Nutrition

5 Reasons to Eat Radishes

The nutritional content and flavor of radishes has them deserving of a second look next time you're at the grocery store! radishes

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.

Five Ways to Use Radishes in Cooking:

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.

The Positive Impact of Gardening with Children

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.  

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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.

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Does your school or neighborhood may have a community garden?

Sugary Beverages and Childhood Obesity

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.

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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.

Sources: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/11/2477

and http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/children-and-type-2/preventing-type-2-in-children.html

Creating Healthy Eating Environments for Children

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:applebanana

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.