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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetables’

Salad, Kiwi, Eyes, Play, Vegetables

Summer is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are on sale at the store, coming from our gardens, and filling the farmers markets.  This season is a great time to evaluate food choices in our lives and set goals for improvement. Evaluating what we are serving to our children is a worthwhile place to start.  As parents we want our children to eat a variety of healthy foods, but are often met with resistance when offering a food that is unfamiliar. Getting our kids to try new foods can be difficult and frustrating!   Here are some simple tips that can help you find success when offering new foods to your growing child:

Make sure you are offering a variety of foods on a regular basis.  This helps children become familiar with a variety of flavors and textures.

Try pairing a new food with one that is familiar.  For example, try scrambling a diced vegetable into eggs or offering a new fruit choice at breakfast as a pancake topping.

Involve your kids in planning new food choices.  Invite them to learn about the food, how it grows or how it is made.  Help them find a recipe and shop for it, then join them in the kitchen preparing the food.

Model a variety of good food choices yourself. You don’t have to be an adventurous eater, but you can display a positive attitude about trying new foods to your child.

When trying new foods ask your kids to describe the color, smell or texture instead of asking only of they like it.  This helps your child to pay more attention to just how it tastes, and focus on all aspects of the new food.

Let your children know they aren’t wrong if they don’t like it. There is no wrong or right answer when trying something new.  Be positive and reward their willingness to try new foods with words of encouragement.

Think about appearance when offering new foods.  A fun shape or presentation can be enticing.  For example, make a small kebob out of a new fruit, or cut vegetables into exciting shapes. Kids love to dip.  Try offering a dip alongside a vegetable to make eating it fun.  Hummus is a great suggestion and tastes great with a variety of raw vegetables while adding some protein to your snack.

Most importantly, be patient! It often takes repeated exposure to a new food for children to embrace it.  Continue to be encouraging and try, try again.

 

Written by: Alisha Barton,Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Miami County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County

Resources:

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers-picky-eating

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/audiences/KitchenHelperActivities.pdf

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/audiences/HealthyTipsforPickyEaters.pdf

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/08/22/new-myplate-resources-families

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myplate_yellowHow many vegetables did you eat yesterday?

MyPlate recommends that adults consume at least 2-3 cups of vegetables each day, making half your plate fruits and vegetables at each meal. Breakfast is a meal where fruit often makes an appearance, but it is also a great opportunity to kick-off your vegetable consumption for the day!

Below are five delicious breakfast ideas that include vegetables:

  1. Zucchini bread oatmeal. You can make a batch of the baked oatmeal that the recipe linked to here instructs, or simply add shredded zucchini to overnight oats in place of part of the liquid. Zucchini bread oatmeal is a great high fiber, low fat alternative to zucchini bread. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of pumpkin bread, consider stirring canned pumpkin into your oatmeal for another nutritious breakfast.
  2. Frittata. Combine your favorite chopped veggies (mushroom, bell pepper, tomato, onion, etc.) with a mixture of egg, herbs and cheese for a delicious breakfast casserole. For added convenience, bake in a muffin tin for single-serve portions! muffin tin fritattas
  3. Breakfast sandwiches or wraps (burritos). Start with a whole wheat English muffin, tortilla or slice of toast, then add scrambled eggs, cheese, and your favorite veggies (spinach, mushroom, tomato, avocado, etc.) for a hearty breakfast sandwich. You could also fold your stuffed tortilla in half and cook it in the skillet for a quesadilla!
  4. Made-over muffins. If you enjoy eating muffins at breakfast, prepare varieties at home that include whole wheat flour and shredded veggies to ramp up the fiber content. Shredded zucchini and carrots make tasty muffins! Pineapple carrot muffins are one of my favorites.
    green-smoothie-681143_1920
  5. Power smoothies. If you enjoy whipping up a morning smoothie, try adding spinach or kale to the mix! These leafy greens are rich in nutrients, and chances are you’ll hardly notice that they’re there!

How do you add veggies to your breakfast? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

 

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

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

 

Sources:

Mullen, M. & Shield, J.E. (2017). Veggies for Breakfast? Yes! Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. eatright.org

USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov (2017). All About the Vegetable Group. choosemyplate.gov/vegetables.

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As we round the corner and move towards 2018, do you still have any items on your “to do” list that you wanted to accomplish in 2017? I know I still have a few things on my list which will be pushed into the new year. At the start of the New Year, I enjoy boxing up old files and starting new files for the upcoming year. It is also fun to get a new calendar – another opportunity to start fresh and organize your work and personal life.

For many of us, a New Year is a fresh slate and we vow to . . . . . (you fill in the blank).

What is important to you? Let’s look at a few items and see if any resonate with you. Perhaps these ideas will help you get started on your goals for 2018.

Do you want be healthier? Let’s say that in 2018, you decide to focus on eating healthier or being more active. If you want to eat healthier, start by visiting http://choosemyplate.gov where you will find Super Tracker – an online food, activity and weight management tool that you can customize. Also explore USDA’s What’s Cooking? Mixing Bowl – a site full of tasty recipes and meal planning tools.

Still looking for additional ways to cut calories? Check out the tips shared on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) website. An easy jump-start to eating healthier is to fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.

Perhaps your beverage choices contribute to excess calories. It might be time to Rethink Your Drink. What can you do to reduce calories?

Do you want to re-energize and move more? Most of us can make improvements in this area. Set your activity goals and find an activity that moves you. Not sure where to start? Check out the CDC’s physical activity basics for adults. If you have 10 minutes to move then start with those 10. Make it a goal to add another 10 minutes during lunchtime and finish your day with another 10 minutes of activity. You will have added 30 minutes of physical activity to your day in 3 easy chunks!  This infographic from the American Heart Association may help you get started on your circuit training activity plan.

Capture

Create Your Own Circuit Workout. Source: American Heart Association. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/move-more/infographics/create-a-circuit-home-workout.

Clutter getting you down? Perhaps your goal for 2018 is to de-clutter and simplify your life. University of Illinois Extension has a great website to help you get started. Not sure where to start? Use the Clutter Emergency Card to help you sort what you should toss, keep or give away. Start small in one area, and once it is de-cluttered, move to another area.

2018

In the New Year, what challenge will you take on? Share your ideas in the comments!

 

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

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

 

Sources:

American Heart Association (2016). Create Your Own Circuit Workout at Home. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/GettingActive/Create-Your-Own-Circuit-Workout-at-home_UCM_484683_Article.jsp#.WjvNxk2WwaE

American Heart Association (2016). Why is physical activity so important for health and wellbeing? https://healthyforgood.heart.org/Move-more/Articles/Why-is-physical-activity-so-important-for-health-and-wellbeing

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Cutting Calories. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/cutting_calories.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). How Much Activity Do Adults Need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Rethink Your Drink. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). http://choosemyplate.gov

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl. https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

University of Illinois Extension. Dealing with Clutter.  http://extension.illinois.edu/clutter/dealing.html

 

 

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Spaghetti squash is a vegetable that can be used in place of traditional spaghetti pasta with your favorite sauce. It is full of folic acid, potassium, beta carotene, fiber, and Vitamins A and C – with a one cup serving coming in at 42 calories, versus the almost 200 calories a traditional cup of pasta contains. 

Spaghetti squash is an oblong winter squash that is ivory-yellow in color and weighs 2 to 3 pounds. A mature squash will be 4 to 5 inches in diameter and about 8 to 9 inches long with rounded ends. When selecting squash, look for a hard rind, free of bruises, and heavy in comparison to others. Squash can be stored at a mild temperature (50 – 60 degrees) for up to 6 months.

To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds. Place cut side down on a roasting pan in a 375 degree F oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Hull will be soft to the touch and beginning to brown when ready. Let cool about 30 minutes and spoon squash strands out, separating to form spaghetti like strands. Microwaving is also an option – place cut squash in a glass dish (cut side down) with ½ inch of water and microwave for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and remove squash strands.

Try serving your spaghetti squash with a Roma tomato sauce or your favorite jar sauce for a quicker meal. Ohio State University Heart Hospital has a wonderful Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Roma Tomato Marinara if you are looking for an option. To see a video of how to prepare spaghetti squash go to http://go.osu.edu/spaghettisquash.

Let us know your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash!

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

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

Sources:

The Ohio State University Heart Hospital, https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/

University of Illinois Extension, http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/facts/140218.html

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/spaghetti_squash_also_called_vegetable_spaghetti

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TomPuppy2

My brother-in-law and sister had to put their beloved dog to sleep a few months ago. Needless to say, this was a sad time for them. Tom (my brother-in-law) recently shared an observation about his weight during this time. When . they had to put their dog, Chippy to sleep, his average weight was 199. He noticed a weight gain of 9-10 pounds after this time. Since they brought home a new puppy, Chummy, his weight has dropped by 5 pounds!

What does this have to do with your health? According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet – a dog, in particular, can be good for your heart health.  This article supports the findings that my brother-in-law recently shared with me. The CDC also reports that having a pet can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides levels and decrease your feelings of loneliness.

These factors may contribute to his recent weight loss:

  • Taking a walk at least twice a day with Chummy
  • Enjoying the social interaction with the new puppy
  • Spending time with the puppy which makes it easier to avoid snacking

If you can’t have or don’t want a pet, what can you do to improve your heart health? Go back to the basics:

Enjoy physical activity most days of the week for at least 30 minutes. It is fine to break up the 30 minutes into three 10-minute sessions. Adults should aim for 150 minutes per week.

Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Enjoy a wide variety of nutrient rich veggies & fruits. Be creative with the way you add them to your day. Start the day with a fruit or veggie for breakfast (think smoothie, veggies added to eggs, or a piece of fresh fruit).

Need more help? Visit MyPlate’s SuperTracker to customize your food and activity plan. It is free and easy and will help you on your wellness journey.

While you are enjoying the health benefits from you new (or old) pet, don’t forget basic cleanliness habits to keep you and your family from becoming ill. One reminder from CDC is to wash your hands after handling your pet, pet food or treats or if you pick up their stools.  Not sure how to wash your hands? Here are the basics on handwashing from CDC:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Do you need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

Are these good reasons to get a pet? Yes! Remember that if you are ready for a new furry family member, it just might help your health!

Sources:

http://heartinsight.heart.org/Fall-2017/Is-Owning-a-Pet-Good-for-You/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/resources/pet-food-tips_8x11_508.pdf

https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/myplan.aspx

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

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

 

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Many people forget how important it is to start your day with a fueling breakfast. We often forget to include this meal due to lack of time and planning around hectic schedules. One versatile breakfast item that my family and I enjoy is a veggie egg muffin. This simple dish has fresh ingredients, is easy to make with only a few ingredients, and is packed with protein from the eggs and fiber from its veggies. One large egg has 6 grams of protein, including essential amino acids and only 70 calories. Eggs also provide a rich source of vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium. Additionally, eggs are very economical to make; one egg has an average cost of approximately 8.5 cents in today’s market.    .

Vegetable Egg Muffin on a Plate

Veggie Egg Muffins

I like to make many versions of this recipe, depending on what I have available in my refrigerator. I always start with 10-12 eggs, and add milk and various veggies on hand. I also add additional spices to enhance the flavor. Spices include fresh garlic (or garlic powder), onion powder, parsley flakes, and sometimes fresh or dried basil.

Here is an egg muffin recipe that I would to share to get started. This can be modified based on your veggie preferences and items you have on hand.

Veggie Egg Breakfast Muffins
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • ¼ cup nonfat milkEggs in a bowl. Peppers, onion, spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms on cutting board
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 3 medium-size mushrooms
  • ½ cup broccoli
  • 2 peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Cooking Spray

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, nonfat milk and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in the spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, diced peppers and onions. After vegetables are mixed together, add your cheese to the bowl.Egg mixture with veggies in a bowl

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin pan cups and bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the egg is fully cooked. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan then use a knife to loosen the muffins from the cups.
*Adapted from Just a Taste

These healthy egg muffins taste good by themselves, but I often will make it into an egg sandwich to add more fiber. I start with a whole grain sandwich thin, and then add guacamole, taco sauce, 1 slice of cheese, and sometimes a thin slice of deli turkey. After I’ve assembled my sandwich, I warm it up in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. This is a great sandwich to start the day. They can be made the night before and put in a sandwich bag for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or afternoon snack. My husband likes to have it as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.

If they will not be used in 5 days, plan to put them in the freezer for a later date.

Why not give it a try this week, and leave a reply in the comment box below to share other ideas for a healthy breakfast egg muffin.

Resources:
http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/egg-nutrition-basics/

http://www.aeb.org/news-trends/incredible-breakfast-trends/new-consumer/millennial-evolution

https://www.justataste.com/healthy-breakfast-egg-muffins-recipe/

 

Written by:  Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu and Shannon Smith, RD, LD, Program Coordinator IGNITE Grant, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, smith.11604@osu.edu

Reviewed by:   Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,   remley.4@osu.edu

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Fruits & Veggies

We are entering that wonderful time of the year when local farmers’ markets are open, roadside stands pop up and even local grocery stores offer plentiful displays of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. With all of this bounty, sometimes the question arises on how to choose the most flavorful, ripe product. You will want to choose fruits and vegetables at the peak of their freshness for the best flavor and nutritional value.

Here are some helpful hints to remember when you are shopping:

  • Look for fruits or vegetables that have the shape, size and color that are usually thought of for the item. Remember though, they don’t have to be perfect to be good! That tomato or pepper that is slightly misshapen should be just as tasty and nutritious as its perfect neighbor.
  • Avoid fruits/vegetables with obvious bruises or discoloration. These spots will spoil quickly. If you notice a spot after you bring the produce home, cut out the bad spot and use as soon as possible.
  • Feel the item. If it is very soft it may be overripe; if it is too hard, it hasn’t ripened enough to eat yet. Melons can be especially difficult to choose. Here is great information on choosing ripe melons.
  • Smell! Fruits/vegetables that have the characteristic aroma associated with the item should be ready to eat. Think fresh peaches!

Not all vegetables and fruits will continue to ripen once they have been harvested.

  • Tomatoes, unripe melons, and tree fruits such as pears, peaches and nectarines should be kept at room temperature to ripen. They will get sweeter and more delicious.
  • Grapes, berries, and cherries won’t get better while sitting out, so they should go into the refrigerator right away.
  • Other fruits, like citrus, could sit out for a day or two but then should also be put in the refrigerator.
  • Most vegetables should be refrigerated when harvested or purchased. Some exceptions would be onions, garlic and potatoes.

Don’t forget about food safety with your fresh produce!

  • Always wash your fresh produce before using.
  • Some fruits and vegetables are better stored in the refrigerator before you wash them. Items such as beans and berries are more likely to spoil if stored damp. Be sure and brush off as much dirt as possible before storing. Place them in bags to keep them from contaminating other food in your refrigerator and them wash well when you are ready to eat them.
  • All produce should be rinsed under cool running water. Do not use soap or bleach as the residue left on the produce could make you ill.

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. By buying fresh, seasonal items at the peak of their freshness and having them available to eat makes it easier to incorporate them into our daily diet.

Written by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Franklin County. Rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Michelle Treber Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Pickaway County. treber.1@osu.edu

https://articles.extension.org/pages/19886/storing-fruits-and-vegetables

http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5523

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/washing-food-does-it-promote-food-safety/washing-food

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