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Posts Tagged ‘food safety’

Grocery store shelfAre you being tricked at the grocery store? Are you sure products you are buying really are as healthy as they claim?

Many consumers are tricked by words on the label and ingredients in food into making choices which cost more money but may not be the healthiest choices. Watch out for these tricks of the trade by companies:

• Companies add vitamins and minerals to junk food or plain water. Thus, junk food appears healthier. Skip expensive waters and drink plain water. If you need vitamins and minerals take a daily vitamin pill.

• Companies use flavorings, colorings and other ingredients to create fake berries or other fruit. Check ingredients to make sure real fruit is in the product.
• Colorings and flavorings are also used in beverage drinks so you will pay more and not realize you are not getting fruit or very little fruit. Read labels to find and buy only 100% juices.

• Monosodiumglutate and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are used so companies can skimp on the real food. These usually help with meaty flavors. Check ingredients to avoid or limit these.

• Transglutaminase (enzyme) allows companies to put some pieces of meat together so it appears as a larger steak. Make sure your steak is one piece of meat.

• Companies want you to drink more soda so they add caffeine as it is mildly addictive. Drink water.

• Carotenoid Colorings such as canthaxanthin and astaxanthin are added to make farmed salmon pinker, so it looks more like expensive wild salmon. Check the ingredients or ask if “wild caught” or “farmed.”

Beware of some words such as “real, fresh, simple, premium and artisanal. “ These words do not have defined meanings in the food industry.

Real conveys the image of no fake or chemical ingredients. However, real doesn’t have to be chemical-free or not be processed food.

Fresh does not have a time period associated with it according to the Food and Drug Administration. Fresh means the food cannot have been frozen or preserved.

Simple can have multiple meanings. We think it means less processed and less ingredients. However, the food can include sugar and fat as part of the ingredients.

Premium is another word that does not have a meaning. It can trick you into thinking you are getting a better product or deal than you are.

Artisanal conveys the image of handcrafted baked goods and cheeses. Many grocery store products labeled “artisanal” are not produced by small-batch producers and may have many ingredients only used by larger producers. Check the ingredient lists.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Wood County

References:

Jacobson, M. [2014]. Food Safety: Learn More about Food Additives with this Helpful Infographic What are additives used for and which should you avoid? Downloaded from Nutrition Action.Com Downloaded at http://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/food-safety/food-safety-learn-more-about-food-additives-with-this-helpful-infographic/?mqsc=E3775989&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=Nutrition_Action_Daily_Tips+Nutrition%20Action%20Daily&utm_campaign=2014.07.19%20Daily%20Tip:%20Food%20Safety

Consumer Reports, [2014]. Consumer Reports: New food label gotchas, Downloaded at http://articles.courant.com/2014-07-12/business/hc-ls-consumer-reports-food-gotchas-20140712_1_new-food-label-consumer-reports-food-packaging

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My Dad used to tease us, as children, with the famous line, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”  Well, now is the time to enjoy!  What’s YOUR favorite flavor?

I often wondered, where did that phrase come from, anyway?  According to Stanford University, “Ice Cream” or “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” is a popular song, first published in 1927, with words and music by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King. After initial success as a late 1920s novelty song, the tune became a traditional jazz standard, while the lyrics refrain “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” has remained a part of popular culture even without the rest of the song.

I love making ice cream at home! It is delicious and I sometimes feel it is becoming a lost art and a lost pleasure.  But, every year homemade ice cream causes several outbreaks of Salmonella infection with up to several hundred victims at church picnics, family reunions, and other large gatherings. From 1996 to 2000 (the latest year for which surveillance was completed), 17 outbreaks resulting in more than 500 illnesses in the United States were traced to Salmonella bacteria in homemade ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ingredient responsible for the outbreaks is raw or undercooked eggs.

FoodSafety.gov offers this advice:

Cooking the Egg BaseCorrect size

Start with a cooked egg base for ice cream. This is especially important if you’re serving people at high risk for foodborne infections: infants, older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

To make a cooked egg base (also known as a custard base):

  • Combine eggs and milk as indicated in the recipe. (Other ingredients, such as sugar, may be added at this step.)
  • Cook the mixture gently to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, stirring constantly. The cooking will destroy Salmonella, if present. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the mixture. At this temperature, the mixture will firmly coat a metal spoon (but please don’t lick the spoon if the custard is not fully cooked!).
  • After cooking, chill the mixture before adding other ingredients and freezing.

Other Options

You can also use egg substitute products or pasteurized eggs in your ice cream, or you can find a recipe without eggs.

  • With the egg substitute products, you might have to experiment a bit with the recipe to figure out the right amount to add for the best flavor.
  • Pasteurized eggs can be substituted in recipes that call for uncooked eggs.  Commercial pasteurization of eggs is a heat process at low temperatures that destroys any Salmonella that might be present, without having a noticeable effect on flavor or nutritional content. These are available at some supermarkets for a slightly higher cost per dozen. Even if you’re using pasteurized eggs for your ice cream, both the FDA and the USDA recommend starting with a cooked egg base for optimal safety.

So, by following these safe handling and proper cooking practices, you can enjoy refreshing, tasty homemade ice cream without worrying about making anyone sick!

Another option for a fun day with the family with children is to make Ice Cream in a Bag! The recipe and instructions are at: http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/momentum/k12/jul04/

Fun facts: Ice cream innovations from Ohio State University!

1921 – When chocolate sticks to ice cream…Melvin De Groote, an Ohio State chemical engineering alum, held 925 patents at the time of his death—second to only Thomas Edison. Among his many achievements is the invention of the chemical recipe that allows chocolate to stick to ice cream, leading to the Eskimo Pie.

1978 – The drumstick was perfected – Food science professors John Lindamood and Poul Hansen wanted to keep the ice cream in the frozen treat from making the cone soggy.  So they developed a way to coat the inside of the cone with chocolate.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with your favorite flavor!

Written by: Kathryn K Dodrill, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Washington County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Resources:

http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/momentum/k12/jul04/  http://www.osu.edu/features/2014/innovation.html#0

http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/buystoreservesafefood/ucm332850.htm http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemadeicecream.html

http://rwj-b.stanford.edu/song/i-scream-you-scream-we-all-scream-ice-cream

 

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marie fourth july

Summer has started and we have moved outdoors. Here are a few safety tips to remember when planning for this holiday season.

• Be safe swimming. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.

• Apply sunscreen before heading outdoors and reapply as needed. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause premature aging and skin cancer and those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.

• Drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat illness in extremely hot climates. The risk of heat illness is increased for the young and old. Remember to check your medication interactions with sun and those with chronic medical conditions.

• Fireworks injuries take 200 hundred people a day to the emergency room in the month of July! Keep the kids and pets away from the fireworks at all times. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.

• Check for Ticks!! Remind your family to check themselves (and your pets) for ticks at the end of the day. Being outdoors near grasses, woods, hiking or camping in any area where ticks are abundant, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect you from tick-borne diseases. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children.

• Remember don’t leave food out at your event all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite foodborne illness to your event. The FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 41 F.

Have Fun!!! Stay Safe This Holiday!

Written by: Marie Economos, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County
Reviewed by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County.

REFERENCES:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/f8d66b64-104b-4638-8f38-c203d2cd8684/BeFoodSafe_Logo___All_Ads.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=40b82161-495f-42d8-970a-62573d6e45ba#page=2

CPSC.gov.Fireworks Safety.

http://www.safekids.org/blog/summer-almost-here

http://www.safekids.org/blog/grilling-summer-safety

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summer road trip

Summer is here and it’s time for the American road trip. There is no better way to escape the daily routine than to hit the open road. There is nothing like a short road trip to refresh the mind, body and spirit. Before you break out the cooler and hit the open road, plan in advance to avoid the pitfalls of open road trips. Here are some healthier ideas while on the open road:

• Make rest breaks active- pick a road stop or park and get the family out of the car to take a brisk 10 minute walk and move around. This helps to burn off some energy and helps the driver feel rejuvenated and more alert.
• Pack to play – plan to include regular physical activity in your daily routine while you’re away from home. Pack a football, Frisbee, paddle balls or a soccer ball so you can be physically active during your down time.
• Bring plenty of water. Sitting in the car for long periods of time can make it tempting to drink soda. Pack water or small portions of juice to quench your thirst.
• Pack healthy snacks in the cooler. Bring celery or carrot sticks and hummus for dipping, apple slices, fresh berries, grapes, low fat cheeses, healthy sandwiches, whole grain breads, pretzels, bags of dry cereal and whole grain crackers to snack on.
Safe travels this summer!

Written by: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD. The Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Susan Zies, M.Ed, The Ohio State University Extension, Wood County.

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No one really wants to think about food poisoning when they’re enjoying the outdoors and grilling food. But food safety is just as important to keep in mind whether you’re in the kitchen, at your backyard barbecue or grilling food at the company picnic.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service offers great guidance in “Grilling Food Safety 101″ online at http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/grillingsafety.html. And, Ohio State University Extension offers more tips in a new video online at http://go.osu.edu/grillsafe.

It is especially important to make sure meat is cooked thoroughly when grilling out. People used to think that if meat looks pink, it isn’t done, and if it looks brown, it’s fine to eat. But food safety researchers have found that that’s false. Meat can be pink and be cooked thoroughly; it can be brown and not cooked enough. The only way to tell is by using a meat thermometer.

Be sure to insert the thermometer so it gets to the thickest part of the meat, but doesn’t touch any bone, which can distort the temperature reading. For burgers, insert the thermometer sideways and be sure it’s testing the center portion of the patty.

Safe temperatures include:

  • Hot dogs: 165 degrees F or until steaming hot.
  • Poultry, including ground poultry: 165 degrees F.outdoor grilling
  • Ground beef and other ground meat (not poultry): 160 degrees F.
  • Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal and beef, including steaks and chops: 145 degrees F (followed by a three-minute rest time).
  • Fish: 145 degrees F.

Other things to bear in mind:

  • Don’t take cooked food from the grill and put it on the same plate that held the raw food. After you place the food on the grill, either thoroughly wash the plate and the utensils you used to handle the raw food, or use a fresh plate and set of utensils for the cooked food. There’s just too great of a possibility that bacteria from the raw food — which is killed by thorough cooking — will recontaminate the food after it’s cooked.
  • Don’t let food stay out for too long. The general rule is to not let perishable food sit out without refrigeration or heating for longer than two hours. But if it’s a hot summer day above 90 degrees, the risk that foodborne pathogens can multiply to dangerous levels increases, and the time limit drops to one hour.

Source:  Ohio State University Extension, http://chowline.cfaes.ohio-state.edu/?p=335

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

 

 

 

 

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Laptop on Kitchen Table with Cup of CoffeeShould you eat lunch at your desk?

Do you find yourself eating at your desk at work more and more often?  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that at least 83% of Americans eat at their desk several times a week. While many of us would prefer to have lunch with a friend or at least go out for lunch, we often find ourselves “too busy” to do so.

So is eating at your desk healthy?  When we eat at our desk, we often are totally unaware of just what and how much we are eating. We’re not focused on the food as we answer emails, sort papers and answer phone calls. But you can make healthy choices by bringing your lunch from home and avoiding take-out lunches which can tend to have excess calories, fat, and sodium and are often lacking in nutrients. Some healthy lunch choices could include:

  • A salad with added protein and fiber – some leftover chicken, healthy beans and/or nuts.
  • A whole grain wrap filled with veggies.
  • Homemade or low-sodium prepared soup that you can heat in the microwave.
  • Yogurt with added fruit and granola.
  • A sweet potato or fresh vegetables that you can pop into the microwave.
  • Water with a slice of lemon, lime or orange.
  • For a sweet ending to your lunch, fresh fruit makes a great dessert.

If you are bringing your lunch from home, use an insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack to keep your food cold until you can put it in the refrigerator at work. You want to be sure and wash your hands before eating your lunch and clean your desk top. According to an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics survey only 36 percent of survey respondents said they clean their work areas, desktop, mouse and keyboard on a weekly basis; 64 percent said they do so on a monthly basis or less.

A 2007 study from the University of Arizona found that desktops have 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat!

So, if you are going to eat at your desk, take a few minutes to disinfect the area before opening your food. Once you start eating, avoid touching your phone, mouse,
etc. as you could be constantly re-contaminating your food.  You might also use a placemat or at least a paper towel under your lunch for added protection!

To answer the question, eating at your desk is not the healthiest activity!  Not only are you likely to eat more unhealthy foods, you are risking contaminating your food and potentially becoming ill. Take a little time for yourself at lunch time – walk to the kitchen or break room, invite a co-worker to join you and enjoy that healthy lunch you have prepared!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by:  Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/7-tips-eating-while-you-work

http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442464916&terms=lunch%20food%20safety#.Uwd2PMYo7DQ

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It’s flu season!   Best protection is handwashing.  Regular soap?   Or antibacterial soap?  Does antibacterial provide extra protection against getting sick?  soap on hands

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t sure antibacterial really makes any difference.  In fact, the FDA is proposing companies need to provide more evidence antibacterial soaps are more effective, than just washing with plain soap and water in preventing illnesses.  The FDA also wants more data on the safety of using antibacterial soaps.

Some of the chemical ingredients in antibacterial soaps are associated with risks that may outweigh any benefits.  Some ingredients may increase the bacterial resistance to antibiotics and cause hormonal changes in our bodies.

Many liquid soaps contain the chemical triclosan.  Although this chemical is not known to harm humans, it may change the way hormones work in our bodies, according to some animal studies.  Laboratory studies have shown concern with triclosan causing bacteria resistance to antibiotics.  One positive way triclosan is effective is in preventing gingivitis, when it has been added to toothpaste.  Thus, the FDA would like more studies and evidence triclosan is safe and effective.  The Environmental Protection Agency also has some concerns with triclosan and is collaborating with the FDA.

Adding to this concern is recent data indicates we are exposed to these chemical ingredients more than previously thought.  Thus, increasing our risks with regular use over time.

How do you Drug label on soapknow if your soap is antibacterial?  Most products are labeled with the word “antibacterial.” Look for a Drug Facts Label which is required on antibacterial soap or body wash.   You can also check the ingredients.   Cosmetics do not have to carry a Drug Facts Label, so you will need to check the ingredients.

Regular soap or antibacterial soap?  Try regular soap and remember to use warm water, rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinse well and dry.  Handwashing is a key to staying healthy.

Writer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

References:

United States Food and Drug Administration, [2013].  FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap, FDA Consumer Health Information, Available at http://www.fda.gov/consumer

WebMD, [2013].  Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know, WebMD, Available at http://www.webmd.com/fda/triclosan-what-consumers-should-know

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thanksgivingThanksgiving is almost here! It’s a holiday for enjoying family, friends and lots of delicious food. Be sure to share good food safety practices to keep your Thanksgiving dinner safe. Here are some simple tips to keep this holiday meal safe.

Safe Thawing
• Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the turkey or any food.
• Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or below. Allow approximately 24 hours per 4-5 pounds of turkey. A very large bird may take up to 5 or 6 days to thaw.
• If you forgot to thaw the turkey, submerge the turkey in pan of cold water, enough to cover the turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes thawing
time for every pound.

Safe Preparation
• Wash hands with soap and water.
• Make sure food prep areas and surfaces, utensils and plates are clean.
• Use separate cutting boards for meats and fruits/vegetables.
• Avoid putting cooked food on cutting boards that have touched raw meat.
• Avoid wiping your hands that have touched raw food with dish towels.
• Keep raw food away from vegetables and side dishes that will not be cooked.
• Stuffing the turkey is not recommended. Bake the stuffing separate.
• Never bake the turkey below 325 degrees in the oven.
• Use a food thermometer. The pop-up timer is not a reliable method to determine if the turkey is cooked to the minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.
• Let the turkey set 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to set.
• Stuffing should also reach a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.

Serving Food Safely
• Keep hot foods hot and colds food cold.
• Keep the pumpkin pie and any cold desserts in the refrigerator.
• Use clean serving spoons for each dish.
• Wash hands with soap and water before handling food or eating.
• Carve the turkey with a clean carving knife and fork.

Storing Leftovers
• Store leftover food within two hours after serving, including pumpkin pie.
• Use several shallow containers to store leftovers.
• Store in the refrigerator if eating within 3 days.
• Keep in the freezer for longer storage. Label and date.
• Reheat all leftovers to 165 degrees F. Gravy should be brought to a rolling boil.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Resources: fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Poultry_Preparation
www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp2f=10269
Author: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu.
Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, MS, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu

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Thanksgiving FeastDo you have a holiday party in your future?  Many of us will be hosting food events for family and friends throughout the holiday season.  You don’t want to be the one to make anyone sick from your food event.  Start with simple basics.

  • Clean everything before you start.  Use a solution of 1 Tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water.  Use this to clean your sink, countertops and as a sanitizer for cutting boards and other cooking utensils.
  • Next, plan your menu carefully.  Choose some items that can be safely left out of refrigeration like pretzels, crackers, baked products and fruit.  Make sure you have the equipment to keep other items hot (about 140 °F) or cold (under 40°F)
  • When shopping, pick up the perishable items (those needing refrigeration) last at the grocery store.  And, make sure this is the last stop on the way home.
  • Theeasiest way to assure your food is safe is to make sure the perishable food does not stay out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours.  A sit down meal that is served and then cleaned up is safer than a buffet style meal that stays out for hours. 
  • Keep a food thermometer handy so that you cook foods to the proper temperatures.  Color is not enough when deciding if your meat, soup or casserole is done.

o   Cook chicken to 165°F

o   Cook whole meats such as beef and pork to 145°F

o   Ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160°F

o   Heat soups and casserole dishes to 165°F

o   When holding hot dishes on a buffet table keep them at 140°F

  • Finally, put leftovers away promptly, within 2 hours of serving.  When reheating them for later service, heat to 165°F.

Following a few simple rules will keep you, your family, and your friends from getting a foodborne illness this holiday season.

Reference:  USDA Blog, Cooking Meat?  Check the New Recommended Temperatures, http://blogs.usda.gov/2011/05/25/cooking-meat-check-the-new-recommended-temperatures/

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewed:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu

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4802625827_63cd6f152e_sChildren will soon be returning to school and to the routines that the school year brings. For many families, this means back to the routine of packing a lunch each day.  We want to make sure that the lunches we pack are healthy, safe and delicious!

For a healthy lunch, keep in mind the MyPlate guidance. Check out Choosemyplate.gov . One of the main messages of MyPlate is to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. This is something relatively easy to accomplish in a lunch you pack yourself. For example, pack a whole fruit like an apple, banana, or a bunch of grapes. You can also add an individual container of applesauce or a variety of different fruits that are packed in natural juice. For vegetables, most children like baby carrots especially if you include a small container of low-fat dip! Other veggie favorites are cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers or even a small salad.

Another message from MyPlate is to make at least half of the grains you eat during the day whole grains. Use whole grain bread for the sandwich you pack, try pretzels for a snack instead of potato chips. Whole grain crackers spread with peanut butter or eaten with slices of cheese are a great addition to a healthy lunch.

MyPlate recommends that we consume low fat or fat free dairy products. Most schools make fresh, low fat milk available for children in the lunchroom. The calcium provided by milk is very important to children’s developing bones. If your child is not a milk drinker, you can pack yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese or sliced cheese to help them get the calcium they need each day.

You don’t want to forget the protein group. There are a variety of foods that we can choose from to meet the need for protein in our lunch. If you choose meat, make sure that it is lean. Turkey or lean beef are good choices. Other non-meat sources include eggs, peanut butter, beans, nuts, seeds and soy products.

To pack a safe lunch, remember that any perishable food you pack needs to be kept below 40° to stay safe. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways.

  • Use an insulated lunch bag with a frozen ice pack.
  • Freeze the sandwich, a juice box or yogurt container and pack it in the lunch bag to keep everything safe. By the time lunch rolls around, the sandwich, juice or yogurt should be thawed!

You also want to be careful about cross-contamination. This can happen if you are reusing paper or plastic bags or if you don’t remember to wash out the reusable bag each day. Remind your child to discard wrappers and leftover food as soon as they finish their lunch. Don’t forget the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of bacteria. If your child won’t have access to warm water and soap before eating, it wouldn’t hurt to put a disposable hand wipe at the top of the lunch bag!

A delicious lunch may not be something that you and your child will necessarily agree on. Be sure and ask them for ideas for a healthy, safe lunch that they would like to eat.  Don’t fall into the peanut butter and jelly every day trap! You might ask your child to help make a list of healthy foods from each section of MyPlate and use that list to vary what is packed each day.

By allowing your child to help plan and pack their own lunch, you are providing an opportunity to talk about making healthy food choices. Encouraging them to make a choice from each of the food groups every day may increase the odds that they will actually eat the lunch that is packed and help them develop good eating habits for life.

Author: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith, R.D., L.D. Northeast Region Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Source:  MyPlate    http://choosemyplate.gov

School Lunches: Add Variety by soliciting the help of your children http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/school_lunches_add_variety_by_soliciting_the_help_of_your_children

What Can I Pack my Kids for Lunch   http://www.ext.colostate.edu/

Healthy Packed Lunches for Back to School http://byf.unl.edu/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=d17c90e6-539d-4ab8-92e7-cbfe2e482647&groupId=4089458&.pdf

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