Healthy Sumner Blogs
Eating nutritious foods gives you energy and good health, but did you know that some foods possess potential hidden benefits? Certain foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics have been gaining the attention of dietitians, medical doctors, the media, and others. Biotics don’t exactly sound like food though, so what are they? And why do we need them?
National Nutrition Month 2018
March is National Nutrition Month and this year the country is focusing on “Going Further with Food”. It’s all about shopping from local providers, making the most of those foods, preventing food waste, stretching your food dollar, and, last but not least, foods that promote good health! Let’s explore each of these areas a bit more.
Shopping locally can be a small change in routine but it can have a significant impact on communities. It stimulates small businesses in your area and supports local agricultural as. How far does something have to travel for it to qualify as “local”? Foods can travel about 1,500 miles and be considered “farm-to-table”. Very often local produce and foods lack the preservatives and additives most packaged and processed foods contain. Remember, shop from what’s already in your fridge and pantry, to prevent buying an unnecessary amount of food!
After you buy your groceries for the week, the next step is to make sure they are stored properly, to prevent spoiling. Make sure that:
All dry storage goods are kept in a cool, dry area between 50⁰ and 70⁰ (or at about room temperature)
Potatoes are best kept in the pantry and things like tomatoes and bananas are best kept out in the kitchen
Store refrigerated items at or below 40⁰
Keep produce like apples, blueberries, and grapes in the low humidity drawer
Keep produce like lettuce, spinach, and broccoli in the high humidity drawer
Make sure your freezer stays at or below 0⁰ for long-term frozen food storage
Preparing and cooking your foods also plays a part in preventing waste. Try deboning meats and trimming as much visible fat as you can, to ensure that everything is edible after cooking. Don’t be afraid of slight blemishes on fruits or vegetables either. Just because it’s not a “perfect” piece of produce doesn’t mean that it’s not edible! If you let some of your fruits hang around too long, try using overly ripened apples, pears, and bananas as sweeteners in baking, to avoid tossing them in the garbage. Or use them to make smoothies, or delicious banana muffins and pancakes. Lastly, watch your portion sizes! Try not to fill your plate with more than your stomach can handle at a sitting. Safely store leftovers for meals later in the week, to stretch those food dollars!
Regardless of who you are, creating and sticking to a budget is something we should all do. Take inventory of what you already have available for the week’s meals before heading to the store to see if you have anything of use, and beware of shopping when you are hungry! Take advantage of seasonal foods as they become readily available and their prices drop.
Spring = peas, peppers, strawberries, and beets
Summer = artichokes, cherries, peaches, and eggplant
Fall = apples, pears, broccoli, and cauliflower
Winter = pumpkins, winter squash, brussel sprouts, and radishes
So, what about promoting good health through the foods we eat? All of these tips can help your food go further, but we also want to go further with our health goals by choosing the best diet for ourselves. During this month we’ll talk a bit about how the foods we eat can help us go further with those goals. Stay tuned!
March is National Nutrition Month! Inspired by National Nutrition Month’s motto “Savor the Flavor,” WIC Nutritionists from Sumner County Health Department designed an interactive program about beans and spices for a 5th grade class at Benny Bills Elementary School. Beans are a great economical source of protein, fiber and iron! Students learned about Indian culture and were introduced to beans and spices from around the world by playing “Beango.” “Beango” is not your traditional Bingo! Students smelled spices such as fresh ginger, cinnamon and curry and learned about types of beans while placing lima bean markers on their “Beango” cards. Students sampled lentil soup, hummus with carrots, purple cauliflower and pita chips, naan bread, and corn and black bean salad to show dishes with beans and spices from around the world. TENNderCare Community Outreach Coordinators demonstrated how to properly brush teeth and answered questions about oral care and yearly physicals. Students took home nutrition handouts, a TENNderCare brochure and a Sumner County Health Department water bottle as well as recipes for each dish served. The students practiced their culinary skills by measuring the amount of red and green lentils needed for the lentil soup recipe, then were given the spices and other ingredients to make the soup at home. A survey conducted at the end of the program showed 100% of the students enjoyed the class!
First things first….how do you pronounce this grain? “KEEN-wah” is gaining popularity for its health benefits. 2013 was named International Year of Quinoa, and it can be found on all continents. Does it really live up to all that hype? Let’s start from the beginning.
People often tell me they don’t eat breakfast. Some of the reasons they give are: “I don’t have time”, “I don’t like breakfast foods”, or “I’m just not hungry”. So what’s the deal with 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, and yet fewer than half of us eat breakfast regularly?