Youth Nutrition

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

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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Quick & Healthy Snacks

By Abby, Catriona, Annita & Alexxis
Although it is easy to make unhealthy snack choices, when you learn how to conveniently prepare healthy snacks, it will have a major effect on your lifestyle. Processed snacks may seem like the better choice, however they lead to a crash later in the day, often creating misconceptions through false advertisement. Quick and healthy snacks can include:

  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable sticks
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Rice cakes
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 rice cakes, unsalted
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

OPTIONAL:

  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash your hands! Use water and soap to wash for 20 seconds before handling food.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave gradually, stirring every 20 seconds.
  3. Break rice cakes into quarters.
  4. Spread each rice cake piece with a thin layer of peanut butter. Top with bananas, if desired.
  5. Drizzle chocolate on top of each rice cake piece and serve. Enjoy!
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Make Popcorn a Healthy Snack

By Shaquasia, Albert & Nicole

Are you trying to #ChangeOneThing? Here at EATWISE we practice what we preach so we wanted to give you some quick and easy tips to make small changes in what you eat, which will lead to better health.

Popcorn is a good example of changing an unhealthy snack into a healthy snack. A “regular size” movie theatre popcorn can have 1,200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat! Try our microwave popcorn hack to healthy, whole grain popcorn quickly and easily. Just pour 2 tablespoons plain popcorn kernels into a paper lunch bag, fold over the top twice and microwave for about 2 minutes (or until popping slows to a few seconds between pops). This popcorn has only 30 calories per cup and is full of fiber!

If plain popcorn doesn’t appeal to you try adding (to add pour the seasonings into your paper bag and shake!)

  • A small amount of olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper
  • Hot sauce and a dash of coarse sea salt
  • Nutritional yeast, a vegan source of vitamin B-12, for cheesy flavor
  • Chop herbs like rosemary and thyme super small and sprinkle over popcorn

Invite your friends over for movie night and serve them your healthy, homemade popcorn. It will taste so good they won’t even know they are making a healthy change!

Have a #ChangeOneThing tip for us? Tweet it and include #ChangeOneThing or #EATWISETEENS!

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EATWISE Rap

source: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Healthy_Food

Cookie Monster rhymes about the importance of eating more than just cookies. Source: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Healthy_Food

EATWISE this year
makes me wanna cheer.
Healthy foods everyday
makes me wanna say hurray!
Lessons on culture, lessons on fuel
in our presentations everyday at school.

Healthy,
we do it.
Teach it,
we preach it.

Unhealthy food?
No we don’t eat it.
Sugar and school foods
slow down my mood.

thanks for your time
hope you enjoyed this rhyme

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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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Eating healthy? Not easy, but worth it.

Beyonce eatting an apple

How often do you see celebrities promoting whole fruits and vegetables?
Screen grab from Let’s Move

by Emilio De Los Angles

There are lots of things that can impact the way you determine and view what you eat and your activities. Today the media is used to introduce us to the latest fad diets and weight loss pills. We are being influenced to consume cheap food with low nutrition content. This also includes the stereotypical personas shown to us on those ads or commercials. These portrayals only make us narrow our notions of what we can eat and do.

 

But let’s go back one step, let’s talk about you and your goal of becoming more healthy and stronger. The easiest way to start is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, lean proteins, and reading the nutrition labels of the products you are going to consume! Obesity is increasing in America, this means that people are beginning to experience the side effects of an unbalanced diet. These include heart problems, cholesterol, and diabetes. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to give more effort and time to be more cautious for the sake of my health?”. You will often find yourself blocked by the lack of support, and the confusing nutrition labels, but you can do it if you want it. Make sure your circle of friends and family knows about your decision and if they value you they will give their support. “Am I ready to begin eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and reading nutrition labels carefully?” If your answer to both of these questions were yes, I congratulate you; you are taking a step that will take you far in life.

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No, Seriously. Eat Breakfast!

no, seriously. eat breakfast!

source: http://arthlete.tumblr.com/

By Russell, Nehemah, Annum

Do you eat breakfast every day? A granola bar or an apple in the morning can make all the difference! Breakfast kick starts your metabolism for the day. Do you know what breakfast means?  Breakfast literally means when you “break your fast” from the night before.

Breakfast helps to increase concentration.  Breakfast also increases your energy to seize the day. One drawback of skipping breakfast is eating too much later in the day. This leads to weight gain.  Studies have shown kids who eat breakfast do better in school than kids who don’t. There are many examples of ideal breakfast foods.  Some of these are (but aren’t limited to): milk, oatmeal, eggs and fruit. Basically breakfast should be high in carbs, rich in nutrients and low in fat. Although it may be tempting, don’t have an energy drink or double shot latte. The caffeine may give you energy but it doesn’t have the nutrients you need for a well rounded breakfast. Also, it probably has lots of added sugars, which you definitely don’t need.

Having breakfast everyday isn’t hard, a little bit of time and effort beforehand can help you make the breakfast you need for the day. Don’t have enough time?  The easiest thing to do is to buy a healthy breakfast, like an apple and yogurt.

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