Friday, April 28, 2017

National Arbor Day

"Arbor Day is a time to celebrate the wonders of nature, and to plan for an even greener future by planting and caring for trees."

Our Fruit Trees

John Denver - Plant a Tree

While growing up in East Meadow, New York, we had a huge apple tree in our yard. I would climb up the tree and sit on the branches for hours. I loved eating the apples while watching the world below.

When Jake and I moved into our home in 1998 we planted a mango tree. We watched it grow and flourish. Then in 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit and damaged the tree. For years we tried to nurse the tree back to health, but the infection had spread into the roots.

Finally on April 25, 2012, we had the old tree removed; and we replanted a new Valencia pride mango tree.

Planting a fruit tree is good for the environment, economical, and marks  special moments in one’s life.


Visit the Arbor Day Foundation. Resources, membership, free trees and a lot more.

Our Nation's Forests are National Treasures


April 28, World Day for Safety and Health at Work



"Worldwide, occupational diseases continue to be the leading cause of work-related deaths. According to ILO estimates, out of 2.34 million occupational fatalities every year, only 321,000 are due to accidents. The remaining 2.02 million deaths are caused by various types of work-related diseases, which correspond to a daily average of more than 5,500 deaths. This is an unacceptable Decent Work deficit.

The inadequate prevention of occupational diseases has profound negative effects not only on workers and their families but also on society at large due to the tremendous costs that it generates; particularly, in terms of loss of productivity and burdening of social security systems."



On Apr 28, 1970 (signed into law in 1971) was the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Safety in Restaurants
Slips and Falls


Foodborne Disease OSHA Standards
Control and Prevention

Control of foodborne diseases is based on avoidance of contaminated food, destruction of contaminants, and prevention of further spread of contaminants. Prevention is dependent upon proper cooking and storing practices, and personal hygiene of food handlers.

The quality of food, and controls used to prevent foodborne diseases, are primarily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local public health authorities. These diseases may be occupationally related if they affect the food processors (e.g., poultry processing workers), food preparers and servers (e.g., cooks, waiters), or workers who are provided food at the worksite.

Section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA Act, often referred to as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to "furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees". Section 5(a)(2) requires employers to "comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act".

Resources
1. Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health


National Office
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

National Soft Pretzel Month and April 26 National Pretzel Day

In the 20th century, soft pretzels became popular in other regions of the United States. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York became renowned for their soft pretzels. The key to success was the introduction of the new mass production methods of the industrialized age, which increased the availability and quantity, and the opening up of multiple points of distribution at schools, convenience and grocery stores, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, arenas, concert halls, and sport stadiums. Prior to that, street vendors used to sell pretzels on street corners in wooden glass-enclosed cases.



Pretzel Dips

Nutrition Information

Pretzel Recipe: Pizza Pretzel with
Pasta Sauce

In 2003, Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell declares April 26 National Pretzel Day to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state's history and economy.

In particular, the S-shaped soft pretzel, often served with brown mustard, became iconic in Philadelphia and was established as a part of Philadelphia's cuisine for snacking at school, work, or home, and considered by most to be a quick meal. The average Philadelphian today consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.

Pennsylvania today is the center of American pretzel production for both the hard-crispy and the soft-bread types of pretzels. Southeastern Pennsylvania, with its large population of German background, is considered the birthplace of the American pretzel industry, and many pretzel bakers are still located in the area. Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation's pretzels.

The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million. The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg) of pretzels per year.

The privately run "Pretzel Museum" opened in Philadelphia in 1993. In 2003, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 "National Pretzel Day" to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state's history and economy. Philly Pretzel Factory stores offer a free pretzel to each customer on this day.





Resources
1, Pretzel, From Wikipedia
2. Soft Pretzels, Pinterest

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April is Global Child Nutrition Month






Global Child Nutrition Month and the Global Child Nutrition Foundation is running a month-long campaign to help raise funds and awareness for school feeding programs in developing nations.

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation was created in 2006 with the mission of expanding opportunities for the world’s children to receive adequate nutrition for learning and achieving their potential. It continues and expands upon the work of the Global Child Nutrition Forum, formerly conducted by the School Nutrition Association (SNA). Created in 1946, SNA advocates healthy nutrition for every child in the United States.

GCNF is dedicated to helping countries develop and operate successful, sustainable, school feeding programs. GCNF provides training and education to support the development of community-based school feeding programs that respond to the nutritional needs of children, while considering local cultural and community values.





To learn more about the work of Global Child Nutrition Foundation, please visit their website.

Your support of GCNF and commitment to ending childhood hunger makes a difference in the lives of the world’s children.

Investing in world's poorest children
can save millions of lives, UN study finds



Children of the World

Monday, April 24, 2017

National Youth Sports Safety Month and Nutritional Needs

Written by Tracy S. Williams, BS, Nutrition Educator. 
Learn more about Tracy at Tracy's Plate


April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, created to focus attention on sports safety and injury prevention for children and teen athletes. Proper nutrition is also important for healthy youth athletics. Eating right will help children and teens to be healthier and stronger for competition and in their daily life.

In addition, August 24 - August 28, 2017 is National Playground Safety WeekNational Playground Safety Week is a time to focus on children's outdoor play environments. A time to pledge to use good judgment when playing. A time for gratitude for all the adults who work tirelessly on maintaining our playgrounds.



Feeding Young Athletes

While feeding a child athlete may seem like a challenge, it only requires a little knowledge and extra planning. Children need optimal nutrition for fueling and recovery from training as well as meet the calorie demands of growth and maturation. It is important to help kids refuel with carbohydrates, focusing on family mealtime before and after practice or competition.

It is ideal for the family to sit down together for a pre-game breakfast. Three hours beforehand, an optimal pre-game breakfast could include sliced and slightly grilled potatoes, paired with scrambled eggs and nutrient rich fruit such as berries and orange juice or fat-free or low-fat milk. Hydration is always important before, during and after practice and competitions. Dehydration occurs when your child fails to adequately replace fluid loss through sweating. Dehydration that exceeds 2% of body weight loss harms exercise performance, so make sure your child replace fluid loss after exercise performance, so make sure your child drinks small amounts of water throughout the game. Potassium and carbohydrates are important nutrients to replenish after exercise. Potassium and carbohydrates are found in bananas, potatoes, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt or milk. Chocolate milk is a particularly good post-competition recovery beverage.

If you have more than one child in sports, the hours after practice or a weekday competition may require snacking before dinner. Have pre-prepared snacks ready when kids arrive home hungry after a hard after-school practice or game. These snacks can be cut-up fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and smoothies. For a tasty and filling post-game family dinner, serve baked or broiled lean cuts of meat such as lean beef or pork, chicken breast, salmon or tuna. Add whole grains, like whole-wheat pasta with a low-fat tomato or cheese sauce. Toss in vegetables or include a side salad. Parents and kids should complete their meal with fruit for dessert, such as baked apples or pears along with a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk. Or create an instant yogurt parfait with layers of low-fat vanilla yogurt, fresh, frozen or canned fruit, and crunchy whole grain cereal. Be sure to consume all five food groups throughout the day, protein, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy to give your family and young athletes the nutrients and calories they need.

Eating Adequate Calories and Nutrients

Young athletes often push themselves harder than usual, training intensely to gain a competitive edge. This increased activity requires eating more calories to meet the demands of training and recovery in addition to calories needed for growth and development. Children and teens may not understand how their calorie need translate into daily food choices. Bone health is a major concern as girls and boys build 60 to 80 percent of their lifetime bone mass by age 18. If young athletes restrict their eating to keep weight down for sports like gymnastics, skating or wrestling, bone growth may be diminished. Restricted diets can also be low in calcium, vitamin D, which contributes to poor bone formation.

Other potential effects of eating too few calories are increased risk of injury, and lowered endurance and decreased muscle strength. It can also reduce response to training, decrease coordination, and impair judgment and increase irritability and depression. The good news is correcting low calorie intake can get athletic performance back to optimum levels.

It is important for parents to teach their children about the calorie demands of their training and the relationship proper nutrition, to good bone health and injury prevention and optimal training. Keep an eye out for weight loss and changes in mood as well as create a supportive environment in which girls and boys can consume three meals and one to three snacks per day. Missing one meal on a regular basis can result in an inadequate calorie intake.

School Nutrition for Athletes

A well balanced diet provides children and teen athletes with the calories and nutrients they need to power their workouts and support their rapid growth. According to a study in the 2006 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children and teens who play team sports have slightly better eating habits and higher intakes of key nutrients than kids who do not, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Today breakfast is often available at school, so if students are late risers or are not ready to eat when they get up in the morning, they can still grab breakfast before class. When kids do not eat breakfast, they miss out on a big chunk of their day’s nutrition. That can rob them of important nutrients and also take its toll on their energy levels at practice later in the day.

Active kids need protein to support growth and build and repair hardworking muscles. Today protein is leaner than ever because of USDA guidelines encouraging schools to limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of overall calories. That means leaner meats, skinless chicken and low-fat dairy in yogurt parfaits, bean and cheese burritos, and egg and cheese wraps for breakfast. Turkey burgers and southwestern chef salads and rice and bean bowls at lunch.

Carbohydrates are the optimal fuel for sports and exercise because they are naturally used for proper energy. The best place to get them is from slowly digested, nutrient-rich whole grains. At breakfast kids will now start their day with whole grain versions of cereal, mini pancakes, and zucchini or banana bread. For lunch they will dig into whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken sandwiches on whole grain buns and baked chicken tenders with brown rice.

Good hydration should begin early in the day before kids even set foot on the playing field. While sports drinks might be a smart move, water is better for hydration for training that only lasts an hour. Sports drinks are best when used for a two hour training session or during games.

Parents can provide nutritious meals after a game or training session. Hard training could contribute to eating disorder if athletes do not have proper nutrition. School cafeterias can contribute to proper nutrition for student athletes. Nutrition will always be a key component for the safety and strength for all athletes.
           


Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23, National Picnic Day - Food Safety


Picnic Food Safety


Before you begin setting out your picnic feast, make sure hands and surfaces are clean.

Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood should be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.

Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. This will prevent the perishable foods from being exposed to warm outdoor temperatures.

Limit the number of times the cooler is opened so as to keep the contents cold longer.

Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared and cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler.


For more food safety tips, visit 


http://homefoodsafety.org





Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 22, Earth Day
March for Science


Small Changes, Make a Big Difference

April 22, 1970 was the first Earth Day and it awakened almost 20 million Americans from all walks of life to launch the modern environmental movement. From that first earth day came the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other environmental laws. Today the Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.


Earth 50 


A Billion Acts of Green®
A Billion Acts of Green® – the largest environmental service campaign in the world – inspires and rewards simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. 


Earth - Small Changes make a Big Difference

YouTube has a wide range of resources, from the young, older, news, family, scientist, schools, communities, governments and industry describing how they are making a difference and how we can make a difference in saving our Earth.

Mobilize The Earth


Green Mom

Cost of Food
Americans have been spending less and less on what we eat. But those savings come with a high cost: obesity, diabetes, and big health care bills. Here's a look at how our diet has changed over the last 50 years, and what we can do to make it better.


Recycle Guys


Friday, April 21, 2017

April is National Donate Life Month


April is National Donate Life Month
Find out how you can get involved.

 

Risk Factors For Organ Failure
* Obesity
* Diabetes
* Hypertension/Heart Disease/Stroke
* Life Style Choices

 Reduce Risks with Healthy Habits
* Stay Heart Healthy
* Follow the US Dietary guidelines
* Follow an Exercise program
* Go for an annual check-up with your Doctor

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20, Lima Bean Respect Day


Lima beans are fresh in summer, though they are most commonly found dried, canned or frozen, all year long. Lima beans are also known as "Butter Beans"  in many parts of the United States.

There are warnings to avoid raw lima beans because they contain linamarin (also called cyanogens), which releases a cyanide compound when the seed coat is opened," according to Fruits and Veggies Matter. Linamarin is deactivated during cooking.

Nutrition Information

Modified Recipes
Lima Bean Burgers

Serves 4
Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) can lima beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray. 
2. In a medium bowl, mash lima beans with a fork until thick and pasty. Finely chop bell pepper, 
onion and garlic and stir into mashed beans.
3. In a small bowl, stir together egg whites, chili powder, and cumin. Stir the egg mixture into the 
mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. 
4. Divide mixture into four patties. 
5. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.
6. Serve on a whole wheat hamburger bun with kale, onion, tomato slices, and avocado.

Nutrition Facts: 255 Calories; 12g Protein; 44g Carbohydrates; 9g Dietary Fiber; 6g Total Sugars; 5g Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 28mcg Folate; 4mg  Iron; 358mg Sodium

with Mint Vinaigrette (original recipe) from Emeril Lagasse, 
"Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Eating Fresh"

The recipe needed very little modification, but with a few changes we were able to lower the calories, fat, sodium and sugar content. Excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and Folate and a good source of iron and calcium.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture
presents a Food for Thought 
video on Lima Beans.

Lima Beans: Educational Resources

Butter Beans and Lima Beans (PDF)
University of Florida. Sarasota County Extension.
Explores the difference between butter beans and lima beans.
Also provides nutritional information and recipes.

Kentucky Lima Beans (PDF)
Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Information about selection, storage, preparation and a recipe.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

National Park Week - Food Safety

National Park Week is America's largest celebration of national heritage. It's about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks! It's all happening in your national parks. The National Park Service is once again partnering with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week from April 15 to 23, 2017.

April 19 - National Garlic Day
Effectiveness of Garlic as a Medical Treatment


Garlic comes from the lily family and is the edible bulb from a plant. It is used as a spice to enhance the flavor of foods and in medicine, Garlic claims have been made to cure heart disease, cancer, colds, hair loss, bug repellant and many other medical conditions.

The medical research on the safety and effectiveness of garlic has been limited, flawed, inconclusive or failed to prove its curative powers in most of the claims made.

The following conditions have been rated based on the scientific evidence available as to the effectiveness of Garlic as a treatment. From Medline, a service to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services. Go to Medline for a complete listing of the findings presented.

Ratings
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use;
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use.

High Cholesterol (Rate B). Multiple studies in humans have reported small reductions in total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins ("bad cholesterol") over short periods of time (4 to 12 weeks). It is not clear if there are benefits after this amount of time. Effects on high-density lipoproteins ("good cholesterol") are not clear. This remains an area of controversy. Well-designed and longer studies are needed in this area.

Anti-fungal, applied to the skin (Rate C). Several studies describe the application of garlic to the skin to treat fungal infections, including yeast infections. Garlic can cause severe burns and rash when applied to the skin of sensitive individuals.

Anti-platelet effects, blood thinning (Rate C).   Garlic has been associated with several cases of bleeding, therapy should be applied with caution (particularly in patients using other agents that may precipitate bleeding).

Atherosclerosis, hardening" of the arteries (Rate C).   Preliminary research in humans suggests that deposits of cholesterol in blood vessels may not grow as quickly in people who take garlic. It is not clear if this is due to the ability of garlic to lower cholesterol levels, or to other effects of garlic.

Cancer (Rate C).  Preliminary human studies suggest that regular consumption of garlic (particularly unprocessed garlic) may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer including gastric and colorectal malignancies. Some studies use multi-ingredient products so it is difficult to determine if garlic alone may play a beneficial role. Further well designed human clinical trials are needed to conclude whether eating garlic or taking garlic supplements may prevent or treat cancer.

High blood pressure (Rate C).  Numerous human studies report that garlic can lower blood pressure by a small amount, but larger, well-designed studies are needed to confirm this possible effect.

Tick repellant (Rate C).  In early study, self-reports of tick bites were significantly less in people receiving garlic over a placebo "sugar" pill. Further well designed study is needed to confirm these results.

Upper respiratory tract infection (Rate C).  Preliminary reports suggest that garlic may reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. However, this has not been demonstrated in well-designed human studies.

Diabetes (Rate D).  Animal studies suggest that garlic may lower blood sugar and increase the release of insulin, but studies in humans do not confirm this effect.


Heart Smart® Tip of the Day: Garlic with
Darlene Zimmerman, RDN




Does fresh-cut garlic really
reduce the risk of heart disease?



Why go to the market,
when you can grow garlic in your garden.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 18, National Animal Crackers Day


Animal crackers are usually in the shape of circus animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and elephants. During the late 1800's, animal crackers were imported from England to the United States. The first batch of animal crackers were made by Stauffer's Biscuit Company in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or "Nabisco Brands." In 1902, the animal cracker's box officially became "Barnum's Animals" with the circus themed box.

Animal Cracker Nutrition

Create Fun and Healthier Snacks





Shirley Temple - Animal Crackers in My Soup







Monday, April 17, 2017

April, Emotional Overeating Month



Do you eat when you are anxious or excited? Does food make you feel better? If so, you may be conditioned to turn to food for comfort. April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month.

For many people, eating is something to do when you're bored, tired, anxious or dealing with emotions. Often these behaviors can lead to overeating. But eating to cope with emotions can lead to more negative feelings (guilt, lack of personal control and poor self esteem) and perhaps to a cycle of mood-triggered eating.

If you eat because of emotions, start keeping a food record of what you eat, when you eat and why you eat. Recognizing what triggers eating can often make it easier to make changes.


How to stop emotional eating with
Susie Garcia, RDN






Resources
1. Emotional Eating: What Helps, WebMD 



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day of the Mushroom

Growing Your Own Mushrooms

How Mushrooms are Made


Different Ways to Enjoy Mushrooms



1. Add mushrooms to egg white omelet.
2. Sauté, Grill, Broil, Roast or Steam mushrooms. Add to soup, salads, pasta, rice - the combinations are numerous.
3. Add fresh mushrooms to salad.

4. Stuff mushrooms

Resources
1. Fruits and Veggies, More Matters: Mushrooms: Nutrition, Selection, and Storage
2. Wikipedia, Mushrooms
3. Kitchen Dictionary: Mushroom


Nutrition.gov News

Dietitian Blog List