In this issue:
- Featured Recipe: Halibut Vinaigrette with Simmered Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper Dice
- Myra's Kitchen Corner: Steer Your Kids to a Lifetime of Healthy Eating Habits
- We Want Your Opinion
- A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Say Ah to Spring!
- The Many Benefits of Meal Planning
- What's New with MyFoodMyHealth: 200 Delicious, New Recipes
- MyFoodMyHealth Recommends
Featured Recipe: Halibut Vinaigrette with Simmered Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper Dice
Delicate halibut paired with seasonal asparagus makes for a light and healthy spring meal.
Myra's Kitchen Corner: Steer Your Kids to a Lifetime of Healthy Eating Habits
Now more than ever, it seems parents are at a loss as to what to feed the kids and how to get them to eat. Kids are no longer eating what their parents eat, restaurants serve the same limited children’s menus, and kids are asked on a daily basis to decide what they prefer to eat. Food allergies are rampant.
Here are a few pointers to stop the madness and to steer your kids to a lifetime of good habits:
If possible, start your kids off eating the foods you eat. If you have fed kids what you have eaten all along and you have a balanced diet, congratulations! Kids have eaten what their parents ate until relatively recently. If you have gone down the slippery pathway of feeding your kid a diet of convenience foods such as pasta, dried cereal, boxed mac 'n' cheese, and frozen chicken tenders, you will need to make some changes. The good news is that change is possible.
Take back the reins. Dispense with the idea of kid food. A two-year-old who has been raised on junk food – when asked what he or she wants to eat – will inevitably choose refined carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pasta, dry cereal, and sugar. Kids are ill-equipped to decide what they should be eating. Even if your child has multiple food allergies, or is merely a picky eater, it’s possible to make real changes and get him or her on track with good habits. The responsibility for setting them up for a lifetime of good or bad habits is yours. You decide what to put in front of them. Do you really want to be serving multiple meals?
Set an example. First, clear your pantry of junk, and replace it with food that has some real nutritive value. Start with yourself; get back into the kitchen and make home-cooked meals. Get your kids used to watching you eat healthy foods. Nothing is more powerful than the example that you set. Get rid of all distractions at mealtime, including books, TV, video games, smart phones, and toys. Make mealtime a relaxed family time.
Have designated meal and snack times. This will help so that your children are not grazing all day long. Time and again I have watched kids not want to eat anything at dinner, since they have been snacking on cereal and crackers throughout the day. They do best when there are regular meal times. If you establish times for three designated meals and two snacks, your kids will be more likely to eat meals. Avoid letting them eat snacks too close to dinner.
We Want Your Opinion
Should we publish a kid-friendly cookbook?
We recently sent out a short, two-question survey about your interest in MyFoodMyHealth publishing an electronic cookbook filled with fun and easy kid-friendly recipes. Your opinion is extremely valuable to us, so we thought we'd give those of you who haven't replied to the survey one more chance to give us your opinion.
Thank you for helping us make MyFoodMyHealth even better!
A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Say Ah to Spring!
By Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN
Spring is in the air and the greening of the land is a welcome relief after a relentless winter. But for some of you, this time of year may also bring sniffles, sneezes, and other allergy symptoms from the pollen prolific environment. You might also experience itching, burning, tingling of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat within minutes of consuming certain fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This is due to the “cross-talk” between tree and weed pollens and proteins in certain uncooked foods that result in a cluster of oral symptoms.
“Pollen food syndrome”, also known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS) occurs in almost 70% of people with pollen allergies. It is the most common food-related allergy in adults. OAS is diagnosed when there is a history of seasonal allergic rhinitis triggered by pollens and oral symptoms after ingestion of certain foods.
Hay fever sufferers should be aware of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts that commonly cross react with pollens and incite the annoying oral reactions including:
Alder: almonds, apples, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, parsley, strawberry, raspberry
Birch: almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, carrots, celery, cherries, chicory, coriander, fennel, fig, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, nectarines, parsley, parsnips, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, potatoes, prunes, soybeans, strawberries, wheat, and possibly walnuts
Grass: melons, tomatoes, oranges, potatoes
Mugwort: carrots, celery, coriander, fennel, parsley, peppers, sunflower
Ragweed: artichoke, banana, chamomile, cucumber, dandelions, echinacea, hibiscus, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon)
Fortunately, cooking or baking the foods significantly decreases the likelihood of a reaction. Here’s a springtime MyFoodMyHealth recipe for Moroccan Fish Kebabs with Cilantro, Green Peppers & Garlic Sauce that not only tastes delicious but will keep those bothersome oral symptoms at bay and spell relief for hay fever sufferers.
My Foundation Diet Expanded Second Edition
Now with flexitarian and vegetarian recipes & meal plans
The My Foundation Diet created by Kathie in conjunction with MyFoodMyHealth is a seasonal, delicious, whole foods approach to optimizing your health and genetic potential.
Learn more about the My Foundation Diet
Learn more about Kathie
The Many Benefits of Meal Planning
Work, school, sports, music lessons, homework, and other activities keep most families going at a hectic pace. Combine this with rising food prices and tight family food budgets and many parents feel overwhelmed trying to get a healthy meal on the table. But according to experts such as the American Dietetic Association, a healthy meal does not need to be an expensive or complicated production. In fact, when you take just a little time for meal planning you and your family gain many benefits.
More time and less stress. Eliminate the aimless search for ingredients in your cupboard and the mad dash to the grocery store on your way home from work. Instead, go to the grocery store once a week with the shopping list from your meal plan with you. It will make shopping easier, more convenient, and less time consuming. Plus, when you know your menu in advance and you have the ingredients handy, you save time and can make mealtime more harmonious and enjoyable for everyone.
Less money. When you follow a meal plan you are less likely to buy impulse items, expensive processed foods or more food than your family will eat. The results? You can stretch your food budget more, waste less food, and get your family eating more nutrient-dense foods. Plus, if you have a plan you are much less likely to stop for expensive take out, fast food, or restaurant meals. This can save you a great deal on food, giving you more money to spend on other things for your family.
Improved nutrition. According to many nutrition experts and organizations like the CDC and FDA, having a meal plan with a menu and shopping list for the week is a good way to plan for healthy meals that support your family’s nutrition needs today, while establishing life-long healthy eating habits. Using a meal planner gives you more control and takes the guesswork out of serving meals that are high in nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, and lean meats and dairy while limiting sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains.
More quality family time. If you cut out the time scrambling around for last minute grocery shopping and meal preparation you have more time to enjoy cooking together in the kitchen and bonding over meals as a family. This quality time nourishes children emotionally and is beneficial to long-term eating habits. In fact, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, teenagers who sit down to meals with their families eat a healthier diet overall and may have healthier diets as adults.
What's New with MyFoodMyHealth:
200 Delicious, New Recipes
The MyFoodMyHealth chefs have been cooking it up in the kitchen for you and have added more than 200 new recipes recently. Approximately 150 of these get our Kid Friendly designation. Subscribers can find these by looking for the Kid Friendly symbol in the recipe chooser. Also included in the mix are 10 wonderful fish recipes like the one featured above for Halibut Vinaigrette with Simmered Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper Dice from MyFoodMyHealth chef Jay Weinstein.
Learn more about Jay Weinstein
By Chef Laura Pole
Soul Savory is a cookbook created as a project of the Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts, Breast Care Navigator Program and edited by MyFoodMyHealth chef Laura Pole. It's filled with delicious, soul, southern and traditional African recipes submitted by members of several black churches in Washington, DC, as well as members of the African Women's Cancer Awareness Association (AWCAA). For outstanding homecooking recipes it is a wonderful addition to any kitchen. The book is not for sale, but you may request a copy in return for a donation to cover shipping and handling charges. To request a copy please contact Smith Farm Center at 202-483-8600, while supplies last.
Learn more about Laura Pole
Earth Cafe Cheesecake
Hungry for some delicious, decadent cheesecake? If you love cheesecake, but want a healthier version then we have the dessert for you. Earth Cafe makes decadent cheesecakes that are truly scrumptious in every bite. These raw, vegan cheesecakes are gluten, dairy and cholesterol free and are made without refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, or artificial colors and flavors. MyFoodMyHealth staff can't get enough of them. Try one for yourself. You will be glad you did.
You can find Earth Cafe desserts on line or at a store near you.
Food as Medicine Conference
If you are a health professional interested in learning the latest, most comprehensive, science-based information on nutrition, then we'd like to recommend the Food As Medicine Conference (FAM). The conference offers practical training on how to integrate nutrition into clinical practice, medical education and community health from some of the leading experts in the field. It's the nation’s leading clinical nutrition training program for healthcare professionals.
June 9 - 12, 2011
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Washington, DC area
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