Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Edible Hanukkah Menorah

The Hanukkiah, also known as the Hanukkah “menorah,” is a candelabra designated specifically for the Hanukkah candles. The Hanukkah lamp contains room for nine candles — one for each night, plus the shammash or helper candle.

Menorah is the Hebrew word for a lamp. Lighting the candles is Hanukkah’s most central ritual. One candle is added on each night of the eight-night holiday until it is ablaze with light on the eighth evening.

Hanukkah menorahs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The eight candles should be the same height and at the same level, but the shammash is often placed higher or set off to the side.

Fruit and Vegetable Menorah

A fun project and a healthy snack for all. 
I used the following ingredients (but you can use your favorite fruits and vegetables):
1/2 cucumber
1/2 yellow squash, diced
1/2 zucchini diced
4 red seedless grapes
1/2 cup watermelon, diced
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup cantaloupe, cubed
1/4 cup blueberries
4 strawberries, chopped
9 golden raisins

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Our Hanukkah Celebration
Music, Symbolic Foods and Art

Our Favorite Hanukkah Songs

Telly from Sesame Street shows 
us how to play the Dreidel Game.

Traditional Hanukkah foods are fried and/or contain dairy, in particular cheese. Oil played a significant role in the Hanukkah story as a small jug of oil miraculously provided fuel for the Temple Menorah for eight days. Dairy symbolizes the victory of Judith, a young widow who overtook the enemy camp by feeding the general with salty cheese that required lots of wine to quench his thirst.

The “Latkes” (potato pancakes) or “Sufganiyah” (fried doughnut filled with jelly or custard and topped with powdered sugar) are traditional foods seen at Hanukkah. Latkes remind us of the food hurriedly prepared for the soldiers as they went into battle. Latkes are usually served with sour cream and applesauce on the side.

In 17 century Europe it became customary for parents to give small sums of money to their children to donate to their teachers. The students learned how to give charity in light of commemorating the events of Hanukkah. In the 20th century, an American confectionary manufacturer came up with the idea of making Hanukkah “Gelt” from chocolate. They made the first chocolate wrapped coins specifically for Hanukkah. The Hanukkah gelt symbolizes the tradition of giving charity to commemorate the Miracle of Light. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Day After Thanksgiving - Food and Nutrition Topics

Black Friday Exercise Guide

Maize Day, also known as corn, is a large grain plant.

National Flossing Day
The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question. The American Dental Association responds.

Sinkie Day
. Celebrated the day after Thanksgiving for people who enjoy eating over the kitchen sink.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

November 25, National Parfait Day

Parfait is a French term used to describe a dessert prepared by freezing a dish which is usually ice cream or cream-based dessert. The French meaning of parfait is “perfect.” Parfaits are prepared with a variety of dessert ingredients, such as fruits, ice cream, yogurt, gelatin, and nuts. The combination of ingredients is large as your imagination and is not limited to desserts. Popular in America is a breakfast parfait of yogurt, fruit, and cereal.

The American version of the parfait is prepared in a parfait glass. The ingredients are placed in layers one after the other and chilled before serving. The number of layers will vary based on the recipe. The parfait is an attractive dish and one can create wonderful combinations.


Sample of Ingredients.


Pumpkin Pie Parfait with Cranberry-Walnut Relish,
Vanilla Pudding Topped with Ginger Snap Crumbs
Great Recipe for Leftovers

Strawberry Parfait with Granola

Mango Parfait

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Red, White and Blue Parfait

Taste Spotting, Parfaits

Thanksgiving Day Special Edition
Safety, Healthy Choices, Vegetarian Ideas,
Singing Turkeys with a Message
and a Special Wish

How to Cook a Whole Chicken or Turkey
The only way to know food has been cooked
to a safe internal temperature is to
use a food thermometer.

Healthy Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

Controlling Thanksgiving Portion Size

Plan Meals Using
Portion Control to Minimize Waste

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Vegetarian Turkey

Protesting Turkeys
You Can't Gobble Me by the Turkey Singers.

A Thanksgiving Day Wish

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget 
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, 
but to live by them.” 
– John F. Kennedy

May your Thanksgiving be filled with special moments,
happy traditions, and the love of family and friends.

warm wishes, Sandra and Jake Frank

Thanksgiving Song
by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Good-bye Food Pyramid, Hello Food Plate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is retiring the Food Pyramid and replacing it with a plate icon. The new image is expected to be revealed on Thursday, June 2, 2011.

I'm not sorry to see the food pyramid being replaced. The design presented challenges in counseling and education.

The USDA said in a statement this week that the new food icon would be "part of a comprehensive nutrition education initiative providing consumers with easy-to-understand recommendations, a new website with additional information, and other tools and resources."

The plate design will be a welcomed change. One of the advantages in using a food plate is the ability to visually demonstrate portion sizes.

 The History of Plate Sizes

Fast foods do not have a monopoly on super size. The plate industry has had its own growth spurt during the past 50 years. In the 1960's 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.)

Graphic 1

Our Eyes Can Deceive Us

Last night, I tried an experiment with my family. First each person was presented with dinner on an 8.5 inch plate. Then I removed the plates and set out the 12-inch plates. When asked which plate had more food, five out of six said the 8.5 inch plate.

The amount of food was identical, but when comparing the two sizes the participants looked to see how much food filled their plate.

                                                                   Graphic 2

This is a further illustration of the same amount of food on different plate sizes. The larger the plate, the smaller the food appeared.

Next, I wanted to see how much food the different size plates could hold.  The calorie amounts differ from graphic 1 due to the foods I used, but there was a significant increase in calories as the size of the plate grew.

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.)

Friday, November 12, 2021

National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week

This is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. How You Can Help... 

I've heard about Chicken Soup for the Soul but never read any of the books. I browsed the site and I was fascinated and inspired by the stories. I came across one specific story devoted to Hunger and how a group of people sold pizza for $1.00 to raise money for the hungry.

New York City’s Biggest Pizza Party
Helps Feed The Hungry

National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week 

No one should have to worry about whether they will have food on their plates or a roof over their heads. But the reality is that hunger and homelessness are widespread problems that affect far too many people. Many Americans are living on the edge, forced to choose between basic necessities like purchasing food, paying rent, or going to the doctor.

Needed items and services might include:
  • Clothing.  The lack of clean, well-fitting clothes and shoes causes great hardship beyond exposure to the elements—it hurts one’s self-image and one’s chance to get ahead.  People experiencing homelessness must travel light, with few opportunities to safely store or adequately clean what they can’t carry. On job interviews, a poorly dressed person has little chance for success. Give your clean clothes to those who could use them. Before you give your own clothes or start a clothing drive, talk to your local shelter and find out what items they really need. Most have limited storage space, and can’t use winter clothes in summer or vice versa. Some serve only a certain group of people. Please clean the clothes before you donate them.
  • In-kind services and materials.  Service providers may be able to use copying, printing, food, transportation, marketing assistance, computer equipment and assistance, electrical work, building materials, plumbing, etc.
  • Household goods or other items.  Service providers may need items such as kitchen utensils, furniture, books, toys, games, stuffed animals, dolls, diapers, etc.
  • Books.  People experiencing homelessness may have limited access to a library and find that it is little for them to do when spending a night at a shelter.  Find out if your local shelter would appreciate donations of books.  Consider organizing a book drive to create a small library at the shelter if there is not already one there.
  • Computers.  Many non-profit organizations have a difficult time purchasing expensive but essential equipment such as computers.  If you have a machine you no longer need, a local shelter or service provider might greatly appreciate the donation.  Shelter guests might also appreciate the donation of machines for their use, although you should check if a shelter would have space to set up public computers.
  • Homeless “survival kits.”  Create and distribute kits that include items such as cups, pots, pans, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and cosmetics. (Try coordinating this through a group that gives out meals from a van, for example.)  During cold weather, organize drives for blankets, coats, hats, scarves, mittens, socks, and the like.
  • Phone calls.  Help people experiencing homelessness contact loved ones by offering the opportunity to make free long-distance calls on holidays. Donate to or organize a cell phone drive for the homeless.
  • Job opportunities.  Encourage your company, school, or place of worship to hire people experiencing homelessness (if they are not already working). Most unemployed homeless adults desperately want to work, but need an employer to give them a chance.
  • Support for a homeless person or family.  As people move out of a shelter or transitional housing program, consider raising money to contribute for a security deposit, or assist by contributing household goods, babysitting, or moral support.  See if your local shelter has a partnering program.

National Pizza with the Works Day except Anchovies - Supremely Veggie Pizza

1. Expert guide to creating a healthy homemade pizza, Jamie Vespa, RDN, Cooking Light 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

November 11, Veterans Day
November is Military Family Appreciation Month

Today is Veterans Day, a day to honor American Veterans - past and present. We thank you for your courage, loyalty, and bravery in your service to our country; and honor the sacrifices of your families.

Military Families are important as the strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their Families. They are a vital connection between Soldiers and the military's ability to remain strong. All military families, Active, Guard, Reserve, survivors, veterans, and retirees are giving back in this time of need. With thousands of Soldiers deployed, recognizing the daily sacrifices made by military families has never been more important.

In an effort to serve military families, the USDA and the White House addressed the concerns and challenges of our military families. In August 2012, President Obama Signed an executive order to improve Access to mental health services for veterans, service members, and military families.

History of Veterans Day

To Our Military & Their Families
Thank you for keeping us safe.

Tribute to Dogs of the Military

Army OneSouce

National Sundae Day - Frozen Vanilla Greek Yogurt with a Variety of Fruit

1/2 cup (102 g) Frozen Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Variety of Fresh Fruits. 1 Tablespoon of each: Orange, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwi, Raspberries, & Mango

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Books for Young Readers on Food and Nutrition

Books for Young Readers on Food and Nutrition

Saturday, November 6, 2021

National Nachos Day
Nacho in a Cup

Nachos are tortilla chips covered with cheese, salsa, and may include a number of the toppings listed below. Serve as an appetizer or main course.

Common toppings:
Beans, Black, Pinto, or Refried
Cheese, shredded
Chili con carne                   Cilantro
Ground beef, chicken         Chorizo
Guacamole                         JalapeƱo peppers
Lettuce                                Lime
Olives                                  Onions, diced
Sour cream                         Tomatoes

Nacho in a Cup

1 Tbsp Guacamole
2 Tbsp Salsa
1 Tbsp Black Bean Dip
3 Tortilla Chips, salt-free, crushed
1 Tbsp Shredded Cheese, low fat
2 Plantain Chips

Nutritional Analysis

Nutritional Analysis Services

Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional analysis 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

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN

Monday, November 1, 2021

November Health, Nutrition, and Food Events

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. To view the entire Newsletter online click hereWellness News is updated daily and links are provided. 


November Highlights

American Diabetes Month

Military Family Appreciation Month

Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month and
COPD Awareness Month
National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

National Healthy Skin Month
National Marrow Awareness Month
National Family Caregivers Month
National Hospice Palliative Care

National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness
Prematurity Awareness Month
National Adoption Month
Family Stories Month
World Vegan Month

National Roasting Month
Banana Pudding Lovers Month
Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month
National Fun with Fondue Month
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Pepper Month
National Pomegranate Month
Peanut Butter Lovers Month
Raisin Bread Month
Sweet Potato Awareness Month
National Pet Cancer Awareness 

MADD's Tie One On For Safety Holiday 
Native American Heritage Month

Dietitian Blog List