Category Archives: dieting

What does your wings’ sauce say about you?

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Today, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were on their CBS

morning show called, “Kelly and Mike.” They were discussing

chicken wings, which got me thinking about re-blogging the

post I wrote about last year, one which focused on chicken

wings.

Their “new statistics” included our country will be consuming

around 2.8 million chicken wings, while watching the Super Bowl!

 

The two television gracious and funny hosts were also able

to discuss a survey which had the results of what our favorite

chicken wing sauce to dip them in (after they are baked with

any of the slathered on flavors.) No source was cited on their

show, so here goes the ‘facts:’

1. Ranch dressing

2. Barbecue sauce

3. Blue cheese dressing and hot sauce were tied in this third

place contest.

 

Kelly mentioned her son likes ranch, so she assumed it would

be ‘most popular,’ while laughingly saying, she would choose

blue cheese dressing but skip the wings! It was also funny

that this thin person who really works out a lot was concerned

about the unhealthy aspect of blue cheese dressing. She went

on to say she savors a ‘lettuce wedge salad with blue cheese

dressing but would just eat the dressing since she likes it so

much. I liked her candor in this expression of her taste

preferences, as I am one some of my loved ones say,

“Mom orders dressing with a side of salad!”

 

Here is an article about hot sauce wings and how it reflects

your character. Later, you will find some history about where

in the United States, chicken wings came from. It is a widely

contested fact and at least two locations contend it is ‘their

place,’ which made the first hot wings. If there is another

country or location you have heard of or ‘know any facts

about,’ please add to the comments section of this post!

 

 

Drew Cerza, the founder of Buffalo, New York’s “Annual

Wings Festival,” describes the types of people who

choose certain sauces for chicken wings.

 

Here are four popular variations of wings’ sauces and

a personality analysis, short synopsis of the type of

person you may or may not be:

 

1. Garlic Parmesan Sauce.

“The person who likes this is creative, fearless,

and yet in control.”

 

2. Mild Hot Sauce.

“This person doesn’t take many risks. He or she

accepts life as it is. This person is rather

ordinary.”

 

3. Hot Sauce.

“This is a bold person. He or she throws on the first

down, (if a football player) goes for the touchdown on

the fourth, (metaphorically,) and wild and crazy.”

 

4. Atomic hot sauce.

“This person is aggressive, doesn’t need napkins and

doesn’t like to lose.”

 

I enjoy mild hot sauce, enjoy the garlic parmesan if not

on a date, and really enjoy the sticky, sweet sauce that

is derived from using terikaki sauce in the recipe. My brothers

like the Jack Daniels’ barbecue sauce baked on their chicken

wings. So delicious!

 

No, these are not definitive descriptions of people, just one

man’s (Drew Cerza’s) opinion!

 

I thought I would throw in a short history lesson of Red Hot

Sauce which originated as a recipe made by the Frank Tea and

Spice Company, in 1896! This company was in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

Much later, the bottled Frank Red Hot Sauce came out in 1969.

 

The family who is credited by Frank’s Red Hot, for creating

the combination of chicken wings, deep fried and then dipped

in their sauce is the Belissimo Family. Although an article in

1969 written on their restaurant, does not cite this dish.

 

In 1980, Teressa and Frank Belissimo’s son, Donald, started

circulating that the story goes like this. Due to having a storm

in Buffalo, New York they were having a ‘run’ on food orders.

 

Their bar/restaurant had run out of most of their food at one

point in the midst of this storm. People had come to seek

comfort, shelter and something warm to eat at their little bar.

 

Teressa prepared the chicken wings, serving it with hot sauce

mixed with a buttery sauce. Hungry customers devoured them,

thus they claim the “origin of buffalo chicken wings.”

 

Frank’s Red Hot Company supports this Italian family’s ingenuity.

 

There is one other contender for the original “buffalo chicken

wings” and that is a man named John Young who used the name,

“mambo sauce,” in the mid-1960’s for his chicken wings covered

with sauce. His Buffalo, New York restaurant registered their

change of name in 1970, to John Young’s Wings ‘n Things.

 

Just a little bit of fun ‘trivia’ and I always like to hear about

where things came from! Even if there is a question about

this. The first Public citing of “Buffalo chicken wings” was

on NBC Today in 1980.

 

Last fact for the day, credit for this football snack’s surge in

popularity was during the four consecutive years that the

Buffalo Bills were contenders in the Super Bowl, from 1991

through 1994.

 

Now, please share your favorite dipping sauce and also,

if you like Buffalo chicken wings? How HOT?!

 

Tell me, will you be rooting for a football team this Sunday?

Which team do you want to win at the Super Bowl, 2015?

Hey, don’t get upset but I am going to get off the neutral

“fence” I thought I would sit on, and say:

“Go New England Patriots!”

Unique December Facts

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“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

The good news is December has been declared Bingo Celebration

Month! I used to love it when my family would play this, with

guests. Sometimes my cousins, sometimes neighbors, we would

be out on the picnic table with our chips and our Dad would be

the one to spin the wire caged wheel and pull out the wooden

balls with the letters, “B,I,N,G” or “O.”

Did you know this is an ‘ancient’ game? It has been around since

the 1500’s.

I used to love being the “Caller” for Bingo at the Arbors Nursing Home,

while my residents were always happy to call out, “Bingo!” The young

volunteers would run over and give them their quarter. When the whole

card got filled, we would start all over again. The reward for a filled card

was one dollar bill. This was a big exciting reward to the folks who lived

there.

 

On a much more solemn note, December 16, 1944 was the day the big

“Battle of the Bulge” was carried out.

 

The Official End of WWII was on December 31, 1946.

Peace on Earth, Good will to Men.

 

Did you know every day of the month has a food item?

 

DECEMBER DAYS OF FOOD (Beverage or Other):

Dec. 1- National Pie Day.

Eat A Red Apple Day.

 

Dec. 2- National Apple Pie Day.

 

Dec. 4- National Cookie Day.

(Every day is this one for me! smiles)

 

Dec. 5- Repeal Day ~ Prohibition Day (U.S.).

National Sacher Torte Day.

(In Vienna, Austria a man named Franz Sacher created this

delicious chocolate, light cake or torte, in 1832.)

 

Dec. 6- National Gazpacho Day.

(Associated with Andalusia, part of Spain, but its roots go back

into Arab and other ancient times. Cold, savory soup, made of

raw vegetables.)

Also, National Microwave Oven Day.

(I do appreciate this electronic invention.)

 

Dec. 7- National Cotton Candy Day.

(Why is this in our winter? Is this for places who have fairs and

festivals in December?)

 

Dec. 8- National Chocolate Brownie Day.

Dec. 9- National Pastry Day.

Dec. 10- National Lager Day.

 

Dec. 11- National Noodle Ring Day.

(This is hard to find its roots, but mainly described as

a circle of noodles with a cheese incorporated into it,

attributed to Germany.)

 

Dec. 12- National Cocoa Day.

 

Dec. 13- National Ice Cream Day.

(Why, again, are we eating ice cream in the cold weather?

This must be made up by people in warmer climates.

Also, National Violins Day.

 

Dec. 14- National Bouillabaisse Day.

(I enjoy this savory, warm soup. It originated from fishing

villages in France. Marseilles may have been its first place

of origin, with three kinds of fish and Provencal seasonings.)

 

Dec. 15- National Cupcake Day.

 

**Dec. 16- National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day!!**

Woo hoo!

 

Dec. 17- National Maple Syrup Day.

(This would be the perfect day or excuse to make pancakes

or waffles!)

 

Dec. 18- National Suckling Pig Day.

(This comes from mainly Chinese cuisine, but there are some

references going back to Roman times. This is a very young

pig, which has a lot of collagen in its skin, hard to ‘crisp up,’

while it is considered a delicacy.)

 

Dec. 19- National Hard Candy.

(What is your favorite hard candy?

My Dad’s was either horehound or cinnamon drops.

Mom’s was butterscotch drops. My favorite flavor is found in

either the caramel flavored Nips or Werther’s candies.)

 

Dec. 20- National Fried Shrimp Day.

(This makes me think of Louisiana cooking with crawdads or

prawns. This would be prepared as Shrimp Creole. I enjoy

the butter sauce with garlic infusion:  Shrimp Scampi.)

 

Also on the 20th- National Sangria Day.

“Ole!”

(You probably already know this is my Mom’s favorite wine

to sip on at bedtime, using a small juice glass. I have a

Spanish toast on another post…)

 

Dec. 21- National Hamburger Day.

Going from the red meat to fruit…

National Kiwi Fruit Day.

 

Dec. 22- National Date Nut Bread.

 

Dec. 23- National Pfeffernuesse Day.

(This traditional German spice cookie covered with powdered

confectioner’s sugar is one that takes me back to my Grandma’s

kitchen. It reminds me of the flavors of gingerbread cookies.)

 

Dec. 24- National Feast of the Seven Fishes.

(This comes from Italy, which celebrates the Wait or Vigil for

the Baby Jesus, by serving fish from the Mediterranean Sea.)

 

Also, National Egg Nog Day.

(I like this use of nutmeg, heavy cream and Irish whiskey or

other alcohol. Mom likes the non-alcoholic milky drink from

United Dairy Farmers.)

 

Dec. 25- National Pumpkin Pie Day.

(Just in case you didn’t get enough of this holiday pie at

Thanksgiving.)

 

Dec. 26- National Candy Cane Day.

Dec. 27- National Fruit Cake Day.

 

Dec. 28- National Chocolate Candy Day.

(Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter also celebrate

this national holiday- just being ‘facetious.’)

 

Dec. 29- National Pepper Pot Soup Day.

(There are recipes for this Jamaican cuisine along

with one from Philadelphia.)

 

Dec. 30- National Bicarbonate of Soda Day,

(Thank you for this Baking Soda Day. I like to use this

special rising ingredient in many baked goods, but can

taste it the most in homemade biscuits.)

 

Dec. 31- National Champagne Day.

(Say a toast to “Auld Lang Syne”  and Happy New Year, 2015!)

 

The research on some of these food items is not complete, but I did

look up the ones I did not know where the foods originated in. If

you would like to share a favorite family traditional food item in the

comments section, we would enjoy hearing about them. Thank you!

 

 

 

July 24, 1987: An Insurmountable Achievement

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A young girl, who was overweight and sometimes ridiculed, went off

to college. Even there, she did not get concerned about her rising

weight, her expanding waist line. Her health was failing, due to long

hours of studying and limited extra time to walk, exercise or worry

about her diet.

It was not until she reached the age of 40, that this wonderful woman

decided to take action! She started hiking and going on natural trails.

She made plans to achieve more miles, and she started to make progress

in her renewal of energy and her health revived, too.

At age 66, she climbed the highest peak in Continental United States,

Mt. Whitney.

How motivating!

How exciting!

What an exhilarating ride this story is taking!

You will be so much more inspired, when you get to the true climax

of this story. I am very proud of this woman! I wrote this all by myself

hoping to build to where you will hear waves of roaring instruments

or trumpets blasting…

This is the anniversary of her biggest climb:

A woman named Hulda Crooks climbed Mt. Fiji, in Japan when she was

91 years of age on July 24, 1987!

Way to go, Hulda!

I would like the songs, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Climb

Every Mountain” to be included in your heads while reading the final

chapter of her life.

Hulda Crooks reached the age of 101, dying in 1997.

What would have happened to her life, had she not reached the place

she could hardly walk or breathe?

It makes all of my little complaints and ‘molehills’ seem quite small!

“Maxine” Gives Her Opinions!

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John Wagner, the creator of the comic strip, “Maxine,” has a line of

Hallmark cards called “Crabby Road.” I feel he grasps the elderly,

women and wise cracks that give us plenty of smiles, along our way

in Life.

Here are some of the light-hearted jokes or zippy one-liners that I

found in my Mom’s manila envelope marked, “Saved for Robin’s

Blog.” Dear Pookie, whose real name is Joyce, lives in California,

carefully printing, cutting and gluing these together to help my

Mom’s life be more cheerful and warm. She ‘basks’ in the kindness

and friendship of this long distance friend. In turn, Mom cuts out

both Marmaduke and Garfield comic strips for Pookie. They have

just the kind of friendship that makes life enjoyable. I have often

mentioned that Mom could call Pookie and save a lot of money on

stamps and she responded recently,

“Receiving her bundles in the mail, brightens my day! If we were

to really talk, we may have to end up complaining or explaining

our newest aches and pains!”

This is just the right attitude to go into our later years in Life!

Here are five jokes, a handful of fun, sent your way!

Hope one of them will get you chuckling!

(I added my personal side comments to a few of these in

parentheses.)

 

1. On Dieting or Gaining Weight:

Maxine, created by John Wagner:

“You don’t get a body like mine just by sitting around. . .

You have to eat lots of junk food, too!”

(This one definitely applies to my winter habits of nibbling,

on the couch! Smile!)

 

2. I can relate to this one shared by Maxine – – –

“I’ve lost two pounds. . .

One from each boob!”

(Here’s my version of the ending, if you are a man:

Never where you want to lose it!)

 

3. On the topic of Sex, Maxine ‘dishes:’

“Thanks to recent medical advances, people can now be

sexually active. . .

Long past the age when anyone wants to be SEEN naked!”

(Hmm! Way to lose the whole interest thing, I think!

Last year, I blogged that in my “imaginary sex life”, I would

insist on pitch black; same reason! Not even sure I would

want candles for atmosphere, that used to appeal to me,

while I was young!)

 

4. More on Diets, according to Maxine:

“Dieting is a way to improve your health, enhance your

appearance and live on food you could feed a warthog!”

 

5. Maxine mentions this one about one of my favorite

summer ‘treats:’

“Ice cream, in the summer, is a necessity.

It could be considered a health food.

If you count ‘mental health.'”

(Ha ha ha! Gotta put that one on my freezer door!)

 

Okay, this is my “Encore” I saw your Bic lighters on…

“Maxine” says:

“I’m thinking of leaving my body to Science.

Even scientists can use a good laugh, now and then!”

 

Happy Hump Day and “That’s All, Folks!”

Smiles, Robin

Healthy Breakfast

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My girlfriend likes to eat oatmeal and a cup of yogurt for her

breakfast. My youngest daughter enjoys an egg, from a farmer

who uses only natural farming, with no added fertilizer or

other unhealthy ways to produce the chicken that lays the egg.

So, every step of the egg’s progress from the chicken to the

buyer, is considered healthy. She adds some seasonal fruits and

has been adding no gluten in her ‘diet,’ trying this to see if

her arthritis will stop flaring up. So far, so good. My brother

who had quadruple by-pass surgery on his heart, makes omelets

with mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes. He has been trying

less gluten on his ‘menus,’ too. Then, there is my oldest daughter

who thinks those caffeine shots that give you energy, a donut,

cookie or other sweet food item with a cup of flavored coffee is

an acceptable way to head off to her third shift job!

My good guy friend, Bill, will tell you he used to be a frequent

customer of Waffle House, Denny’s and Bob Evans. He used to say,

“I don’t feel ‘normal’ without tons of sugar and coffee!”

Granted, until my late forties, when I had my cholesterol ‘scare’

that headed me towards a better diet and weight range, I was one

of those caffeine and sugar (with no dietary nutrition whatsoever)

people, too.

I have discovered a great cereal brand and am hoping to be helpful,

healthy conscious and informative today!

I was wandering around our local grocery store but not the Delaware

Community Market. I came across the Healthy Foods aisle, with soy

and almond milks in sealed boxes, nuts that have not been introduced

to salt, unless it is ‘sea salt,’and in the cereal aisle, big boxes

of cereal that had such nice, simple artwork seemingly ‘silk-screened’

onto them. These outdoors scenes are very modern and pretty, I would

like them on a t-shirt. They may be ‘downloaded’ as a free screensaver

on your computer. (A fact listed on the cereal box.)

I am a big fan of “Frosted Mini Wheats” or “Shredded Wheat,” so I was

searching for a healthier choice for my Breakfast of Champion: Me!

I found decorated with green and brown mountains and a cool blue lake

on the box labeled: “Mom’s Best” Cereal brand.

This happened to be on sale for the low price of $1.99.

Mom’s Best catchy little logo says, “Simple Goodness.”

I will proceed to give you the list of the nutrients that

sounded quite healthy and in big letter and numbers in the

front corner of the box, “44 grams of whole grains.” Wow!

I had never seen quite as high # of grains in just one

cup of cereal!

Here are some more facts about the cereal of my choice,

“Sweetened Wheat-Fuls:”

Calories= 210 without milk.

Total Fat= 1 gram which is just 2% of daily recommended amount.

0% Saturated Fat, 0% Transfat, 0 % Monosaturated fat, 0.5 grams of

Poly-unsaturated fat.

Cholesterol= 0%

Sodium= 10 mg. which is considered 5% of daily allowance for salt.

Potassium= 180 mg. which is also 5% of the daily allowance.

Carbohydrates totaled 45 grams= 15% of daily recommended amount.

Dietary fiber= 6 grams. I consider whole wheat bread as my ‘standard’

and usually try to get 3-4 grams, so this isn’t too bad. Higher than

most other cereals.

There were only negligible amounts of other vitamins and minerals,

with the only high ones being Phosphorus (15%), Magnesium (10%),

Zinc (10%) and Copper being 10%. Thiamine was 8%, Iron was 10%,

Niacin was 15% and Vitamin B6 was 8%.

What I enjoyed finding out about the cereal was that it tasted good

and did not have too much Sugar! (11 grams).

Since 2006, Mom’s Best Cereals has purchased more than 14 million

kilowatts hours of renewable wind energy.

The company practices a huge amount of recycling, with the most

notable plant being in North Carolina. This amazing plant claims

to have recycled 99% of any refuse or extra bi-products in 2011.

Company-wide, the number is still high at 96% recycled.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Utah plant reduced their amount of

water usage, needed to produce each one pound of cereal by this

fantastic amount: 26 million gallons of water!

So, while interpreting this data, I found that it was over that

five year period, producing every box of one pound of cereal,

saved the total usage of that huge amount of water!

Interpreted this into a ‘picture of the amount of water saved’

is: Picture 62 football fields covered with one foot of water

on them all!

If you wish to explore this cereal more, look up Mom’s Best Cereals

and there is a great cereal that I introduced to my grandkids that

is very similar to Honey Flavored Cheerios. (No nuts, for those who

have children with nut allergies.)

I had fun in the past, looking up those old time cereals, which you

may like to be nostalgic and see my post on those.

Otherwise, some of my readers may have other natural breakfast choices

that will make us hungry and possibly make ‘breakfast for dinner!’

I like to make whole wheat pancakes and waffles, along with using my

whole wheat bread to make French Toast. I love real butter, honey or

maple syrup on these. My grandkids sometimes ‘opt’ for strawberry

or raspberry preserves, from the Delaware Community Marker or the

Farmer’s Market, which is on Wed. evenings and Sat. morns, coming

soon!

Hope you will share something you like to eat for breakfast…

I promise not to ‘judge’ you!

Going for Brighter Colors & Changes

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I complimented the librarian in the computer area today.

She has a habit of wearing blacks, browns and grays.

There have been occasionally some varying tones in her

clothing choices, with an addition of little bits of color.

Having talked to her often, observed her grading high

school papers, and knowing she is a volunteer after

teaching all day, I was thrilled to see more color in

her attire today.

The woman looked up from her work, giving me a brilliant

smile. She informed me that her husband had encouraged her

to ‘change up’ her color palette in her wardrobe. She added

this personal detail- she was working on waiting to lose a

certain amount of weight, before buying her new sized,

Spring and Summer clothes.

I mentioned to her that was an excellent reward system

she had going on! I gently suggested to just buy a few

scarves or tops, showing that she had listened to her

husband. Just in case she thought I was being too ‘pushy,’

or opinionated, I added, “It is always nice to have their

‘permission to spend money on ourselves.'”

Then, it was an even more intimate moment we shared. We

both smiled like we had shared an ‘inside joke’ or secret.

I took my seat and then, decided to let all of you out

there, men, women and young people who may be following

my blog in on the secret! Try out a different style,

new color or add patterns to your clothes…

Spice up your wardrobe!

It is fun to pass on a good idea and since some live

on a simpler, tighter budget, like myself, go on over

to your local resale shop or thrift store to rejuvenate

your ‘look!’

As a way to create conversation, my brother, Randy the

artist painted on a white linen jacket, billowing aqua,

turquoise and creamy-colored clouds for an art gallery

opening, held in California. He is one who looks quite

dapper, although his FB page is not so great, he has lost

weight and cut his hair, so he also needs to ‘change up!’

When I thought about my last years of teaching, I had

a rainbow of colors every day reflected in my clothing.

My other brother, the professor, loves it when I buy

him ‘cool’ ties. He likes school related theme ties,

along with ones that just have music, art or jazz

up his ‘look.’ Trying something new is good for all

of us, both sexes, wherever we work or go out and

about in society. It may just create a little magic

for you and your special person, or attract someone

who has not noticed you before.

At my current job, I tend to wear those dismal colors

of black, gray, brown and an occasional dark blue. This

had been my mode of operandi to prevent damage and stains

that are impossible to get out of my work clothes. It is a

dirty place; lots of times I look like ‘Pigpen’ from the

Charles Schulz comic strip, “Peanuts!”

Wouldn’t it be nice to just go ahead and wear some

colorful patterns that are more exciting looking to my

current workplace?

I mean, less drab… Maybe this would encourage others to

‘cross over to the sunny side of the street.’ I definitely

feel the need to get out of my rut!

I read a book recently on relationships written by Sara

Eckel. It was called, “It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons

You’re Single,” (208 pages) If you are thinking about the

current dating scene, if you have someone you know who is,

or if you just are curious about the newer way things are

going out in a different facet of society…

Check this book out! It is a funny, interesting and

enlightening guidebook for the newly single people out

there, for ones who wonder,

“Why on Earth was it so easy back when I dated the last

time? And now, it is nearly impossible!”

The author approaches the subject in a very positive

manner, where she insists it is not you being anyone

that is repelling the opposite sex away. She thinks it

is just you haven’t met the right person yet!

I have paraphrased the following section, in my own

words, with my personal ‘slant’ added:

One of the myths that she ‘de-bunks’ is for example,

1. “You are too needy.”

No. that is not why you haven’t attracted someone to you.

Another one is,

2. “You are unrealistic.”

No, if is okay to have goals, choices and favorite attributes

(and values) in mind when you are seeking to find another

person to possibly spend the rest of your life with.

This one I have heard before,

3. “You are too picky.”

This was something someone said to me recently. That

comment really ‘got under my ‘craw,’ I will tell you!

I think that having been married three times, I should

know what works, what didn’t and hopefully, once and for

all, I should make plans and lists and actually, use them!

I need to understand what are the characteristics I am

looking for and then, not ‘sway’ too much from the

outline. Nice people don’t mean they are good matches.

Not just fall for the next guy who buys me dinner!

The author’s great question addresses why have we become

a society where we assign blame for being particular and

trying to make good choices?

Here are Sara Eckel’s own words on the subject:

“We’re a nation that believes strongly in personal efficacy–

if there’s something in your life that isn’t working quite

the way you’d like, then the problem must begin and end

with you.”

The myths include how we view ourselves through other’s

eyes, instead of relying on our own common sense.

Here are two more myths, to share with you.

4. “You’re too intimidating.”

5. “You should have married that guy.”

Don’t listen to the ones who tend to place the blame

on you. Make sure that you surround yourself with

supportive people who are cheering for you and wish

that you will find someone to be your partner or

close friend of the opposite sex. The important thing

to remember isn’t,

“Why are you still single?”

but “Why are near strangers so often compelled to

comment or demand answers.” I wish to add, sometimes

family members and your best friends may be part of

the naysayers. You need to develop a positive attitude

where you can deflect their comments and act like you

are doing ‘just fine’ without the negative opinions.

Hope this helps everyone in some aspect of their life.

I highly recommend this ‘no nonsense’ book and trying

out a new way of doing something. Hair style, clothing

style or the way you walk, with your confidence showing,

shoulders back and a broad smile to carry you and others

through their days.

Healthy Food Choices for Kids

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I have sometimes wandered away from my theme of witless dating,

but I stay strong in the area of relationships. With helpful

information on how to make healthy food choices, I hope to

inspire you to make some changes in your lives. This includes

any children that you are in communication with, neighbor’s

kids or your grandchildren. Every time you choose to change

something in your family’s diet, it can impact the guests

and friends of your children, too.

The facts that are here may startle you. I was shocked!

I had known our country, in particular, was having trouble

living longer, healthier lives but I did not know, to the

large extent, the numbers involved. Obesity has doubled in

children, ages 6-11 and tripled in teens, age 12-19.

These numbers, collected by the National Center for Health

Statistics are just unbelievable! The time period is from

1980 until 2010. By 2013, there have been a few reversals

in these numbers but not of significant amounts; yet.

Understanding food labels and the amount of news and media

coverage have helped this trend to start heading in the

right direction. I am pleased that Michelle Obama’s part

is playing a big impact, along with magazines that usually

feature articles with juicy and delicious foods that have

saturated fat and hydrogenated fat have also joined forces,

by including good and tasty alternatives.

Here are five ways to educate children to become more

‘savvy’ in the area of food choices.

1. Help your children (and yourself) visualize serving sizes.

Assemble products that you regularly include in your or their

diet. Examples of applesauce, oatmeal and cereals can be an

easy way to measure what is considered ‘regular’ portions.

When labels with nutrition information are looked at, it

helps to realize these are written for an adult’s size or a

2000 calorie adult diet.

Kids from four to eight, are about 2/3rds the size of an

adult. Teens should consume between 80-90% size of the adult

amounts.

Measure out single servings. This will take your cell phone’s

calculator and/or paper to figure out! Serving sizes of bars

of candy and little pints of ice cream can sometimes be based

on only a portion of the actual whole content!

2. Help your child to check out the details. These are in the

little fine print on the label. When there is a long list of

names of ingredients that you don’t even recognize, this food

item may not be healthy! Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners,

high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated anything

should signal this food product is of lower nutritional value.

Making this process a game rather than a ‘lecture’ will help

to interact and make this meaningful. Ingredients which you

cannot pronounce often mean, ‘lab-created, fake, food-like

items.’ This was a suggestion from a registered dietitian,

Tara Dellolacono-Thies.

Of course, going to natural food places, including farmer’s

markets, can be a wonderful fun activity for families. Point

out, there are usually no labels on foods that are actual

fruits, vegetables and homemade products, usually include

more natural ingredients.

Comparisons can be made while watching television, with

advertisements that may mislead people into thinking they

are ‘good for you.’ Any opportunity, including driving

down the road, on billboards, can open up discussions on

food choices. Asking, rather than telling, really helps in

these ‘off the cuff’ situations.

I remember, as a child, my parents really wanting us to stay

away from sugary cereals. We still considered it a ‘treat’ to

get ones like, “Sugar Crisp” or “Frosted Flakes.”

When I went away to college, I gorged on dumb things like,

“Captain Crunch” and “Count Chocula,” which came out in 1971.

Buying things, like Hostess products out of the dorm vending

machines, ostensibly to ‘help me study and stay awake,’ such

as “Twinkies,” “Ho Ho’s,” and those pink-colored, coconut

marshmallow iced chocolate balls, called, “Sno-balls” were

my downfalls.

When they talk about “Freshman 5 pound weight gains,” I had

probably ten pounds! I read recently of a famous person,

Maria Menounos, who gained 40 lbs. There is a photo of her,

in April’s “Ladies Home Journal,” that is unrecognizable!

3. Evaluate the numbers and figure out how that computes in your

child’s daily intake. Immediately, I think of salt and sugar

levels in foods, in this message! Discuss the listed numbers

noted for calories, fat, sugar, fiber and cholesterol.

I have been shocked how sugary items, including cereals, have

salt in them. Then, salty items like snacks, have tons of sugar

in them. When evaluating a packaged food for an elementary

school’s lunch box, aim for 175 calories or less per serving,

one gram or less of saturated fat, no trans fats, no more than

13 grams of sugars and no more than 210 milligrams of sodium

content. Try for at least 2 grams of fiber. These were also

suggested by the woman dietitian named, Tara D.-T. I usually

look for 5 grams’ fiber in my whole wheat or whole mixed grains

bread. I have found better cereals these days, particularly, in

the natural foods’ aisles.

4. Compare and contrast whenever you have a chance to do this.

No matter when you see food products, on television, in ads

and even on billboards, you have an opportunity to bring up the

subject of good food choices.

My grandchildren and I play that fun game of, “My father/

grandfather/mother or whomever, owns a grocery store and in it,

he/she sells something that starts with a __ (insert first letter)”

This has often been a way to find out where they find the item,

which is one of the many questions that you ask: “Can you find

it in the Meats’ department?” Once we discover from questions,

the product they were thinking of, I get an idea of their favorite

foods. Also, it gives me a moment to prosthelytize.

Under this category, Tara D-T. suggests looking for a high-percent

daily value of important growth vitamins, such as calcium, iron,

zinc and Vitamin D. These important nutrients, by the way, are

also important for all of us, during our aging process, to keep

our brains and bodies strong and healthy!

5. A plan of action should be to translate this knowledge into

good, healthy choices. Once you, your child and family have

become more adept and practiced in this area, you can be less

worried about the times you do ‘slip up,’ with a fast food meal

or a fun time at the movies, eating the popcorn with partially-

hydrogenated fat poured over it. Our Delaware Strand buys a

better product, made from Promise margarine. It isn’t nearly

as high in fat content.

Sorry, this is one of my big downfalls, along with donuts,

candy and ice cream! I have been unable to give up these and

simply, try to limit them.

The trend for teens to drink those high calorie pops, energy

drinks, with loads of caffeine, and flavored coffees, needs to

be addressed. I hope that if this seems to be common among

your teens’ friends or group, that you may wish to suggest some

limits to this. I would say, after my own experience of being

‘denied’ certain foods, that it is best not to boycott these

altogether. As parents you could instead suggest moderation.

Limiting to an extreme, I will remind all of you who were teen

‘rebels’ out there, causes the reverse action to be produced!

With time and practice, children will begin to include the power

of reading food labels before choosing foods. Teens may think

twice, as they stand in front of the vending machines at their

school, work or play centers. By understanding food labels,

the more kids know about what they are eating, the more often

they will choose healthier food choices.

I hope that this will be another way to start Spring, with a

renewal of your New Year’s resolutions to become healthier and

lead longer lives. This include all members of your family,

beginning with the little ones! They are much more open and

less resistant to changes and as mentioned, this can be an

interactive experience.