Posts Tagged ‘connie evers’

Nutrition Q&A Part 2

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog

Connie answers nutrition questions from @TruthOnHealth twitter fans

Nutrition Q&A

Q. What are some tips for kids from low income families in areas with limited options such as corner stores? – @CardinalsPlay60

A. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 23.5 million Americans live in “food deserts,” which are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. Instead of grocery stores, these communities rely on convenience stores or fast food restaurants that offer few healthy, affordable food options. This is one reason that obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are more prevalent in low income communities.

There is hope for these communities due to grants and also the actions of local nonprofit organizations who are working to open access to supermarkets, farmer’s markets and foster the development of community gardens. For more information on grants and success stories, visit this site.

Families faced with these obstacles can partially offset the lack of readily available fresh food by stocking up on budget-friendly nutritious staple foods. Below are some tips for families living in food deserts.

Growing fresh produce in containers or a plot is one way to add inexpensive, organic produce to your diet. Your local cooperative extension agency is a great resource and master gardeners can often assist consumers in getting started with gardening.
Low cost fresh vegetables that have a long shelf life include carrots and potatoes. Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene and fiber and one of the most affordable nutrient-rich vegetables. Fresh potatoes are an important source of potassium, vitamin C and many other nutrients.

Apples, oranges and dried fruit also have longer shelf lives and are healthy options for including more fruit in the diet.
Frozen vegetables and fruits have the same (or even higher) nutrient levels as fresh produce. So when families have the opportunity to stock up at a supermarket, they can purchase frozen foods, which will also cut down on spoilage and waste. Canned foods are another nutritious option, especially the varieties that do not have excessive salt or sugar added.

A true “super food,” dried beans are underrated and under-utilized. In fact, beans are such a nutrient powerhouse, they are recognized in two food groups – vegetables and protein. Besides being rich in protein, fiber, iron, potassium and a whole host of nutrients, they are extremely affordable and versatile.

At around ten cents per serving when purchased in a canister, oatmeal is a nutritious, high fiber whole grain that makes an ideal breakfast, especially when combined with low-fat milk and dried or frozen fruit.

Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Nutrition Q&A Part 1

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog

Connie answers nutrition questions from @TruthOnHealth twitter fans

Nutrition Q&A

Q. What would you recommend, nutritionally, for my 13 year old son to gain weight and muscle? – ArleneDickinson,LMHC @chionlynx

A. In order to gain muscle, it is necessary to regularly engage in a strength training program. Weight lifting, resistance exercises, kettle balls, or a variety of calisthenics can all increase muscle mass. With a growing 13 year-old boy, it is important to consult a knowledgeable trainer who makes sure that strength training is done in a safe manner which doesn’t risk injury or compromise growth.

As far as nutrition is concerned, the body’s first need is for energy (calories). If your son is not eating enough calories to support growth and fuel his energy needs, he will not be able to build muscle. On average, an active 13 year old male needs about 2600 calories each day. In terms of protein requirements, an active teen athlete needs roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For instance, a 13 year old boy who weighs 100 pounds and engages regularly in sports and strength conditioning will require roughly 100 grams of protein per day. (more…)

Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Seeds of Success

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog

Edible seeds are a super source of nutrition

A “Seedy” Look at Nutrition
Seeds are some of the most nutrient-dense, yet overlooked sources of nutrition in our diet. Edible seeds are packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats and a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also add flavor, texture and interest to a wide variety of foods. Here’s a look at just a few healthy seed choices: (more…)

Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Fearless Feeding

Monday, May 20th, 2013

By Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD – Nutrition For Kids

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog

An interview with Fearless Feeding author Jill Castle

I recently had the opportunity to speak with registered dietitian Jill Castle, a childhood nutrition expert & co-author of Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School.

Connie: The question I get asked most often in my practice is how to manage a picky eater. You do such a great job explaining this in Fearless Feeding. Can you briefly describe the most important points in understanding and managing this behavior?

Jill: The most important point is to understand that most kids go through a picky eating stage—in fact, you can rest assured that your child is normal if he is picky as a toddler! The second point is the way parents respond to picky eating can help children move through it quickly or can draw it out longer than it needs to be. For example, the parent who stays on track with the structure of meals and snacks, doesn’t waver when food is rejected, and doesn’t substitute different foods to compensate for picky eating will move through this stage faster than the parent who pushes their child to eat, chases the child with food, or pulls all kinds of acrobatics to get their child to eat, such as disguising veggies within an entrée. Antics typically don’t work to get children to eat more or a certain food, and more often than not, backfire, making the child wary and suspicious.

Connie: Empty calorie foods are offered to kids everywhere these days, from the bank drive-up to the gas station to the soccer field! What do you say to parents who struggle with setting limits on “treat” foods?

Jill: I always tell parents to set limits—that’s the job of parenthood! Parents do well with setting limits with treat foods when they have a system like the 90:10 Rule, where 90% of what kids eat throughout the course of a day or week is healthy, wholesome, nutritious foods from the MyPlate food guide and 10% come from Fun Foods such as chips, cookies, candy and soda. This boils down to an average of 1-2 Fun Foods per day, well below what many children are consuming today, and tilts the nutrition balance to healthy meals and snacks. It’s a simplified rule that parents and children alike can grasp and put into practice easily!

Connie: I work with a lot of families that “eat on the fly” several days each week. Can you explain why it’s so important to structure family meals into the daily routine?

Jill: Family meals are where children get exposed to new foods, learn how to interact with each other, and learn manners. Research tells us that children who sit down and eat with their families 3-5 times per week have a healthier diet, better grades, are socially well-adjusted and take fewer risks—this holds true for toddlers and teens. Family meals should be pleasant and children should look forward to gathering there to eat—this means that parents need to let go of the food and eating pressure at the table.

The good news is that one or two parents seem to have equal influence on the above, and shared meals can be at any time of day—breakfast, lunch and even snacks, making it realistic to squeeze in 3 to 5 meals a week.

Connie: Can you provide any tips for busy families who find it difficult to get a meal on the table?

Jill: My number one recommendation is to outline a meal plan for the week. I typically plan dinners, as the rest of the meals are easier for me to navigate without a plan. I also use the slow cooker or quick “pull together meals” for busy evenings. Another strategy is to cook ahead and freeze for later. This and more are covered in the book.

Connie: You talk about how parents sometimes neglect themselves and how this can create feeding issues for their children and teens. How can parents connect the dots on how their own lifestyle influences their children’s food choices?

Jill: Adulthood and the eating that goes along with it is merely an extension of childhood. We are all influenced by the way we are raised “around the table” yet we forget to make that connection and reflect on how it may influence how we feed our own children and thus, how they eat.

Parents can learn a lot about their attitudes and approach with feeding by reflecting on how they themselves were raised. These issues are covered in depth in the chapter The Parent Trap, where we help parents identify their own experience as a child with feeding and how that may be playing out in their day-to-day interactions with their own children. It’s quite an enlightening chapter!

Connie: Thank you Jill for sharing such great advice with the Truth on Health readers! You and fellow dietitian Maryann Jacobsen have put together a fabulous “must-read” for all parents!

To find out more about this book, read the author’s blogs and join the “fearless feeding movement, visit Fearless Feeding.

Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Fun With Food!

Monday, April 15th, 2013

By Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD – Nutrition For Kids

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog – Involve Kids in Fun, Creative Food Activities

Getting children to try new, nutritious foods sometimes takes creativity. Luckily, kids love fun projects, so setting up activities where they can play with their food is a win-win. Call it “art you can eat,” then watch your children have fun shaping, arranging, cutting and sculpting healthy foods into their own personal creations.

Here are a few ideas to get you started. (more…)