During my community rotation, I’ve spent more time with the younger than 18 year old population than I can say I’ve ever have. Although, I’m more comfortable with the geriatric population, I’ve walked away from this particular part of my dietetic internship with some notes! I’m pleased to say more and more children are walking out the door eating breakfast. Next obstacle to tackle, making sure they are eating quality breakfasts. I asked some my summer campers what they eat for breakfast. Most common answers: pancakes, waffles, cereals, oatmeal, toasted strudel and a breakfast sandwich.
I don’t know all cereals, but some helpful tips on how to discern which cereals are better than others.
Disregard the health claims on the cereal box–head for the nutrition fact label
Remember the sugar from fruit is included in the amount of total sugar
If “whole grains” (i.e. whole grain oats) is listed as one of the top ingredients it’s a better option than cereals that list rice or rice flour. If the word “whole” is not listed before a grain, one can assume it’s refined. Rice or rice flour is a refined grain, which you want to limit.
Compare the amount of sugar and grains to the suggested serving size. If the amount of whole grains and serving size are close in number, that means it’s almost whole grain
Assess what the first two ingredients are on the nutrition fact label. Ingredient amounts are listed in descending order.
Not all fiber is created equally. Many cereals contain isolated fibers, which are fibers that are made into powders (i.e. oat flour, soy flour and/or corn flour). Ignore the claims of “high in fiber” and assess the whole grain status
Stay away from advertised yogurt clusters. While it sounds “healthy”, yogurt clusters=oil+sugar–>no health benefits
Opt for cereals that contain: No more than 250 calories/cup; no artificial sweeteners (i.e. aspartame)
Some recommended cereals with their nutrition breakdown:
Post Shredded Wheat Original, 150 calories, 5.3 g of fiber, 0.4 g of sugar per 2 biscuits (46 g)
Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Wheat, 140 calories, 5 g of fiber, 0 g of sugar per 2 biscuits (40 g)
Kashi 7 Whole Grains Puffs, 70 calories, 1 g of fiber, 0 g of sugar per cup
Kashi Island Vanilla, 250 calories, 6 g of fiber, 2.5 tsp sugar per cup
Kellogg Unfrosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size, 200 calories, 6 g of fiber, 1 g of sugar per 30 biscuits (59 g)
It can be overwhelming to rummage through all the nutrition fact labels in the cereal aisle. Perhaps, head to the supermarket at 8PM or on Wednesdays, which are notoriously slower grocery days. Take your time and I’m sure you’ll find the perfect fit!
In December of 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296), which is valid until September 2015. While this act reauthorizes many child nutrition programs–National School Lunch and Breakfast program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program, the Afterschool Meal Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), many are not as familiar with the importance or impact it has on many American lives.
Increases after school Meal Program to all 50 American states
Supporting improvements to direct certification for school meals to reduce red tape in helping children obtain school meals
Allows state WIC agencies the option to certify children for up to one yea
Mandates WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) implementation nationwide by October 1, 2020
Improving area eligibility rules so more family child care homes can use the CACFP program
Enhancing the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings
Making “competitive foods” offered or sold in schools more nutritious
This act provided an additional $4.5 billion for these funded assistance programs. With September 2015 quickly approaching, what will be the fate of HHFKA? The most recent passing of this Act had its own troubles with Congress having to figure out how to pay for the increased investments through offsets. After the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there were struggles of offsets to cover new costs that were required to break filibusters of legislation in the Senate. Additionally, many congressional leaders find the distribution of SNAP funds is counterproductive in the big picture goal of solving world hunger.
HHFKA may not be the most glamorous topic to talk about at dinner, but it’s very worth noting.
Not sure what to do with the last mushroom in your hydrator? Have to use that broccoli tonight before it officially reaches “old” status? Or just trying to get your child to eat more fruits and vegetables? Scrap together your odds and ends of food in the fridge and pantry and make a delicious mesh of your food!
The most effective, long lasting way to add fruits and veggies to meals are to personalize meals based on past favorite meals and branching out from there. For example, if your child loves spinach, why not mix it up once in a while and buy kale one day? Additional suggestions:
Customize your own smoothie
Customize your own tortilla, taco or burritos
Make berry picking a family outing and challenge everyone to come up with the most creative berry dish!
While a lot of the above suggestions include the word “customize”, don’t be too overwhelmed with that thought! Cooking and making meals should be seen as fun and a way to take part in creative outlets.
Got any other ideas how to make eating fruits and veggies more fun? Please share!
You know how you get giddy when you’re able to share a passion or interest with some one and they “get” the hype? My friend from Wisconsin doesn’t have a lot of access to authentic Asian restaurants back home. I found this past weekend to be the best time to introduce her to ethnic foods! The best part, she loved it!
After she had stuffed herself with the new flavor combinations, she inquired what food had she eaten. Was it Japanese or Chinese? I corrected her telling her that since we had kimchi, it was Korean. I wasn’t offended because she had a genuine interest in knowing exactly what she ate. I brushed it off, stating I wouldn’t know what Middle Easterns eat besides hummus. The Middle East consists of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey.
My conversation with her and a recent discussion I had in my Public Health class regarding culture sensitivity got me questioning why I didn’t know off the top of my head Middle Eastern traditional cuisines. That’s my lead in to this blog post.
I’m taking this blog post as a way to increase not only your awareness of what it mean to be eating Middle eastern food and recognizing some differences within the regions. As there are distinct tastes and ingredients in Asian cooking, it’s not fair to clump Middle Eastern cuisine under one blog post, but there are more similarities than differences in these Middle Eastern nations. Ingredients that are commonly seen in such cooking and dishes include dates, olives, wheat, rice, legumes, and
The Middle Eastern diet consists of the American MyPlate food groups, but has distinct emphasis on certain foods within the food groups.
More common to eat fermented dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt
Whole milk’s often used in desserts and puddings
Most common cheese: feta
Very common: lamb, kosher beef, kosher poultry, herring, lox and sardines
Pork is only eaten on Christmas
Pork is not eaten by Muslims or those that are Jewish
Less likely to see dairy and shellfish within the same meal
Common: black, kidney and navy beans, chick peas and lentils
Most popular: eggplant
Preferred to be used in raw or mixed salad with fruit
Can be seen stuffed in rice and/or meats
Olive oil commonly used in prep
Black and green olives are popular in many dishes
Regularly seen in desserts and/or snacks
Fresh is the most desired kind of fruit type
Often used in compotes and jams if fresh fruit isn’t feasible
Flavorings regularly includes lemons
Wheat, barley or rice are often included in meals
Common grains: couscous, burghul, pita bread, freekeh,matzoh and/or unleavened bread
Filo dough frequently found in desserts
Overview of Middle Eastern Staples:
Ful Medames: An Egyptian and Sudanese breakfast dish made from fava beans, olive oil, parsley, garlic and lemon; often served with a fried egg and pita bread
Manakeesh: Similar to U.S. pizza, a round bread with ground meat, herbs and/or cheese; preferably for breakfast or lunch
Grilled Halloumi: Cheese made from goat and sheep milk; no acid or bacteria are used during processing
Shanklish: Golf size cheese balls; rolled in herbs or chili flakes
Falafel: Deep fried ball or patty made of chick peas, fava beans or a combination of both; often served with tomatoes, sliced onion and romaine lettuce
Moutabal/baba ghanoush (aka baba ganush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug): Dip with an eggplant(aubergine)dish; aubergine often baked or broiled over an open flame to provide a smokey taste; sometimes eaten with pita bread
Fattoush (aka fattush, fatush, fattoosh,and fattouche): A Levantine tangy salad containing lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil and mint; part of the fattat dish group–all being made from stale bread as its base
Tabouleh: A vegetarian salad dish composed of tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, olive oil, salt and lemon juice; can be modified for personal tastes
Shanklish: Golf size cheese balls; rolled in herbs or chili flakes
Mezze: Collection of small dishes that are picked at leisure: cheese, melon, nuts, various salads and dips, such as tabbouleh, hummus, mutabbal and/or pickles
Shish Tawook: Skewered chicken dish; can be served with French fries or pita bread
Dolma: Grape leaves, chard, and cabbage stuffed with rice, ground meat, pine nuts, and spices. Will be stewed in oil and tomato
Kofta: Common Pakistani or Iranian dish; minced lamb or beef balls; served with its own spicy sauce
Kibbeh (aka kibbe): A Turkish dish made of bulghur, minced onions and finely ground meat; most common: torpedo shaped fried croquette with minced meat
Shawarma:Meat, such as lamb, turkey, beef or veal are placed on spit for hours at a time; shavings cuts off for serving; usually eaten with tabouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato and cucumbers
Quwarmah Al Dajaj: Curried chicken; has lime, ginger, turmeric, baharat, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika
Mansaf: Mutton with yogurt sauce; sprinkled with almonds and pine nuts
Umm Ali: Egyptian bread pudding; made with milk and cream; can contain vanilla, pistachios, condensed milk, raisins and/or croissant piece
Knafeh: cheesecake made of Nabusi cheese
Kebab Karaz (aka cherry kebab or desert candy): Syrian candy that contains sour cherries and pomegranate pip
Baklava: pastry made of filo dough; can contain nuts, sweet syrup and honey
I’m sure I’ve left out at least one or two staples, yet only a true Middle Eastern could share from experience. If any one has any particular food staples in their house, please enlighten us!
Care for diabetes is a long term treatment lifestyle. When left untreated, it can lead to serious complications that can leave devastating results.
Taking care of yourself and monitoring changes in your body and your environment is critical for optimal care. By eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, lean meats and limiting sodium content, you’re more than half way there in beating the odds of diabetic complications!
Tips for Better Care
Diabetics are 40% more likely to have glaucoma than those without diabetes—risk increases with age
Vision suffers due to retina and nerve damage over time
Cataracts: Diabetics are 60% more likely to develop cataracts than nondiabetics; cataracts blocks light, making lens “cloudy”
Retinopathy: all disorders of retina caused by diabetes; 2 types: proliferative and nonproliferative
Factors influencing retinopathy development: genes, how long one’s had DM; blood sugar and blood pressure levels
Wear sunglasses more often
Use glare control lenses in glasses
Keep blood sugars closer to normal
Delayed gastric (stomach) emptying
If vagus nerve, which controls the muscles of stomach and intestines do not work properlyàmovement of food stops or slows
Symptoms: lack of appetite, gastroesophageal reflux, spasms of stomach wall, erratic blood sugar levels, weight loss, abdominal bleeding, early satiety, heartburn, etc.
Use talcum powder in places with skin to skin touch
If skin’s dry, limit bubble baths
Avoid very hot showers or baths
Limit moisturized in between toes
Use mild shampoos
Avoid feminine hygiene sprays
See a dermatologist
During cold, dry months, bathe less if possible
Treat cuts right away with antibiotic cream
Check feet daily for sores and cuts
A diabetic has a 1.5 times higher risk of having a stroke
Lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol on target with physical exercise, medicine and healthy eating
You’ve probably noticed that most, if not all, of these complications can be controlled with blood sugar levels. By taking a proactive approach to treating you diabetes, you could live a more worry free life!
I’m sure you know pickles are no longer limited to being served as a garnish to a hamburger or with your fries. Since the 1960s, the act of pickling has been a time of relishing. Pun intended.
Pickling’s a creative way to alter food’s taste and texture. With so many ways to pickle, there’s bound to be at least one type you like–vinegar, fermented, fruit, cucumber, beets, bean paste, relishes, kimchi, kraut, etc. The variety of pickling is dictated by ingredients used and preparation method.
Caution–pickling requires a good amount of salt to inhibit spoilage and and bacteria. In moderation, one can enjoy a pickle or two. 1 pickle spear=300 mg of sodium. Also, when able opt for dill or lacto fermented variety instead of sweet or bread and butter. Check out previous post on The Salt Review for a refresher course on the difference between salt and sodium.
Furthermore, to reduce risk of spoiling, it’s recommended to process pickles in boiling water.