humanitarian Work Around the World




This year’s focus salutes the efforts of women humanitarian workers across the world who rally to people in need and are often the first to respond and the last to leave.

“From supporting civilians caught up in crisis to addressing disease outbreaks, women humanitarians are on the front lines”, said Secretary-General António Guterres.




These unsung heroes have long been working in their own communities in some of the most difficult terrains – from the war-wounded in Afghanistan to the food insecure in the Sahel, to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods in places such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

“Their presence makes aid operations more effective by increasing their reach”, said the UN chief. “It also improves the humanitarian response to gender-based violence, which increases during emergencies”.

Across the globe, 250,000 aid workers are women – a figure that amounts to more than 40 percent of the humanitarian workforce. But aid work is becoming increasingly dangerous.




Since August 2003, more than 4,500 aid workers of all genders have been killed, injured, detained, assaulted or kidnapped while carrying out their work. That averages out to five attacks per week.

Moreover, women humanitarians are at particularly high risk of robbery, sexual assault, and other violence.


World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staff. 

Natural disasters, conflicts, and other emergencies threaten the lives and health of millions of people every year. In the middle of such crises, thousands of dedicated humanitarian workers strive to care for those who have been affected and support local authorities to deliver assistance. On World Humanitarian Day, WHO and other international bodies are highlighting the roles performed by humanitarian workers and remembering aid workers who have been killed or injured while performing their vital roles. 


World Humanitarian Day offers the chance:

· for the public to learn more about the humanitarian community, what aid workers do and the challenges they face;

· for nongovernmental and international bodies and UN agencies, to demonstrate their humanitarian activities;

· to pay respect to those who have died or been injured in the course of their humanitarian work.

To show your support for World Humanitarian Day visit  
http://worldhumanitarianday.org/


Interaction between Older Adults and Children Benefit Both



The Healthy Aging Partnership offers these suggestions for grandparents and others who want to play a bigger role in young lives:

  • Be yourself. Youngsters will benefit from and enjoy having someone who listens and gives them their undivided attention. All too often parents don't have enough time to spend with their children and that's where you can help. Be a mentor and a friend.
  • Arts and crafts, such as making a scrapbook, create great memories and allow you and a child to learn something new together.
  • Youngsters love to help in the kitchen. The hands-on cooking exercise can be as simple as baking a box cake, with a little measuring and mixing.
  • Gardening is another kid favorite. Dig in the dirt. Plant. Water. Sow fast-sprouting bean, pumpkin or sunflower seeds that grow with every visit.
  • Go to the library. Computers and video games may be a new thing, but you can never go wrong with a great story. Teach them about something you love. If you're excited about it, they will be too.
  • If you don't have grandchildren of your own, volunteer to share an interest or skill with a local youth organization. The American Red Cross, Intergenerational Innovations and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, just to name a few, can help connect older adults with young people in their community.


National Potato Day

Potatoes are one of the vegetables in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which includes eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers. It is a starchy, tuberous crop. Potatoes are the world's fourth-largest food crop, following maize, wheat, and rice.
Nutrition


One medium potato (5.3 oz) with the skin contains:
110 Calories; Vitamin C (45 % DV); 620 mg potassium; Vitamin B6 (10 % DV); No Fat; No Sodium; No Cholesterol; and Trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. 
Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids and flavonoids.

About 20% of the potato’s nutrition is found in the skin.  Most of the vitamin C and potassium are found in the potato’s flesh, but the fiber is found in the skin.  That’s why it’s best to enjoy every part of the potato.

According to MyPlate, Potatoes are a vegetable.  It counts toward the total recommended servings of vegetables. One medium-sized potato (5.3 oz.) counts as 1 cup of starchy vegetables.


Recipe
Rose, Gold, and Purple Potato Salad




Ingredients
5 Small Round Potatoes: 
  1 Honey Gold 
  2 Enchanted Rose
  2 Purple Splendor
Dash Curry Powder
2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Italian Dressing, fat-free

Directions
1. Roast potatoes and dice.
2. In a bowl combine curry, mustard, and Italian dressing. Mix.
3. Add potatoes to marinade and coat well.

Nutrition Information


Plate Size Matters

The History of Plate Sizes

Fast foods do not have a monopoly on supersize. The plate industry has had its own growth spurt during the past 50 years. In the 1960s dinner plates were about 8.5 to 9-inches in diameter and held about 800 calories; by 2009 plate size had grown to 12-inches with the capacity to hold about 1900 calories. The calorie differences are illustrated in the graphic below. (Calorie amounts will vary depending on the foods you choose.)


Portion Control Matters - Kids Eat Right



Resources
1. WebMD, Portion Size Guide
2. Kids and Portion Control, Jo Ellen Shield, RDN, Kids Eat Right
3. 
How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight, CDC
4. 
What is the difference between a serving and a portion? NIH



 

 

Edible Flowers by Guest Blogger: Brittaney Bialas, MS, RD


Spring is a warm, bright, and sunny time of year when you may schedule time for outdoor picnics at local parks and beaches. While you are at it, you might as well pencil in some time to brighten up your herb or vegetable garden with some tasty flowers – edible flowers, that is! 

You may have seen floral garnishes adorning fancy meals or flashy desserts; but you may not know that you can eat many of these flowers fresh from the plant after rinsing. Edible flowers can be cooked like a vegetable, sprinkled on top of a favorite dish, used to make soups and sauces, or stuffed and sautéed as a main part of a recipe. They can be made into vinegar, syrups, butters, and jellies, or used in custards, sorbets, and other desserts. They can also be frozen into ice cubes to add extra excitement to an otherwise boring beverage on a hot day. Now is the time of year when many edible flowers are in peak bloom. They may even be in your garden already - just waiting to be added to your next dish!




Some of the edible flowers that may be in your backyard or vases include pansies, violas, chrysanthemums, carnations, fuchsias, geraniums, jasmine, lavender, violets, and certain roses. Flavors range from sweet and honey-like to spicy and peppery, while scents can add a floral aroma or a citrusy tang. Nasturtiums are a popular edible flower that adds a spicy, peppery kick. The purple flowers of banana trees and blossoms of citrus trees (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, kumquat) are edible fruit flowers that may be in your back yard. Many herb flowers, including alliums (garlic, chives, leeks), cilantro/coriander, chicory, dill, mint, sage, and thyme are also safe to eat. Most of the flavors of herbal flowers resemble those of the herbs they come from. These can be added to a dish along with or in place of the herb itself. Several vegetable flowers probably already make a regular appearance in your diet, such as cauliflower (who would have thought?), broccoli, and artichoke, which are all flower blossoms. In addition, the flowers of arugula, okra, radishes, peas, and squash are edible. Squash blossoms appear quite often in the produce stands and taste a bit like the raw gourd from which it came.

Best of all, many edible flowers have vitamin C, vitamin A, and other beneficial essential nutrients. Edible flowers can replace sodium and sugar when used in conjunction with herbs and spices, adding more flavor and aroma to foods. However, keep in mind that edible flowers have a delicate taste that is detected best when added to simple dishes that do not have overpowering flavors.





Many flowers can be safely tossed onto our plates; but there are flowers that are poisonous and should never be eaten. Always make sure a flower is edible before adding it to your food. Some resources that list some edible flowers are at Colorado State Extension  and North Carolina State University. In general, edible flowers are best when they are picked during the morning when they have the most moisture. They can be rinsed and placed in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for storage. Use within a short period to maintain quality.

There are also some safety rules to follow regarding where you find your edible flowers. Do not pick flowers from the side of the road where fumes from vehicles and other contaminants can make the plants unsafe to eat. Do not purchase edible flowers from nurseries or garden centers unless they are grown specifically for consumption. Do consume edible flowers that you have grown from seeds as long as you do not use pesticides or other chemicals. Do introduce small amounts of new flowers one at a time since pollen from the plants may trigger allergies. Do research which parts should and should not be used since each type of edible flower is different.

Flowers are nice to have. Their colors brighten a room, they give off a pleasing aroma, and they bring joy to people who take the time to notice them.

However, one of the most exciting reasons for dietitians to love flowers is that they may be food! Spring is the perfect time to try something new and let an edible flower be a part of your dining room table – and not just as an accent piece in a vase! 


Pansy Herb Salad 
4 cups mixed greens 
1/4 cup fresh sprigs of dill 
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
4 large basil leaves, rolled up and thinly sliced crosswise 
1 large lemon, halved 
Pinch of salt 
Fresh ground black pepper to taste 
1 /2 cup toasted walnuts 
3/4 cup crumbled feta 
1 cup fresh pansy flowers 

Toss salad greens and herbs in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice (without the seeds) over the greens and season with salt and pepper. Toss again. Add walnuts and feta and toss well. Divide salad and pansies among four serving plates and serve.

Nutrition Fact Per Serving (Serves 4)
Calories: 179; Fat: 16g; Carbohydrate: 5g. Adapted from Pansy Herb Salad






Saturday, August 15, 2020

Get Acquainted with Kiwifruit Month

sponsored by the California Kiwifruit Commission.

The Kiwifruit


History of the Kiwifruit.
Originally discovered in the Chang Kiang Valley of China, kiwifruit was considered a delicacy by the great Khans who enjoyed the emerald green color and wonderful flavor. By the mid-1800s, the fruit had found its way into other countries and was nicknamed the Chinese gooseberry. New Zealand growers started to export this exotic fruit to specialized markets around the world.


Then in 1962, a California produce dealer began importing New Zealand gooseberries. The dealer renamed the product "kiwifruit" because of its resemblance to the fuzzy brown kiwi — New Zealand's funny-looking national bird. By the late 1960s, California began producing its own kiwifruit in the Delano and Gridley areas.

How to Eat A Kiwi

There's no "right" or "wrong" way to eat California Kiwifruit. But since most people find that slicing and scooping is a good way to get the most from their kiwifruit, we coined the word "slooping" to describe it! Here's how to sloop your kiwi:

Using a sharp knife, slice the kiwifruit lengthwise to create two identical halves. Then use a spoon to scoop the sweet, delicious meat of the kiwifruit from each half. Looking for maximum fiber and nutrition? Don't throw that skin away! It's loaded with nutrients and fiber, so rinse it off and bite right in! 



The kiwifruit is a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K and Fiber. It is low in calories, low in sodium, has no cholesterol and only a small amount of fat. 


One Large Kiwifruit, weighs about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) and provides the following nutrition.


Recipe from California Kiwifruit Commission.

Kiwi Mint Lemonade
Makes 4 servings 



If you don't have mint, try fresh lemon balm. The lemonade is also delicious without the herbs. 

Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) water
 ½ (125 mL) cup granulated sugar
 ½ (125 mL) cup packed fresh mint leaves
 3 California kiwifruit
 3 lemons
 Sparkling water

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, heat water with sugar over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mint leaves. Let stand 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel kiwifruit and cut into chunks. Puree in a food processor. Place puree in a pitcher. Strain cooled syrup into pitcher, pressing on mint, then discard leaves. Refrigerate until cold. Squeeze juice from 2 lemons. Stir into kiwifruit mixture. Taste, squeeze in juice from remaining lemon for a tarter lemonade.


3. Pour into glasses. Top with sparkling water. Serve garnished with a slice of kiwifruit. Makes about 2¼ cups (550 mL) without sparkling water, enough for 4 drinks.
 



For more recipes, visit the California Kiwi Commission.

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