Friday, March 31, 2017

National Nutrition Month and Beyond
Put Your Best Fork Forward

Throughout the month of March we celebrated National Nutrition Month® (NNM), a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy). The campaign focused  attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The March 2017 theme for National Nutrition Month® is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” 






The theme serves as a reminder - "Each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices." Making small changes over time helps improve health now and into the future. As nutrition experts, Academy members can help guide the public on gradually shifting toward healthier eating styles.





Resources
Visit the Academy’s website to view a library of recipes designed to help you “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

As part of this public education campaign, the Academy’s National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition based on the “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Eat Right with Colors

"Eat Right with Colors"  explores the health benefits associated with eating foods of many colors. "Eating a rainbow" refers to including color diversity in your meals and food choices, so as to enhance your intake of a wide range of nutrients. 



Red and Pink Foods
Apples, Beets, Cayenne, Cherries, Cranberries, Guava, Kidney Beans, Papaya, Pink Beans, Pink/Red Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Bell Peppers, Red Cabbages, Red Chili Peppers, Red Corn, Red Currants, Red Grapes, Red Onions, Red Pears, Red Peppers, Red Plums, Red Potatoes, Red Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelons

Green Foods
Alfalfa, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Chives, Collard Greens, Cucumbers, Dandelion Greens, Edamame, Endive, Fennel, Green apples, Green Beans, Green cabbage, Green Grapes, Green Olives, Green Onion, Green Pears, Green Peas, Green Pepper, Green Tomatoes, Honeydew, Kale, Kiwi, Leeks, Lettuce, Limes, Mint, Okra, Oregano, Parsley, Pistachios, Snow Peas, Spinach, Sugar snap peas, Swiss Chard, Tarragon, Tomatillo, Wasabi, Watercress, Zucchini

Blue and Purple Foods
Blue Grapes, Blue and Purple Potatoes, Blueberries, Dried Plums, Plums, Eggplant, Pomegranates, Elderberries, Juniper Berries, Kelp (Seaweed), Purple Belgian Endive, Purple Cabbage, Purple Figs

Yellow and Orange Foods
Apricots, Bananas, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cheddar Cheese, Citrus Fruits, Clementines, Corn, Creamsicle, Garbanzo Beans, Golden Apples, Golden Flax Seed, Golden Raisins, Grapefruit, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin Oranges, Mangoes, Nectarines, Orange Jello, Orange Peppers, Orange Tomatoes, Oranges, Papaya, Parsnips, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Pineapple, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Saffron, Salmon, Spaghetti Squash, Squash Blossoms, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Whole Grains, Yams, Yellow Apples, Yellow Beans, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Summer Squash, Yellow Wax Beans

White and Black Foods
White: Cauliflower, Coconut, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions, Scallions, Horseradish, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Millet, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Quinoa, Shallots, Soy Products, Sunflower Seeds, Tofu, Turnips, White Beans, White Corn, White Sesame Seeds

Black: Black Beans, Black Cherries, Black Currants, Black Mushrooms, Black Olives, Black Quinoa, Black Raspberry, Black Rice, Black Sesame Seeds, Black Soybeans, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Prunes, Raisins, Seaweeds, Tamari (Soy Sauce)


Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). My staff started the project in September 2010. Over the next five months, we would take over 600 photographs of colorful foods in order to create the March presentation for NNM. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (recipenews@gmail.com).

Prepared by
http://www.dietitians-online.com/
http://www.weighing-success.com/
Wellness News (www.weighing-success.com/WellnessNews.html)
Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LD, FAND
Jake Frank
Jonathan Cruz



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Put Your Best Fork Forward - Make at least Half of your Grains Whole Grains





Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.

Make simple switches
To make half your grains whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100% whole-wheat bread or bagels instead of white bread or bagels, or brown rice instead of white rice.

Whole grains can be healthy snacks
Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. Also, try 100% whole-wheat or rye crackers.

Save some time
Cook extra brown rice or whole-wheat pasta when you have time. Refrigerate half to heat and serve later in the week as a quick side dish.

Mix it up with whole grains
Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

Try whole-wheat versions
For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

Bake up some whole-grain goodness
Experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in your favorite pancake or waffle recipes. To limit saturated fat and added sugars, top with fruit instead of butter and syrup.

Be a good role model for children
Set a good example for children by serving and eating whole grains every day with meals or as snacks.

Check the label for fiber
Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the fiber content of whole-grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the Daily Value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.

Know what to look for on the ingredients list
Read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole grain ingredient first on the list. Look for “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “whole-grain cornmeal,” “whole oats,” or “whole rye.”

Be a smart shopper
The color of a food is not an indication that it is a whole-grain food. Foods labeled as “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not 100% whole-grain products, and may not contain any whole grain.


Whole Grain Sampling Day

Whole Grain Sampling Day The Whole Grains Council is holding a Whole Grain Sampling Day. The goal is to have people trying new foods with whole grains. Stop by the Whole Grains Council to learn more and meet some of the companies participating. 

Identifying Whole Grains
Whole Grain Stamps


There are three different varieties of the Whole Grain Stamp: the 100% Stamp, the 50%+ Stamp, and the Basic Stamp.

  • If a product bears the 100% Stamp (left image above), then all its grain ingredients are whole grain. There is a minimum requirement of 16g (16 grams) – a full serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 100% Stamp.
  • If a product bears the 50%+ Stamp (middle image), then at least half of its grain ingredients are whole grain. There is a minimum requirement of 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain per labeled serving, for products using the 50%+ Stamp. The 50%+ Stamp was added to the Whole Grain Stamps in January of 2017, and will begin appearing on products in the spring and summer of 2017.
  • If a product bears the Basic Stamp (right image), it contains at least 8g (8 grams) – a half serving – of whole grain, but may also contain some refined grain.

Examples of Whole Grains
Read the label and look for the following
whole grains as the first ingredient:

Amaranth 
Barley 
Brown Rice 
Buckwheat
Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
Corn (Polenta, Tortillas, Whole Grain Corn/Corn Meal) 
Farro 
Kamut® 
Millet 
Oats, Whole Oats, Oatmeal 
Quinoa 
Rye, Whole Rye 
Sorghum 
Spelt 
Teff 
Triticale Wild Rice
Whole Wheat Flour



Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28, Food on a Stick Day
Put Your Best Fork (or Stick) Forward


Food on a stick is thought to be among the earliest examples of human utensils. The “Kebab” is a dish consisting of small pieces of meat and vegetables threaded onto skewers and grilled. The kebab originated in Persia and later spread to the Middle East and Turkey. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on location and traditions, it may be beef, goat, chicken, pork, fish or seafood. Today the kebab is found worldwide. There are numerous variations of foods you can add to a stick and it's not just limited to meats.

Highlighted below are some of Bon Appétit's Best Foods on a Stick; Fun and Nutritious with Barbara Beery, a kids' cooking instructor and 59 foods on a stick from the Minnesota State Fair.


Modified Vegetable Kebabs with Saffron Butter, 6 servings
Ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine 
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 medium zucchini, each cut crosswise into 6 rounds
2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch squares
1/2 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ears fresh corn, each cut into 6 rounds
6 10-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained

Directions
Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Stir in saffron. Cool 1 hour. Alternate 3 zucchini rounds, 3 red bell pepper squares, 3 red onion pieces, and 2 corn rounds on each skewer. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush kebabs with all but 2 tablespoons saffron butter. Season with salt and pepper; grill until vegetables are tender and brown, turning frequently, about 20 minutes. Brush with remaining butter.

Nutritional Information (1 serving with margarine). 127 Calories; 8 g Fat; 1 g Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 15 mg Sodium; 3 g Dietary Fiber

Nutritional Information (1 serving with butter). 127 Calories; 8 g Fat; 5 g Saturated Fat; 20 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 15 mg Sodium; 3 g Dietary Fiber 
_____________

Passion Fruit and Guava Pops, 8 servings
No modifications were made.
Ingredients
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
7 to 8 ripe passion fruits (about 11 ounces), halved, wrinkled on outside
1 11.5-ounce can guava nectar (about 1 1/2 cups)

Equipment
8 3-ounce disposable paper cups
8 ice pop sticks or lollipop sticks

Directions

Combine 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in small bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. Using spoon, scoop flesh from passion fruits into sugar mixture. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl; press on seeds with rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible (you will need 1 cup strained liquid); discard seeds in strainer.

Divide passion fruit mixture among eight 3-ounce paper cups (about 2 tablespoons for each). Stretch plastic wrap tightly over top of each cup, covering completely and securing each with rubber band. Insert ice pop stick or lollipop stick through plastic wrap and into mixture in each cup (taut plastic will hold stick in place). Place cups in muffin pan, tilting cups at angle. Freeze until passion fruit mixture is set, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, stir guava nectar, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in 2-cup measuring cup until sugar dissolves. Chill mixture until cold. Remove cups with frozen passion fruit mixture from freezer; stand cups upright in muffin pan. Peel back some of plastic wrap on each. Pour guava mixture atop frozen passion fruit mixture in cups, dividing equally. Cover with plastic wrap, secure with rubber band, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Do ahead. Keep frozen. Use scissors, cut off paper cups from pops and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (1 serving). 74 Calories; 0 g Fat; 0 g Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 19 g Carbohydrates; 0 g Protein; 11 mg Sodium, 1.7 g Dietary Fiber


Fun and Nutritious
Food on a stick can be fun and nutritious. Barbara Beery is a kids' cooking instructor. In the following video, Barbara shows how to make healthy foods on a skewer.


State Fairs and Food on a Stick
Putting food on a stick is popular at many state fairs because you can eat and walk at the same time. The food choices go from simple to the bizarre and many items are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. The video below shows all of the 59 foods on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair from 2006.


Resources

March 28, 2017 Diabetes Alert Day
Take the Diabetes Risk Test

March 28, 2017 as Diabetes Alert Day.

The American Diabetes Association is at the forefront of the fight to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes. They provide education, promote awareness, advocate on behalf of diabetes patients and are the authoritative source on diabetes in the United States.



Resources
Check-up America: Diabetes Basics
National Diabetes Education Program  
Tips for Teens with Diabetes: Make Healthy Food Choices

To learn more about the American Diabetes Association and events planned for Diabetes Alert day, Visit American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Put Your Best Fork Foward
Try Healthy Yellow and Orange Foods

Yellow and Orange Foods



Yellow Foods: Apricots, Bananas, Corn, Garbanzo Beans, Golden Apples, Golden Flax Seed, Golden Raisins, Grapefruit, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pears, Pineapple, Saffron, Spaghetti Squash, Squash Blossoms, Sweet Corn, Yellow Beans, Yellow Lentils, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Summer Squash, Yellow Wax Beans

Orange Foods: Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cheddar Cheese, Citrus Fruits, Clementine, Creamsicle, Mandarin Oranges, Mangoes, Nectarines, Orange Jello, Orange Peppers, Orange Tomatoes, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Whole Grains, Yams

Do you know any other Yellow or Orange foods?
About Yellow and Orange Foods
Most orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and the phytonutrients carotenoids and bioflavonoids. The foods are also rich in fiber and many vitamins and minerals.

Carotenoids give fruits and vegetables their color and are converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is needed for vision, new cell growth, healthy skin and tissues, and night vision. Carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene.

Citrus fruits, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, peppers, and sweet corn contain beta cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid that may help maintain the respiratory tract and reduce the risk of lung cancer. Hesperidin is a bioflavonoid found in citrus fruits and juices and may lower the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin C is in citrus fruits and helps maintain healthy teeth and gums; improves circulation; enhances iron absorption and helps resist infection.

Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Yellow lentils are high in fiber, folate and other B vitamins. Fiber helps prevent constipation. Folate is important in producing healthy red blood cells, preventing birth defects and reducing the risk of strokes, heart disease and some cancers.

Ways to Increase Yellow and Orange Food Intake:
• Add apricot, banana, oranges, peaches, and/or papaya to cereals or salads. They will bright-up your morning.
• For snacks or food on the go, choose any of the rich yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, for example: apricots, bananas, golden apples, golden raisins, pears, pineapple, carrots, oranges, mangoes, nectarines, papaya, peaches and/or tangerines.
• Add carrots and/or diced peppers (yellow or orange) to salads or main-courses.
• Use sweet potatoes, instead of white potatoes for a change in color
• Eat grilled salmon at least once a week.
• Prepare a butternut squash soup.



Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). My staff started the project in September 2010. Over the next five months, we would take over 600 photographs of colorful foods in order to create the March presentation for NNM. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (recipenews@gmail.com).

Prepared by http://www.dietitians-online.com/
http://www.weighing-success.com/
Wellness News (www.weighing-success.com/WellnessNews.html)

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN, FAND
Jake Frank
Jonathan Cruz


March 26, Put Your Best Fork Forward - National Spinach Day

Nutrition Information
Spinach is fat free; saturated fat free; cholesterol free; low calorie; high in dietary fiber; high in vitamin A; high in vitamin C; high in iron, high in folate; and a good source of magnesium.


Selecting and Storing Spinach 
1. Choose fresh, crisp, green bunches with no evidence of insect damage.
2. Store spinach loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel.
3. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use within 3 to 5 days.



Oxalic acid and Spinach

The oxalic acid in spinach binds with iron, which inhibits iron absorption. You can improve the absorption of iron from spinach by eating it with foods that enhance iron absorption; such as foods rich in vitamin C.

Serving Suggestions
1. Add spinach to a pasta or rice recipe.
2. Enjoy a spinach salad with a variety of ingredients.




References

1. Spinach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Top 10 ways to enjoy Spinach, Fruits and Veggies more matters 
3. Spinach: Nutrition . Selection . Storage
Fruits and Veggies more matters 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 25, 2017 Earth Hour at 8:30 PM local time

Earth Hour 2017 Reminder.
Be a part of a Worldwide Event.
Today at 8:30 pm local time join the World
in turning off your lights for one hour.





Earth Hour 2017: Ten Years of Impact



Within hours, people in a record 134 countries and territories across the globe will switch off their lights for an hour in a unified show of support for action towards a sustainable future for our planet.


Earth Hour 2017: The Future Starts Today


Healthy Diet for a Healthy Planet


About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 25, 2017 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. In 2010, Earth Hour created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and territories and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a landmark environmental action.

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global Network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

The event will cross the globe over 24 hours, from the first lights being dimmed in Fiji and New Zealand to lights being turned on again in Samoa. The transition will last longest in Russia, where 11 time zones are covered.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pledged his support for Earth Hour saying: “Let us join together to celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure
human well-being. Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light.”

Resources.
How You Can Help
50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again. Simple ideas that make a big difference in your budget and help save resources too.

To learn more about how you can be involved visit
Earth Hour, 2017

March 25, Pecan Day

Pecans are a good source of fiber and protein. They  
are sodium-free and cholesterol-free.
A healthy snack, but watch the portion size.



Nutrient Analysis Services
Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional 
analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information. Contact: Dietitians-Online.comSandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LD, FAND at recipenews@gmail.com

March 25, National Cerebral Palsy Day
The Different Sides of Cerebral Palsy
Feeding Challenges

Written by Tracy S. Williams, BS, Nutrition Educator. 

Learn more about Tracy at Tracy's Plate


The Different Sides of Cerebral Palsy



Each year March 25 commemorates National Cerebral Palsy Day. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic “palsies”- disorders that impair movement due to damage of the developing brain. CP usually develops by age 2 or 3 and is a non-progressive brain disorder, meaning the brain damage does not continue to worsen throughout life. However, the symptoms damage often changes over time- sometimes getting better and sometimes getting worse. CP is one of the most common causes of childhood disability.

About 10,000 infants are diagnosed with CP and up to 1,500 preschoolers in the U.S. are recognized as having CP each year. The United Cerebral Palsy Association estimates that more than 764,000 Americans have CP. Congenital cerebral palsy caused by a brain injury during a baby’s development in the womb, is responsible in about 70% of the children who have the condition. It is present at birth, although it may not be detected for months. An additional 20% have congenital cerebral palsy due to a brain injury during the birthing process. In most cases, the cause of congenital cerebral palsy is unknown, however, some possible causes are:

· An infection during pregnancy that may damage a fetus’s developing nervous system. They include rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus (a herpes-type virus), and toxoplasmosis (an infection caused by a parasite that can be carried in cat feces or inadequately cooked meat). Other undetected infections in pregnant women are being recognized as an important cause of developmental brain damage in the fetus.

· Severe jaundice in the infant. Jaundice is caused by excessive bilirubin in the blood. Normally, bilirubin is filtered out by the liver. Often, newborns’ livers need a few days to start doing this effectively, so it’s not uncommon for infants to have jaundice for a few days after birth. In most cases, light therapy clears up jaundice and there are no lasting health effects. In rare cases, severe cases of jaundice can damage brain cells.

· Rh incompatibility between mother and infant can be a cause of cerebral palsy. In this blood condition, the mother’s body produces antibodies that destroy the fetus’s blood cells. This leads to jaundice may cause brain damage in the newborn.

· The physical or metabolic trauma of birth can be a cause of cerebral palsy. This can produce brain damage in a fetus whose health has been threatened during development. Severe oxygen deprivation to the brain or significant trauma to the head during labor and delivery can be the cause of cerebral palsy.


Feeding Skills

Feeding skills have been cited as a contributing factor that can affect life expectancy of those with CP. Managing these can positively affect the life span of an individual with cerebral palsy. When people with cerebral palsy have feeding and digestive challenges, a nutrition care program can be beneficial. Skilled registered dietitian nutritionists work with physicians to adjust diet, food intake and nutrition supplements enhance overall health. Effective dietary therapy can be devised to meet the individual’s unique needs taking into account digestive challenges and the ability to properly chew, swallow and self-feed.

Nutrition practitioners can adjust textures and consistency of food by pureeing, chopping, and grinding foods for a smoother eating experience. Foods can be softened with broth, gravy, milk, or juices. Liquids can be thickened to improve swallowing. Self-feeding is a skill that significantly enhances the quality of life for someone with a disability, although caregivers, family or friends may still be needed. Speech therapists can teach patients, their friends, or caregivers about adaptive feeding tools that can accommodate different levels of ability. Appropriate techniques can include space between feedings, to allow for natural swallowing, or feeding smaller portions throughout the day. In the most severe cases, some people with cerebral palsy rely on a feeding tube for partial or total nutrition intake. It is important to adjust to allow sufficient time between bites and drinks for natural swallowing. Some meals should be scheduled around medication times to avoid stomach upset, curb appetites and address feelings of being tired.

If a person with cerebral palsy has trouble with asphyxiation, reflux, or pneumonia, he or she should avoid foods, such as nuts, seeds, and hard or stringy foods. Diets can be changed to provide more calories, better balance, compensate for deficiencies and enhance digestion. Vitamin, minerals, and food supplements may help with malabsorption or who tire when eating. High fiber choices can curb constipation while prune and apricot juices may provide natural laxative qualities. Some people with cerebral palsy need to control drooling and aspiration, in addition, use long-term anti-seizure medications can contribute to an increased risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and bacterial infections. Dietitians may advise substituting added sugars and carbonated drinks with fresh fruits and vegetables. Dentists will encourage proper dental hygiene like regular brushing, drinking fluorinated water and regular checkups

Many people fight stereotypes and those with disabilities are no exception. Barriers individuals with disabilities face begin with people’s attitudes that are often rooted in misinformation and misunderstandings of what it’s like to live with a disability. One misconception is that all people living with disabilities are brave and courageous, but people with disabilities just need to adapt to a currently different lifestyle. Sometimes wheelchairs are used as typical mobility devices rather than for people who are only ill or sickly. In past decades, segregating people with disabilities in separate schools and institutions reinforced the perception that people with disabilities could only interact with others who have disabilities. Any person who does not have a disability can offer assistance, but most people with disabilities prefer to take responsibility for their own care when physically possible both in the community, within all parts of society. It is okay for curious children to ask questions about a disability. Discouraging curious children from asking questions teaches children that having a difference or disability is wrong or bad. Many people with a disability will not mind answering a child’s question. People with disabilities go to school, get married, have families, do laundry, grocery shop, laugh, cry, pay taxes, get angry, have prejudices, plan and dream about their future like everyone else. It is important to encourage participation from people with disabilities by providing accessible meeting and event sites. It is important for advocates to speak up when negative words or phrases are used about people with a variety of disabilities.

Cerebral palsy can affect someone who has it in a variety of ways. Some people with cerebral palsy can be impacted by having limited verbal ability, limited cognitive ability, all four limbs affected or just their legs impacted. Some people use one cane or crutch; some people use a walker or two crutches. Some people use a manual wheelchair or motorized wheelchair. Some people may have some nutritional issues due to some difficulty feeding themselves or having digestive issues. You may have met one classmate, colleague or friend with cerebral palsy, but that does not mean even everyone is impacted in the same way by the same diagnosis. All people with disabilities deserve the same level of respect and it is important to help those with disabilities advocate against social misconceptions.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23, National Puppy Day
Health Benefits




Studies have found that:
• Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
• People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
• Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
• Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than those without pets.
• Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
• Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

Caring for a pet can help with those healthy lifestyle changes by:
• Increasing exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule.
• Providing companionship. Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
• Helping meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
• Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
• Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
• Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.

Pets and older adults
The key to aging well is to effectively handle life’s major changes, such as retirement, the loss of loved ones, and the physical changes of aging. Pets can play an important role in healthy aging by:
• Helping you find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a pet can bring pleasure and help boost your morale and optimism. Taking care of an animal can also provide a sense of self-worth.
• Staying connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement, illness, death, and moves can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Dogs especially are a great way for seniors to spark up conversations and meet new people.
• Boosting vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Pets encourage playfulness, laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

Resources and References

5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health
The Therapeutic Benefits of Pets




















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