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Thursday, November 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

Cities, Towns and Counties Honored for Let’s Move! Achievements
Posted by: 
Elena Hoffnagle, Program Associate, Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, National League of Cities

Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of National League of Cities CitiesSpeak.org. You can find the original post here.

Local elected officials have a key role to play as leaders in ensuring children in their communities reach their full potential and live healthy lives. Through their participation in Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC), local elected officials across the country can adopt policies that improve access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity and be recognized for their efforts.

To date, nearly 460 mayors, city council members, county commissioners and other local elected officials are participating in the initiative. More than 60 million Americans are now living in LMCTC communities that are dedicated to helping young people eat healthy foods and be physically active.

As a part of LMCTC, communities can earn bronze, silver and gold medals in each of the initiative’s five goals, which are aimed at helping young people eat healthy and be physically active. Since July 2012, the National League of Cities (NLC) has awarded 2,056 medals to participating local elected officials.

Today, at a celebratory event at NLC’s Congress of Cities and Exposition in Austin, Texas, NLC honored 23 cities and counties who earned gold medals in all five LMCTC goal areas. This is the highest distinction a community can receive from the LMCTC initiative. Those being recognized for achieving five gold medals included:

Annapolis, MD; Avondale, AZ; Beaumont, TX; Boise, ID; Burleson, TX; Chester, PA; Columbia, SC; Columbus, OH; Fontana, CA; Fort Collins, CO; Greenbelt, MD; Jersey City, NJ; Kenmore, WA; Knox County, TN; Knoxville, TN; Lincoln, NE; Linn County, IA; Orlando, FL.; Palm Springs, CA; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Richton Park, IL; Rockville, MD; and Somerville, MA.

Additionally, six city leaders and two cities were honored for their leadership and dedication to ending childhood obesity and improving the health of their residents. David Baker, Mayor, Kenmore, Washington, and Alan Coleman, Councilmember, Beaumont, Texas received the Legacy Award for their commitment to not only ensuring kids have a healthy place to live, learn and thrive in their hometowns but for their contributions in working with mayors in their regions to commit to LMCTC and improve access to healthy, affordable food and promote physical activity for children and adults.

Receiving the Most Innovative City Award, the City of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, and the City of Rancho Cucamonga, California were recognized for their innovative work to build healthy communities. Pryor Creek is transforming their rural community using active transportation approaches, policy changes and taskforces to increase physical activity. Rancho Cucamonga prioritizes health and wellness as an integral part of the city government’s decision-making across all major departments, where concepts are routinely incorporated in their work plans, budgets and daily activities, respectively.

Annise Parker, Mayor, Houston, Texas and T.J. Thomson, Councilmember, Boise, Idaho, received the Most Dedicated Official Award. Mayor Parker created, via an Executive Order, the Go Healthy Houston initiative, which created key obesity prevention objectives for the City, including fostering a culture of healthy living and developed the Go Healthy Houston Task Force to carry out concrete actions. Councilmember Thomson worked diligently with experts, the community, and the City Council on the Healthy Initiatives Child Care Ordinance, which improves physical activity and nutrition in child care settings in Boise.

Rosetta Carter, Director of Community Health Education, Chester, Pennsylvania and Diane Mortenson, Recreation Superintendent, Mercer Island, Washington received the Most Dedicated City Staff Award. Ms. Carter leads the City’s efforts on Let’s Move! Chester and has implemented creative programs around health with limited resources by soliciting partners and sponsorships. Ms. Mortenson led the charge to unite Mercer Island around Let’s Move! and reached out to a wide array of community partners to advance a culture change in Mercer Island around healthy eating and physical activity.

Those recognized today are just a few of the many local elected officials and city and county staff members who work tirelessly to advance change in their community to create environments that support healthy eating and physical activity. City and county leaders are building new partnerships with their health and human services agencies, parks and recreation departments, community- and faith-based organizations, and parents and educational providers to foster a healthy start for children. There is a lot to celebrate in communities across the country!

For more information about the LMCTC initiative, its accomplishments, and how local elected officials can sign up, visit: www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org.

Making Mealtime Family Time
Posted by: 
Kelly Miterko, Deputy Associate Director, Let's Move!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are thinking about what food we will prepare to share with family and friends this year. While we make it a priority to find the time to plan our Thanksgiving dishes, it’s not always as easy to find the time to prepare and sit down for family meals the rest of the year. With the hustle and bustle of work, school, sports and other activities, it can be tough to find quality time to share meals with your family. Try tackling mealtime as a team by including the whole family in choosing and making meals!

Check out these simple tips and resources to help with family mealtime:

Set a time for family meals. Let everyone in the family know that there is a specific mealtime so that activities can be planned around it. Prioritizing mealtime will allow the family to eat together more often. Even if it can’t be every night, try cooking and sharing one more meal at home together each week.

Select the meal together. Decide what meal will be prepared as a family. Getting everyone on board for the meal is a great way to build more excitement around family mealtime. Encourage your family to try healthier versions of some of their favorite meals. Need some ideas? Check out the MyPlate Pinterest page where you can find hundreds of nutritious and delicious recipes, including new First Lady Favorite MyPlate recipes.

Designate kitchen helpers. Many hands make the work light! Try assigning tasks to each family member. Having everyone pitch in on ordinary mealtime activities like setting the table, prepping the vegetables, pouring the water or clearing the table are excellent ways to engage the whole family and take the pressure off one person. In addition, kids who help prepare meals are often open to trying new foods, and they will learn skills they will carry throughout their lives and build confidence in the kitchen.

Reduce meal prep time. A family-on-the-go may have less time to prepare meals at home. Check out these resources to making cooking at home easier for your family:

Make mealtime = family time. Once the meal has been prepared, try turning off the TV and removing other distractions. This is the perfect time to catch up on your family’s day. Make mealtime fun by incorporating games, activities, and questions about topics your kids are interested in. Eating together has many benefits, including improving family communication. In addition, children tend to perform better in school and get along better with their peers as a result of sharing family meals together.

Mealtime spent together at home is a great way for families to begin building healthier eating habits and enjoying more quality time together. Get started by picking one meal a week that will be cooked and shared at home together, and use the tips and resources above to make the process easier and more fun for everyone!

Exercise Might Not Help Some Type 2 Diabetics Control Their Blood Sugar
Community Eligibility Provision First Step to Universal School Meals in Vermont
Posted by: 
Alida Duncan, Development & Marketing Director, Hunger Free Vermont

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

Many kids aren’t getting the nutrients they need and some aren’t getting enough to eat at all. In an animated video produced by the anti-hunger advocacy organization, Hunger Free Vermont, Universal School Meals is presented as the solution for improving student health and academic performance, strengthening the local economy, and making schools a more welcoming place.

A universal school meals model would provide school meals to all students for free—eliminating the current model of income-based segregation in the cafeteria and leveling the playing field for all kids to receive the nutrition they need to focus and perform better in school. In this model, schools can build the meal program into the overall school curriculum, teaching kids about new foods and building healthy eating habits. Healthier children will help prevent healthcare costs both now and in the future when they become healthier adults—adults that had a better chance to learn in school because they were well-fed, resulting in a better educated and better trained workforce for improved business and economic development.

Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools across the nation—including many schools in Vermont—now have the option to implement a universal school meals model using a new provision called Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Thirty schools have signed up to implement CEP, reaching 7,000 students across the state. “This is good news for Vermont’s students that live in our communities with the highest need,” said Anore Horton, Child Nutrition Advocacy Manager at Hunger Free Vermont.

CEP helps schools leverage money to make it possible to offer universal school meals. The overwhelming response from schools wanting to use this universal model proves that our food service directors, school administrators, teachers, and parents understand what a difference this can make for their students and communities. For more information on Hunger Free Vermont’s vision for universal school meals in Vermont, visit School Meals Hub.

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