Does a pineapple a day keep the doctor away? I’m not sure, but I hope so! A fresh, juicy pineapple is one of the best treats on this planet.
Pineapples are usually in stores all year round but the best time to buy pineapple is between March and September. During these months pineapples are extra juicy and sweet.
If you’re like me, you might think of this funny video when you hear the word pineapple.
To avoid getting that song stuck in your head, here are some other things you can think of when you hear the word pineapple:
In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue but in 1493 he discovered the pineapple (or so they say…)
The largest producers of pineapple are in the Philippines, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
One pineapple takes a whole year to grow!
It is called pineapple because people thought it looked like a pine cone. Do you see the resemblance?
Pineapple’s delicious taste isn’t the only good thing about it – it is also good for you. Like other fruits, pineapple is a good source of important nutrients. Below is a list of 3 important nutrients that you can get from eating pineapple.
Vitamin C: keeps the immune system healthy. Pineapple has a LOT of vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6: cells need this vitamin in order to produce energy and other materials used by the body.
Manganese: Ever heard of manganese? People don’t talk about this nutrient very much but it helps the body make energy out of food.
Click this link to read more about fruits in general.
Grill or broil pineapple with a little brown sugar and cinnamon
Put it on a kabob with other veggies and fruits
Use it as a pizza topping
Add it to a smoothie
Add small pieces to some salsa
Chop it up with other fruits for a simple fruit salad
Put it on a burger or sandwich
How to cut:
Pineapples are an odd shape and can be tricky to cut. Click on this link or on the pineapple below for instructions on how to cut a pineapple.
#foodsense #eathealthy #pineapple
Information for this post is from nih.gov, webmd.com, and dole.com
It is time to come out of our winter caves and take a deep breath of fresh spring air! It is such a good time to be outside because the sun is out and everything is blooming. Is there anything better than feeling the sun on your skin while looking at the blossoming flowers and trees?
The warm weather allows for a lot more physical activity options. It’s been a few months since talking about the importance of being physically active. Do you remember the recommendation for length of daily physical activity?
What this really means is 60 minutes of doing something fun that involves moving your body. Dancing, playing soccer, walking the dog, gardening, etc. What are some of your favorite ways to be physically active?
One way to be physically active while taking advantage of the beautiful weather is by flying kites! You can buy a kite or you can make one yourself. Everyone in your family could make a kite and then you could have a contest to see which kite flies the best. Tip: Pick a windy day or area to fly your kite.
Check out the video below to learn one way to make a kite.
This is can be a fun way to get your body moving!
Step 1: Buy or create a kite.
Step 2: Grab a friend or your family, invite them to join the fun.
Step 3: Find a park.
Step 4: Have fun while trying to get your kite in the air.
If last week’s post didn’t convince you to eat more asparagus, maybe this recipe will do the trick. It is super simple but it will knock the socks off your family, friends, neighbors, or whoever you’re serving it too!
First, preheat oven to 425°F then gather your ingredients.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil or a silicon baking mat. Wrap 2-3 asparagus in a piece of turkey bacon and set on pan. Repeat until bacon or asparagus is gone.
Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a dish. Pour mixture over asparagus and bacon. Carefully toss asparagus so that it is mostly coated in olive oil. The bundles of asparagus may be hard to move without the bacon falling off. Don’t worry, when it bakes the bacon stiffens and holds the asparagus together.
Bake for 15 minutes and voila! You’ve got a tasty side dish.
Here is the full recipe:
1 lb. of asparagus (about 20 stocks)
6-9 pieces of turkey bacon
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F and line baking sheet with tin foil. Wrap 2-3 asparagus with a piece of turkey bacon and set on pan. Repeat until you’re out of asparagus or bacon. Mix olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour seasonings over the asparagus bundles. Toss carefully to cover most of the asparagus and bacon with olive oil and seasonings. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Hooray for springtime! It is certainly time for some warmer weather. You may have noticed that as the weather is getting warmer, flowers are starting to blossom. Besides flowers, spring also brings some fresh fruits and vegetables that weren’t as available in the winter months.
One vegetable to be excited about is asparagus. Asparagus season is at its peak in April, meaning that it is extra fresh and should be available at the grocery store.
If you want to grow some asparagus, you need to plan on it 3 years in advance! Three years is how long it takes the plant to grow, however, once the plant is established you can harvest the asparagus each spring.
In the United States the majority of asparagus comes from California, Washington, and Michigan. There is actually a National Asparagus Festival in Michigan each year where someone is selected as Asparagus Queen! Ever thought about becoming part of the Asparagus royal family??
Asparagus is a great source of a lot of important nutrients! Below is a list of nutrients contained in asparagus. Read about some of the important roles that these nutrients play in the body.
Folic Acid: Helps the body make new cells.
Potassium: helps the nervous system and muscles to work well.
Fiber: important for good digestion
Thiamin: helps change carbohydrates into energy
Vitamin A: important for good vision
Vitamin B6: important for turning food into energy
Vitamin C: protects cells from damage
A simple but delicious way to eat asparagus is by simply placing the stocks on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and salt and then baking at 425o for 15 minutes.
Use it as a pizza topping
Add to an omelet
Wrap it in turkey bacon then bake in the oven
After cooking it, drizzle with a little vinaigrette
Add it to vegetable soup
Did you know that asparagus comes in three different colors? Asparagus can be green, purple or white.
Green: The two main types of green asparagus are called Martha Washington and Mary Washington. This variety of asparagus is the most common in the United States.
Purple: Not only is it a fun color but varieties of purple asparagus have fun names. Purple Passion, Pacific Purple, or Sweet Purple are all types of asparagus. You can cook this asparagus the same way as green asparagus, the difference is that purple asparagus has a sweeter taste.
White: This type of asparagus is planted under a lot of soil so that the sunlight doesn’t reach it. Without sunlight the plant can’t produce chlorophyll, this causes it to be white instead of green. White asparagus is more common in Europe than in the U.S.
We are in the middle of Utah School Breakfast Week!
When you eat breakfast you are increasing your intake of many important nutrients. The nutrients listed below can all be increased by eating breakfast, check out some of the reasons they are important for our bodies:
Calcium – helps keep bones strong
Fiber – helps with better digestion
Folate – important for making cells and DNA
Protein – needed for healthy structure and function of the body’s tissues and organs
Iron – used to make cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body
Vitamin A – helps maintain good vision
Vitamin C – important for the immune system and protects cells from damage
And why not make breakfast a little more fun? Print and color some emoji code breaker coloring pages for school breakfast week.
Eating breakfast has a lot of benefits that you may not realize. One benefit is, by eating breakfast you are more likely to get more dairy and fruit in your diet – and we know all about the importance of fruit and dairy 🙂
Eating breakfast can also help you achieve better grades and higher test scores – sounds pretty good, right?!
Give your brain the fuel power it needs by eating breakfast!
#UTSchoolBreakfastWeek #schoolbreakfast #NSBW18
Check out the recipes section of this blog to find some tasty breakfasts that you can make at home.
Ladies and gentleman, we have made it all around the MyPlate and have come to our final food group:
What do you know about dairy? Do you know about the health benefits? There are enough benefits to give dairy a place on the MyPlate so lets check it out!
There is an extremely important nutrient that you will find in dairy products. And that is:
99% of the calcium in our body is stored in the bones and teeth. It helps your keep your bone and teeth strong. As you continue to grow and develop through your teenage years, it is especially important that you eat enough calcium!
So how much is enough? Since you won’t be measuring out the calcium in every food that you eat, just remember 3 a day.
If you eat 3 dairy products a day, you will likely meet the needs of your growing body! So try out a variety of combinations such as:
Can you find a few different types of dairy in the word search that will help you get enough calcium each day?
(Click on the picture to get a printable version)
So what are some other benefits of dairy?
Protein: In 1 glass of milk there are 8 grams of protein, which comparable to meat! The great thing about milk, however, is that there is less fat content than meat.
Vitamin D: Most people are not out in the sun long enough every day to get enough vitamin D, but companies actually add Vitamin D to milk to help us make it up! Vitamin D will work with Calcium to keep your bones strong!
B Vitamins: Dairy products also are a great source of some of the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, etc.)
Dairy has a lot of vitamins and minerals that help with growth and staying healthy, so make sure you are getting your 3 a day!
Now that we have gone through all the food groups, test your knowledge with the following games and fun!
Answer some questions about the different field groups to get higher scores on the different track and field events!
Watch this short video of a group of adventurers meeting new friends on a hike and how they get everyone back on track with some balanced snacks!
Think you have a good feel for MyPlate? Print off this menu planner and create 3 days of full MyPlate meals!
As we go around the MyPlate, the next food group we land on is Protein, or what I like to call- the Power Group. As a recap:
Your fruitsand vegetables give you the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body healthy, free from sickness, and functioning properly.
Tip: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables and eat a variety of colors
And your grains have something called carbohydrates that give your body and brain energy.
Tip: Make half your grains whole grains
So back to the ‘Power Group’ AKA
It is good to have a little protein at each meal because not only does it have some important vitamins and minerals, but it also breaks down into ‘building blocks’ to build up our muscles and other tissues.
Before we jump in the details, take this protein quiz to test your knowledge!
How did you do?? Now that you got a little taste of protein facts, lets get some details:
Benefits of Protein:
Proteins act as building blocks as I mentioned. They help build muscle, bone, skin tissue, hormones, blood, and more!
B vitamins are found in meat protein and help the body produce energy
Protein foods contain something called IRON, which helps carry oxygen to your blood when red blood cells are forming. Getting enough iron is especially important during teenage years!
Proteins have zinc to keep your immune system strong
Seafood contains some healthy fats that help keep your heart healthy, and your mind alert
Types of Protein
Tip: Try to eat a fish protein 2-3 times a week (or 8 ounces) to help keep your heart strong and healthy throughout your life.
Did you know that protein isn’t just hamburgers and chicken nuggets? Check out this list of proteins you can add to your meals:
Fish and other seafood
Tip: It is recommended to eat about 5-6 ounces of protein a day, depending on how active you are. Most Americans eat this already, so rather than trying to get more protein, focus on getting a VARIETY of protein with more chicken and fish, and less red meat.
Practice what you have learned about the food groups so far with a game:
Nutrient Machine Madness: Help out the chef put the foods with correct nutrients into the machine before time runs out!
So if you are ready to add a power component to your plate, try out some new proteins this week and share below what you tried!
Hello friends! How are those fruit creations and veggie varieties going? How many of you have started eating 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of veggies each day? If you haven’t yet, no worries! Just one step at a time and soon you will have half the MyPlate in part of your daily routine!
So today we get to talk about the next food group on MyPlate:
Grains are important because they are a main source for many B vitamins as well as carbohydrates (AKA carbs).
Think about your favorite physical activity: running, playing basketball with friends, cheerleading, biking, football, etc. Do you know that you need those carbohydrates to improve your performance in each of these activities?
Now think of going to class and doing your homework. Do you know that carbohydrates also help your brain stay focused, energized, remember more, and stay healthy? Say goodbye to falling asleep in class, and say hello to better grades!
Why are they healthy?
As I mentioned, grains are made of carbohydrates and carbohydrates are a complex type of fuel or ‘sugar’ our bodies use to function. When broken down, carbohydrates turn into an absorbable form of sugar called ‘glucose’. Glucose happens to be our brain’s favorite source of energy. SO if you would like to have more energy in both your brain and your body, make sure you are getting a grain at each meal.
Whole grains are also full of fiber and vitamins that keep your heart and your digestive tract healthy and strong. But the key word is whole. Sometimes grains are broken down during processing so there are less vitamins, minerals, and fiber- meaning you don’t get the healthy benefits! So check for the words ‘whole wheat’ or ‘whole grain’ when you are getting your grains for the day.
Making sure 1/2 or more of your grains are ‘whole grains’ will give you maximum benefits!
So for our MyPlate champions, try out 1 new whole grain this week and comment below on what you tried! Let’s get our bodies and minds energized with carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals!