Teaching Kids the Facts About Sugar

By Annie


Last week, the EATWISE interns went to the Monterey Community Center to teach the youth there about sugar and its place in a healthy diet. My co-leader Melissa and I had the incredible opportunity to give the lesson, portions of which  appeared on the news!

For one of the activities, we handed out small cups and sugar packets. The cups were labeled with the names of different beverages and foods, as well as the number of teaspoons of sugar each item contained. We asked the participants to pour the correct amount of sugar into each cup and then had them line up in order, based on whose cup held the least amount of sugar.

We explained the difference between natural sugars, which are found naturally in fruit, milk and some vegetables, and added sugars, which are found in most processed foods. A big part of our lesson was the comparison of an orange to “100% orange juice” and an ”orange-flavored drink.” The children quickly understood as we discussed why an orange was far healthier than orange-flavored drink.

When asked why sugar from the orange was better than sugar from a soft drink, we explained how natural sugar is paired with essential vitamins and fiber, while added sugar is often found in food and beverages that have little to no nutritional value.

Afterward, we played a game called “Go, Slow, Woah.” ”Go” foods can be eaten in any amount, because they are whole foods. ”Slow” foods are minimally processed and should not be eaten as often as whole foods. ”Woah” foods are highly processed and should be eaten as little as possible. The participants were mostly correct when they categorized each food or drink, stumbling on only a few that were reasonably tricky.  After the lesson, we helped provide a meal to the youth at the community center, handing out packed lunches prepared by Chef Max Hardy. When we  had to say goodbye, everyone was excited to take pictures and sad to see us go. It felt great to inspire our peers to eat healthy foods and look out for natural sugar.


Annie is an Ambassadors for EATWISE (Educated and Aware Teens Who Inspire Smart Eating), a Food Bank for New York City nutrition education program.

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Good Morning Burrito

Typical breakfast options can get a little boring. Shake things up and add a little flavor to your morning grub with the Good Morning Burrito! Make things even more interesting by remixing our recipe with healthy choices of your own!


  • black beans 1 15-ounce can
  • olive oil 1 Tablespoon
  • whole wheat tortillas 1 package (large)
  • red onion 1 small
  • tomato 1 large
  • chives 2 tablespoons
  • plain, low-fat yogurt 1 6-ounce container


1) Cut onion, tomatoes and chives into small pieces. 2) Mix together beans and olive oil. Mash thoroughly with whisk. 3) Add onion, tomatoes and chives to bean mixture. Mix thoroughly. 4) Spread bean mixture on tortillas. 5) Fold tortilla over onto bean mixture cut into slices. Top
with yogurt and chives. 6) Serve with a glass of water. Enjoy!

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Foodie Friday: Cucumber Pop Quiz

#‎FoodieFriday Pop Quiz! How many of these cucumber facts did you already know? #NationalNutritionMonth

  1. Cucumbers belong to the plant family cucurbitaceae, which includes melons, squash, and pumpkins.
  2. Cucumbers come in many sizes, shapes, textures, and colors, including white, yellow, and even orange.
  3. Two common kinds of cucumbers grown in the U.S. include slicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers are usually large with a thick skin, while pickling cucumbers are smaller with a thin skin.
  4. Pickles are cucumbers that have been soaked in a brining solution made of salt, vinegar, and water.
  5. A half-cup of sliced cucumbers has 8 calories and more than 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K.
  6. A cucumber is more than 95% water.
  7. Cucumber slices over the eyes may help reduce puffiness, thanks to the fruit’s water content and caffeic acid.
  8. The biggest cucumber, grown in southern China, was more than 5ft long and weighed 154 pounds.
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National Strawberry Day

By EATWISE Ambassador Melissa

#‎FoodieFriday Pop Quiz! Did you know today is  #‎NationalStrawberryDay‬? How many of these strawberry facts did you already know?

  • Strawberries are the only fruit that have seeds on the outside.
  • Because their seeds are on the outside instead of the inside, strawberries aren’t true berries! Technically, each seed on a strawberry is own fruit.
  • One strawberry has 200 seeds, on average.
  • Unlike other fruit, strawberries don’t continue to ripen after they are picked.
  • One cup of strawberries has only 55 calories. Strawberries are low in calories but high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid and, potassium.
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • Each year, the average American eats 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries, and an additional 1.8 pounds frozen.
  • Strawberries are believed reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers.
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Heart Healthy Month: Whole Wheat Quesadillas

February is #AmericanHeartMonth and in honor of a heart-healthy lifestyle we are sharing this Whole Wheat Quesadilla recipe. Try it as a snack or for dinner!


  • mushrooms* 1 cup, sliced
  • green bell pepper * 1, diced
  • spinach* 1 cup, stems removed
  • garlic 1 clove, finely diced
  • black beans 1 15-ounce can,rinsed and drained
  • whole wheat tortillas 1 package
  • low-fat mozzarella ½ cup, cheese shredded
  • olive oil 1 Tablespoon


Prepare the mushrooms, green bell pepper, spinach and garlic. 2) Set aside mushrooms, half green bell pepper and spinach. 2) Drain the beans and heat in a medium saucepan. 3) Add garlic and half of the green pepper to the beans, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften. 4) Remove from heat. 5) Let bean mixture cool slightly and mash into a paste. 6) Spread ¼ cup of the bean mixture on a tortilla, top with ¼ cup of the raw veggies, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, and top it with another tortilla. 7) Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan to prevent
sticking, heat the quesadilla to melt the cheese, turning once. Serve immediately with a glass of water and enjoy!

*Simple Substitutions: Have everyone in your family choose their favorite vegetable to add to the quesadilla!

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Chef Max’s Roasted Chicken & Apple Cranberry Chutney

Chef Max has prepared a festive dish that is perfect for your family and friends this holiday season!


Prep Time: 20 min | Cooking Time: 35 min. + chilling | Yields: 16 Servings


  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 bunch of Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions: In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Carefully stir in the cranberries, apples, onion, raisins, brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or cold. Yields: 4 cups

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Chef Max’s Mini Turkey Burgers

Here’s a tasty #FoodieFriday recipe courtesy of EATWISE Celebrity Ambassador Chef Max! Sink your teeth into these healthy turkey burger sliders for dinner tonight!


  • 1 egg
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Onion, Minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 12 mini hamburger buns, split and toasted

1. Mix the egg, jalapeno peppers, and garlic in a large mixing bowl until the egg is well blended. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cilantro, mustard, paprika, chili powder, salt, bread crumbs, and turkey; mix well and form into 6 patties.
2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
3. Cook the turkey burgers on the preheated grill until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 4 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Serve on the toasted hamburger buns.
Nutritional Information

Calories – 344
Fat – 12.3 g
Cholesterol – 119mg

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Keke Palmer and Brook Lopez Team Up for ‘Change One Thing Back-to-School’ Tour


Opportunity Charter School Students Pledge to Live Healthier and Focus on Nutrition

Food Bank For New York City held a nutrition education summit for teens in Harlem on Tuesday, September 23, with surprise celebrity guests Keke Palmer, TV host and first African-American star of the Broadway show “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” and Brook Lopez, NBA All-Star center for the Brooklyn Nets. The event was in support of Food Bank For New York City’s Change One Thing initiative, a social campaign that aims to guide teens toward healthier choices by changing just one thing in their diet at a time.

“Through the Change One Thing initiative, Food Bank For New York City is able to successfully communicate with New York City students about the importance of healthy eating and the impact of positive choices in dietary selections,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank for New York City. “With the support of high-profile celebrities such as Keke Palmer and Brook Lopez, students can better relate to the message and understand that good nutrition is truly a lifelong goal.”

Held at the Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, roughly 25 students were preselected to attend based on their enrollment in the Opportunity Charter School’s culinary program, demonstrating a passion for maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. During the event, celebrities shared their healthy eating tips, and students made a pledge to commit to live healthier by making one healthy choice at a time.

In early September, Food Bank For New York City launched the Change One Thing Back-to-School Tour, a social awareness and marketing campaign that helps guide teens toward healthier choices without breaking their budget or radically changing their diet. Students will learn about important topics like sports nutrition, super foods, how to avoid diet-related diseases, and more.

Additional information about Food Bank For New York City and Change One Thing can be found at Continue the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @FoodBank4NYC and hashtags #ChangeOneThing and #EATWISE.

Special Guests Included:
KeKe Palmer (“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”)
Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets)
Max Hardy (Celebrity Chef)

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My Experience as a Teen Ambassador

by Nicole
I’ve had a great experience so far as an ambassador of Food Bank For New York City. It seems funny to call myself an ambassador, but essentially that’s what I am. So far, I’ve been involved in a variety of different projects. One of them, which I think is the most important, is teaching. My partner Bella and I go to different sites and teach teens like us about the six lessons involved in EATWISE. At one site, we covered the lesson of MyPlate (Lesson One), which is an overview of what’s to come from the program. We taught the kids the difference between processed and whole foods, how companies advertise unhealthy products to influence buyers, and more. The class seemed pretty responsive and engaged. I’ve also participated in ShopHealthy. In this program we do makeovers at bodegas to hopefully influence shoppers to eat healthier. I also work on the Change One Thing Truck, which educates the public—especially teens—about healthier alternatives they can make in their daily lives. Overall, I am learning a lot about healthy living, and enjoying myself at the same time. I don’t think I could have a better job.

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#ChangeOneThing Popcorn Trail Mix


By Cat and Abby

The #ChangeOneThing popcorn trail mix is a flavorful treat that combines healthy ingredients to form a delicious snack. Because of its protein packed nuts and organic dried fruits, this trail mix is a great source of nutrients that your body needs. Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it’s family friendly and you can make it in minutes. With the popcorn in the mix, this healthy recipe is also appealing to kids, helping them to eat healthy whole grains without realizing it. If you have allergies or don’t like something in this mix, you can easily substitute all ingredients.  This recipe is a delicious and nutritious easy snack for any time of day.

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Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 1 large bag pre-popped popcorn (4.4oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apricots


  1. Sprinkle popcorn with cinnamon, tossing to coat evenly.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cranberries and apricots. Mix well.
  3. Toss the nut, seed and fruit mixture with the popcorn.
  4. Divide evenly among 4-6 snack sized bowls.
  5. Enjoy!
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