Should I Worry About Regular Fish Consumption?

Emily

Hi there! We are knee deep in summer and these sunny days have me smiling from ear to ear. For me, summertime isn’t just about the warm weather, for me it’s also about the experiences and of course, the food! Growing up, a typical evening was spent out on the lake fishing. Even though I only tolerated fish with a half a cup of tartar sauce, I loved spending time with family and soaking up that summer sunshine. Continue reading “Should I Worry About Regular Fish Consumption?”

Cut Down on Candy this Halloween

Cut Down On Candy this Halloween - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Coborn's Food Safety Coordinator, Kim
Kim

Happy Halloween! It is now that scary time of year when ghosts and goblins visit our homes looking for treats.  But that’s not the scariest part……oh no, much scarier than the ghosts and goblins is the number of sweet treats that will now enter our homes.  Some ways to combat the “scariness” are to set limits on the amount of sweet treats that are consumed.

  • Have kids pick out their favorite items and let them “treat” themselves once a week to an item.
  • Offer kids the opportunity to “trade” the candy for something else they would like.
  • Participate in a “candy buy back” in your community.  Often dentist offices will offer this program.
  • Or create your own “candy buy back” with your kids.  *Now keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to eat all the treats!  Bring them to the office and put them on your desk or in the employee breakroom.  Portion control is always key and there is definitely something to be said for the more people you put in the mix, the less you are apt to eat yourself!

There is still another scary part we haven’t touched on and that is what treats to offer the ghosts and goblins that come knocking at your door.  Candy bars, lollipops and gummy bears, oh my!!  There certainly are more nutritious alternatives than these.  Consider these options:

Healthier Options to Handout this Halloween - www.cobornsblog.com

Although a homemade snack might be more nutritious than some store bought items, from a food safety perspective this is still something that is taboo.  These are often thought of as items that could have been tampered with and all your creative efforts could ultimately end up in the trash.  Use these efforts on family and friends or throw a neighborhood Halloween party where all can enjoy your wonderful creations!

*Another good alternative is non-food snacks – stickers, tattoos, pencils, crayons, small notepads.  Kids will have a great time with these as well.  Let’s not forget one very positive thing about Halloween… Kids are active! – walking from house to house getting some exercise and fresh air.  So don’t give in to driving them around the neighborhood!  Walk with them and enjoy the time together!  Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Kim
Coborn’s, Inc. RD and Food Safety Coordinator

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Packing a Food Safe Lunch for School

Tips for packing a food safe lunch for back to school. www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Coborn's Food Safety Coordinator, Kim
Kim

Well, it’s hard to say it’s time to start thinking about “Back to School”.  AND when you ask most children what their favorite thing about school is . . . what do they say??  Recess and LUNCH, right?!

I’m here to share with you some tips on packing a safe lunch.  If you keep in mind The Food Safety “Recipe for Success” you will always be successful in preparing a safe lunch.   So let’s get started!

Clean your lunch box

But, wait  . . . first, we need to find that lunch box! For some kids, it may still be squished in their backpack from the last day of school!  When you find it or if starting with a brand new one – wash it up good with hot soapy water.  Also, make sure you have an insulated lunch box as they are much better at keeping items cold.

Clean all surfaces before meal preparation

As with all meal preparation, start with clean surfaces and clean hands. This is truly a critical step, even more so now because these meals will not be eaten immediately after preparation.  The Temperature Danger Zone, which is 41°F to 140°F, is the temperature range where bacteria like to grow.  Granted, we have our insulated lunch box; however, keeping in mind the time kids leave for school until lunchtime, could be 5-6 hours.  That’s a long time until lunch!  Even an insulated lunch box with freezer packs may not keep the food below 41°F for that entire time, so it is always best to start with clean hands and surfaces to minimize any bacteria that might get onto the food during preparation.

Wash ALL fruits and vegetables

Another “CLEAN” tip that cannot be overlooked is ensuring all fruits and veggies are thoroughly rinsed under running tap water prior to packing for lunch.  This also includes those with rinds and peels that are not eaten.    Bacteria on the surface can contaminate the edible portion when peeling or cutting.

Preparing the night before

I know for me the morning can be quite hectic, so preparing lunch(es) the night before makes for a somewhat less stressful morning.  If preparing the night before, keep lunch items in the refrigerator overnight and pack the next morning.  You can keep the entire lunch box in the refrigerator, but wait to add the frozen gel packs until right before the kids leave for school.  This will help keep the lunch as cold as possible during the long wait until lunch!  I always use a couple of frozen gel packs for good measure.  Frozen juice boxes also work great!  I also like the insulated lunch boxes that have a divider in them.  This allows me to place all of the items together that need to be kept cold with the frozen gel packs and separate from items like crackers, eating utensils or napkins.  No need for the frozen gel packs to keep those items cold!  Remember, the frozen gel packs (and frozen juice boxes) are not meant for all day storage.  Keeping food cold until lunch is the best they can do.

Perishable items must be tossed if not eaten

That being said, all perishable items (items meant to keep cold) that are not eaten at lunch should be thrown away.  Encourage kids to eat those items first.  Items like leftover crackers or a sealed (manufacturer sealed) shelf stable fruit cups can be kept for the next lunch.  Fruit cups purchased cold or prepared at home should be discarded if not eaten at lunch time.

Keep it cold

It is also good to remind your kids to keep their lunch boxes away from any heat sources once they arrive at school.  Do not store by heaters or in direct sunlight.

Using insulated containers

One final tip . . . when using insulated containers for food storage, either cold or hot food, it is best to acclimate the container to the temperature of the food it will be storing.  Depending on the food item, fill the container with either very cold or boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes.  Discard the water then fill with the food item.  This will help in maintaining the temperature of the food item.  Also, sorry, to point out the obvious, but if packing hot food, this will need to take place in the morning.  The insulated container will not keep the food hot overnight.

Enjoy what’s left of the summer!

Kim
Coborn’s, Inc RD and Food Safety Coordinator

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Making healthy choices for Back to School

www.cobornsblog.com Tips for making healthy food choices for back to school

www.cobornsblog.com - Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley
Ashley
Coborn’s Dietitian

Alright it’s that time of year again folks! Back to school it is! Among the midst of back to school shopping for the sweet new sneakers, and the coolest pens and pencils, don’t forget to prepare for nutritious early morning breakfasts, satisfying afternoon snacks, and dinners on the run! Maybe your child has sports practice after school, or maybe you work till late in the evening, either way its best to be prepared for whatever schedule lies ahead. Don’t compromise your nutrition just because you are on the go!

Nutrition plays a key role in increasing your immune system to ultimately reduce your risk for getting sick! Taking in enough fruits and vegetables can help to ensure that your body is receiving enough nutrients for a healthy and growing body. Choosing healthier food options also helps to prevent childhood obesity, an epidemic across the country. It is up to you to play a significant role in developing healthy eating habits in your children.  “Habit is next to nature.” The more your kids develop healthy eating habits, the more they enjoy eating nutritious foods. At first it is not the easiest to introduce new foods, but don’t get discouraged. The best advice is to introduce new foods with common foods, especially foods your child really enjoys.

Healthy Choices

Allow your child to have a say in what they would like to eat, but narrow the options down.  Don’t go down the cereal aisle and have your child pick a cereal, even I get overwhelmed with all the options. Instead, select three options for your child to choose from, or teach your child about the NuVal Scoring System, and tell your child they have to pick a cereal that is over a score of 30.  This is a good tool to use in every aisle of the store. This way you are happy that your child is eating nutritious and they are happy because they have a say in what they are eating.

Positive Role Model

Be a positive role model. Set a good example of eating healthy foods yourself. You know what your child is thinking, “Why can’t I have a bag of chips, mommy and daddy are….” Kids are very observant. Make it a goal to eat healthy as a family. If the whole family is eating healthy, including mom and dad, the children are more likely to want to engage in that behavior as well.  It is essential to help develop your child’s acquired taste for more nutritious food options.

School Lunch

Discuss healthy eating with your child.  For example, when your child is doing homework, sit down with them and go over the lunch menu for the next day. Listen to your child’s opinion on the foods being offered and help encourage your child to try everything, even just one bite.  School lunches have increased the amount and variety of healthy foods being offered and they are only going to get better. The biggest complaint I hear about the school lunches is that there is not enough food. According to nutritional standards there is definitely enough food, the questions remains whether or not your child is eating all that is being offered.

You are probably reading through this thinking, “this sounds great, yes, I want to do this, but I need some food ideas,” well, here are a few of my suggestions for breakfasts and snacks. If you would also like cold lunch and dinner ideas, please reach out to me, I would love to help you in any way I can. You can email me at ashley.studniski@cobornsinc.com and remember to “Pin” these great ideas today!

Simple Suggestions

www.cobornsblog.com Healthy food options for kids

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian

 

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