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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Egg Safety




Let's Talk about Safely Handling
and Preparing Eggs

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wishing you the Joy of Easter, The Easter Egg

The Easter Egg
Where did the colored Easter eggs come from? The egg is a symbol of new life, rebirth and the celebration of spring. The early Christians describes the egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.

After a long hard winter with small amounts of food, an egg for Easter was quite a treasure. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during Lent. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.

Nutrition Label Blooper

Nutrition Facts
A medium-size chicken egg is only 70 calories and rich in protein. Check the chocolate eggs below and compare.

Wishing you the Joy of Easter







Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28, Food on a Stick Day


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 Halibut Fish Sticks with Dill-Caper Tartar Sauce, 4 servings
PREP: 30 minutes TOTAL: 30 minutes
Ingredients
4 Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 large egg
1 1/2 pounds 3/4-inch-thick halibut fillets, cut into 3x3/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions
Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl. Season with pepper. Cover and chill tartar sauce.
Spread panko on plate. Whisk egg in small bowl. Sprinkle fish with pepper.
Working in batches, coat fish in egg. Coat in panko; shake off excess.
Heat 1 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of fish and cook, turning often, until fish is opaque in center and golden on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to 2 plates; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and fish. Spoon tartar sauce alongside.

Nutritional Information (1 serving).
371 Calories; 17 g Fat; 2 g Saturated Fat; 112 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 39 g Protein; 338 mg Sodium
_____________

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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26, 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 






Diabetes Alert Day
March 26, 2013

The American Diabetes Association has designated
March 26, 2013 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.


Monday, March 25, 2013

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.




March 25, National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

March 25 has officially been designated “National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day” by the U.S. Senate (Resolution No. 75). Senator John Isakson (R-GA) sponsored the effort along with Robert Casey (D-PA). The day falls within Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

The goal of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day is to provide an understanding of CP and those impacted by it. The latest statistics from the CDC show cerebral palsy prevalence rate is 3.3 per 1,000 births. UCP invites you to help mark this important day in one of the following ways:
  • Learn the facts about cerebral palsy from UCP’s fact sheet or read a more in-depth article from UCP’s My Child Without Limits website.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag: #CPAwareDay. 
        
    1. #CPFact: The CDC estimates that each year aprox 10,000 babies born in the US will develop cerebral palsy #CPAwareDay
    2. #CPFact: Did you know that in the US alone there are approximately 764,000 children and adults with cerebral palsy? #CPAwareDay
    3. #CPFact: Cerebral Palsy is NOT a disease, not progressive, nor communicable. #CPAwareDay #CPMyths
    This is my son Jake. He was born in 1988 with cerebral palsy. The road has been paved with challenges, triumphs and a lot of love. We are blessed with family and friends who provide unconditional love and support.



    Together, we can continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with CP and other disabilities to live a life without limits.





    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Foods Symbolic of the Passover Seder




    Shalom Sesame
    Khalikidan's Passover Seder
    Khalikidan and her family came to Israel from Ethiopia. 
    Join her family for a Passover Seder, and 
    share Khalikidan's excitement in reciting the four questions.


    The Symbols of the Passover Seder
     

    Passover is a holiday rich in symbols retelling the story of the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt. The seder is a ceremonial dinner observed on the first night of Passover, and in many homes on the second night as well. The seder table is set with a seder plate, salt water, matzo, kosher wine, Cup of Elijah, Miriam's Cup, and a copy of the Haggadah for each guest.

    Matzo
    Matzo is an unleavened bread made solely from flour and water and is not allowed to rise. Matzo symbolizes freedom. As the Jewish people fled Egypt there was no time to wait for the bread to rise. A plate of three whole matzahs are stacked and separated from each other by cloths or napkins. The middle matzo is broken in half and put aside for the afikoman.

    The afikoman is eaten as a dessert. The person leading the seder will hide the afikoman and ask all the children to find it. Children will receive toys or other gifts as a reward for returning the afikoman.

    The top and other half of the middle matzo is used for the hamotzi (blessing over bread), and the bottom matzo is used for the korech (Hillel sandwich).

    Haggadah. The book containing the story of the Exodus and the ritual of the Seder. It is read at the Passover Seder.

    Many of the symbols are displayed on the seder plate, which is the centerpiece of the seder table.
     
    Karpas (Vegetable). This part of the seder plate dates back to a first and second century tradition in Jerusalem. At the beginning of the seder a vegetable, usually lettuce, radish or parsley is dipped in salt water and eaten. It is said the salt water represents the tears our ancestors shed during their years of enslavement.

    Z'roa (Shank bone). The roasted shank bone of a lamb reminds us of when the Jewish people marked the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb as a signal that death should pass over them. The shank bone also reminds us of the sacrificial lamb killed and eaten during the days when the Temple stood. In modern times, some Jewish families will use a poultry neck instead. Vegetarians will often replace the shank bone with a roasted beet, which has the color of blood and is shaped like a bone, but is not derived from an animal.


    Baytzah (Hard Boiled Egg). There are two interpretations of the symbolism of the hard boiled egg. One is an ancient fertility symbol. The other is a symbol of mourning for the loss of the two Temples, the first of which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. and the second of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. Hard boiled eggs were traditionally the food of mourners and became symbolic for the loss of these sacred sites.

    Charoset. A mixture of chopped apples, nuts, wine and spices representing the mortar the Jewish slaves used to build structures for the Egyptian Pharaoh.

    Maror (Bitter Herbs) reminds us of the slavery the Jewish people endured in Egypt. Horseradish, either the root or a prepared paste is often used.

    Hazeret
    (Bitter Vegetable) also symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. Romaine lettuce is usually used. When hazeret is not represented on the seder plate some families will put a small bowl of salt water in its place.

    Elijah's cup is placed at the center of the table. After the seder meal there is a custom to pour a cup of wine, the "Cup of Elijah," and open the front door of the home. According to tradition, at this moment our homes are graced by the presence of Elijah the Prophet.

    Miriam's Cup is a new ritual object that is placed on the seder table beside the Cup of Elijah. Miriam's Cup is filled with water close to the beginning of the seder. It serves as a symbol of Miriam's Well, which was the source of water for the jewish people in the desert. Putting a Miriam's Cup on your table is a way of making your seder more inclusive. It lets people know that the words of girls and boys, women and men, are welcome. It is also a way of drawing attention to the importance of Miriam and the other women of the Exodus story - women who have sometimes been overlooked. It is said, "If it wasn't for the righteousness of women of that generation we would not have been redeemed from Egypt"

    To our Family and Friends, we wish you a Happy Passover.


    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    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






















    March 23, 2013 Earth Hour at 8:30 PM local time

    Earth Hour 2013 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.

    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.

    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 23, 2013 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, 2013

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    March 22, International World Water Day


    International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.

    The 2013 theme for World Water Day is "Cooperation Around Water" and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water. The UN designated 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.




    Water Has No Substitute; Share It WiselyThe National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative is a multi-year global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain.
                       Why Care About Water?

    United Nations World Water Day
    Theme Presentations






    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    March 17-23, 2013 National Poison Prevention Week.


    Danger Rangers: Poison



    To learn more about Poison Prevention, visit the following link:  


    March 21, World Down Syndrome Day
    Joan Guthrie Medlen, M.Ed, RD
    the Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook


    March 21, 2013 marks the 8th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and was officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Down Syndrome International encourages people all over the World to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.


    This year's World Down Syndrome Day Conference is entitled: "Right To Work".

    Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) recognises the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.

    Joan Guthrie Medlen, M.Ed, RD and

    the Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook


    Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, a mother of a child with Down syndrome, a registered dietitian, and the author of “The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles,” encourages parents to start teaching healthy habits early but stresses that it's never too late to start, no matter what age.


    Joan became involved in issues related to people with Down syndrome after the birth of her son. “As we all know, parents of kids with disabilities are involved in the big picture immediately – like it or not! I chose to work in the field of nutrition/health promotion for people with Down syndrome over 16 years ago. It’s a choice I've not regretted.”


    Introducing Cooking By Color: Recipes for Independence by Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, RD







    Down syndrome often affects the muscles in the mouth, causing the tongue to stick out. This may interfere with feeding, including breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, and eating solid food. Most children overcome these types of problems, although they will likely master eating skills at a later age than other children.

    Resources


    About Buddy Walk

    The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.



    International Down Syndrome Coalition  

    Meet a family who shares their
    amazing story of love and living.
     



    Visit the following link to learn more about  World Down Syndrome Day