Click the pic on the right to DUNK the JUNK
The first step towards eating healthy is to start to see food as something that can help energize you for an active day- or something that can only add to your weight problem. There are healthy foods and unhealthy foods- and lots of tools available to help you tell the difference. Check out this list of Top 10 Junk foods to dunk! Consider writing down everything you eat! Sometimes this awareness alone can lead to weight loss.
If you only click one link – the VA cooperative Extension has a great site to get you started on reading labels, shopping on a budget, healthy drinks, and more!
Needs help talking to your children about weight problems? Go here!
Worried your kids won’t eat healthy? Tell them about the young chefs aged 8-12 who attended the first kids State dinner at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama. Each child was a winner of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge which invited families to create a healthy, affordable, original and delicious lunchtime recipe. A digital cookbook published by Epicurious will feature the winning recipes including Kickin’ Chicken Salad, Power Pesto Pasta, and Secret Service Super Salad. ; it is available as a free download starting this week. Click here for a few winners!
Don’t forget what treats cost you. For many people, calories are too abstract. The 20oz bottle of soda has 240 calories – but what does that mean? A study from 2011 showed that if we translate calories into terms people can understand, we can make healthier choices. To work off 240 calories, a 15-year-old weighing 110 pounds would have to jog for 50 minutes, ride a bicycle for 73 minutes, or walk briskly for two hours. Adults would have to work even harder, to compensate for their slower metabolism.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a $10 Buy Local Challenge. Are you ready to commit to spending at least $10 per week on locally-grown foods and beverages? It will be good for the local economy as well as your health!
“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.” – Hippocrates
Current data shows that 1 in 3 kids is overweight or obese. Kids are drowning in extra weight starting at a younger and younger age. Being obese as a youth strongly predicts that they will be obese as an adult. These numbers are staggering -and foretell that this generation will have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Our best information shows that patterns of eating too much are established before children turn two. Children can develop adult levels of cholesterol before their second birthday. Therefore, the burden is on our shoulders as parents to set up healthy habits from the very beginning. We must teach our children how to eat healthy -and we all know that they will do what we do, not just what we say. It takes creativity and consistency. Here are some resources to help us be super models!
Healthy Children.org is a website by the American Academy of Pediatrics with lots of information about obesity. Their magazine Chop Chop adds new recipes monthly.
FitMD has individual option for young kids, school aged kids, and teenagers.
Who knows best how to make kids eat healthy? Kids!! The Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge has a great list of kid-tested recipes to try.
Healthy Eating for Kids Recipes and Menus has great ideas for the whole family!
This article from Today’s Dietitian discusses how to deal with the children’s menu at restaurants.
Obesity takes the fun out of being a kid.
Studies show that kids that eat healthy do better in school with academics. So this fall – either look at your child’s school menu to remind them of what the healthy choices are, or pack them a box of healthy brain-food!
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Pack an appetizer tray of cut up veggies, fruits, and a few rolls of sliced turkey or chicken with 3 whole wheat crackers.
It doesn’t have to be their favorite foods – try including their favorite color in a food – or a fun-colored napkin!
Check out a local Lynchburg blog on school lunch prep! PureGoodness.net
This year, consider some options for local turkeys – great for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas feasts! Click the link or call the number to order.
Auburnlea Farms, Gladys, VA. 434-283-8109
Mountain Run Farm, Sedalia, VA. 434-299-5193
Our Father’s Farm, Gretna, VA. 434-656-1188
Do you think you can celebrate the holidays without eating pounds of unhealthy food? Yes you can! Read More
Many parents find that children prefer fruits to vegetables, and wonder whether it’s worth battling over the greens? Fruits, while they contain many of the same vitamins as vegetables, have lower concentrations which would require eating larger amounts. We must teach our children (and sometimes ourselves) to eat the rainbow – and not forget the greens! So how can we outsmart the green-averse child (or adult)?
1) The short term goal is immediate consumption. So be a sneaky chef. Hide spinach in a green smoothie, or even a purple berry smoothie (the pigments from berries make it harder to see the green). Slide a piece of lettuce into a chicken sandwich, grilled green peppers into a burrito, and pureed green beans into your regular spaghetti sauce. Try making zucchini muffins and see if they even notice the green. Add pumpkin to soups. Make eggplant parmesan and see if they like the yummy meat substitute.
2) The long term goal is long term consumption. This means serving veggies in the open so your child will learn to ask for them! Use names like Monster smoothie, Shrek Celery Sticks, or Rabbit treats. Serve salads at dinner and let your child pick the dressing. Throw sliced veggies on the grill next to their favorite proteins. Grow your own garden and let your child eat the veggies fresh out of the dirt. Wash and cut up veggies into easy to open containers and place in the front of the fridge for after school snacks. Here are some measurements for easy 100 calorie snacks. Remember that you can have many more mouthfuls when you choose fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods, sweets, or even bread.
3) Reward good behavior. Use stickers or stars. Make a handy dandy notebook with grades for every “new” vegetable tried. Check out games like I ate a rainbow and Crunch a color.
4) Savor the fruits you serve. Consider that one cup of grapes has the same amount of calories as a small box of raisins. The extra crunching of the grapes makes the child feel more full. Use whole fruit to get the benefits of fiber and again the feeling of being full instead of serving dried fruits or fruit juice which neither satisfies hunger nor thirst! Limit fruit juice to one cup a day. Use fruits for dessert or to sweeten yogurt or plain cereal.
5) Be a model citizen. Don’t battle. Simply model good behavior. Walk the walk and eat your veggies. Your kids are watching!
All year round – water is the best hydration for exercise. In the hot months, you need to drink even more to stay cool and hydrated.
As cool as the Gatorade and Powerade advertisments look, those drinks should only be used in small doses. Sports drinks contain lots of sugar and salt. In a single 32-oz. bottle, you’ll find 200 calories which will be stored as fat and lead to weight gain unless you have burned more than that. Water cost less and does a better job of rehydrating.
Want to help your kids understand why you don’t want them to drink soda? Go to SugarStacks and see the sugar cube equivalents to many of their favorite beverages. These drinks are desserts – and should be enjoyed sparingly. Sodas are chemically designed to make us crave salty and high fat foods, and they don’t even satify thirst -they simply make us want to drink more. This same 12oz a day can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes – even if it is DIET soda.
We know that eating 3 servings a week of whole fruits can significantly decrease your risk of Type II Diabetes. Eating 3 servings of these fruits helps the most: Blueberries, grapes/raisins, apples, pears, bananas, and grapefruit. Don’t forget that JUICE IS NOT FRUIT. Drinking 3 servings of fruit juice actually increases the risk of Type II Diabetes.
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink enough water so that your urine stays clear (not yellow). For some this might be eight 8oz glasses a day, for some it might be more! Make sure to offer your children water every time you get a drink, especially if they are too young to signal their thirst.
Adults: click on the REAL BEARS video below to get a closer glimpse of how sugary drinks are misrepresented in the media and how dangerous they really are.
WARNING: this video is not appropriate for small children.
Parents often overestimate the amount of food that their children need, which can put youngsters on the fast track to obesity.
Did you know that using a smaller plate is an easy way to help your child feel more full?
Check out this video on how parents’ can help kids make better choices about portion control.
Top 10 Tips for Making Take-Out Healthier
With today’s busy lifestyles, there is not always time to cook for your family. If you are having take-out night, consider the following tips to cut the calories and fat and make a healthier meal.
- Chicken Night: Choose grilled chicken or chicken salad instead of a fried chicken sandwich. Skip the fries and soda; order low-fat or fat-free milk.
- Mexican Foods: Get vegetarian refried or plain black beans. Pick soft tortillas (such as a burrito) instead of fried taco shells. Replace the cheese or sour cream with salsa or guacamole.
- Pizza: Opt for a thin crust and double the vegetables instead of doubling the cheese. Before you eat, grab a few paper napkins and blot the excess oil off your pizza.
- Indian Foods: Order the yogurt-based salads, tandoori chicken and fish, lentil or dal dishes. Go for the pappadams instead of thick naan bread. Avoid food cooked in coconut milk, cream or ghee (clarified butter), fried Samosas and thick creamy Korma dishes.
- Italian Foods: Avoid creamy sauces and pesto on pasta that can add a lot of fat and calories. Instead, try a marinara sauce, pasta primavera or a clam sauce. Consider sharing a pasta entrée and a salad with someone else.
- Chinese Foods: Ask for wonton or sweet-and-sour soup. Order steamed rice, boiled, steamed, broiled or lightly stir-fried dishes. Pile on the vegetables such as broccoli and bok choy. Try to avoid deep fried dishes, fried rice, egg dishes and salty sauces.
- Deli Foods: Cut the fat on sandwiches by omitting bacon, mayonnaise, cheese and special sauces. Ask for mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles instead. Try out lean meats (such as turkey breast) on your sandwiches and go for the wheat roll.
- Japanese Foods: Opt for miso soup and steamed vegetables such as edamame and omega-3- containing fish, such as salmon. Avoid anything “tempura” which indicates “fried.” Sneak in some avocado in your rolls, they add richness and contain unsaturated fats.
- Burger Night: Order the regular or kid-size portion. Load on the lettuce and tomato and try to skip the cheese. Try a side salad or apple slices instead of fries or onion rings. Go for a low-fat milkshake instead of a soda for an extra calcium boost.
- On-the-Go Breakfasts: Opt for a whole-wheat high-fiber muffin, bagel or toast (consider eating half if the portion size is huge). Go for the low-fat yogurt or fruit instead of the home fries. Replace the bacon or sausage with ham. Avoid sugar-loaded fruit juices.
My Plate is the newest tool from the USDA to help you make smart food choices. It replaces the old food pyramid – it is more simple and colorful – and reminds us to get variety in good proportions.
Americans eat fewer than 70 percent of their meals at home; but we know that people who eat more home-cooked meals are healthier. The portion sizes are more appropriate, it costs less, you can be more creative and make exactly what you like – but most people don’t cook! Here are some resources to get you and your family back in the kitchen!
Amazement Square: cooking classes on the second saturday of each month! Downtown Lynchburg.
Bower Center for the Arts: Smith Mountain Lake’s renowned chef Mantana Heim. Bedford.
Catalano’s Delicatessen: Chefs Marisa Catalano-Jones and Clinton Jones offer private cooking classes and events.
Greens and Grains: Chef Jeanell offers Basic Cooking Classes beginning Thursday, October 3, she will offer 4 classes that will focus on vegetables, healthy meals, healthy lunchboxes, and easy appetizers for holidays! All classes will be held at The Rimland Center, located at 2919 Confederate Avenue, which is off of Old Forest Road next to Michael’s Carpet World. The fee for each class is $ 45 with a discounted rate of $35 per class if you sign-up for all 4 sessions. Email Chef Jeanell to register: ChefJeanell@GreensandGrains.com
Hearth of the Kitchen: Rachel Deddens leads historical cooking classes at any historic kitchen including Point of Honor. Lynchburg or Nelson County. Email RCDeddens@earthlink.com
Magnolia Foods: Adi McCauley gives quarterly cooking classes. Lynchburg.
Smith Mountain Lake International Cooking School: Chef Mantana Heim also hosts private classes at her home. Smith Mountain Lake.
Still not sure where to start? One blog called “100 days of real food” offers 5 different practical menu plans for a whole week, including a budget. Another set of menus can be found here. Still at a loss? Check out the First Lady’s favorite recipes as part of the second anniversary of MyPlate on Pinterest.
The word “sugar” can mean different things. There are two main types of carbohydrates – simple sugars (fructose from fruit, lactose in milk, and sucrose in powdered sugar – so some are good and some need to be limited!) or starches/complex sugars (found in potatoes, rice, bread, cereal). We need carbohydrates, but we need to make healthy choices.
Livestrong.com has this tip: Adults should limit added sugar to about 25g (women) or 37g (men) per day. Preschoolers should limit added sugar to about 16g per day. Elementary school aged kids are growing more, and need to limit sugar to only 12.5 g per day. Pre-teens and teenagers can handle a little more, but 20-30g per day is plenty. Do you know where sugar is hiding? Read More
What is a snack? The Healthy Snacking Research Center proposes that a snack is solid food eaten between mealtimes that does not substitute for a meal and that has significantly fewer calories than a meal. LCS wellness policy says: “Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations.”
Grades K-5 Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs – 1.2012
Breakfast: 1 cup fruit, 1oz of whole grains, 1 cup milk
Min 350- max 500 calories; less than 10g saturated fat; less than 430 mg sodium, and ZERO grams of trans fat
Lunch: ½ cup fruit, ¾ cup vegetables (no more than ½ cup starchy veg), 1oz whole grain, 1oz meat/meat alternate, 1 cup milk
Min 550 – max 650 calories; less than 10g saturated fat, less than or equal to 640 mg sodium, ZERO grams of trans fat
BOTTOM LINE: Everyone needs more fruits and veggies. Apples, bananas, carrots, dates, figs, green beans, peppers, oranges, pears, raisins, raspberries, cherry tomatoes. Try to use these for snacks. Use low fat yogurt, low fat ranch, hummus, or guacamole as dips. If you choose grains or proteins, try to limit to 10o calorie packages with whole grain ingredients. Here are 100 more ideas!!
The best nutrition for newborns is breastmilk. No formula is perfectly suited to each baby like mother’s milk. Breastmilk is free and always ready to serve, even if the power goes out or when you are on the go. It is never contaminated by beetles or melamine. Best of all, breastmilk provides lifelong protection from illness and disease. Read More
CSA projects allow you to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. You purchase a “share” or membership which provides you with a weekly box of seasonal vegetables and other farm products through the farming season.
- Frog Bottom Farm CSA is a small community supported vegetable farm located in Appomattox County that uses low impact, sustainable farming methods.
- Horse & Buggy Produce is a local Natural Foods Cooperative that draws from over 100 small family farms, personal vegetable gardens and fruit orchards in Central Virginia. On a weekly basis, H&B delivers fresh, local food to either a central pickup site or a variety of home and office locations.
- Lynchburg Grows is an urban farm on almost 7 acres in Lynchburg with a mission to teach sustainable food production and to embrace people with special needs. The farm has a Community Supported Agriculture program which allows patrons to get weekly bags of local produce for a nominal fee.
- Lynchburg Real Foods is a natural foods buying club that provides basic whole foods and household items for residents of the inner Lynchburg area. 434-528-1100
Chances are, at the local grocery store. you buy bananas from Guatemala and Avocados from Mexico. If you’re buying a tomato in the winter months, beware. These are picked while still green, taken back to a warehouse, and exposed to ethylene gas. The gas turns them red, but not ripe. That’s why they lack the mouthwatering flavor of a summer farmer’s market tomato! Before distribution at a grocery store, fruits and vegetables are often stored for weeks at a warehouse! That’s why they’re not as fresh as you’d like, or they rot just a few days after you buy them.
In a report by the Kellogg foundation in 2005, the public gave supermarkets the highest rating of 21 industries reviewed (over banks, airlines, and oil companies!) 92% people say that supermarkets “generally do a good job of serving their consumers” and 42 percent believe that supermarkets are generally honest and trustworthy. According to the CDC, most adults averaged at least 2 trips per week to the supermarket in 2010. However, a study this year showed that supermarket circulars advertise for foods in a way that is out of sync with health recommendations. More than 1/2 of the front page showed protein foods and grains (while MyPlate recommends limiting these foods to less than half of the plate); fruits, vegetables, and dairy, combined, were given only about 1/4 of the front page (while MyPlate recommends fruits and vegetables alone account for 1/2 of the plate). Our region of the US, the South, has the highest obesity rate, and our grocery store circulars have the largest amount of advertising space for sweets, especially sugar-sweetened beverages. Yuck!
Have you ever thought about buying local? There are many benefits – to your taste buds, the environment (no 18 wheelers needed for transport), your local economy, and even your health. Local produce is more nutrient-rich than imported produce that has traveled for an extended time period. Also, you can choose to buy from farmers who do not use antibiotics, hormones or other toxic chemicals. (Only about one in four people knows of the debate concerning antibiotic overuse. Once informed, are you willing to spend more to avoid food produced with antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones?) Eating local food can also improve your health by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume!
If each household in Virginia would spend $10 a week on locally grown agricultural products, it could bring $1.65 billion into the Virginia Economy each year. Take the $10 pledge. Submit a Virginia Grown punch card before October 4th to win a $250 gift basket from Virginia Food System Council. Make your commitment today, to spend just $10 a week on locally grown food, raised by Virginia farmers.
Check out the Downtown Community Market – Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, 13th and Main in Downtown Lynchburg. ***Since July 2013, many vendors in the market accept SNAP benefits! There are still Double Dollars available for SNAP recipients who shop at participating vendors in the Downtown Community market!
Forest, Bedford, Altavista and Buena Vista all have Farmer’s Markets as well.
- Forest Library Parking lot – Saturday 8am-1pm May –October 15583 Forest Road
- Bedford – corner of Washington and Center Streets; June-October Tuesday and Friday
- Altavista – Trade Lot; Wed & sat; April – October
- Buena Vista – Magnolia Parking Lot; July-Sept Wed 3p-7pm
- Campbell County – Brookville High School; May – Oct Saturdays 8am-12pm
Visit a Virginia farm and pick your own fresh produce right off the tree (or bush). Many farms also have pre-picked foods for you to select as well. Some of the foods available at “U-Picks” include peaches, apples, strawberries, asparagus, and pumpkins. To find a farm to visit, look through “Virginia Grown: Guide to Pick-Your-Own and Select-Your-Own Farm Product” online.
Here are several options for PICK YOUR OWN produce:
AJ Gross & Sons 6817 Wheats Valley Road, Bedford VA 24523; 540-586-2436
Appleseed Country-Johnson’s Orchards and Peaks of Otter Wine
2122 Sheep Creek Road, Bedford VA 24523; 540-586-3707
Kennedy’s Orchards 1272 Kennedy Ridge Road, Bedford VA 24523; 540-297-4931
Scott’s Strawberry Fram 5234 Joppa Mill Road, Moneta VA 24523; 540-297-7917
TLC Blueberry Orchard, 1152 Capital Hill Road, Moneta VA 24121; 540-297-1168
Epicurious.com reminds us of what we can expect to get fresh on this updated Seasonal Ingredient Map.
More questions about eating locally? Check out the VA Cooperative Extension website or call 434-455-3740
Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef and health campaigner.
In 2005 Jamie started a TV show in Britain called Jamie’s School Dinners. This put a spotlight on the appalling quality of food served in school dining halls across the UK. He then started the Feed Me Better campaign to demand government intervention, funding and training to improve school food quality.
Jamie came to Huntington WV in 2010 for a reality TV show called “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and again worked to reform the school lunch programs, to help families fight obesity and change their eating habits in order to live healthier and longer lives.
Jamie continues to work to combat obesity through the promotion of cooking at home, fresh cooked meals at school, and cooking in the community.
Here’s a clip of how the Food Revolution truck taught some kids how to love salad!
Go to the Food Revolution website for more information including recipes.
Weight watchers has meetings in Lynchburg, Bedford, Altavista, and Madison Heights for about $40/month but also offers great online services. Weight Watchers is rated #1 Best Plan for weight loss by U.S. News and World Report in 2011 and 2012. BELIEVE Because It Works.
Your doctor may refer you to a dietician who can look at what you already eat and make helpful decisions about how to help you achieve your health goals.
- The Nutrition Department at CentraHealth is available to counsel patients on how to make good food choices. For this service, a written order is required from your physician. Patients (adult and pediatric) are often referred for diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, gestational diabetes, kidney problems, or eating disorders, Call the nutrition education office at (434) 947-4585 with questions
- The Learn Program (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, Nutrition) This is a Centra Weight Management program, Wednesdays 1:15-2:30pm at the Cardiovascular Group (2410 Atherholt Rd) starting May 23! This 12 week program will help you improve your blood pressure and glucose levels by preparing healthy meals and exercising regularly. Call 200-CARE (2273) for more info or click here!
- Consulting Dietitians in the Blue Ridge Area (in alphabetic order by city)
Shapedown is a phenomenal program sponsored by Centra and located at the Jamerson Family YMCA. The emphasis is on family-centered interventions with education about the food pyramid and exercise, with special attention on parenting skills and strategies as well as confidence- building and developing responsibility in the child. Mary Bice, R.N. is special trained in clinical education in child and adolescent obesity to be the Shapedown provider. There is a sliding- scale for fees such that all patients should be encouraged to apply regardless of income. Referrals can be made or patients can call directly the Healthy Living Center at the Jamerson Family YMCA. (434) 237-8163.
Jenny Craig has great online resources for patients.
Lynchburg Area Food Council is focused on addressing food access, insecurity, quality, and systems in our region. It is the desire of the LAFC to serve as a forum and clearinghouse to promote education on food system issues, coordination among those interested in healthy foods, advocacy for healthy food options and policies, launching and supporting community-wide programs for healthy foods, creating a regional food co-op network, and supporting research and assessment on the local food economy. To get involved with this non-profit organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
When you see those ears, you think FUN. But what if Mickey Mouse could help parents feed children healthier food?
The Walt Disney Company recently made two big announcements. Starting in 2015, they will no longer allow advertisements for junk food on their TV channels, websites or radio stations. But in just a few months, the Mickey Check will hit the grocery store where the famous mouse symbol will be found only on certain foods in the grocery aisle. If a food has too much sugar, salt, or fat, no Mickey check. Oscar Mayer Lunchables have too much salt, Capri Suns too much added sugar.
First Lady Michelle Obama thinks this is a “game changer,” and hopes that others in the children’s entertainment industry will follow suit. Obesity expert Vicky Rideout says the Mickey Check could help parents understand a complex list of ingredients with a single standard. Parents know that kids want what they see, so these changes may actually help influence what they ask for in the store.
Calorie counters can be extremely helpful for patients who are trying to watch what they eat. Many have information about brand name foods as well as foods served at restaurants.
These are both available free of charge on the Internet.
The Daily Plate
The Calorie Counter
Fast food has become part of our daily lives – but the food served does not meet our daily nutritional needs. Click here for information about what you eat when you eat “junk” food (if junk food is the opposite of health food – shouldn’t we call it sick food?)
It can be a real challenge to think of a healthy treats for your valentines (or their entire class!) Here are some tips to help you plan! Read More