Youth Nutrition Program

The EATWISE Experience

By Shawna-Gay
EATWISE Intern
August 23, 2016

From a very young age, I’ve always asked myself: “What is the purpose of summer”? As I grew older, I came to the realization that it’s about taking a break from working hard in school and, most importantly, a way to spend quality time with your family and learn a lot about yourself outside of the classroom.

At the same time, I’ve never enjoyed summer.  All I did was sit at home and watch TV, wishing I had more stimulation.  I couldn’t wait for school to return. It wasn’t until this summer that EATWISE changed the way I view summer. EATWISE allowed me to grow from an introverted student to an optimistic, outgoing young lady, who isn’t afraid to get lost and find her way back around New York City.

EATWISE gave me the best summer I’ve had thus far. It has been a life-changing experience for many of us. It gave us the opportunity to try new things and step out of our comfort zones. Learning about food justice, poverty, nutrition, and health gave a purpose to my summer.
Shawna-Gay is an EATWISE (Educated and Aware Teens Who Inspire Smart Eating) Intern, part of Food Bank For New York City’s teen nutrition education program.

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Teaching Kids the Facts About Sugar

By Annie

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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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NFL Star Chris Canty Helps Food Bank Kick Off Change One Thing

By Niree, Tatyana and Felicity

This week, EATWISE (Educated and Aware Teens Who Inspire Smart Eating), a Food Bank For New York City nutrition education program that inspires teens to make healthy food choices, partnered with the Chris Canty Foundation to kick off Food Bank’s Change One Thing campaign with a fun event at the Chris Canty Camp of Champions.

Food Bank For New York City Kicks Off EATWISE And Change One Thing Summer Nutrition Awareness Programs For Teens At Chris Canty Camp Of Champions

Chris and other NFL players led children through football drills to help them learn about physical fitness and the EATWISE team spoke to them about staying hydrated. Did you know that your body is 60% water? Drinking plenty of water when playing a sport or being active on a daily basis is important because it prevents you from becoming dehydrated.

 

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29:  Food Bank For New York City kicks off EATWISE, it's summer nutrition awareness program for teens with NFL superstar and Food Bank ambassador Chris Canty at his Camp Of Champions attended by EATWISE teen ambassadors at George Washington High School Field on June 29, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Food Bank Of New York City)

To help keep the kids hydrated during the event, the EATWISE team handed out water bottles. With the help of Chef Max Hardy, we also provided a very nutritious meal for all the camp participants.

It was exciting to see how many young children are interested in sports, especially football. Everyone had a great time. All the EATWISE ambassadors are super excited to work with EATWISE this summer and help kids #ChangeOneThing to be healthier—like staying hydrated!

 

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29:  Food Bank For New York City kicks off EATWISE, it's summer nutrition awareness program for teens with NFL superstar and Food Bank ambassador Chris Canty at his Camp Of Champions attended by EATWISE teen ambassadors at George Washington High School Field on June 29, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Food Bank Of New York City)

Niree, Tatyana and Felicity are 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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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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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!


Ingredients

  • 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

Directions:

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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#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

Instructions:

  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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A Healthy After School Snack

What would Valentine’s Day be without a sweet treat or two? This year, indulge guilt-free with a delicious—and nutritious—cookie recipe!

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Avocado Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, mashed avocado flesh (about 1 avocado)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz chocolate chips

Optional:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Beat sugar, honey and oil until light and fluffy
  3. Gently beat in avocado until blended
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into sugar mixture; mix well
  6. Stir in oats and coconut, then fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  7. Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet; bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.
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A Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat

What would Valentine’s Day be without a sweet treat or two? This year, indulge guilt-free with a delicious—and nutritious—cookie recipe!

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Avocado Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, mashed avocado flesh (about 1 avocado)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz chocolate chips

Optional:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Beat sugar, honey and oil until light and fluffy
  3. Gently beat in avocado until blended
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into sugar mixture; mix well
  6. Stir in oats and coconut, then fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  7. Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet; bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.
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Our Shop Healthy Summer

EATWISE Shop Healthy

EATWISE Summer interns display freshly organized produce baskets.

This summer our EATWISE interns partnered with the DOH’s Shop Healthy initiative. They went to bodegas in the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx and assisted in making small changes that would both encourage and make it easier for New Yorkers who shop at those stores to make healthy choices. These changes included placing fresh fruits and vegetables at the front of the store, removing ads for tobacco, alcohol and sugar sweetened beverages, moving water so it was eye-level in the drink coolers and advertising healthy lunch specials, which included a sandwich on whole-wheat bread, fruit and a bottle of water. This is what a couple of our interns had to say about the experience.

 

By Christel Solomon and Aubrey Allen

 

This was our first summer working with Shop Healthy and it was an amazing experience! It felt as if we made a difference one step at a time. Even though not every change we made was big, they made a big difference to the community because we helped to make healthy produce more available.

 

We went into Shop Healthy expecting that we would have a hard time working with the store owners, since we were just kids who wanted to make changes in their stores. We didn’t know what the outcome would be, but in end it was very successful and the store owners were very excited and also cooperative with us in helping to accomplish our mission of making it easier for their customers to make healthy shopping choices.

 

We had tons of fun with our fellow interns moving the water up to eye level, putting up price tags for the produce, decorating and arranging the fruit to make the healthy options more eye catching. It wasn’t always easy to convince the store owner to move items, such as moving the water up so that is the first thing people see, but by working together we were able to come to an agreement. When we told the store owners that making these changes would help their community and increase their store profits they were eager to make the changes we suggested.

 

Shop Healthy has been an outstanding experience and it felt as if we were giving back to the community. The changes we made in the bodegas brought us back to what we have learned in our EATWISE internship and through Change One Thing, eat more fruit and vegetables, choose whole grains over refined grains and drink water. Even though the changes were small, we made a major change for the community.

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