Chicken Noodle Soup for the Cold and Flu

Some say the flu is winding down. Whether this is true or not, there are some age-old tested methods of helping reduce the effects of cold and the flu. One of these has to do with an old stand-by – chicken soup.

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This soup is known to help alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu. Others say chicken soup strengths the immune system. We know that good health starts with a well functioning immune system.

Here is an easy recipe from Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun by Amy Houts. Yes, even children can make this soup, known as the go-to comfort food.

Amy’s Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

4 quarts water
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 carrot, diced fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 (6-oz.) package fine egg noodles

Bring water to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Adult can add chicken and bouillon, turn down heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pot.

Children can help add carrots and celery; simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, dice chicken. Add noodles and diced chicken. Simmer 5 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings

There is a great deal to learn yet about the healing power of food. In the meantime, if you want to work on staying healthy or feeling better during a cold or flu, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and have a bowl of chicken soup.

See this and other healthy food choices in Amy Houts childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. You’ll want to try some of her other seasonal foods, such as recipes for Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and St. Patrick‘s Day.

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPublishing.com

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How to Eat Better at Buffets

Buffet

Buffets are loaded with lots of food. Where to begin? Diners often feel they need to sample a little of everything. But this leads to heaping platefuls of food. And this adds to weight and health problems.

Being selective matters. But it’s not the easiest to accomplish, so here are some pointers:

Start with fresh green vegetables and juicy fruits. Make this your greatest portion of the meal. Find the different greens: spinach, romaine lettuce, leafy greens, and carrots, peas, and other. Top with only a small amount of a light olive oil dressing, or better yet, taco dressing or other less fatty dressing. Fruits are so colorful and tasty – add the apple, orange, strawberries, melon, berries, peaches, kiwi, and other fresh fruits. Use as a dessert, if desired. These are the food products where you’ll get your most plentiful and best vitamins and carbohydrates, as well as other nutrients.

Minimize animal-based products. Studies indicate that the lower the percentage of animal-based foods that are consumed, the greater the health benefits. You will still be getting your protein through green plant foods.

Are there any cooked vegetables or brown rice or whole wheat pasta dishes? These can be good choices.

Is there a vegetable based soup? This makes a perfect accompaniment.

Nuts and seeds are good in moderation.

Pass on any deep-fried foods and sugar.

Are you feeling deprived with all the other food available? Just like in the grocery store or other restaurants, you can’t eat everything, so be selective. You will still be satisfied, but best of all, you will feel good about yourself and your healthy food choices.

To your health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson

Working toward healthy choices

http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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What to Eat and How Much?

Who is the decision-maker when it comes to food choices? Is it the school? government? family? children?

English: A picture of a collection of healthy ...

Ground rules for this go something like this:

Parents should have the final word about what foods are bought and used for meals and snacks. It’s the parents who need to make healthy choices about foods for themselves and their family. This is for foods eaten at home or outside the home. It’s important to choose nutritious foods so that the goal for healthy food is met each day.

Buying crispy vegetables and fruits instead of cookies, chips and dips is a better trade-off. You can find already cleaned carrots, green beans, and grape tomatoes ready-to-eat. Add some raw broccoli and there is enough goodness for a salad or snacks for awhile.

The same can be done for fruits. Some require a little more preparation. For example, cutting up apples and oranges and putting them in little plastic bags or glass dishes in the refrigerator takes more time but is worth it.

Within reason, children should decide on the amount of food they want to eat at meals and snacks. Some guidance may be necessary, depending on the age of the children. Some families are concerned about children eating too much, while others worry about children not eating enough.

Always talk with your child about why they are choosing not to eat. Try to keep the communication open about food.

Eating should be a pleasant experience. Food should not be used as a reward or punishment. Make mealtimes an important and essential part of the day.

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson
Good nutrition advocate
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store

Going to the grocery store with a plan will save time and impact the health of your family. In order to eat healthier, spend less

veggies

veggies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

time in the store, and possibly save more money, you need to have a market plan.

A good place to start your list is with vegetables and fruits. The emphasis here should be on green and yellow vegetables and citrus fruits. Five or more servings per day are the recommended amounts.

These are often the very foods we choose to skip while adding the snacks, soda pop, and sweets to our shopping carts. Not good. If we are to live healthier lives, the emphasis should be on real food.

Here are tips for shopping healthier when going to the grocery store:

1. Do most of your shopping along the outer perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find the fresh produce and other fresh foods.

2. First, stock up on plant-based foods such as yams, squash, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and garlic.

3. Choose a good variety of salad vegetables, such as raw spinach, romaine lettuce, radishes, peppers, green onions.

4. Select fruits that are in season. These will be the choicest and generally the least expensive. If you can preserve seasonal fruits through canning or freezing, this may be a good way to incorporate fruits into your family meals later in the year.

5. Add rice and beans unless they are already in your pantry or food storage area. You may want to even pick up prepackaged (not canned) bean soups. Choose brown rice over white. (Yes, here you may have to use an “inside aisle”).

6. If possible, buy local and organic. This is not always possible, but if this is available in your area, more power to you.

Before you go to the store you have checked your cupboard for needed items and have checked the ads to see if any of the specials are what you need. Armed with your list of healthy foods and suggestions, doing your grocery shopping should be a breeze.

Here’s to your health,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition Advocate
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

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How to Grow a Pizza Garden

Here is a neat idea on getting kids interested in trying different food. Take a look: http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20120408/NEWS01/304080010/Class-gives-children-chance-grow-their-own-pizza-garden-. I think you will be inspired.

Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?

Did the Easter bunny come loaded with candy to your house? Or did he have some non-sugar related treats instead, such as

A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.

A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

new socks, new shirts, or fruits and nuts?

If your bunny was like most bunnies I know, he packed a high sugar load. As parents, how to handle the high influx of sugars into young bodies? As well as, how to get back into a schedule of healthy eating?

Studies have shown that high sugar intake not only can add pounds but plays a role in a wide range of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Long-term sugar addiction can also produce a weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, hormonal problems, and gastrointestinal issues as well as anxiety and depression.

There is conflicting evidence over sugar-producing mood altering swings in children. But many parents have seen the changes in their child from a sweet, fun-loving child to one of a hostile, out-of-control “brat”. Too much sugar causes different reactions in different people.

Some view the never-ending “need” many have for sugar as a powerful addiction not unlike that of alcohol. With sugar addiction, individuals are no longer able to use their body’s natural abilities to control their food intake. Reportedly, some parts of the world still keep sugar under lock and key believing it to be a narcotic.

Just as with any other addiction, sugar craving needs to be controlled. This includes cutting out artificially sweetened foods as well as natural sugar foods. Getting the sugar habit under control is especially important for children for health reasons as well as weight control.

How can parents help their sugar-craving kids?

  • Help make Easter candy less readily available. Perhaps making a game out of choosing one piece and then hiding the rest. Often “out of sight, out of mind” helps. Stock cabinets and refrigerator with fruits and vegetables that are within easy reach.
  • Start your kids off with a good breakfast. This could consist of a vegetable omelet or oatmeal with chopped almonds or quinoa flakes and fresh fruit. It could also include last night’s meal of chicken or roast beef with veggie sticks.
  • If you are the chief meal planner and preparer, eliminate sugars and any sugar derivatives (honey, molasses, corn syrup, high fructose syrup and the like) from the menu. Plan  meals in advance, shop intentionally, based on what you need, and prepare the meals at a set time.
  • Pack the meals with plant-based foods from the vegetable group, the fruit group, and high-quality protein sources from animal or plant protein sources such as seafood, poultry and lean meats.
  • Set a good example by not eating foods with sugar. This means eliminating any “diet” soft drinks and other processed, sugary foods as well.
  • Take your kids shopping and ask them to help you make dinner or prepare their school lunch. Praise them for their good choices.
  • Have pitchers of water handy so your kids can drink this anytime. Kids should drink water rather than any soda or other sweetened drink.
  • One of the biggest helps is to teach kids the value of staying active and exercising. When they are playing baseball, hiking or biking they are not as apt to want a piece of candy. Then, have some healthy snacks when they are through, such as nuts or peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread, rice cakes and peanut butter, carrot sticks, apples, bananas, grapes, etc.
  • Your child may be tempted to eat sweets, just as you, perhaps, are tempted. Try to get past the temptation by focusing on another activity. Perhaps on some hobby you have, or a pleasant experience you had.
  • Some like to use visualization when this happens. They imagine and visualize how much healthier they will be without the sugar, or they will see a firm, slender body if they don’t indulge.

Getting past the sugar craving is not easy. Having candy and other sweets out of sight is the first step. Stocking up on healthy foods is the second. What your children eat or don’t eat relates to how they think, act, and feel so it is in everyone’s best interests to help them eat healthy.

To your success,

Lee Jackson
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

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What Will People Look Like in 2020?

If you watched the film Hungry for Change, you saw the negative consequences of a bad diet and the many benefits of a

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition (Photo credit: fantasyhealthball)

good diet. What do you think people will look like in eight years because of what they eat? Do you think people will take all this talk about poor eating habits in our country and make changes in their diets or will they continue on as before?

I will make a prediction. I feel people still are not realizing the power of food and therefore will not pay attention UNLESS they are affected by sickness and disease. Then it may be too late.

We need to make better-informed decisions about what to eat. But what is a good diet, you ask? You probably know, but here are some main points:

  • Includes pesticide free fruits and vegetables eaten as close to their fresh, natural state as possible.
  • Minimizes meat or animal products, including milk.
  • Includes beans and legumes in moderation.
  • Includes nuts and seeds in moderation.
  • Eliminates or greatly reduces foods that have been processed, manufactured, or microwaved.
  • Eliminates fried foods or those cooked at a high temperature.
  • Eliminates genetically modified food such as corn, soy, or sugar from GM sugar beets.
  • Eliminates all sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Eliminates aspartame or other chemical food additives.
  • Eliminates modified, unnatural ingredients such as hydrogenated oils.
  • Eliminates soda pop – adds more water.

Think what changes a healthy diet would make for our country. Health care cost would go down. Many of current diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. would be eliminated or greatly reduced. Less sick leave and a more productive work force. Children better able to learn in school. Lack of good diets and proper nutrition may even be a reason for losing world leadership ability.

There are many health-conscious individuals who are concerned about what goes into their food and into their body. However, we need to continue to spread the word to more people and take action ourselves.

I challenge you to see what others are putting in their grocery carts at the store. I’m often mind-boggled by all the pop and chips going out the door.

Do you think we will make healthy changes by 2020?

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson
Child Nutrition Advocate – author
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

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Kids Compete in “Iron Chef” Cooking Challenge

Kids really do like to cook and create if given an opportunity. Take a look at how one school is getting the interest of the kids and cooking. Read about it here:    http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-schools/ci_20236805/boulder-valley-middle-schoolers-battle-best-sandwich

Your Health is Under Attack

The video, “Hungry for Change” will forever change the way you look at yourself, the way you look at food, and your concept of  diet and good health. If possible this week-end, set aside time to watch this free video at  http://www.hungryforchange.tv/online-premiere. It may well be the most influential video you will see. It may even be the turning point in your life.

Get ready for an “a-ha” week-end,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition advocate and author
http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com

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Veggie Recipe for Kids

English: A pack of organic cherry tomatoes, fr...

Image via Wikipedia

Vegetables have received a bad rap when it comes to being accepted by kids. But what other food is as colorful and as varied in taste and texture as vegetables? As parents we need to get across to kids that vegetables are really a most interesting and colorful food.

The way vegetables are presented and talked about in the family makes a real difference. If big brother or sister says that some food is yucky, then chances are, that is what the younger child believes. It’s amazing what lasting effect words can have on children. Then there are the positive words you can use as well: It will make you grow big and strong. It will make your hair shine. It will give you rosy cheeks. What a difference words can make!

Here is a recipe from the childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun by Amy Houts, that shows kids just how good and juicy and fun vegetables can be – if you believe tomatoes are a vegetable, otherwise, go with the fruit definition. Botanically, a tomato is a fruit; however, it has a much lower sugar content than other fruits, and is therefore not as sweet. It is considered a vegetable for most culinary purposes.

Cherry Tomatoes with Dip

Cherry tomatoes

Dip:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Combine all ingredients for dip in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

When ready to eat, wash tomatoes and cut in half. Stick a toothpick into the tomato. Give each child a small container of dip.

You can also use carrot and celery sticks, cauliflower or broccoli, or other vegetable with this dip. If children are very young, you will need to cook the vegetable a short time to soften them slightly.

Let’s keep them healthy,

Lee Jackson
Child nutrition advocate, author
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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