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Monday, October 20, 2014

Senior Recipes for Healthy Eating

Recipes for Elderly People

 Elderly Caregiver

picture of herbs tied together to suggest cooking for example of recipe ideas for seniorsSoups

Yummy Fall and Winter Soups

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Drinks

Dips

Soups

Beef, Barley, and Mushroom Soup: Makes 6 Cups, hearty and high in protein

1 TBS Olive Oil
½ Cup Chopped onion
2 Cups sliced mushrooms
2 Cans low-salt beef broth (14.5 oz. each)
½ Cup water
½ Cup “quick-cooking” barley
2 Carrots sliced thin
½ tsp. thyme
Dash of pepper and salt (salt optional)
8 ounces roast beef cut thick from deli and chopped

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Cook onions 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally an additional 5 minutes.
2. Add broth, barely, carrots and seasonings to the pot. Mix and bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes or when barley and vegetables are tender
4. Stir in roast beef and serve

Butternut Stew: Makes 6 cups - no added fat or sugar!

1 large onion in small chunks
2 peeled or unpeeled sweet potatoes in bite-size squares
1 small butternut squash in bite-size squares
4 carrots peeled and sliced thick
2 parsnips peeled and sliced thick
1 TBS. Italian seasoning
Dash of pepper
1 cup of water

Directions:  Place vegetables in order listed into a large soup pot, add water and seasonings, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for one hour.

Corn Chowder: You can sauté vegetables in water! No need for oil.  Add cooked diced chicken to turn this low-fat soup into a hearty meal.

¼ cup water
½ celery stalk, minced
½ small onion, minced
¼ green pepper, minced
1 ½ cup water
1 10-ounce package of frozen whole kernel corn
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
Pepper
Salt (optional)
¼ tsp. paprika
2 Cups skim milk
2 TBS. Flour

Directions:
1. Sauté the finely minced onion, celery, and pepper in ¼ cup of water in a large soup pot till vegetables are soft (2-4 minutes).
2. Add water, corn, potatoes, salt, pepper, and paprika - bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 15 minutes.
3. Put ½ cup milk in a jar with tight fitting lid and add flour and shake to mix – or put in small cup and whisk till blended. Gradually add milk/flour mixture to soup – then gradually add the rest of the milk. Turn up heat and stir constantly till soup is boiling and thickening. Garnish with parsley.

Italian Turkey and White Bean Stew: Makes 6 cups

2 TBS. Olive Oil
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small green zucchini in chunks
1 can Italian chopped tomatoes undrained (14 oz.)
1 cup low-salt chicken broth or one cup hot water with a chicken boullion
½ tsp. rosemary, crushed
½ pound of deli (thick cut) roasted turkey breast - diced in cubes
1 can Great Northern Navy beans, rinsed and drained (14-15 oz)

Directions:
1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat and add onion cooking and stirring 5 minutes
2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute
3. Add squash and cook 2 minutes more
4. Add broth, tomatoes, rosemary and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Stir in chicken and beans, simmer 8 more minutes

Lentil Vegetable Stew: Makes 6 cups, high in fiber and folate

Lentils are rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals which are healthy for your cardiovascular system!
2 TBS. Olive oil
¾ cup celery diced
1 red onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups dried green lentils
8 cups of water
2 cans of low-salt chicken broth (14 ounces each)
2 cups tomato sauce

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium high heat and sauté celery, onions, garlic, and carrots – 5 minutes stirring constantly.
2. Add lentils and water and cook over medium heat 20 minutes
3. Add broth and cook over medium heat 15 minutes
4. Add tomato sauce and cook over medium heat 10 minutes

 

Yummy Fall and Winter Soups

Fall soups for caregivers
In the fall, we want comfort and warmth. No food does that quite like soup! So, we have modified some popular soups here with reduced sugar, fat, and salt. With a loaf of crusty bread and a salad, these hearty soups can serve as an easy make ahead meal for chilly fall evenings.

 

Southwestern Soup (serves 2-4)

Soup Ingredients:
1 8-ounce jar of green salsa (Salsa Verde)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 15-ounce can white northern beans - drained
2 cups low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder

Optional (For garnish)
Low-fat sour cream
Low-fat Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced green onion
Fresh cilantro
Baked Tortilla Chips

Mix all the soup ingredients into a medium sauce pan over high heat, stir and cook the salsa, chicken, beans, broth, cumin, and chili till boiling. Lower heat and simmer 7-10 minutes.

Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin!) Bisque (serves 2-4)

1/2 onion diced
1 TBS. olive oil
2 large Carrots diced
1 small butternut squash diced (or one 29-ounce can of pumpkin puree**)
2 cups low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup half and half cream (optional)

• Saute onion in oil until soft, then mix in everything else except the cream.
• Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
• Let cool for 15 minutes.
• Take out batches at a time and puree in a blender until smooth. Return to pot on low heat and add cream.
**If using puree, you may skip the blender.

Leftover Turkey fall soups for caregivers and seniorsSoup: (serves 4-6)

(you can add more vegetables than listed below - like diced squash, turnips, raw sweet potato, or parsnips– just add more stock too).

2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 celery rib, chopped
1 onion – diced
1 clove garlic – minced
1 TBS. Olive Oil
2 14-ounce cans low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
About one pound of cooked leftover turkey meat
1 small box of packaged of wild rice mix – prepared/cooked
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional) Chopped fresh herbs to your liking: basil, thyme, parsley

Saute onion, celery, carrots, garlic (and any other vegetables) for about 8 minutes over medium high heat in a large stock pot. Add broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat covered. Last, add turkey, rice, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and any fresh herbs – stir and serve!

Super Easy “Cowboy” Soup: (this soup serves 4-6)

Dump some canned food in a pot – stir – and dinner is on! It tastes much better than you would suspect! Sort of like chili – but not so “beany” – tastes great with cornbread!  This soup is higher in sodium since it uses packaged prepared soups and vegetables.  Look for low-sodium varieties if needed.

1 lb. ground turkey – cooked and drained of fat
1 cup elbow macaroni or other small pasta cooked and drained
2 cans Condensced Campbell’s Minestrone Soup
1 can “mixed vegetables”
1 can original “Rotel” tomatoes
1 can
1 packet of taco seasoning
1-2 cans of kidney beans (depending on how beany you want it!)
2 cups of water

Mix all of the above together, bring to a boil, turn off heat and serve!!! Mmmm….and so easy!

Great Chicken Soup for Winter Cold and Flu Season

Chicken soup is one of the oldest “home remedies” around. Sometimes referred to as an old-wives’ tale, chicken soup is thought to “cure” the common cold. Does it really cure anything?

Well, for starters, it can’t hurt. We are told to drink plenty of clear fluids when sick to encourage the flow of mucus. Chicken soup has a lot of broth! And, who has not heard of the anti-germ properties of gargling with salt-water? Well, chicken soup is very salty. And maybe a cup of tea could do this trick too – but the steam may help clear sinuses.

It is also a food that is somewhat easy to eat to keep your strength up when you are sick and not feeling like you have much of an appetite.

But, apparently, there are more complicated reasons it may help reduce the symptoms of a cold or flu. It appears to have anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine qualities as well.

While some store-bought soups will work just as well, sometimes, on a cold winter day when everyone is sneezing and coughing, this soup is a nice thing to have on the stove-top brewing all day:

Rotisserie Chicken Soup:

1 small pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, meat cleaned off and about half of it chopped in small chunks – preserve the bones, wings, and skin

2-4 carrots

3 stalks of celery – some leaves too

One large yellow onion

Dry or fresh herbs like:

     Thyme

     Rosemary

     Sage

One Red pepper

32 ounces of store-bought chicken stock in a box (like Swanson)

One small container of dried tortellini

 

 

Directions:

Place the bones, skin, and wings cut up into a pot of about 4 cups of water (so the bones are covered). Add some herbs that you like, 1/3 of the onion in large chunks, one carrot in large chunks, and the celery leaves and “ends” and one stalk cut up in large chunks. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours on the stove. Add water if the bones are not covered.

Strain the cooking liquid and discard the bones and skin and large vegetables, etc. Add liquid back to a large stock pot and add the rest of the carrots, celery, onion, and pepper all diced, some more herbs to your taste, salt and pepper, chicken meat chunks and store broth and boil. Reduce heat and slow simmer another 60-90 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until pasta is done – about 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite rolls and a salad.

 

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Low Fat Mini-Quiche: (these freeze well – make ahead!):

4 eggs (OR for less fat - 1 cup of a plain egg substitute, like “Egg Beaters”)
½ Cup prepared biscuit mix, like Bisquick
1/3 Cup Melted butter
1 ½ Cup Skim Milk
Pepper
1 TBS. onion flakes or 2 tsp. onion powder
4 ounces shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Sliced mushrooms and/OR steamed, chopped asparagus (optional)

Directions:
Put everything in the blender except cheese and optional vegetables till smooth, add vegetables and stir to mix in, pour into an oil-sprayed mini-muffin tray, top with shredded cheese, bake 30 minutes (or until eggs set) at 350 degrees. Let sit in tray 15-20 minutes to cool before removing. These can be frozen individually on a greased cookie sheet and once frozen, placed into a zipper freezer bag. Remove and microwave what you need for 30 seconds (or more – ovens vary) for a great make-ahead mini-breakfast.

Low-Fat Banana Bread:  Make one loaf for breakfast this week and freeze the other for up to a month!

3 Cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups white and 1 cup whole-wheat)
1 ½ Cups sugar
2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 egg whites
4 small or 3 larger mashed bananas
½ cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions:
1. In one bowl, combine egg whites, bananas and applesauce.
2. In another larger bowl, stir flour, sugar, powder, soda, and cinnamon.
3. Add the wet bowl to the dry bowl and stir until just combined. If thick, add TBS. hot water
4. Pour batter into a greased 8 inch X 4 inch bread pan and bake 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.
 

Super Easy Pasta Salad:

1 pkg. bow-tie pasta (16 ounce)
1 bottle of low-fat Italian Dressing (16 ounce)
2 chopped cucumbers
6 chopped tomatoes
1 bunch chopped green onions
4 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1 TBS. Italian Seasoning

Directions:  Cook pasta according to directions for al dente, drain and rinse under cold water – then place in a large bowl. Toss vegetables and pasta together with the salad dressing. In separate small bowl, mix parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning and gently fold into pasta salad. Cover and refridgerate. Makes 8 cups. Good idea for a family meal.

Low-fat Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets: Make ahead and freeze these great finger foods – terrific with honey mustard dip!

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 Cup Italian-flavored Bread Crumbs
½ cup low-fat Paremesan cheese
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 egg white
¼ cup skim milk

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, place an oven-proof greased cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (or grease the cookie sheet and skip the cooling rack – the cooling rack makes it crispy on all sides!).
2. In One low wide bowl, mix bread crumbs, seasonings, cheese and salt; in another low wide bowl, whisk together the egg white and milk.
3. Dip the chicken strips in the egg/milk mixture – then into the bread crumb mixture to coat on all sides. Place the strips on the cooling rack (or directly on cookie sheet).
4. Bake 20 minutes
5. Freeze on a greased cookie sheet – when frozen, put nuggets into a zipper bag and only pull out what you need. Reheat in microwave for 40 seconds (oven times may vary) for three strips.
 

Drinks

picture of milk shakes which are an excellent source of extra calcium and calories for those seniors who need to gain weight.Simple Smoothie:

½ banana
Six strawberries OR a handful of blueberries
3/4 cup of 100% fruit juice
3/4 cup of skim milk
Handful of ice cubes

Directions:
Blend all ingredients until Smooth and serve. You can use frozen fruit.  Old bananas freeze well (peel and place in plastic wrap) for smoothies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake:  Great high calorie shake for seniors who need to gain weight and have lost their appetite

1 scoop of chocolate ice cream
1 TBS. chocolate syrup
2 cups skim milk
A banana
1 TBS. wheat germ (optional)

Directions:  Place everything in a blender and serve!

Dips

Salsa:  Don't make it!

Buy store-bought salsa (usually mild works best).  Most varieties come without any added sugar, salt or fat.  You can use this as a dip for vegetables or as a topping for corn chowder, lentil stew, or a plain baked potato instead of butter.

Honey Mustard Dip:  Great with Chicken Nuggets

¼ Cup dijon mustard
¼ cup honey
Keeps in refridgerator for 2 weeks.
Healthy Bean Dip: (Nice with Pita Triangles)
1 can refried beans
¼ cup mild store-bought salsa
Chopped Cilanto (optional)

Directions:  Mix the beans and salsa in a bowl and top with fresh cilantro.

Old Fashioned Onion Dip: (great with vegetables)
Olive oil
Salt
4 medium white onions chopped
1 can beef broth (14 oz.)
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
8 ounces reduced fat sour cream

Directions:  Saute onion in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Keep cooking till just starting to turn brown. Add beef broth all at once and stir to scrape the bottom of the pan – bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer until most liquid evaporates ( 15 minutes or so). Stir in onion powder, vinegar and keep stirring and cooking until the vinegar evaporates (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes. Mix sour cream and onion mixture in a bowl and chill 30 minutes before serving. Makes 2 ½ cups and you can freeze in smaller portions for up to 2 months. Keeps 3 days in refridgerator.

Healthy Bean Dip: (Nice with Pita Triangles)

1 can refried beans
¼ cup mild store-bought salsa
Chopped Cilanto (optional)

Directions: Mix the beans and salsa in a bowl and top with fresh cilantro
 

  

Nutrition News

Health Tip: Listen to Your Child About Food Allergies
You're Invited: White House Fall Garden Tours
Posted by: 
Kelly Miterko, Associate Deputy Director, Let's Move!

This weekend, the White House is inviting visitors to tour its gardens and grounds on October 18th and 19th. Visitors will be able to enjoy views of the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, and of course our favorite, the White House Kitchen Garden. Earlier this week, the First Lady alongside a number of students, harvested carrots, sweet potatoes, figs, tomatoes, pumpkins and other vegetables from the White House Kitchen Garden during the Fall White House Kitchen Garden Harvest.

Enjoy these beautiful gardens by securing a free ticket this Saturday and Sunday at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E streets Northwest on October 18th and 19th beginning at 9:00AM. The National Park Service will distribute these tickets –one ticker per person – on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the White House Garden Tours, click here

 

Schools have Accepted the New Hampshire Breakfast Challenge
Posted by: 
Becca Story, Nutrition Specialist for New England Dairy & Food Council

More than 200 New Hampshire schools have something new to be proud of. They have started the journey to improve the health and well-being of their student body by accepting the New Hampshire School Breakfast Challenge.

In October 2013, the NH School Breakfast Challenge partners, New Hampshire Kids Count, School Nutrition Association of New Hampshire, New England Dairy & Food Council and the NH Department of Education, challenged NH schools to increase their breakfast program participation by 25 percent over two years.

According to the 2013 Food Research Action Center’s School Breakfast Scorecard, NH ranked 50th out of 51 states/territories for school breakfast participation for low-income students who also participate in school lunch. The NH School Breakfast Challenge is aimed at improving this statistic and is designed to give the state’s schools the jumpstart they need to fuel school breakfast participation.

Individually, the NH School Breakfast Challenge partners all work to achieve a similar goal which is to ensure that all students get the nutritious foods they need to be healthy and successful. The creation of the NH School Breakfast Challenge allows the partners to pool our strengths and minimize our limitations so that the greatest impact could be made.

Some examples of our collaborative work together include:

  • Hosting the NH School Breakfast Launch event. This was held at North Hampton School, which has a with low free and reduced lunch population. This was done specifically to promote the need for school breakfast for every child. We revitalized the call to action halfway through Year One with Fuel Up to Play 60’s “It Starts with School Breakfast” campaign event hosted at Dr. Crisp Elementary School.
  • Launching the www.nhschoolbreafkast.org website. This website was designed to be one-stop shopping for schools and breakfast supporters. It contains information and resources such as NH Kids Counts “What’s for Breakfast?” and Share Our Strength’s School Meals Calculator  notifications for funding opportunities like Fuel UP to Play 60 grants from the New England Dairy & Food Council.
  • Conducting on-going outreach, both broad-based and targeted, to school nutrition and other school professionals to promote the importance of school breakfast and the resources that exist to increase participation.
  • Providing recognition opportunities for schools that are meeting and exceeding the challenge on the NH School Breakfast Challenge website and through the media.


Lilly Ayotte, Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador, talks with student at Dr. Norman Crisp Elementary School in Nashua, N.H., for the "It Starts With School Breakfast" event.

At our Year One mid-point evaluation, 204 schools (nearly half of all the state’s schools) reported an increase in breakfast participation at some level, and 38 schools increased breakfast participation beyond the challenge goal of 25 percent for both free and reduced and paid students. These results are all very promising and show that the Challenge is taking hold and making a difference.

In August, the top 11 achieving schools were more formally recognized by the New Hampshire School Breakfast Partners at the state Department of Education’s Annual Review and Training Conference.  Three School Nutrition Directors, Doris Demers, (Oyster River High School, Durham), Barbara Schultz (William E. Lancaster School, Salem), and Phil Dallon (Newfound Memorial Middle School, Bristol) shared their thoughts about why they were successful.

A central theme for success in increasing breakfast was the importance of staff being "hands on" and having staff like the nutrition manager being out there in the morning talking to kids, encouraging them to try menu samples, getting to know the kids and building relationships.  All three School Nutrition Directors have plans for next year to keep their breakfast participation momentum going. 

One of the strategies Doris talked about was starting a breakfast cart at the middle school during 1st block.  Phil talked about piloting Breakfast in the Classroom, and Barbara mentioned working to bring Grab and Go right to where the bus pulls up in the morning.   

This snap shot of success is encouraging, but there is more work to be done.  The New Hampshire School Breakfast Challenge team is gearing up for another year of outreach, funding opportunities and school support.  We are anxiously awaiting our next group of top achievers and expect to recognize many more schools that meet and exceed the Challenge.

Health Tip: Watch Your Family's Portion Sizes
Health Tip: Enjoy Your Coffee, But ...
Whitefish Public Schools Take Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in Stride
Posted by: 
Wendy Henry-Moraskie, USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Whitefish Public Schools Food Service Director Jay Stagg started transitioning to more scratch cooking and using fewer processed foods when he was hired 5 years ago. So, when the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) rules were implemented, it might have seemed as though they were just catching up with the improvements he had initiated.

“There weren’t too many changes needed from what I was already doing,” he said.

Before the final regulation’s effective date, Stagg had already changed over to whole-grain-rich products and reduced sodium levels.

Two new projects he’s making progress on are showcasing local products in his “Made In Montana Meals,” and designing the food-related areas of a new high school.

Stagg said repurposing an old walk-in cooler made it possible to use more locally produced foods.

“We were able to adjust the temperature and humidity so we can store produce all winter,” he said. “A local farmer grows all my carrots and a nearby orchard grows all my apples.

“We use a lot of fresh produce on the salad bars, and slice, blanch, par-boil and freeze as needed,” Stagg added. “I serve very few cooked vegetables in my middle or high schools, except for cooked beans, and that’s mostly in the Montana Chili, where there’s a mixture of beans.”

Stagg also practices innovation in staffing. He uses a lot of student help for cleaning up and washing dishes. They use a free period they may have, get paid for their time, and get a free lunch.

Stagg said all his beef is local, and he’s looking for a local source for poultry and a fish source at a good price point.

“I do use the chicken strips from the USDA Foods,” he said, “and grind the turkey for turkey patties.”

(Note: Through the USDA Foods program, USDA supports American farmers by purchasing commodity foods and distributing them to nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program.)

He encourages careful consideration of the USDA Foods options,

“I have to use my entire allocation of USDA Foods to make the budget numbers work. I don’t know what I would do without the USDA Foods.”

Stagg’s creativity is getting more exercise lately. The current high school is open campus for lunch, meaning few kids stay on campus and eat the school lunch, so he tries to make it very appealing. The new high school will be closed-campus, so he knows it will be a challenge to keep students “happily on campus.”

“I’m anticipating needing to keep it varied on a daily basis, and the design will be contributing to that, with different stations in different areas, like a salad bar, a soup bar and a coffee shop-bistro area for breakfast selections.”

He’s alerted the architects to make sure they include a lot of outlets in these 21st Century spaces for charging up phones, laptops and tablets. 

Jay Stagg is always thinking ahead.

For more information about how USDA Foods supports schools, visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDAFoods_FactSheet_FINAL2014.pdf

National School Lunch Week Offers a Time to Celebrate Children’s Health
Posted by: 
Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of usda.gov. You can find the original post here.

On Friday, President Obama recognized October 12-18 as National School Lunch Week with an official proclamation. The message thanks hardworking school food service professionals, the tireless staff who demonstrate a daily commitment to providing schoolchildren with proper nutrition to enrich their lives in the classroom and beyond.

Since President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act in 1946, schools have served more than 220 billion lunches! Meals that have enabled scores of American children the opportunity to grow, learn and thrive. And with more than 30 million students participating in the National School Lunch Program each day, balanced meals at school play a key role in fostering a healthier next generation.

Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), students are experiencing a healthier school environment with more nutritious options. Schools now offer more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, while at the same time limit less-healthy fats, sugar, sodium and excess calories. During National School Lunch Week, USDA celebrates these healthy strides and highlights innovative strategies to help schools nourish their students. Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a message of appreciation for all the school nutrition professionals making this progress possible:

School lunch is an essential part of every child’s health, development, and academic success. On behalf of the USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, I want to add my thanks to those whose contributions help make the healthy choice the easy choice for America’s young people.

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