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Cherries may be a favorite when snacking on fruit, but there's more benefits to this fruit than just a sweet flavor!
1. Cherries are high in antioxidants, contributing to decreased inflammation, and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Sweet cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin. Fiber, Vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins act as an anti-cancer team. Cyanidin and quercetin help by reducing free radicals.
2. Cherries are mostly water! Made up of an average of 80% water, snacking on this fruit will help you stay hydrated. The water and fiber content in this fruit will also help you feel full, without all the extra calories.
3. They can help relieve pain from arthritis and gout. Some research indicates that cherries can help reduce the symptoms from gout by lowering uric acid levels and reducing C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
4. This naturally sweet fruit is an easy, healthy dessert for Spring picnics. Just throw in a bag and serve!
Try a Cherry Recipe!
Servings: 1 Fruit 1 Starch
Ingredients: 1/2 medium Sweet Potato 5 medium, fresh Cherries, pitted 1/2 small Orange, peeled and sliced
Preparation: Bake sweet potato until tender. Cool slightly and scoop pulp from sweet potato halve so it can be filled. In a food processor, process cherries and orange slices until chunky mixture is achieved. Mix sweet potato pulp with fruit mixture until well combined. Scoop mixture into potato shell. Bake at 350F oven until heated through.
Servings: 1 Fruit 1 Starch 1 Supplement
Ingredients: 1 Chocolate Pudding Shake Supplement, prepared as pudding 1 serving Cherries, pitted 1 serving Rice Cakes, crushed
Preparation: Mix all ingredients together well. Chill for 2 hours and serve.
Capsaicin, the ingredient responsible for the spicy flavor of hot peppers, may offer several positive health benefits. Peppers that contain capsaicin include chili, jalapeno, habanero, cayenne, serrano, cherry peppers and bell peppers. Overall, eating peppers of the capsaicin variety provides benefits in digestive and cardiovascular health and cancer prevention.
Studies have shown that hot peppers have the potential to provide the following health benefits:
1. Reduce risk of cancer.
2. Lower cholesterol.
3. Increase circulation.
4. Support weight loss.
5. Aid digestive processes.
6. Relieve congestion.
Try this Hot Pepper Recipe!
1 1/2 servings Fresh Pineapple
1/2 serving Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 serving Red Onion
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1/2 serving Stevia
1/2 tsp. Fresh Lime Juice
Pepper to taste
Preparation: Dice/cube pineapple, seed and chop peppers, chop onion. Combine pineapple, peppers, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a bowl. Add Stevia, lime juice and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.
The nutritional content and flavor of radishes has them deserving of a second look next time you're at the grocery store!
Five Reasons to Eat Radishes:
1. Radishes have high fiber content - contributing to a feeling of fullness and aiding in healthy digestion. They provide a great snack while following a weight loss plan, as they are low-calorie and filling. 2. Even though this vegetable is small, radishes are rich in Vitamin C! This vitamin is essential for your body to create and maintain connective tissue. 3. Radishes have high potassium content, which can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. 4. They contain minerals that promote good health, including folate, Vitamin K, manganese, iron and calcium. 5. Radishes are a natural diuretic - helpful in the treatment of urinary and kidney infections.
1. Add a peppery crunch to your salad, by mixing in small slices of radish. 2. Mix finely chopped radishes into tuna or chicken salad mixtures. They are also delicious in coleslaw. 3. Add thin slices of radishes to a pitcher of water to create a refreshing infused water drink. 4. Throw radish slices into your omelet or scrambled eggs. 5. Add radish slices to sandwiches and wraps for an extra crunch.
Updated: 5/22/18 Gardening provides a great opportunity for kids to play and grow, and can be a powerful tool in teaching children about nutrition. With a little effort, you can create your very own garden at home! The benefits of gardening are endless for kids, and encouraging healthy eating at home sets children up for a healthy future.
Benefits of Gardening with Kids:
1. Gardening is a great learning experience for children. Creating and maintaining a garden teaches kids about plant science, weather and nature.
2. It encourages healthy eating by showing kids how fresh food is grown and then prepared into meals. Children become invested in food that they garden themselves and have a sense of pride in the foods they have created, making them more likely to eat these healthy options.
3. It teaches responsibility and the importance of caring for the environment. It also teaches skills such as patience, planning and organizing.
4. Gardening promotes physical activity. Without realizing they are "exercising", kids are able to get physical activity by being outdoors weeding, planting and watering.
5. It's fun! Kids love digging in soil and getting dirty. Gardening is also a great activity to spend time as a family.
Tips for Gardening with Kids:
1. Keep it simple! Try planting a small bed of soil, or grow fruits and vegetables in an existing landscape in your yard. If you don't have a lot of space or available land for growing, use small pots with soil for cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs. Use a trellis to grow vegetables like peas and beans.
2. Use lightweight, easy, and small garden tools and equipment to keep children safe.
3. Make a scarecrow. Work with your children to create a fun, and creative version of a scarecrow for the garden.
4. Select fast growing vegetables and brightly colored flowers to keep the attention of children.
Does your school or neighborhood may have a community garden?
Updated: 8/22/18 Beverages that contain a high sugar content are a contributing cause to the epidemic of childhood and teen obesity. What kind of beverages are your children consuming at school?
Sugar-rich drinks such as soda, sports and energy drinks, and flavored teas have become highly popular over the last decade, and particularly so among the young population. The amount of these types of beverages that are being consumed, as well as the size of those beverages, has increased greatly. Along with this increase, comes a larger risk for obesity, dental problems and diseases like type 2 diabetes.
One 12-ounce can of regular soda has around 150 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrate, and almost 40 grams of sugar! These extra calories contribute to weight gain - and extra weight is the largest cause of childhood type 2 diabetes.
When suffering from type 2 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal or the body's cells ignore the insulin that is produced. Insulin is needed for the body to use glucose for energy. One study has indicated that individuals that consume high amounts of sugary beverages have a 26% greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Reducing sugary beverage consumption can help improve glucose and insulin levels in children, in an effort to prevent childhood diabetes and weight gain.
Be cautious of fruit juice as well. While fruit juice is often perceived as a healthy beverage, some juices can be just as unhealthy as soda. The amount of sugar that a fruit juice contains may be as much, or more, than soft drinks and the benefits that come from vitamins in juice are outweighed by the amount of sugar.
1. Pay attention to nutrition labels when grocery shopping. Juices marketed as "100% Pure" or "Organic" may not necessarily be accurate. Read the nutrition label!
2. Don't be fooled by the word "fruit". "Fruit" is thought of as healthy food, and gives the mindset that items that use the word "fruit", are healthy. Watch out for "fruit" products that are filled with added sugar and calories.
To avoid the negative effects that sugary drinks have on health, encourage children to consume sugar in moderation and to consume adequate amounts of water. Promote healthy beverage choices at home and replace sugary beverages with water, milk or real fruit and vegetable juices.
Updated: 8/2/18 The food and behavior choices of children are shaped by the eating environments that surround them, access to healthy and fresh food, and product marketing. Creating a healthy eating environment for children helps prevent childhood obesity and can leave a lasting positive impact into adulthood.
Here are some ways to promote a healthy eating environment for your kids:
1. Keep a variety of fresh fruits within reach of your children - this will encourage them to grab a healthy snack.
2. Inform children about nutrition and why it's important to eat healthy foods. Discuss the different food groups and what foods fit into each group.
3. Provide healthy beverages, such as water and fruit juice. Limit foods and drinks that contain added sugar.
4. If available, create a garden at home and grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Involving kids in gardening fresh vegetables will encourage them to eat them.
5. Cook meals at home where you have control over ingredients and portion sizes. Prepare plates in the kitchen before serving a meal and sit down to eat a family meal together when possible.
7. Pack lunches with your kids - if they are invested in what they will be eating, they are more likely to enjoy the food and not throw healthy items away.
Each of our clinic’s 30 free Pro-Teen programs – which include all medical set-up, lab work, 10-weeks of weight loss services and all nutritional supplements, and are valued more than $500 each – will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis from Sept. 1 to 30, 2016, using an online entry system at www.mwlcgiveaway.com. Applicants must complete a short entry form and describe in 100 words or less why they are interested in MWLC’s Pro-Teen weight-loss services.
As the Fall season approaches, and kids head back to school, it's time to stock up on apples! Apples provide several health benefits and are a great addition when packing your child's lunch.
1. Apples have high fiber content. A medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, helping you feel full, promoting intestinal regularity, and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
2. Apples are rich in Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that helps the body create and maintain connective tissue.
3. Apples are high in antioxidants, contributing to decreased inflammation and reduced risk of cancer. Apples contain a significant amount of an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps promote healthy lung function.
5 Ways to Incorporate Apples into Healthy School Lunches:
1. Make an "apple sandwich" by using apple slices as "bread" and filling the middle of two slices with peanut butter. Try adding raisins.
2. Add diced apples to tuna salad and wrap tuna mixture in a whole wheat pita to add some crunch to your child's sandwich.
3. Use a vegetable spiralizer to make apple "pasta" noodles. Kids can turn the spiralizer handle and watch their fruit turn into pasta. Use as a base for a fruit salad, or place spiralized apple into a container to be eaten like "noodles".
4. Kids love to dip! Slice apples into thin "sticks" that can be used for dipping. Pack peanut butter or yogurt to dip the apple sticks.
5. If simply adding apple slices to your child's lunchbox, cut up the apple, then reassemble it with a rubber band around it - to keep the apple slices from browning and fresh until lunchtime.
Cooking is a great way to bring kids and parents together and encourage healthy eating! Here's 3 reasons why cooking with your children is important and how to get started.
1. Cooking can be a great learning experience! Having children participate in the cooking process can help them learn basic math skills (counting, weighing, measuring) and develop language. Try creating a menu together and learning the nutrition involved in the menu. Discuss the food groups and what types of foods fit into each group.
2. Cooking promotes a feeling of responsibility and encourages healthy eating. Teach kids about why foods are considered "healthy" or "unhealthy" and encourage cooking with fruits and vegetables. Involving children in the food preparation process promotes more mindful food choices and eating patterns. Also, the more invested in the meal, the more likely the child is to enjoy it - kids are much more likely to eat food they make themselves.
3. It teaches your kids a basic and essential life skill! Cooking is an important skill and involving children at an early age helps set them up for future success.
How do you start cooking with your kids? Start with an easier dish, or breakfast on the weekends where you have more time and let them try out the below tasks.
1. Adding ingredients to a mixing bowl. 2. Stirring batter. 3. Assembling a pizza or sandwich. 4. Tearing apart food (such as lettuce). 5. Drying greens in a salad spinner. 6. Setting the table for the meal.
1. Peeling fruits and vegetables (with a small peeler). 2. Mashing potatoes. 3. Stirring ingredients. 4. Rolling out dough and using cookies cutters. 5. Rinsing vegetables. 6. Squeezing lemons or limes with a plastic juicer. 7. Grating cheese. 8. Cracking eggs. 9. Measuring ingredients.
Try out these creative snack ideas for kids that are not only fun, but healthy too! 1. Cut fruit into fun shapes using cookie cutters - watermelon, pineapple, kiwi and cantaloupe work great! Cookie cutters also work great with jello (use MWLC Cherry Jello Fiber to avoid sugary jello products from the store.)
2. Mold and position food into fun shapes and themes for children. For example, create a "rainbow" using red, green, orange and yellow slices of bell pepper, with cauliflower florets to represent "clouds". Use other fruits and vegetables to create animals, flowers, and other creative scenes for your kids.
3. Pour yogurt into ice cube molds (shaped molds can be found online) and freeze - kids will love the fun shapes in these easy frozen yogurt bites!
4. Kids love to dip! Try dipping celery sticks into peanut butter, and Goldfish snacks, to create a 'Going Fishing' game.
5. Make kabobs! Cut up fresh fruit - strawberries, melon, pineapple - and add the chunks to a skewer. Dip skewers in yogurt.
6. Create "fruit popsicles". In a blender, mix seedless watermelon, strawberries and fresh lemon juice. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until firm. Enjoy!
Updated: 8/22/18 Did you know that today, about one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are considered overweight or obese, and this number continues to rise? The negative consequences associated with this excess weight in children, ranges from physical to psychological and social. The impact of obesity in childhood can have life-long effects and lead to a shorter life expectancy, making this an extremely important health issue.
For children and adolescents, adult BMI categories are further divided by sex and age, due to changes that occur during growth and development. Growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are used to determine children’s BMI. Children and adolescents with a BMI between the 5th and 85th percentile are considered to be a healthy weight. Children with a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentiles are generally considered to be overweight, and those with a BMI at or above the sex-and age-specific 95th percentile of the population on this growth chart are typically considered obese.
Overweight and obesity are the result of caloric imbalance (too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed) and are influenced by genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.
Childhood overweight and obesity can lead to health consequences into adulthood, and obese children and teens are more likely to become obese adults. Children who are obese have a greater risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and asthma, joint problems, fatty liver disease, gallstones, and heartburn, and psychological issues such as poor self-esteem and depression.
Childhood obesity can be prevented through the actions of children and their parents. Promoting an environment of healthy eating and physical activity for children can help reduce the risk of obesity and the negative consequences that come with this condition.