Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2016

Have you seen teal colored pumpkin baskets on Trick-or-Treat nights? They have a special purpose. The Teal Pumpkin Project, sponsored by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), is part of an awareness effort to provide non-food treats for kids with food allergies.

teal pumpkin.pngAll children should be able to experience the happy tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are either left out or at-risk, since a lot of candy contains allergens. One in every 13 children have food allergies.

FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project helps ensure all children will get some sort of treat. Last year, households from all 50 states and 14 countries participated. This is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.

 

How to participate:

  1. Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
  2. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to you have non-food treats available.
  3. Display a free printable sign from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin.

Ideas for Non-Food Treats

Available at dollar stores, party supply stores, or online shops, these low-cost items can be purchased and handed out to all trick-or-treaters, or made available in a separate bowl from candy if you choose to hand out both options. Nearly all of these items can be found in a Halloween theme or festive colors.

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces

    nonfood-treats

    Non-Food Treats

  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

Frequently Asked Questions about Non-Food Treats (from FARE website)

Are there any non-food treats that I should avoid?
There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out. First, some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay, which may contain wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as there are children who have latex allergies.

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project® is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item. FARE has signs to help you, including one that says “You Pick: Candy or Prize.”

Do kids really like non-food treats?
They don’t just like them, they love them! Finding a unique treat at your house will be a fun surprise. Glow bracelets, for example, are a great option. They are inexpensive, kids can wear them throughout the night, and parents are appreciative because they help make kids more visible after nightfall. Other non-food items, such as pencils and stickers, can be used at home and at school long after candy has run out or expired.

You can join the Teal Pumpkin Project to help create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids.

“The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT® and the Teal Pumpkin Project® logo are registered trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).”

Source:

Food Allergy Research and Education: http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project/about#.WAo2ZdUrKpo

Adapted by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Reviewed by: Joanna Fifner, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

pumpkintowerFall is the perfect time to enjoy pumpkins. My OSU Extension county office is located in Circleville, Ohio; home of The Circleville Pumpkin Show where you can find everything made from pumpkins. Although the show is over for 2016, check out the giant pumpkins shown at the event.  Some of these pumpkins weighed over 1,600 pounds! When you visit the show, you can taste a wide variety of food items made from pumpkin. We have everything from pumpkin chili and sloppy joes, to pumpkin pancakes, to my personal favorite, pumpkin brownies.

Did you know that Halloween pumpkins are edible? Look for pumpkins that are firm and heavy for their size. They are good sources of Vitamins A & C. Pumpkins are also fat, cholesterol and sodium free.  One half cup of pumpkin contains 25 calories, 6 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams sugars, 1 gram protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber.

Looking for new ways to add pumpkin to your day? Try some of these recipe ideas:

  • Pumpkin Seeds – when carving your pumpkin, take the seeds out and roast them. Kids love getting their hands all gooey with the fibers that attach to the seeds. Add a little salt and you can enjoy a nutritious snack.
  • Pumpkin Pudding – a tasty light dessert that uses canned pumpkin. This easy mix and eat dessert brings fall to mind with the spices and fluffy pumpkin taste.
  • Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes – celebrate fall with this tasty breakfast treat. This recipe makes 12 servings at approximately 11 cents each. Top with apple slices for a low sugar treat.
  • Pumpkin Overnight Refrigerated Oatmeal – this new recipe combines rolled oats, Greek yogurt, pumpkin and spices for a tasty and easy breakfast. oatmeal3    oatsbowl

 

 

 

 

Need more ideas for this fall “Superfood”?  Check out the Fruit and Veggies More Matters website.

How will you get your Pumpkin fix? We want to hear from you. Share your story on the Live Healthy Live Well Facebook page.   

Photo Credits: Jennifer Driesbach

Michelle Treber

Sources:

Goedkoop, S. Health-e-Recipes, American Institute of Cancer Research, Issue 628 retrieved October 7, 2016 from http://www.aicr.org/health-e-recipes/2016/pumpkin-spice-overnight-oats.html?_ga=1.45656932.1567956660.1370874924

https://extension.illinois.edu/pumpkins/seed.cfm

https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce/pumpkin

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/canned-pumpkin-a-versatile-superfood-for-all-seasons

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

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

 

 

Read Full Post »

Knowwaisting that long-term weight management to maintain good health is important, we should be able to determine whether the guidelines/programs of popular diets are set up to be healthy habits for a lifetime or a fad diet that is all hype and will provide only a short-term fix.

Health Risks Fad Diets, and Yo-Yo Dieting

  • Long term weight gain
  • Eating disorders
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies like anemia
  • Fatigue

Determining a Fad Diet

  • Does the diet promise quick weight loss?
  • Does the diet sound too good to be true?
  • Does the diet help sell a company’s product?
  • Does the diet lack valid scientific research to support its claims?
  • Does the diet give lists of “good” and “bad” foods?

If you can answer “YES” to any or all of these questions, the diet is probably a fad diet.

History of Fad Diets

Women’s Day report on Bizarre Diets in History:

  • 1727 – Avoiding Swamps
  • 1800’s – Starvation or Hysteria
  • 1820 – The Vinegar Diet
  • 1903 – Fletcherizing
  • 1925 – The Cigarette Diet
  • 1928 – The Inuit Meat-and-Fat Diet
  • Early 1930’s – Slimming Soap
  • 1954 – The Tapeworm Diet
  • 1960’s – The Sleeping Beauty Diet
  • 1961 – The Calories Don’t Count Diet
  • 1970s – The Prolinn Diet or the The Last Chance Diet
  • 1980’s – 2000’s – Breatharian Diet
  • 2000’s – The Vision Diet
  • 2000’s – Ear Stapling
  • 2000’s – The Cotton Ball Diet

Other Diets that Have Made the Rounds:

The Dukan Diet

  • Sources say royal members have followed it.
  • It has been a French Best-Seller for several years.
  • A diet with 4 stages, low in calories and high in protein.
  • Promotes lean protein, oat bran and water intake along with a daily 20-minute walk.

HCG Diet

  • Uses a hormone, (human chorionic gonadotropin) found during pregnancy, to help people lose weight & maintain weight loss.
  • 26 day treatment with 23 days of injections of HcG AND cut calorie intake to 500 Calories/day.
  • FDA-approved only for – fertility!!
  • Most report no fewer hunger pangs than those receiving a placebo and calories must continue to be low in order to lose more and maintain weight loss.

Low Carbohydrate Diets

  • Atkins Diet
  • Sugar-Busters Diet
  • South Beach Diet

soup

Cabbage Soup Diet

  • 7-day plan
  • Very few, specific foods allowed each day
  • Will lose 10-12 pounds in the week
  • Have not changed any lifestyle habits, and have lost mostly fluid
  • Soup and other allowed foods will cause gas

The Recommendations:

Assessment of weight and health risk involves using three key measures under the care of a physician or dietitian:

  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Waist circumference
  • Risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity

A Healthy Weight Is Needed to:

  • Reduce your risk of disease and health problems.
  • Help you feel better physically and mentally
  • Helps you enjoy life

Choosing a Safe, Reliable Weight-Loss Plan and/or Choosing Good Health at Any Size

  • Healthy eating
    plans that reduce calories but do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
  • Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical activity.
  • Tips on healthy habits that also keep your cultural needs in mind, such as lower-fat versions of your favorite foods.
  • Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on your starting weight, experts recommend losing weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Weight loss may be faster at the start of a program.
  • Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very low-calorie diet (a program that requires careful monitoring frompeople-1230872_1280-1 a doctor).
  • A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.
  • Perhaps, weight loss is not the correct choice for you. Good health can be found at many sizes and choosing to live healthfully at a higher or lower weight may be the best decision.  Check out more at the University of New Hampshire.

Where to Look for Help:

  • Registered Dietitians
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • choosemyplate.gov
  • eatright.org

Author:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Ohio State University Extension, spires.53@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Daniel T. Remley, MSPH, PhD, Ohio State University Extension, remley.4@osu.edu

Sources:

Read Full Post »

As the air cools in the fall we often lean towards fixing those comfort foods for our family. Things like: mac and cheese, chili soup, spaghetti sauce and pasta, chicken and noodles all taste good to us. Many of us are also concerned with making our meals as healthy as possible to prevent chronic disease risk, or just improve our health in general. Here are some ideas to “Soup UP” your next pot of chili:chili-2

  • Ground meats – Switch your regular ground chuck out for a ground sirloin or lean ground turkey (even turkey sausage). Look at the fat or % lean and go as lean as you can for the price. Another protein option could be meatless veggie protein crumbles – they will reduce the fat, but still have the same texture as other ground meats. This product is typically found in the freezer section of stores.
  • Beans – Instead of using just red kidney beans, try 2 different kinds of beans. Beans that are brighter color will have higher antioxidant properties (red, black or brown). Some research studies have found diets rich in the antioxidants in beans to result in lower cancer risks for breast, stomach, colorectal, kidney and prostate cancer. By combining the types of beans you can pick up the benefits from several different varieties.
  • Diced Vegetables – Replace your chopped onion with a variety of chopped vegetables. Choose from onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, corn, celery, pumpkin, and/or butternut squash. This is a great way to clean out the crisper drawer in your refrigerator and to ramp up the vegetables in your pot. I recently peeled and cubed a small sweet potato into a pot of chili – it tasted great and helped thicken it up too.
  • Tomato Products – Most chili is a combination of tomato products – sauce, paste, juice, and stewed or diced. Tomatoes are packed with vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, and even fiber. Research studies support the consumption of tomatoes with heart health benefits and even skin health. With tomato products look to “No Salt Added” products when purchasing canned.
  • Seasonings – Combine a variety of spices and herbs to suit your own taste preferences – cumin, black and cayenne pepper, oregano, and chili powder are all good choices. Keep your salt to a minimum. For some people higher sodium intake is linked with higher blood pressure.

A few other perks for a big pot of chili soup are that it is almost a one dish meal; by adding a dairy, fruit, and bread you can have a tasty meal. Soups also freeze well for left-over meals or to carry for lunch. And last-but-not-least you can use up left-overs in chili soup by switching ground meat for pulled chicken or pork, and almost any vegetable can be dumped in the pot. I can’t wait to hear your favorite chili combination.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

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

Sources:

American Heart Association, (2016). Myths About High Blood Pressure, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Myths-About-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_430836_Article.jsp#.WApYz4MrLct

North Dakota State University, “All About Beans Nutrition, Health Benefits, Preparation and Use in Menus”, Garden-Robinson, J. and McNeal, K., https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/all-about-beans-nutrition-health-benefits-preparation-and-use-in-menus#section-3.

Penn State Extension, “Eating Tomatoes May Very Well Save Your Life”, Kralj, R., http://extension.psu.edu/health/news/2014/eating-tomatoes-may-very-well-safe-your-life.

 

Read Full Post »

 

walk-to-school

I can remember my grandmother telling us how she used to walk several miles to school, and if she was lucky she got a ride in a horse and buggy. She was always healthy even in old age, when I knew her.

October is International Walk to School Month. Students in different countries, including the United States, will be walking to school this fall. The goal of International Walk to School Month is to promote bicycling and walking as viable transportation options to and from school. Why? According to a Talking Points bulletin from the National Center from Safe Routes to School:

  • 1 out of 5 children are overweight. Walking or biking allows students time for physical activity of which they need at least 60 minutes per day. More active children are less prone to becoming overweight and developing chronic diseases earlier in life.
  • Walking and biking to school gives children a sense of responsibility and independence. It also allows time to socialize with parents, friends and neighbors which enhances sense of community.
  • Walking and biking reduces traffic congestion and thus improves air quality.
  • Steady increases in gas prices and greater distances between school and home have strained school transportation budgets across the country. In 1980, the average cost of transporting a student was $466. After adjusting for inflation, the average cost per student in 2006 was $765! Walking and biking are low-cost alternatives.

Unfortunately, fewer children walk or bike to school than did so a generation ago. Today 16% of children walk to school today as compared to 42% in 1969. There are many reasons for this statistic including distance to schools, perceptions of crime, lack of sidewalks, school busing policies, traffic concerns and lack of motivation. Many students are not able to walk or bike even if they wanted to due to the distance between their schools and home. Schools are moving out to the edge of town where land is less expensive and more available. In 1969 about 45% of students lived less than a mile from school as compared to about 25% today. However, many students who live relatively close (<1 mile) chose not to walk due to one or more of the aforementioned barriers. Many of these barriers could be addressed during Walk to School events in October.

During the month, participating students could meet at designated locations and will walk with adult volunteers along designated safe routes to school. Students and volunteers could complete “walking audits” and identify barriers along the way (dilapidated sidewalks, barking dogs etc.) The audits could later be used to engage the community to address these barriers. After the walk, the school could offer a breakfast and celebration for participants and volunteers. Non-walking students might be able to participate in special walking activities during recess. To encourage walking throughout the rest of the year, students could be eligible for prizes if they walk or bike to school or if they participate in designated walking activities.

If you are interested in learning more about Walk to School you can visit the walk to school day website at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ready/about-the-events/walk-to-school-day. This website offers much of the information that your community would need to plan for a walk to school event.

Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition and Wellness, OSU Extension

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, FCS Educator, OSU Extension Wood County

Source: National Center for Safe Routes to School. Why Walk or Bicycle to School? Talking Points accessed from http://www.walktoschool.org/downloads/WTS-talking-points-2009.pdf

Read Full Post »

Do you follow the “5-second rule” when you drop food on the floor?  If you do, you may want to rethink your actions.

Different factors affect how quickly bacteria will be transferred.  These
include moisture, type of surface, and contact time.  It was found in some instances the bacteria began to transfer in less than one second.  Time to rethink the idea that you can pick up any food off the floor quickly, and it is safe to eat.koli-bacteria-123081__180

Researchers at Rutgers University tested four surfaces:

  • stainless steel
  • ceramic
  • tile
  • wood

Each of the surfaces were contaminated an Enterobacter aerogenes, “cousin” of Salmonella.  The bacteria were allowed to dry before food was dropped.

They used four different types of foods:watermelon-on-tile

  • watermelon
  • bread
  • bread and butter
  • gummy candy

The researchers replicated the scenarios 20 times each checking the bacteria transfer to food samples at less than one second, five, 30 and 300 seconds.  Each food sample was then analyzed for contamination.

Moisture seemed to increase the transfer of bacteria to food the most.  Watermelon contained the most contamination while gummy candy contained the least.  The longer the food was on the contaminated surface the more bacteria it contained. However, contamination from bacteria can occur instantly. 

Surprisingly, carpet had low transfer rates. Tile and stainless steel bread-on-carpethad higher transfer rates than wood which was variable.  Another study with tile found E. coli was transferred to gummy candy in less than 5 seconds with more bacteria transferred from smooth tile than rough tile. 

Next time, you drop some food on the floor you may want to think twice before you put it in your mouth.  Any food that has been on the floor may contain bacteria which may make you sick.  Is the food that important or expensive?   Would you be better off throwing it away?   It is always better to avoid infection or being sick.

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

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

References:

Aston University. (2014). Researchers Prove the Five Second Rule is Real. Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences.  Available at http://www.aston.ac.uk/news/releases/2014/march/five-second-food-rule-does-exist/

Schaffner, D. (2016). Rutgers Researchers Debunk ‘Five-Second Rule’: Eating Food off the Floor Isn’t Safe.  Rutgers Today.  Available at http://news.rutgers.edu/research-news/rutgers-researchers-debunk-%E2%80%98five-second-rule%E2%80%99-eating-food-floor-isn%E2%80%99t-safe/20160908#.V_ZUJvkrKUk

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2003). If You Drop It, Should You Eat It?  Scientists Weigh In on the 5-Second Rule.  College News.   Available at http://news.aces.illinois.edu/news/If-you-drop-it-should-you-eat-it-scientists-weigh-5-second-rule

Read Full Post »

The Live Healthy Live Well team is getting ready to kick off the Time Out 4 Health Wellness Challenge. Individuals who sign up for this challenge will receive email messages two times a week with encouraging tips and strategies to find time for health and wellness this fall. While taking a break from technology is not directly addressed through the challenge, doing so may free up time to improve mental, physical and emotional health.

Technology has many positive uses, but the overconsumption of technology can have a negative effect on health. In a webinar titled This is Your Brain Online: The Impact of Digital Technology on Mental Health, Dr. Scott Becker, director of the Michigan State University Counseling Center, discusses how the overuse of digital technology can impact sleep, memory, attention span, capacity to learn, stress, identity and relationships. Additionally, research suggests a direct association between screen time and obesity in both children and adults.

capture In a world where technology is everywhere all the time, deeply ingrained in all aspects of culture and society, how does one reduce technology consumption? A good place to begin is by taking time to consider how you use technology in your daily life. What aspects of technology could you minimize or live without? Maybe there are times in the evening or on the weekend that you could designate as screen-free, choosing to spend time outside, with family, or engaged in a hobby instead of a screen. In the workplace, try turning off email notifications or designating set times to check your phone, especially while working on important projects, to increase productivity and focus. Be deliberate about how and when you use technology to reap its benefits without suffering health consequences.

You may also want to try “digital detoxing”, the act of refraining from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers for a specified period of time. Join others in a digital detox by pledging to participate in Screen Free Week, held annually in May, or the National Day of Unplugging, held on the first Friday in March. In the meantime, unplug and spend time outdoors, and don’t let any vacation time that you may have go to waste. Take time to refresh and recharge!

Author: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

Sources:

Michigan State University Extension (2015). This is Your Brain Online: The Impact of Digital Technology on Mental Health. https://mediaspace.msu.edu/media/t/1_77c64xn4

USDA Nutrition Evidence Library (2010). What is the relationship between screen time and body weight? http://www.nel.gov/conclusion.cfm?conclusion_statement_id=250317&full_review=true

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »