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My Food is PINK! By Chasity Tompkins

20 May

According to the USDA My Plate initiative, you should focus on variety, amount, and nutrition, when planning your meals. You should also choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Fruits and vegetables should take up at least half of your plate at each meal with children getting between 1 – 2 cups of fruits a day and 1 -3 cups of vegetables a day. The key to achieving this is to have as many colors on your plate as you can.

Youth love eating foods that are colorful and more appealing. We can go get blueberries, purple eggplant, yellow corn, green lettuce, black beans, red strawberries, orange carrots, brown walnuts, and white cauliflower. There is one color, however, that is not commonly seen in the field or in our grocery stores. Pink. No, I am not referring to raw meat.

pinksoupAdd a little something new to your child’s menu by making their food pink for day. For breakfast, start with something full of fruits, like a Strawberry Banana Smoothie (see recipe below). For lunch, heat up a bowl of Beet Spinach Soup (see recipe below) to get them refueled and focused! Finish off their day with Roasted Salmon (see recipe below) and don’t forget to add steamed vegetables!

Each of these meals is tasty, nutritious, and helps your child reach their daily recommended values of fruits and vegetables. Your child will love the pink color and yummy taste and you will love seeing them enjoy their fruits!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie – 2 servings

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/easy-strawberry-banana-smoothies/f6113dc6-93ef-4417-9f42-7c20082c90b1

Beet Spinach Soup – 4 servings

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/228803/spinach-beet-soup/

Roasted Salmon – 2 servings

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/roasted-salmon/rcp-20049927

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July is Blueberry season!

19 Jul

Captura de pantalla 2013-07-18 a la(s) 22.49.13There’s nothing quite like bringing home fresh berries in the summer, maybe that’s why someone felt that blueberries needed their own month to celebrate.

There are plenty of reasons why blueberries are a great choice to include in your diet now and throughout the rest of the year. In addition to their great taste, blueberries are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins.

In the last five years, there have been a few interesting studies to further support the health benefits of blueberries:

In one of the studies, evidence shows that a diet rich in blueberries can improve memory. After 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption, older adults showed improvement on two different tests of cognitive function, including memory. The authors of this study suggest that the results indicate that blueberries could be beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems that occur with aging.

The second study found that by including blueberries as a part of a daily low-glycemic diet that this has a favorable impact on the blood sugar regulation in people with type 2 diabetes. And by adding physical activity, over a 3 month period these people saw significant improvements in their A1C levels.

If taste alone weren’t enough, blueberries truly are a “super food”!  As you enjoy the summer, try adding this Very Berry Salsa to your menu:

Very Berry Salsa

4 cups apples, finely diced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, diced
1 cup raspberries, halved
1 cup blackberries, halved
1 tablespoon fruit preserves (any flavor)
½ tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine apples, and berries. In a small bowl, mix together preserves and sugars until well blended. Pour preserve mixture over fruit and toss to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Yields: 32, 2 ounce servings. Nutrition facts: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol. 0 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0 g protein.