Veggie Vibes

Welcome to Part 2 of the MyPlate series! We talked about what MyPlate is and now we are going to take a closer look at each section with some fun games and contests.

First off we have fruits and veggies. Remember when mom said to eat your veggies? We need to not only eat them, but we need to eat half a plate worth of them! So why is that?

fruit-diet

Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Full of fiber→ helps keep your belly healthy
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals → helps with muscle building, vision, bone building, building immune systems (AKA preventing your body from getting that annoying cold)
  • Phytochemicals → help keep your heart healthy, fights off ‘bad’ cells (free radicals), improves vision, and prevents your body from developing certain chronic diseases in the future (Alzheimers, Heart disease, Cancer, Stroke, and the list goes on).
  • When prepared right, they can have some of the best flavors
  • Colorful combinations make dishes more appealing

 

Fruits and vegetables don’t have to be boring. Check out these fun creations for ideas on how to brighten up your plate:

 

Send your own food art creation to  foodsense@usu.edu for a chance to win a fun kitchen gadget and have your food art displayed! Judging will take place on July 22nd so you have one month!

Happy Creating!

The Perfect Plate is MyPlate!

Last week we talked about how to ‘Fight BAC’, and this week we got a taste of the Mediterranean Burrito!

Today let’s talk about the best way to fill up your plate. The USDA put out a great picture diagram to help you remember what needs to go into each meal:

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.01.15 PM.png

Let’s start with my two all time favorite groups. Fruit and Veggies!

FruitsVegetablesFruits and Veggies, my friends, are AMAZING. Here are a couple reasons why:

  • They make your dish more exciting with colors
  • They have the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to grow and stay healthy
  • There are always multiple ways to prepare each fruit and vegetable
  • They are full of fiber which can keep you belly full and healthy
  • They are great for mealtime, snack time, AND dessert time

Tip: At the beginning of the week fill 5 sandwich bags with veggies and fruits such as carrots, cucumbers, grapes, apples, etc. for an easy snack to grab after school.

ProteinScreen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.02.20 PM

On the bottom right of the plate you will notice the purple section that says “protein”. Protein is important for your body because it helps repair and build up your muscles. Protein will break down in your digestive tract and give your body energy over a longer period of time, so having a little bit of protein with each meal (or in a snack) will keep your tummy full for longer.

Another great thing about protein is that it comes in many different forms. The goal is to choose ‘lean’ protein options such as beans, nuts, eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, and more!

Tip: Add nuts to a salad or parfait for a boost of protein after exercising.

Grains

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.02.11 PM

Next on the MyPlate diagram is ‘Grains’. Grains can be found in breads, cold and hot cereals, and more. The goal is to make half your grains whole. Look for labels that say ‘whole wheat”, or “whole grain”.

Tip: Next time you are at the grocery store, check out the different breads or grain bins and try to spot out 4 foods with whole grains.

Dairy

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.02.29 PMLastly, we come to our side of dairy. Dairy is a great way to get in extra minerals, protein, and other nutrients in one tasty bite! Dairy is anything that comes from milk including cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese. A glass of milk with dinner, or yogurt with fruit for breakfast are both great ways to get in your dairy each day.

Tip: When choosing out dairy products look at the ingredient label and find the products with lower amounts of sugar. Usually flavored products are high in sugar and take away some nutritional value.

Think you have the facts down? Test your knowledge with this crossword puzzle:

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.12.30 PMPrintable Version

Having trouble remembering the details? Listen to this tune for some more MyPlate fun:

Alive with Five mp3

 

In summary, you can make the ultimate plate with this equation:

Load ½ the plate with fruits and vegetables

+

Add a lean protein

+

Make ½ the grains whole

+

Have a side of dairy

 

Print this checklist to help you keep track of your MyPlate ‘Wins’: MyPlate Daily Checklist

Some days we might not have the ultimate plate at every meal, but if you are running low on one part, just have a snack to make it up. For example: No vegetables at breakfast? Grab a bag of carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers for an extra boost during snack time! 

Happy MyPlate Creating!

 

 

 

 

 

Fight “BAC”!

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a master chef? Or of being that one friend that everyone can’t stop talking about how AMAZING your food is? Or have you simply just wanted to make something better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a snack after school?

Cooking Girl

Well look no further, you have come to the right place! Each week we will have new recipes and tips that will not only help you become a culinary genius, but will also give you tools to stay energized, healthy and having fun.

As you follow these posts and develop your cooking skills , there is one obstacle that you will face that could ruin all the fun… and that is……… bacteria!Unknown

If you are not safe with your food, these nasty little guys could make your food taste funny, they could make you EXTREMELY sick, and ultimately, your cooking party gets ruined. So fight that bacteria. Fight ‘BAC’!

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Here are some ways to Fight ‘Bac’:

  • CLEAN
    • Bacteria will spread quickly if everything isn’t kept clean. Start off by wiping down counters and washing hands for at least 20 seconds, and then make sure all your fruits and vegetable are washed and scrubbed well before preparing your cuisine
  • SEPARATE
    • Never let foods cross contaminate! Use different knives and cutting boards for vegetables and meat.
  • COOK
    • Bacteria is pretty durable, so if you don’t cook foods such as eggs and meat to the right temperature, you could let some bacteria spread! Use a thermometer when cooking foods like chicken, beef, fish, and pork, to make sure you get your food hot enough.danger-zone-lg
  • CHILL
    • The favorite temperature zone for bacteria is between 40 F, and 140 F, so it is important to chill food quickly. After you are done eating, cover it and put it in a refrigerator right away. Food should never be out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.

 

Clean-Separate-Cook-Chill-Card

Nice! Now that you are brushed up on some food safety tips, click on the link and see how well you can ‘Fight BAC’ and then check your answers!

How well can YOU ‘Fight BAC’?

Answer Sheet

Great Job! You are ready to fend off those fun-killing bacteria! Make sure to print up THIS checklist and hang it on your fridge to remind you about Fighting BAC!

For some extra fun, check out the free ‘Perfect Picnic’ iPhone app. Its a fun interactive game that lets you plan the perfect picnic party while avoiding those pesky bacteria that cause food poisoning!

Fight BAC
Perfect Picnic App