Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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

National Nutrition Month 2021: Personalize Your Plate

National Nutrition Month® is celebrated each year during March with the focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. 

The theme for National Nutrition Month® 2021 is Personalize Your Plate. The theme is designed to show no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds, and tastes.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looks forward to celebrating National Nutrition Month® with you! 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is also celebrated during National Nutrition Month®, on the second Wednesday in March. This occasion increases awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services while recognizing both RDNs and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.

MyPlate - Make at least Half of your Grains Whole Grains

MyPlate - Grain Food Group

What foods are in the Grains Group?

Important Nutrients from the Grain Group

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. This savory one-dish whole-grain meal is crowned with a soft-boiled egg. #CookingLight

10 Tips to Help You Eat More Whole Grains

Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains, and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.

Make simple switches
To make half your grains whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100% whole-wheat bread or bagels instead of white bread or bagels, or brown rice instead of white rice.

Whole grains can be healthy snacks
Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. Also, try 100% whole-wheat or rye crackers.

Save some time
Cook extra brown rice or whole-wheat pasta when you have time. Refrigerate half to heat and serve later in the week as a quick side dish.

Mix it up with whole grains
Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

Try whole-wheat versions
For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

Bake up some whole-grain goodness
Experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in your favorite pancake or waffle recipes. To limit saturated fat and added sugars, top with fruit instead of butter and syrup.

Be a good role model for children
Set a good example for children by serving and eating whole grains every day with meals or as snacks.

Check the label for fiber
Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the fiber content of whole-grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the Daily Value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.

Know what to look for on the ingredients list
Read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole-grain ingredient first on the list. Look for “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “whole-grain cornmeal,” “whole oats,” or “whole rye.”

Be a smart shopper
The color of food is not an indication that it is a whole-grain food. Foods labeled as “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not 100% whole-grain products, and may not contain any whole grain.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

National California Strawberry Day

National California Strawberry Day   Strawberry is a delicious fruit rich in vitamin C, fiber and low in calories.

Strawberries and Brie on
Sandwich Thin with Strawberry Rose

Serves 1

1 Sandwich Thin
1 Tbsp Brie
1/2 cup Strawberries
1 tsp Fruit Spread
Garnish: Strawberry Rose

1. Using a mold cut shapes in the top half of the sandwich thin.
2. On the bottom, half spread the Brie and layer the strawberries. Add the fruit spread and cover with the top half of the bread.
3. Broil until the cheese melts. Cool slightly and serve.

National Nutrition Month - Enhance Flavors with Spices and Herbs

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.

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:

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

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
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month®

National Triglycerides Day

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.
2. What Are High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides? American Heart Association

3. Triglycerides, MedlinePlus

March 19, National Poultry Day
Cooking, Safety and Nutrition

Poultry is an excellent source of protein and lowers in fats than red meat (especially if you remove the skin). There are about 3,200,000 poultry recipes on the Internet.

Calorie Facts about Poultry

Poultry 101 USDA Guidance on Cooking Poultry

Safety is important when handling poultry and meats. The USDA requires that safe handling instructions be posted on all packages of raw and not fully cooked meat and poultry.

For additional information on Poultry visit the USDA

Chicken Kebabs with Oranges and Peppers Slices

Makes 6 main course serving
1/4 cup plain Greek-style whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 Orange sections
1/2 Green Peppers, sliced


1. Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and turmeric in a large bowl.
2. Add chicken, orange sections and pepper slices - stirring to coat.
3. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours.
4. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. When charcoal turns grayish white and you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill rack for 3 to 4 seconds, grill is ready (medium-hot). If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-high.
5. While grill heats, drain chicken, orange sections and pepper slices and discard the marinade.
6. Thread chicken pieces, orange sections, and pepper slices onto skewers.
7. Lightly oil hot grill rack, then grill kebabs, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.
Note. If you aren't able to grill outdoors, kebabs can be cooked in batches in a lightly oiled large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. 

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis Services
Ensure accurate and cost-effective nutritional analysis and food nutrition facts labels for your recipes and menus utilizing an extensive research database. A great service for the Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, Recipe Websites and Blogs. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information. For more information, visit Dietitians-Online Nutritional Analysis Services contact: Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN, FAND 954-796-7235

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

Monday, March 29, 2021

Make Half your Plate Fruits and Vegetable

Keep your healthy eating simple by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at mealtime. Eat fruits and vegetables when you want to have a snack. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

Remember that all forms count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or 100% juice. The next time you go shopping, choose veggies that may be new to you (try sweet potatoes, beets, or collard greens) and fruits too (try papaya, cantaloupe, or kiwi) to make your plate even more fun and exciting!

It’s easy to add fruits and vegetables to the meals that you’re already making:

  1. Breakfast is the perfect time for fruit. Try topping your cereal or oatmeal with bananas or peaches. Add blueberries to your pancakes. Or add fruit to your fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Blend frozen fruit, 100% juice, and/or yogurt to make a healthy smoothie.
  2. Lunchtime is a great time for a colorful salad. Add a variety of veggies, like corn, carrots, and spinach. A salad makes a healthy lunch if you don’t use too much dressing. Add a tangerine, banana, or grapes to your bagged lunch.
  3. At dinner, try meat dishes that include fruits and veggies, like a chicken with apricots or kebobs with peppers and pineapple. Or make a meal featuring vegetables, such as veggie pizza or vegetarian chili with lots of vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables make great snacks and desserts:
  1. For a handy snack, keep cut-up fruits and vegetables like carrots, peppers, and cucumber or orange slices in the refrigerator.
  2. Dried fruits are tasty and easy to carry.
  3. Keep a bowl of fruit in the refrigerator or on a table or countertop. Your family can grab and go!
  4. An apple is a perfect quick snack—and there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples to try!
  5. Fruit smoothies, fruit salad, and frozen 100% juice bars are better for you than high-fat, sugary desserts.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Try Healthy Red and Pink Foods

Red and Pink Foods

Food Sources
Apples, Beets, Cayenne, Cherries, Cranberries, Guava, Kidney Beans, Papaya, Pink Beans, Pink/Red Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Bell Peppers, Red Cabbages, Red Chili Peppers, Red Corn, Red Currants, Red Grapes, Red Onions, Red Pears, Red Peppers, Red Plums, Red Potatoes, Red Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Watermelons

Do you know other foods that are Red or Pink?

About Red Fruits and Vegetables.

Red fruits and vegetables get their color from natural plant pigments called lycopene or anthocyanins. Both are phytonutrients, which have health-promoting benefits, such as:
·         Reduces the risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer
·         Reduces the risk of heart disease
·         Protects our bodies’ cells from environmental damage (harmful free-radicals)
·         Lowers blood pressure
·         Lowers LDL cholesterol
·         Aids in memory
·         Maintains the health of the urinary tract system

Lycopene is a carotenoid and antioxidant. Examples of food sources include tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and papaya.  

Anthocyanins, an antioxidant found in cranberries, raspberries, red grapes, strawberries, and other red to purplish fruits and vegetables may help protect cells from damage.

In addition, red fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals and are rich in fiber. Fiber helps maintain the digestive system.

Kidney Bean, Red Onion and Tomato Salad
New York Times, by Nigella Lawson 

Ways to increase Red Food Intake:
Add strawberries or raspberries to cereal or low-fat yogurt.
Freeze seedless red grapes for a sweet snack.
Add thin slices of red tomatoes or red apples to a sandwich.
Add red kidney beans to soup, salads or rice dishes.
Dice tomatoes and red apples and add to a salad.

Phytonutrients (or phytochemicals) are found in plants. They are part of what gives fruits and vegetables their colors. Phytonutrients help protect plants from diseases found in the environment and protect us in a similar way. Studies have linked an increase of fruit and vegetable intake with lowering the risk of specific cancers and heart disease. The following list describes how phytonutrients may also help protect human health.
1. Act as an antioxidant.
2. Improves immune response.
3. Improves cell-to-cell communication.
4. Destroys cancer cells.
5. Repairs DNA damage caused by toxins in the environment.

Antioxidants. As the body uses oxygen, there are by-products (known as “free radicals”) that can cause damage to cells. Antioxidants can prevent or slow down the damage caused by these free radicals and decrease the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants may also improve the immune defense and lower the risk of infection. Some examples of antioxidants include vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, lycopene, and flavonoids. News

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