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Stay Hydrated this Holiday Season

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

 

Stay Hydrated this Holiday Season

Simply because the weather has cooled down, does not mean that we need to lessen the amount of water we consume.  Oftentimes, as the weather gets colder, we consume less water, which can lead to our body to becoming dehydrated.

Water is crucial for our body, and it is essential to our well-being that we consume water on a daily basis.  Water serves many purposes such as keeping our body cool, helping our body digest food, moving nutrients throughout our body, and helping our body remove waste.

On average, we need about seven to eight cups of water, however this amount can vary based on your age, body type, amount of exercise you get, and a variety of other factors. 

A good rule of thumb is that if you are thirsty, you should be drinking water.  It is a good idea to have a refillable water bottle with you whenever possible so that money is not wasted on buying water, and you can easily stay hydrated.  While water is the best source of hydration, milk and 100% fruit or vegetable juices can be a good option, too. 

Beyond water, some foods are also very high in water content, and can help towards keeping us hydrated.  Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content.  In fact, spinach and watermelon are made up of about 90% water.  Grapes follow closely and are made up of about 80% water.

If you find yourself wondering why we need to consume so much water on a daily basis, consider that our body is made up of 65% water.  When we fail to replenish that water, it leaves our body feeling less than ideal.

Here is a recipe for Taco Soup.  It includes ingredients from the protein and vegetable group and would go great with a glass of water.  Enjoy!

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
  • 2 cans corn (15.5 ounces each, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cans red kidney beans (15.5 ounces each, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions: Cook meat in a pot over medium heat until brown.  Put meat in a strainer to drain fat. Rinse with hot water.  Mix all the ingredients in a pot and cook on low for an hour.

Makes: 10 servings.  Each serving contains 265 calories, 5 grams of fat, 503 mg of sodium, 39 carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, and 19 grams of protein.

 

Source:

  • NDSU Extension Service, On the Move to Stronger Bodies, All About Water
  • Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, 2009 Recipe Calendar
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Cookie Calories

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

 

Cookie Calories

As you begin your holiday cooking and baking, chances are you have had a few samples.  Oftentimes the mindset is that just a taste will not add up to much, unfortunately, this is the reason many Americans gain a substantial amount of weight over the holiday season.

Whether it be a 30 calorie broken cookie or a 200 calorie glass of egg nog, small servings do not mean low calories.  Most holiday foods and drinks are very high in calories and low in nutritional value, even in small portions.

To put this into perspective, consuming 3500 calories above your body’s needs and expenditures can lead to gaining about a pound a week.  This can lead to a total weight gain of five pounds (or more) between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. 

Of course we will all have our share of treats over the holiday season.  It is simply important to be mindful of what foods we are consuming and how much we are consuming, even if it is only one small portion at a time. 

Try to balance holiday treats with nutritious foods from the five My Plate food groups: fruit, vegetables, grain, protein, and dairy.  Add a fruit or vegetable tray to set out at holiday parties to offset some of the high calorie food options.

While the holiday season is a busy time of year, remember that exercise is key to having a healthy body, and maintaining your pre-holiday weight.  It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, and that children get 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Below is a recipe for a quick peach cobbler.  It is a great addition to any meal, and is packed full of fruit.  To add even more nutrients to this recipe, try replacing have of the flour with whole grain flour.  Enjoy!

Quick Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

  • 1 can sliced peaches, packed in juice (16 ounce)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon margarine (softened)

Directions:

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Open the can of peaches. Pour the peaches and their juice into the casserole dish. Heat them on the stove-top until they bubble.  Slightly beat 1 egg.  In a mixing bowl, mix the egg, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and margarine.  Drop spoonfuls of this mixture on top of the hot, bubbling peaches.  Use pot holders to carefully remove the casserole dish from the stove. Put the casserole dish in the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes.

 

Makes: 4 servings.  Each serving contains 210 calories, 1 gram of fat, 250 mg of sodium, 42 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein

 

Sources:

  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln: Tiny Tastes Can Total Big Calories
  • Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network

Website Recipes

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Make My Plate Soup

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

As the weather cools down, soups and stews are a perfect option for a warm, healthy meal.  Making your own soups in a crockpot or on the stovetop is a quick way to fit all of your food groups into your diet.  Making homemade soup is the best way to know what is in your food, and reduce the amount of sodium. 

Vegetables are a common soup ingredient.  The great part about making your own soup is you can add any of your favorites, or whatever you happen to have in the garden.  Anything from carrots, to green beans, to celery are a perfect addition to your soup.

Although fruits may not be quite as common in soup, some sweeter soups do add fruit.  There are cantaloupe soups, berry soups, and a variety of other interested soup varieties that will combine all of your favorite flavors.  If having fruit in your soup is not for you, fresh fruit on the side is always a good option, too.

Protein options are just as vast as vegetables.  Depending on what you are cooking; beans, chicken, lean beef, eggs, or turkey can be a great choice. Some soups even have peanut butter in them.  No matter what protein option you choose, be sure to add this muscle building component to your meal.

Adding skim or low fat milk or cheese to your soup is a great way to get the dairy you need in your day.  Dairy foods provide our body with calcium, which keeps our bones and teeth strong.

Whole grains are another great addition to soup.  Adding barley, brown rice, or any other whole grain will help to make your soup a delicious, hardy meal for your family. 

Here is a recipe for Mexican chicken soup, packed with delicious vegetables and protein.  Feel free to add your favorite soup ingredients.  Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, skin removed
  • 2 cups tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mild chiles (canned and diced)
  • 2 cups pinto or garbanzo beans, canned, drained or cooked and drained
  • salt and pepper (to taste, optional)

Directions:  First, place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover.  Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.  Remove chicken pieces from the broth.  Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, and chiles.  Next, remove the chicken meat from the bones and return the meat to the broth.  Add beans and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings.  Each serving contains 390 calories, 4 grams of fat, 460 mg of sodium, 16 carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 49 grams of protein. 

 

Sources:  

  • University of Massachusetts, Extension Nutrition Education Program, Pumpkin Post/Banana Beat
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Fruits and Vegetables Matter

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

As you stroll through the grocery store, you will most likely notice more fruits and vegetables now than most other times of the year.  While different produce is in season all year around, in North Dakota, we are able to get more produce now, since our growing season is limited.  Because of this, it is important to take advantage of home gardens, farmer’s markets, and fresh fruits and vegetables from the store. 

Not only do fruits and vegetables taste better when they are in season, they are also a lower cost.  When fresh fruits and vegetables are out of season, eating canned or frozen produce is just as nutritious, and will last longer if you do not plan on eating it all right away.

Regardless of what form your fruits and vegetables take, it is important that you and your family consume enough.  Fruits and vegetables provide us with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber and a variety of other important nutrients.  According to the My Plate recommendations, just over ¼ of our plate should be filled with vegetables, and just under ¼ of our plate should be filled with fruit.  Unfortunately, only about 40% of kids age 2-18 get enough fruit.  Even more concerning, only 7% of kids get enough vegetables.  Missing out on the nutrients that fruits and vegetables has a big impact on our health, no matter what our age is.  Be sure to find a way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal.  It is also important to include different colors of fruits and vegetables, as they all provide different nutrients. 

Here is a recipe for roasted root vegetables.  It includes a variety of delicious vegetables, some of which you may even find in your garden.  Enjoy!

Roasted Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 4 root vegetables (choose a variety from potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes, etc.) (medium)
  • 2 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 onion (medium, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions:

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the vegetables into large chunks.  Place in a medium bowl and pour oil over top. Add seasonings or Parmesan and mix well.  Next, spread an even layer on a baking sheet.  Finally, bake for 1 hour or until tender. Check a few vegetables to see if they are tender.

Makes 4 servings.  260 calories per serving, 15 grams of fat, 30 grams carbohydrates, 150 mg sodium, and 6 grams of fiber.

Sources:

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