Meeting the Holiday Challenge

November 27, 2017

Multi Generation Family Eating Lunch At Kitchen Table

The holidays are a good time to think about what is actually a “smart serving”!

No wonder it is hard for us to recognize a “smart serving.” We’ve become aware, over the years, that portion sizes have grown in restaurants and by manufacturers but may not recognize all of the ways they have become a “new normal.”

Think about it. Automobile manufacturers have expanded the size of cup holders to accommodate larger sizes of drinks. Our plates and other dishes are larger than those of years ago. Even in classic cookbooks, recipe servings have increased. When it comes to holiday comfort foods and goodies, it seems that too often we develop an attitude of all things go. And too often, around the New Year, we begin to regret it.

Using the following tips, it is possible to enjoy those holiday foods and develop healthier holiday habits:

  • Offer fruits and/or vegetables every time food is served. The fiber, volume and lower caloric density of these foods help to fill you up.
  • Cut desserts in half or serve in small portions.
  • Eat slowly and recognize feelings of fullness. Stop when feeling pleasantly full instead of uncomfortably full.
  • Rather than skipping meals, choose to eat them on a regular schedule.
  • Put food on a plate so you recognize how much you are eating.

The following recipe from The American Diabetes Association is an example of a portion controlled, festive holiday snack or side dish.

Caprese Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 18 bamboo mini forks or small skewers
  • 18 grape tomatoes
  • 18 small basil leaves, folded in half
  • 18 fresh mozzarella balls (1/4 ounce each)

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  • Place 1 grape tomato, 1 basil leaf, and 1 mozzarella ball on each bamboo fork/skewer. Repeat this process for 18 kabobs. Place the kabobs on a serving platter.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Right before serving, pour the dressing over the kabobs to coat evenly.
Advertisements

Mix and Learn

November 7, 2016

Happy kids preparing a meal in the kitchen

When it comes to kids, cooking provides one of the best ways for learning about healthy eating without them being aware they are learning! At holiday time, simple mixes make a festive snack and can provide many teachable moments. Try it. You may like it!

If you are a classroom teacher, consider giving the following recipe to room mothers for holiday party preparation rather than having the kids mix it up. However, with teachable moments you can still give kids some touch, smell, taste and learn experiences!

Snack Mix Recipe

4 cups Wheat Chex cereal
4 cups Cheerios
2 cups mini pretzels
6 cups packaged popcorn
1 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (such as cran-raisin)
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients. Makes approximately 25-¾ cup servings.

Note: Save the Nutrition Facts labels for each ingredient.

Teachable moments:

  1. Identify MyPlate food groups for each ingredient. Discover which ingredient does not belong to any food group.
  2. Look at the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list.
    • Look at each label for the serving size. Use a measuring cup to demonstrate the size.
    • Look at each recipe ingredient for the amount of sugar it contains. (As a reference, four grams of sugar is about 1 teaspoon.) Which ingredients have the most sugar? Look at the recipe and amount of each ingredient in the recipe. Related to healthier balance, ask why the recipe has smaller amounts of dried fruit and chocolate chips than cereal.
    • Find the products with whole grain listed as a first ingredient. Point out that MyPlate encourages us to eat more whole grains.

happy-valentines-day-40

Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks printable

Here are a few examples from our printable:

Valentine Fruit Bouquet – Using red or pink plastic skewers, alternate watermelon cubes, strawberries, cherries and red seedless grapes. Add a low-fat vanilla or berry yogurt for dipping!

Eat Your Heart Out Popcorn – Fresh popped popcorn lightly kissed with cinnamon sugar is special.

Tiny Treat Bags – Tie snack or sandwich size plastic bags with a red or pink ribbon. Add just a sprinkling of red and white chocolate covered candies to some tasty combinations such as:

  • Cran-raisins, almonds and pecans
  • Dried cherries, almonds and dried banana
  • Dried apples, peanuts and walnuts

The link to our printable list is: Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks

 

 

Cigna Dallas RSCE Breakfast teamLooking to get kids and adults involved in healthy food preparation and cooking?

We have an educational event that showcases quick and easy meal preparation called Ready, Set, Cook and Eat!™(RSCE).

Help kids hear the message that food preparation and cooking can be fun and tasty. Let them see examples of healthy, yummy food choices. Let them do by offering a RSCE event.

Where?
Use RSCE in family & consumer science classes, afterschool programs, at parents’ night or community events!

How?

  • Three teams are formed with 3-4 participants and a team leader.
  • The teams are given 30-45 minutes to prepare a main dish and/or side dishes using items provided for them in a grocery bag.
  • Each team has different grocery bag ingredients that vary according to the program showcased, such as breakfast or snack ideas.
  • While the teams are busy, 2 emcees move through the audience sharing fun food trivia and healthy eating and physical activity tips. It’s a fun experience for all who attend!

Need more info?

It’s blueberry season so here’s a yummy fruit lesson for the little ones…True Blue-Yummy Too! Tasting Activities (adapted Berry, Berry, Good imagefrom HKC’s (Pre-K) Berry, Berry Good booklet ).

  1. Introduce blueberries as a fruit (show examples and have enough for kids to taste).
  2. Have kids use their senses to touch, see and smell the blueberries. Discuss the blueberry’s shape and color.
  3. Talk about where blueberries come from.
  4. Let kids taste a single blueberry and let them know they will also get to taste blueberries in a bran muffin they are going to help make.

Blueberry Bran Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:
1 commercial bran muffin mix
1 cup canned, frozen or fresh blueberries

Supplies: bowl, spoon, muffin tins, oven, (can opener, if needed)

Directions:

  1. Prepare muffins according to package directions and allow kids to assist as able (pouring ingredients, stirring).
  2. Stir in 1 cup blueberries for each package of muffin mix.
  3. Fill muffin tins, bake according to directions, cool, and serve tasting samples for kids to try.

HEAR-SEE-DO for Summer Learning:

Help kids hear the message that blueberries are a tasty fruit.
Let them see with blueberry food examples.
Let them do with food preparation and tasting activities.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

happy-valentines-day-40Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks
Here are a few examples from our printable:

Valentine Fruit Bouquet – Using red or pink plastic skewers, alternate watermelon cubes, strawberries, cherries and red seedless grapes. Add a low-fat vanilla or berry yogurt for dipping!

Eat Your Heart Out Popcorn – Fresh popped popcorn lightly kissed with cinnamon sugar is special.

Tiny Treat Bags – Tie snack or sandwich size plastic bags with a red or pink ribbon. Add just a sprinkling of red and white chocolate covered candies to some tasty combinations such as:

  • Cran-raisins, almonds and pecans
  • Dried cherries, almonds and dried banana
  • Dried apples, peanuts and walnuts

The link to our printable list is: Healthy Kids Challenge Valentine’s Day Snacks

Healthy6 ideas provide easy to teach, learn, and practice nutrition and active play activities.
Use our simple ways to make nutrition education easy!

Holiday Pinwheels RecipeHappy kids preparing a meal in the kitchen
Holiday Berry Fruit Dip Recipe
Snack Attack “Healthy Celebration Snacks
Drink Think “Choose Power Beverages
Active Play, Balance My Day “Brain Breaks

%d bloggers like this: