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March is Nutrition Month
  • Eat the Rainbow
  • Don’t Forget Your Lunch!  Brown-Bagging for Grown-Ups
  • Portion Control:  What Does a Serving Size Look Like?
  • Why Kids Overeat and How You Can Help Them Stop
  • Source4Women: Nutrition 101
  • March Dare: Enter to win a $400 Visa gift card!
  • Monthly Health Tip
  • Monthly Recipe
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color vegetables

Eat the Rainbow

Looking to fight disease and improve your health?  Put colorful fruits and veggies on your plate.

 

Ever heard of the “rainbow diet?”  It’s not an actual diet – it refers to choosing fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors.

 

Eating an array of colorful foods regularly helps give your body the nutrients it needs.  Besides fiber, vitamins and minerals, naturally colorful foods contain phytochemicals.  These powerful plant substances give fruits and veggies their color and help fight disease.

 

Research has shown that eating a variety of these plant substances may help to:

  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Lower your risk for certain cancers and chronic diseases
  • Help ward off type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Prevent some eye diseases
  • Maintain heart health
  • Improve memory
  • Help build strong bones and teeth

 

Your daily quota
Think nutrient dense.  Aim to fill half your plate with colorful fruits and veggies at each meal.  Your produce can be fresh, raw or cooked, canned, frozen or dried.  How much you should consume depends on your age, gender, calorie needs and activity level.  ChooseMyPlate.gov  has ideas about how to add fruits and veggies into your meals.

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Don’t Forget Your Lunch! Brown-Bagging for Grown-ups

Do you have an extra 10 minutes?  Here are tips for whipping up tasty, nutritious and portable lunches.

 

There’s a lot to love about a packed lunch.  Fill it with delicious foods and you may just trim your waistline and help your health by avoiding the calories, fat and sodium that can come with eating out often.  Even if you’re in a rush, a little planning and an extra 10 minutes is all you really need to whip up a quick and nutritious lunch.  And you may even save some money to boot!

 

Here are some tips to get you started.  Once you have a routine, it may become as automatic as handing your credit card to a waiter!

 

  • Start your routine slowly.  If you have a tendency to eat out every day, ease into your new routine.  Habits take time to stick.  Try bringing your lunch just two days a week and then build up to more days as you get in the lunch-making groove.
  • Choose the right container.  Be smart about keeping cold lunches cold and hot lunches hot with a good insulated bag that has enough room to fit a variety of foods and a container for carrying leftovers.
  • Stock up your kitchen.  Pack your pantry and fridge with items you can throw together so you can make a balanced meal in minutes. Include some form of protein (lean meats, beans, eggs), a whole grain (bread, pita, wraps, leftover brown rice), a fruit, and a vegetable to keep you satisfied throughout the day.
  • Create lunches you know you’ll like.  Come up with a regular rotation of nutrient-rich meals that will satisfy you beyond the same-old PB&J—for example, hummus and cut-up veggies with whole wheat pita, vegetable soup with whole grain crackers, or a salad with nuts, cheese, and leftover chicken paired with a low-fat dressing.
  • Don’t forget your fruits and veggies.  Get your recommended servings by including raw mini carrots, celery sticks, a whole avocado, cherry tomatoes or cut-up peppers.  Pack apples, pears, clementines and other fruits that are easy to pack and peel.

 

Be savvy about snacks.  Bring your own nutritious snacks such as nuts, string cheese, dried fruit or hardboiled eggs.  This will help you avoid a mid-afternoon slump and the temptation to reach for something unhealthy.  Pack your snack in small, portion-controlled bags.

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Portion Control: 
What Does a Serving Size Look Like?

Understand the difference so you can track how much you eat.

 

It’s great that you’re watching what you eat.  But are you also watching your portions? 

 

Portion control is an important part of healthy eating.  A portion is how much of a food or drink you choose to consume at a certain time.  It’s different from a serving.  A serving is a measured amount of food.  On packaged foods, you can find a serving size on the Nutrition Facts label.  Most packaged foods contain more than one serving. 

 

You might be surprised to find that what you’re used to eating is more than a single serving.  A hearty bowl of cereal might seem like a healthy choice, but it can easily contain two or more servings.  A typical sandwich contains two servings of bread.  If you’re counting calories, it’s important to track these amounts.

 

Over the past few decades, portion sizes have blossomed.  A bagel used to be about three inches across.  Today it’s about six inches.  A meal served at a restaurant can often be enough for several people.

 

Always try to eat from a plate or bowl, not from a package, to control your portions.

 

What’s in a serving?
Following are the standard serving sizes listed in the U.S. dietary guidelines.  The number of daily servings (in parentheses) will depend on your age, gender and level of physical activity.  These servings are for a range of 1,800 to 2,600 calories per day.

 

Grains (6 to 11)

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 ounce dry cereal
  • 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta

 

Vegetables (4 to 6)

  • 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or raw
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable juice

 

Fruits (4 to 6)

  • 1 medium apple, banana or orange
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup of fruit juice

 

Dairy products (2 to 3)

  • 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheese

 

Protein (6 or fewer)

  • 1 ounce of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish
  • 1 egg

 

Nuts, beans (1 or fewer)

  • 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans or peas
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of nuts

 

Picture everyday items
You can estimate servings by visualizing the size of everyday objects:

 

Food item:

Looks like:

1 cup of fruit, vegetables, pasta or potatoes

A baseball

3 ounces of meat or chicken

Deck of playing cards

1.5 ounce serving of cheese

Four stacked dice

1 cup serving of milk, yogurt

A baseball

1 cup of cereal flakes

A fist

1/2 cup ice cream

Half a baseball

2 Tablespoons of peanut butter

Ping pong ball

1 medium baked potato

A fist

 

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Why Kids Overeat and How You Can Help Them Stop

Overeating in children can lead to obesity.  Learn how to prevent overeating and to help children maintain a healthy weight.

 

Overweight and obese children face serious health concerns. The extra weight puts kids and teens at risk for many health problems including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Eating too much and exercising too little may lead to extra weight gain. By understanding why they overeat, parents, grandparents and caregivers can help children get on the right path to a healthy weight.

 

Why do kids overeat?
Kids and teens overeat for several reasons:

 

Frequent snacking. Sometimes kids snack because they are bored, depressed, anxious, or stressed. Or snacking is just something to do while watching TV. Try to limit snacks to two a day.  Buy fewer high-fat and high-sugar snacks. And offer healthy snack choices such as fruit, carrot or celery sticks, low-fat yogurt, and light microwave popcorn. Limit screen time – watching TV or playing video games – and encourage physical activity to relieve boredom or stress. Also, talk with your children about whatever is bothering them. Help them find healthy ways to deal with emotions so they don’t need to reach for food to feel better.

 

Skipping meals. If your child skips a meal, especially breakfast, he or she will be hungry, tired, and more likely to snack on less healthy foods later in the day, as well as overeat. Make sure your child eats three balanced meals a day by serving a variety of nutritious foods and drinks. Offer low-fat milk and water, and limit sugary drinks like juice and soda. Also, try to have meals at the same time every day. If your child knows dinner will be served at a certain time, he or she may be less likely to snack beforehand.

 

Larger portion sizes. Portion sizes have gotten larger both at home and at restaurants. By serving larger portions, you may be encouraging your child to eat more than he or she needs. To keep portion sizes in check and limit weight gain, prepare your child’s plate with smaller servings. And let your child ask for more food if he or she is still hungry. Also, eat meals together as a family. This family time allows you to encourage healthy eating habits and to keep an eye on what and how much your child is eating.

 

Eating out. Busy families often eat out, especially on weekends. Kids – and adults – tend to overeat at fast-food restaurants with their “super-sized” portions of fries and at all-you-can-eat buffets with unlimited helpings of food and dessert. Most children can enjoy all foods if they are eaten in moderation. Encourage your child to choose small-sized fries or one small helping of each food choice. Remember, it’s important to continue healthy eating habits and portion control when eating out.

 

Healthy eating and regular physical activity habits are key to maintaining a healthy weight. Help your child on his or her path toward wellness and better health by preventing overeating.

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Source4Women Online Seminar:

 

Nutrition 101

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD

March 8, 2015, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT, 10:30 a.m. MT, 9:30 a.m. PT

 

Mastering the basics of a healthy diet – fad diets, diet pills, foods to avoid – there are a lot of nutrition tips, making it hard to remember the basics of good nutrition and a healthy diet. Nutrition is a science and it is always changing, but mastering the basics is what may be most important to good health. This seminar will highlight all the essential nutrient components of a healthy diet including calories and how to figure out how many you need. We will delve into everything you always wanted to know about vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, fats, cholesterol, Omega-3 fatty acids, sugars, whole grains, carbohydrates and more.


To register for an upcoming Source4Women seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.

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we dare you

We Dare You This March!

 

It’s March and that means new dares! This month, We Dare You to:

 

1. Play our concentration game by matching the UHC tools
2. Answer one of our quiz questions about understanding health insurance costs
3. Watch our “Virtual Visits” video and share your opinion
 
Complete one or more of the dares for a chance to win a $400 Visa gift card! #WeDareYou


Check them out here for your chance to win great prizes! http://wedareyoutoshare.com/

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Health Tip

 

Want to eat better?  We have just the missions for you!  
Click the links below to log into Rally and find out more.

 

Cut back on sugar Focus on fruits and veggies Meatless days
Eat more whole grains Eat fish this week Swap water for a sugary drink
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Monthly Recipe:
Deviled Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes and Zucchini

 

recipe

Yield: 4 servings

 

Active Time: 10 minutes


Total Time:    55 minutes


Ingredients:

1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 spaghetti squash, about 3 1/2 lb.

1 large zucchini (about 1 lb.)

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan (optional)


Preparation:

  1. Position oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Heat oven to 425°F. Line two 15 x 10 x 1/2-in. baking pans with nonstick foil.
  2. Halve tomatoes; place tomatoes, 3 Tbsp. oil and the garlic in a 13 x 9-in. baking dish. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Brush the cut surface of the squash with a little of the oil; place the squash flesh-side down on a foil-lined pan. Quarter zucchini lengthwise and cut into 3/4-in. pieces. Place the zucchini on the other foil-lined pan; toss with remaining oil.
  3. Roast tomatoes and spaghetti squash on top rack 40 minutes until you can easily pierce the skin of the squash. Roast zucchini on bottom rack 30 minutes, tossing once, until tender and slightly browned.
  4. Scrape strands of spaghetti squash into a large bowl. Toss zucchini with roasted tomatoes, the salt and pepper; spoon over spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

Note: Tomatoes cooked in a little olive oil release more flavonoids.

 

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 220
Total Fat: 14g 
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 198mg
Total Carbohydrates: 23g
Dietary Fiber: 6g
Protein: 4g

 

From the Food Editors of Woman's Day

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