Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nutrition Data: Chard - A Dark Green Leafy Vegetable #NNM

Eat Right with Color!

Dark Green Leafy Nutrition
The US Department of Agriculture recommends adults eat 2 1/2 - 3 cups of vegetables a day. The amount recommended varies depending on your age, sex and level of physical activity.  Eating a daily colorful variety from all the food groups, especially fruits and vegetables, will help you maintain a healthy body weight; reduce disease risks; plus, provide your body with important antioxidants and nutrients like beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, potassium, folate and Vitamins A, B-6, C and K.

The USDA classifies vegetables in 5 subgroups based on their nutrient content: dark green vegetables, orange/red vegetables, starchy vegetables, dried black-eyed peas and beans and 'other'. The 'other' category includes a lot of veggies, including: eggplant, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, mushrooms and asparagus. Chard falls in the dark green leafy vegetable category along with collard greens, bok choy, butterhead lettuce, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, mesclun and watercress. 

As you can see from the nutrition data posted above, chard is packed with dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - a good reason to grow and eat this colorful veggie! Fresh, frozen or canned veggies can be prepared in a wide variety of recipes.
'Eat Right with Color' is a slogan for the American Dietetic Association's National Nutrition Month® Nutrition Data calculated by Diana Wind using USDA nutrient values.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Eat Colorful Fruits and Veggies Every Day!

Garden and Grow 
Your Favorite Colorful Produce

RED/PINK - apples, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, currants, chard, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, guava, red onion, rhubarb, red radish, Gogi berries
ORANGE - papaya, butternut squash, carrots, nasturtium flower, oranges, tangerines, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mango, kumquats, apricots, cantaloupe melon, peaches
GREEN - spinach, lettuce, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy (pak choi), celery, cucumber, kiwi, lime, honeydew melon, gooseberries, broccoli raab, sorrel, tomatillos, peppers, peas, avocado, asparagus, arugula, cilantro, oregano, mustard greens, mizuna, purslane, watercress, basil, chives, dill, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
BLUE/PURPLE - blueberries, grapes, raisins, eggplant, prunes, blackberries, purple basil, purple pak choi, red cabbage, purple asparagus, purple potatoes, purple cauliflower
WHITE/TAN - garlic, ginger, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, onion, horseradish, shallots, scallions, leeks, lychee fruit, pears, cherimoya
YELLOW - corn, lemon, squash, pineapple, nasturtium flower, bananas, turmeric, Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow raspberries, yellow tomatoes, yellow watermelon
I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month
It's National Nutrition Month: Eat Right with Color
Eat A Colorful Variety Every Day
FRUITS Nutrition Facts
VEGETABLES Nutrition Facts
Copyright © 2011 D.Wind. All rights reserved.
Eat Right with Color logo used with permission from the American Dietetic Association

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nutrition Education and Art Activity for National Nutrition Month

Nutrition Education and Art Activity
for National Nutrition Month

     The American Dietetic Association presents National Nutrition Month every March to increase awareness on the importance of eating right. This year's 'Eat Right with Color' theme focuses on eating from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to reap the health benefits of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables provides your body with a variety of nutrients that helps in maintaining a healthy body weight and reduces the risk of diet-related chronic diseases. This GardenCuizine
TM nutrition month project is fun for all ages, especially seniors and children. 

Teaching Nutrition Lesson
  • Prepare a short introduction and nutrition education lesson plan
  • Design 3 or more masters for coloring pages using simple outlines of fruits and vegetables; include a line for the individual to sign their name; you may wish to include the name of the facility or school
  • Make several copies of each master coloring page according to how many participants you expect to attend
  • Art supplies may include, but are not limited to: paint brushes, containers to hold the paint brushes (fill a few of the containers with a little bit of water to dip the brushes), cutting board, chefs knife, artist painter pallet's, red cabbage, plastic baggies, paper plates, napkins
  • Fruit and vegetable snack such as oranges and baby carrots
  • For coloring: fresh radish bunches, fresh spinach leaves, dried turmeric powder, beet powder and Açai fruit powder 
  • Wash all the produce and allow to dry before using
  • Sprinkle a few pinches of the dry powders in the pallets divided evenly among the group
  • Slice the oranges into wedges and explain they are for snacking. I tried using oranges for coloring and the pigments don't rub off easy - they are best used as a snack. 
  • Divide the produce evenly among the paper plates (several participants can share a plate)

Activity Highlights
  • Talk about your sample foods and their nutrients
  • Highlight a few of the antioxidant pigments found in the foods such as: beta carotene and lycopene
  • Keep coming back to the main points: 
Different color foods contain different nutrients, which is why it is important to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. 
Eating from a variety of colorful fruits reduces the risk of diet-related chronic diseases.

Eating from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables helps people of all ages maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Thinly slice the red cabbage in front of your audience. Place 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon of water in each baggie. Do as many baggies as you desire. Seal them tight and pass around for volunteers to gently squish and squeeze. As they are squeezing, explain that anthocyanin pigments are what make the water color purple. Snip a small piece of the edge of the baggie and allow the nutrient-rich purple liquid to drip out into a clear container. Show this around the room so everyone can get a close-up look.

Coloring with Natural Plant Pigments

  • Have the participants stack up several spinach leaves and roll them into a tight "paint brush". The natural green chlorophyll pigments will rub off when rubbed on the coloring page. Participants can experiment using radish greens too.
  • Fresh radishes can be picked off the greens and hand held like a crayon and used to color, the natural red pigments will rub off onto the coloring sheet.
  • Brushes can be dipped in water and mixed with the powdered fruits and veggies to make a natural pigment watercolor. Avoid using too much water or the color will be too weak.
I'm Blogging National Nutrition MonthExperiment and Have Fun!

Thank you to my Dietetic Internship director: Maria Basche, MS, RD South Jersey Healthcare for making this opportunity possible for me and to my preceptor: Diane Griffith, MS, RD and the staff and residents at Cumberland Manor Nursing Home

Related Links
Eating Fruits and Vegetables: Why Color Matters  
The Cook's Garden Nutrition
What Color is Your Food?
Blog Article and Photographs Copyright © 2011 D.Wind. All rights reserved.