Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Hydration

The summer months are upon us and so are the rising temperatures! While many people escape to pools or the ocean to cool off in the water, it is important to remember that that drinking water cools and rehydrates the body as well. 

Children especially need to be drinking enough water since they are playing outside and are unaware of their water intake needs. Generally, kids and teens need between 6 and 8 cups of water each day. This may seem difficult to fulfill, but fruits and vegetables are also sources of water that their body can use. 

When deciding how much to drink, consider the temperature, humidity, and physical activity you’ll be experiencing that day. Remember to drink water during exercise since dietary guidelines suggest drinking a half-cup to two cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes while exercising.

Water is the cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle. It is sugar-free, caffeine-free, calorie-free, and, most importantly, essential for human life. It helps the body maintain blood volume, lubricate joints, and transport nutrients. So pack a water bottle this summer and drink up!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Breast Milk and Food Safety

Like all foods, breast milk is susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens caused by cross contamination or time-temperature abuse.  In addition, the fragility of infants’ bodies and immune systems makes the safety of this food a top priority.  Below are a few tips to prevent your child from contracting a foodborne illness from your breast milk.

Keep it clean: While using a pump, be sure to clean all parts after each use.  Doing this in addition to washing your hands before and after using the pump will prevent cross contamination.

Store carefully: Breast milk can be stored at room temperature for a maximum of 4 hours, after which it must be moved to the refrigerator.  Here, it can stay fresh for up to 2 days.  If you choose to freeze your milk, it can be used 3-6 months after expression if kept at subzero temperatures.  With this being said, it is extremely important to label each sample with the date at which it was expressed and/or the expiration date.  When choosing which milk to feed with, use the FIFO (first in first out) method.

Reheat safely: Frozen milk should be thawed in the fridge or gently brought to temperature in a bowl of warm water.  Thawed milk can also be reheated in warm water, preventing hot spots and the destruction of important nutrients that microwaves are prone to.  

Out with the old: Thawed and reheated milk should be consumed or thrown out within 24 hours.  If unsure about the timing of a sample, it is better to waste the milk than to risk the child’s health.
This information and more can be found at:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Importance of the Dietitian for Those with Phenylketonuria

Those with PKU, or phenylketonuria, must avoid or limit their consumption of all foods containing phenylalanine, as they lack the enzyme to convert this amino acid into another, called tyrosine.  A buildup of phenylalanine can then cause mental retardation or other neurological problems.  This condition can make obtaining proper nutrition very difficult.

This makes the role of the metabolic dietitian crucial.  Because of their vast knowledge in diet and physiology, this professional can suggest and modify diets for and with those with PKU and their families.  Regular recommendations may include: consuming foods high in tyrosine, getting creative with meals, and planning ahead for vacations, school lunches, and special events, among other things.  

If you or someone you know was diagnosed with phenylketonuria, it is important to continue to consult with such a dietitian on this condition, as many of their suggestions and modifications will prove to be extremely helpful to the health of the PKU individual.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spice It Up!

Cooking meals at home is a great way to build a healthier lifestyle. It can be very easy to shop for the ingredients and put them all together. However, it is sometimes hard to enhance flavors in homemade meals. It’s important to enjoy the food you’re eating, and you can do it in just a few simple ways!
·      Grilling, broiling, or pan-searing is a different cooking technique that could help bring out the flavor in your meats and fish.
·      Grilling or roasting veggies at 450 degrees enhances the flavor that’s already in the veggies.
·      Spice up any foods you would like with red, green, and yellow peppers!
·      Throw in a peel from a lemon or an orange to bring in a citrus flavor.
·      Using small portions of cilantro or pomegranate seeds is an easy way to add some flavor.
·      Or to burst up the flavor, try some horseradish, chutney, or wasabi!
With just these simple steps, homemade dinners will become more delicious!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can Magnesium Help Grow Strong Bones?

It’s universally known that calcium and vitamin D intake leads to increased bone strength.  But, according to new research out of the Universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland, magnesium could also play an important role in preventing fractures.

In the study conducted by the above universities, it was observed that those with low blood magnesium levels were 44% more at risk for fracture than those with high magnesium levels.  In addition, none of the 22 subjects with very high blood magnesium levels experienced any kind of fracture during the course of this study.

This is especially interesting to those that work with or are a part of populations at risk for fractured bones, including the aging and elderly.  However, more research is necessary to see any therapeutic effects of magnesium supplementation.

For more information, read the summary article by following this link:
Or access the full research article here:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It’s Spring: 3 Tips to a Healthy Body

The shining sun and rising temperatures are incredibly inviting and are bound to put an extra spring in your step. It is tempting to jump outdoors and be active, but it is important to follow these helpful tips in order to keep your body healthy and energized while enjoying the spring season. It is normal to become motivated by the warmer weather to get a summer body, but be sure you are still following healthy habits. 
1.)   Don’t stop eating, just eat healthier: Before working out, substitute sweets such as cookies, candies, and jams for whole-grain food items such as a serving of whole-grain pasta or a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread. Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates which are digested slower than sugary foods. This results in more sustained energy throughout the day to keep you going. Other healthy foods that will provide energy are fruit smoothies, chocolate milk, and low-fat yogurt. 
2.)   Hydration is key: It is crucial to keep your body hydrated throughout the day, especially before participating in physical activity. Carry a water bottle with you and drink it regularly to ensure that your body is constantly hydrated. If you are going to participate in intense activity, switch out the water for a sports drink such as Gatorade. The complex carbohydrates from your snack and the water are sure to make your body refreshed and ready to go!
3.)   No skipping stretches: Carry out a short period of light aerobic activity followed by stretching to prepare for an effective exercise with no injuries. After your workout, follow up with a light cool down jog and some more stretches. Don’t forget to hydrate after exercising as well. 

Follow these quick and easy tips, and you are guaranteed to have a spring in your step all spring long!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Eat Less, Play More!

Several people believe that serving size and portion control mean the same thing. However, they are two very different concepts. They both are important, but used in different situations.
A serving size indicates the amount of food for the nutritional information that is shown. Serving sizes are specified by measurements such as tablespoons, cups, or ounces. MyPlate includes a few examples of the serving sizes that kids should eat. The serving sizes on MyPlate are different than on a Nutrition Facts label--they are smaller. Parents should follow serving sizes on MyPlate rather than a Nutrition Facts label to ensure their child isn’t overeating. A portion size is the actual amount of food on a plate and vary in size depending on the type of food. 
Here are some helpful tips to control kid’s portion control:
·      1 ounce or 1 regular slice of bread is about the size of a CD cover
·      1 cup of dry cereal is close to the size of a baseball
·      1/2 cup of ice cream is about the size of 1/2 of a baseball
Understanding what it means to be hungry will help with keeping portions under control!