Back to Nutrition and Wellness

Portion Sizes

In response to cries to the food industry for help in dealing with the obesity crisis, Kraft Foods is poised to roll out smaller single-serving packages of some of its offerings. Other companies are joining what appears to be an emerging trend. You can now find 8-ounce Coke and Pepsi cans, for instance. And the sandwich chain Quiznos now offers 4½ -ounce Diamond Mini Meltz as an alternative to its much larger subs. McDonald's and Hershey's will soon be producing smaller portion products.

Will such downsizing help? Perhaps. It certainly can't hurt. But it won't do the job of slimming people down to healthy weight all by itself–or make the diet more healthful overall. Smaller serving sizes will have to be met at least halfway by some shifts in lifestyle: less soda pop and more water (along with some skim or 1% milk); fewer meatball mini melts and more basic sandwiches like tuna or turkey on whole-wheat bread plus a couple tomato slices and lettuce leaves; and fruits and vegetables over smaller single-serving cakes and other fatty, sugary snacks. Physical activity levels have to rise, too. That is, obesity cannot be eradicated by altering the serving sizes of foods you shouldn't be eating too much of in the first place.

Mothers, Daughters, and Diets

Researchers conducted a study on the relationship between mothers and daughters with respect to communication about body image and dieting. They focused on the interactions between mothers and daughters to discover patterns of behavior that send messages about body image and dieting. Their conclusion was that mothers' attitudes about their bodies and their dieting behaviors greatly influence the same in their daughters. Regardless of where they are on the spectrum between embracing a thin female body to rejecting society's obsession with thinness, mothers and daughters influence each other's opinions about these issues.


Fruits & Vegetables: Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy

August is cataract awareness month. Now it appears that what we eat may help protect against cataracts and other eye diseases. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness. They affect over fifty percent of Americans over 80 years old.

Several research studies have found that antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C help lower the rate of cataracts. You can find vitamin E in wheat germ, nuts, seeds and oils. Vitamin C is found in oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli and peppers.

Examples of fruits and vegetables with a high content of phytochemicals include blueberries, brussels sprouts, and spinach. To help prevent degeneration of the eyes eat more fruits and vegetables.

Source: American Dietetic Association 


Do Your Kids Have Breakfast before going to School?  

Research shows that breakfast eaters perform better in the classroom, miss fewer days of school, have better hand–eye coordination, and maintain their weight better. August is the month when a new school year starts. Make a new school year resolution to start feeding healthier breakfast to your children!

If time is an issue in your house, try some of these easy-to-prepare breakfasts:

  • A slice of whole wheat bread topped with mashed beans and sour cream.

  • Dry cereal mixed with plain yogurt

  • Frozen waffles topped with peanut butter

  • String cheese rolled in a whole wheat tortilla

  • A whole wheat pita stuffed with egg salad

  • A slice of whole wheat bread with sour cream

  • Scrambled eggs on a whole corn tortilla

  • Corn tortilla with sour cream



Back to School Lunchbox

The lunch-packing season goes hand-in-hand with the start of school near the end of summer. The mid-to late-August heat makes the lunchbox extremely vulnerable to bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. Here are some tips for keeping those lunch box contents cool and safe to eat.

  • Prepare lunches the night before. Let the items get thoroughly cold – in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • Pack lunches in an insulated lunch box.

  • Add a cold source e.g. freezer gel or frozen juice box. Pack meat sandwiches between these.

  • Remind children that, at school, they need to keep lunch boxes and bags away from direct sunlight. Keep them in the refrigerator if possible.

  • Pack handy wipes along with the lunch. That way, even if kids forget to wash their hands before they eat, they'll find a friendly reminder in their lunch box.

Source: Soap and Detergent Cleaning Matters