Dietitians Ring NASDAQ Closing Bell in Honor
of National Nutrition Month
"Top 50 Spring Foods for Weight Loss"
"10 Awesome Asparagus Recipes"
"Feeding a Picky Eater
"100 Snacks Under 200 Calories"
By: Maris Callahan, Aug 17, 2010
By Melissa Chapman
By Amy Levin-Epstein | July 6, 2010
Mom: Christen Cooper, MS, RD
Location: Pleasantville, New York
Children: Nathaniel, 7, and Anna Louise, 2
As a nutritionist, I knew about the unbeatable nutritional and emotional values of breastfeeding. I also knew that, at the height of the baby's breastmilk intake (from birth until she began solid foods around five months), I would burn up to 500 extra calories per day just through breastfeeding. Therefore, during that first two to three months, when I was too tired to take a shower at times (never mind make it to the gym), I knew that I could rest assured that my body was doing some natural slimming on its own due to breastfeeding and the trips up and down the stairs with a laundry basket! Having said that, this natural slimming only works if a mom is eating around the same amount of daily calories she ate pre-pregnancy. I got through the "hard times" losing baby weight by taking a deep breath and thinking: "Look, take it easy on yourself.” If she gets very hungry, as many women do, and eats the extra 500 calories to account for the calories burned by breastfeeding, she will not experience the slimming. That's okay, too, however. She can lose the weight after she ends breastfeeding. The post-partum period is not a time to deprive oneself. The body is healing on the inside and the mind is susceptible to post-partum depression.
I got through the "hard times" losing baby weight by taking a deep breath and thinking: "Look, take it easy on yourself. You just brought a life into the world. So you don't feel like walking? Big deal. Healing comes first, and your body has a lot of healing to do on the inside from the jostling and dislocation of things during labor." [For exercise] I chose a gym with excellent child care, so I felt fine leaving the baby at four months so I could do a spinning class or 45-minute workout. The classes provided me with the time to chat with other adults (key!), and none of them were singing songs about big red cars or baby belugas. The music during spinning or aerobics let my mind wander back to a time when I was without kids, and therefore it allowed me a mental escape, a daydream of sorts. It also allowed me to take a shower sans a crying baby waiting for me, blow dry my hair, put on make-up and feel good about myself and my body.
We take care of others—but often neglect ourselves.
Susan Tordella, a mother of four in Ayer, Massachusetts, once fell on her right shoulder while skiing and couldn’t sleep on her right side for six months. Yet she never went to the doctor.
The shoulder still bothers her more than ten years later, she says, admitting there have been many times she’s been reluctant to schedule doctor’s appointments for herself—or even take charge of her mental health.
“I was depressed and didn't know it for at least a decade or more,” Tordella says. “It finally surfaced when I was 34. My youngest child went to kindergarten. I started crying and couldn't stop--not because of missing her. My life's focus was gone, and I had to pay attention to my own pain.” She finally sought help through workshops and therapy, but like many moms, had simply refused to deal with a health issue until it was too dangerous to ignore.
It’s ironic that mothers, who worry constantly about their kids’ health, often fail to take care of themselves. How? Debbie Mandel, a fitness and stress management expert, says moms “neglect their health by eating on the run and eating to self-soothe, failing to exercise, neglecting to rest and sleep, and getting into a stress cycle.” Mandel, the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, says such neglect can lead to a number of health problems.Here are some of the most common, and what you should do about them:
Moms tend to make "kid foods" when they’re preparing dinners, says Christen Cooper, a registered dietitian in Pleasantville, N.Y. “This is a double ‘no’ because kids should be exposed to a wide variety of healthy foods, and because parents should not be limiting their diets to nuggets, pizza, and fries, either. The family’s optimal diet consists of a variety of high-nutrient, low-fat foods, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.” It’s good to change your eating methods, too.
Dietitian Debi Silber, author of The Lifestyle Fitness Program: A Six-Part Plan So Every Mom Can Look, Feel and Live Her Best, suggests eating food on smaller plates, putting snacks in small baggies to avoid reaching into a huge bag or box, eating only 2/3 of a meal and drinking water between bites of food.
THE POWER OF CARE
Friday, July 2, 2010
When I got married, we were a blended family. I got a bonus daughter along with a husband. I have a friend who doesn’t like the term blended family, but I don’t have a problem with it. It is rather an apropos word I think, because we had to learn to blend so many ways of doing things. For us, one of the more challenging subjects was the family dinner.
Now I must admit, in this case, when I say blend, what I really mean is I had to get my new husband and daughter to convert to my way of thinking. Many a time I ended up sitting at the dinner table by myself, because they had gobbled down their food and just got up and left me. Or in the middle of dinner one of them would get up to answer the phone. That just wasn’t how I was raised. In my house we had dinner together most nights and it was as much a family ritual as it was a routine.
Even though my father had many evening meetings with clients, he did most of the cooking and we all had dinner together prior to his going out. You did not leave the table until everyone was finished and dinner time was an opportunity to catch up with everyone, laugh, debate and communicate. Sunday dinners were an event. We usually had friends or relatives over for a big Sunday meal after church.
When we were old enough to get chores, each of us kids would do our job cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. As my father used to say, “Why do I need to buy a dishwasher? I have three.” Whoever washed the dishes cleaned the stove, counters and kitchen table. Whoever dried took out the trash to the garage and swept the floor. There was a system. If you were washing, it made sense for you to wash everything down; you already had the wet cloth. If you were drying, it made sense for you to sweep the floor; you were the last one in the room and could sweep without people in your way.
It wasn’t until I visited other people’s homes or we had friends over that I realized, yet again, we were different. I can remember one particular Sunday dinner. We were in the dining room having a wonderful meal and conversation and one of my sister’s friends from middle school was there. Without a word, when she was finished eating, she got up from the table walked out of the room, through the kitchen into the den, sat down on the couch and turned on the television. For a few seconds we all just looked at each other in silent astonishment.
I never investigated her rational for just up and leaving the dinner table, but I suspect that in her household, family dinners were not commonplace. Dinner time might have been more of a solitary event and not a time for family bonding. Maybe she was used to eating in front of the television and she was looking to get back to the familiar.
Fast forward through more years and more living experiences, I am again and again reminded of how to many, the concept of the Family Dinner it not commonplace, but something that is relegated to Thanksgiving or one of the major religious holidays. Yet, I’m here to tell you, there is more to the family dinner than just food. If it’s been awhile since you put forth the effort to make it happen for your family, now’s the time.
Take Back the Family Dinner
“It’s time to take back dinner. Put it on the front burner (pun intended) and basically stop over-scheduling your kids and start scheduling mealtimes together. We multi-taskers somehow manage to meet our work deadlines and get to our kid's baseball games on time, so why can't we actively work hard to plan our weekly meals?” says, Jeanne Muchnick, author of the new book, Dinner for Busy Moms.
Muchinick is not alone in her call to take back the family dinner. Even major brands have incorporated it into their marketing campaigns to get families together…hopefully over a serving of their product. For more than a decade there have been various calls to action by children and family advocacy groups.
The good news is, for some, there was no need to make the call. It was a part of life for Parenting and Life Coach, Barbara Desmarais. “I grew up having family dinners every night. It was the norm and when I raised my own children, it was also the norm.” For Jessie Nagel, it was so much a part of her life that it never occurred to her that not every family ate dinner together. “You might think it crazy, but I was truly surprised to learn as an adult that many families do not eat together. I was raised in a family that ate dinner together every night, with rare exception, and also enjoyed food as the center for many forms of socialization,” says the Hype, Special Agent.
For Ms. Desmarais, coming to the realization that not every family ate dinner together was a long time coming. “When my children entered high school it was the first time I found out that what we were doing was not the norm for everyone. In fact my kids felt very inconvenienced when they had to come home for dinner at a certain time and most of their friends were just eating what was in the fridge and at no set time. It saddened me that this was now a fact of life.
But if you have a protesting teenager, don’t let it get to you. You have to think long term. “Everyone benefits from family dinners. Even if a teenager complains, she or he benefits from a sense of belonging to the family group. As soon as children are old enough, they grow in self-esteem and character by taking on some responsibilities associated with the family dinner. Even a small child feels a sense of pride by performing as simple a task as placing a napkin at each place setting,” says Psychotherapist, Marcia Naomi Berger, LCSW.
“Research supports that families who have dinner together several times a week have less substance abuse, better body image, do better in school,” states Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Director of Wasatch Family Therapy, Julie Hanks.
So is it that families who eat together already had the benefit of strong parenting skills and higher levels of communication? I say, in part, Who cares! If this is one of those chicken and the egg kind of scenarios and you are one of those families that are not having the family dinner on a regular basis…then start!
Maybe that will start positively impacting other family dynamics. Unless eating your mother or father’s cooking could literally be a danger to your health, only good can come from having dinner together. So order Chinese and still set the table for a family meal.
Do’s and Don’ts of Family Dinner
The family dinner table it a great time for teaching and learning, but parents still have to work at doling out those life lessons with moderation and tact. “There is so much to gain by the family dinner as long as certain ground rules are created by the family. Negotiating the ground rules and practicing them is enormously helpful in teaching children responsible behavior and in enhancing their social skills. An example would be how do we make sure everyone who wants to speak is heard without interrupting another family member. In discussion, parents can teach and model the practices necessary for good communication - seek to understand before being understood, no shaming or insulting,” says Parenting Coach Dr. Richard Horowitz.
Some of the ground rules, or do’s and don’ts of the family dinner table include respecting differences and agreeing on what will and will not be discussed. “It is important that parents do not use this mealtime to either interrogate the kids (Did you pass your test? Did you behave yourself at daycare? etc) or harangue them”, says Kathy Lynn of Parenting Today Canada.
Berger agrees. She says, “Make it a general rule for the conversation [to be] pleasant while eating. Doing so encourages healthy bonding among family members as well as good digestion. The more difficult topics and disciplinary matters can be addressed at other times. During the meal, everyone can be encouraged to share their feelings about whatever is on their mind and about how their day went.”
Raising Healthy Eaters
If you take a look at the average grade school child, you realize that we are in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic. Even the first lady has picked up the mantle of helping our society make better choices for our children. One of those healthy choices is having more nutritious family dinners. It is at the dinner table that parents help establish a child’s relationship with food and good eating habits.
Many of us grew up being told to “clean our plates” and “not waste food”. It is at the dinner table that we either succeed or fail at helping our children learn about portion control and stopping when we are full. “At the meal table, children take important cues about healthful eating from their parents and witness what a nutritious, well-rounded meal looks like,” says Registered Dietitian, Christen Cooper. Likewise, they learn the balance between not wasting food and not encouraging over eating.
Many nutritionists and pediatricians will tell you, it can take up to 10 or 11 exposures to a food before a child will decide they like it. In many a household, including mine, parents have instituted the “No Thank You Bite” rule. Basically, it means you don’t have to eat a lot of something new, but you at least have to try it. Then you can say no thank you. It took my son about four or five “no thank you bites” before he learned to love his favorite fruit…kiwi.
As children get older, the ritual of the family dinner can be expanded to include the children in the preparation. Janet Max relishes that fact that she and her teenage daughters have made dinners together an event, one where her daughters are beginning to flex their culinary skills. Her oldest, Tasha “likes to cook, so she helps prepare meals a lot, even makes some on her own. Lately both my daughters have an obsession with sautéed onions. It’s hilarious. Tasha will cook up a whole pan full and they will fight over them.”
Encouraging children to be a part of the planning and making of the meal not only helps their self esteem, but also prepares them for a more self sufficient future.
Family Dinner as Backdrop of Family Dynamics
For so many families, the significance of Sunday (or Sabbath) dinner was magnified exponentially when interplayed with other family characteristics. When Judy Woodward Bates was very young family meals were not just about the food, it was a social event that cemented familial relationships. “My parents would always take me and my sister to a huge Sunday dinner gathering at my dad's parents’. Since I was number 34 of the 34 grandchildren and my dad was the youngest son, my grandparents were in their late 60's when I was born. Their health declined rapidly and these fun times ended by the time I was 7, but I'll never forget the organized chaos of those Sunday afternoons.
The kids were ordered to stay outside and play until the grownups had eaten and play we did! I don't think Big Mama (my grandmother) ever sat down - she was like a bustling whirlwind - running between the kitchen and dining room with mounds of fried chicken, homemade "catheads" (as my Papa called her huge fluffy biscuits) and cornbread; baked sweet potatoes; fresh field peas; sliced tomatoes and onions; and gallons of sweet tea. All that was generally followed by cutting a watermelon (and the subsequent seed-spitting contests among the grandkids) and churning homemade ice cream, with all us grandkids vying for a chance to be the one who sat on the ice cream maker while one of the men cranked it.
For Claire DeRosa, the truth of her internal family drama that was happening around the dinner table was not clear at first glance. "I grew up in a family of six. Our household included my parents, grandmother, sister and brother. We did not have much of anything. My father ate before any of us and my mother would serve him. When he was finished we would.
Eating a colorful assemblage of produce
gets important nutrients into your diet
By KELLY BOTHUM • The News Journal •
Delaware On Line
June 8, 2010
Eat your veggies.
Chances are, you've been hearing that entreaty since childhood. These days, though, most of us don't have parents hovering around, making sure we didn't hide the peas in the mashed potatoes we left on the plate. So we get away with substituting potato chips for brussels sprouts or downplaying the effects of that greasy burger because it was topped with wilted lettuce and a slice of unripened tomato.
But there's good reason to think about adding more vegetables -- and fruit -- into our diets. In Delaware, only 12 percent of adults are meeting the 2010 Healthy People Objective of two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily, according to health surveillance data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's slightly below the national average of 14 percent.
Increasing the variety and color of your produce is a good way to boost those numbers without boring your palate. A salad might not seem so humdrum if it's stocked with purple peppers,yellow tomatoes or white carrots. Bathing your plate in color -- particularly dark greens, bright oranges and deep purples -- also helps increase your consumption of phytonutrients, organic compounds from plants that are believed to promote good health.
Fruits and vegetables, along with grains, legumes and nuts, are good sources of phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals. Unlike fat, protein and vitamins, phytochemicals aren't considered essential for life. However, it's believed that phytonutrients help repair some of the cellular damage done to the body by aging. Diets high in phytonutrients have been linked with improved eye health and protection against certain cancers.
"They're the things we can't pin down yet," said Michell Fulmer, a registered dietitian at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and spokeswoman for the Delaware Dietetic Association. "A key point is that we haven't been able to package them in a pill, so you need to eat a variety to get the benefits."
But getting that variety -- dietitians call it "eating the rainbow" -- in your diet requires a sense of adventure. Expanding your grocery horizon to other sources, including farmer's markets and
community-supported agriculture subscriptions, and rethinking old stereotypes about food you despised as a child can transform a formerly drab eater into a color-loving foodie.
"People do tend to stick with the things they know, what they like," said Jill Nussinow, a registered dietitian and cooking instructor in San Francisco. "The biggest problem is fear. They think: I don't know what to do with it. I don't know how to cook it. But you can find out."
Here are some tips to help you liven up the dinner plate:
Tip No. 1: Hit your local farmers market
With the first day of summer nearly upon us, it's a perfect time to check out the variety at local farmers markets. While many of the old produce standbys are abundant throughout the season -- lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes and summer squash -- local markets also are good places to pick up more unusual varieties of foods we already know, such as purple carrots and red spinach.
Greens are most of what Karl U. Bucus is seeing at the Phoenixville Farmers Market in Pennsylvania these days, although he has seen white turnips and Swiss chard with streaks of red. He's also seen purple peas, though not in the early season.
"We eat with our eyes," said Nussinow, known as "The Veggie Queen" because of her interest in plant-based cuisine. "You have to get out of all these preconceived ideas about what foods are supposed to look like or taste like."
It helps that most farmers markets are a haven for people seeking out unusual fruits and vegetables or uncommon varieties. "You have the people who grew the vegetables who can tell you how to serve them. Other customers also can tell you what to do with these things," Nussinow said. "Don't be afraid to ask questions."
Tip No. 2: Consider a CSA
While most subscriptions for community supported agriculture -- known as a CSA -- are filled for the summer, it's a good idea to consider signing up for one in the future because they encourage consumers to try foods they might not otherwise pick. Beets might not normally wind up in your shopping cart, but getting them as part of your weekly CSA assortment increases the chances you'll actually find a recipe to enjoy them.
"It gets you out of your comfort zone," Nussinow said. "Otherwise you'd never know what that thing is." Delaware Nature Society's Coverdale Farm delivered its first batch of produce to subscribing members last week, said Daniel Malcolm, the CSA's farmer. The bounty included radishes, Swiss chard, peas and lettuce. Future offerings will include kale and other leafy greens, eggplant, summer squash and beets. (You can find other CSA options at www.futureharvestcasa.org/csa.html.)
"It's trying to mix the things I know they will like -- tomatoes and peppers -- and growing a lot of that, but throwing in some unusual stuff to broaden their horizons," Malcolm said. "You can find a lot of those in the grocery store, but a lot of people won't buy it."
Tip No. 3: Rethink old foods
There's nothing wrong with having favorite fruits and vegetables, Fulmer said. But even favorites can get old, which is why it's a good idea to consider new ways of making familiar foods. Throw fresh peaches or pineapple slices on the grill for a sizzling summer dessert. Make a new twist on chicken lo mein using spaghetti squash.
"It's not always so much new vegetables as it is finding new ways to do things," she said. "Try it raw instead of cooked. Grill instead of sauteing."
Reinventing the old also can include returning to a food you thought you didn't like. If brussels sprouts were your dreaded vegetable as a kid, ask a friend how they prepare them now and see if your taste buds have matured.
Nussinow said in California, where fresh, local produce is abundant year-round, staples like summer squash can get old. She advises friends to grate zucchini and make it into a pasta."Most vegetables can be used in a number of ways. You just have to find the one that tastes good to you," she said.
Tip No. 4: Share the kitchen with your children
Getting kids excited about healthy eating is a passion for Cindy Sardo, of Landenberg, Pa. Sardo, a former teacher and mother of three, created Cooking's Cool, a grassroots company. She's also written three cookbooks (available at Amazon.com) with kid-friendly recipes using fruits and vegetables found in the winter, spring and fall.
When working with kids, Sardo said she always starts with a familiar image -- the rainbow. She asked children to draw pictures of rainbows to put on their refrigerators as a reminder of the importance of seeking out different colored fruits and vegetables each day.
But what really makes a difference is involving them in the process of cooking, said Sardo, whose books have been singled out by Rachael Ray's Yum-o! organization. "The key component is that they have to taste the food, cook the food and smell them as they're cooking," she said. "I've done workshops in many schools, at Young Chefs Academy, with the Girls Scouts. There are always some very reluctant kids who tell you they don't like eating anything that's a vegetable. Once they start smelling the onions and carrots in the olive oil, they want to eat it. It's wonderful to see."
To encourage more adventurous eaters, consider making a chart where kids can put a sticker for each new food they try, said Christen Cooper, a registered dietitian based in Pleasantville,N.Y. This way, kids can make up their own mind to try that sugar snap pea or bite of kale.
"You don't want to reward them for cleaning their plate, but reward them for their willingness to try,"" said Cooper, who serves on the advisory board of SuperKidsNutrition.com, which focuses on improving children's food choices.
Tip No. 5: Eat in season but plan for the future
Anyone who is growing their own fruits and vegetables knows the benefits of canning and freezing their surplus. If you're drowning in green beans or peas this summer, blanch them and freeze them for the cooler months when you'll appreciate their homegrown flavor. Save those strawberries for a sweet treat to accompany a pancake breakfast.
There also may be some nutritional benefits in planning ahead. Nussinow said. Canned or cooked tomatoes, in particular, have more lycopene than fresh ones. It's not surprising considering many more tomatoes are needed when cooking or canning than when adding a few to a salad or stir fry.
In general, though, eating fruits and vegetables in season ensures not only will you have a good supply at an affordable price, but you also have more options. More options means a better chance of hitting those colors on the food rainbow.
"The more you buy vegetables in season, the better they taste," Cooper said. "It's the best way to get hooked."
Contact Kelly Bothum at 324-2962 or
Christen Cooper is quoted in the following June 3, 2010 Livestrong.com article:
By Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD
Clostridium difficile is a strain of bacteria that can overgrow and cause a potentially severe infection in the large intestine. When antibiotics are used to fight infection elsewhere in the body, they sometimes have the side effect of killing off good bacteria residing in the colon that maintain a healthy environment. Then the Clostridium difficile can multiply rapidly, causing severe diarrhea and other symptoms, especially in people who are elderly or chronically ill. Discontinuation of Antibiotics Stool studies should be done to confirm the presence of C. difficile when symptoms of diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain are present after a recent course of antibiotics. Dr. Michael S. Schroeder, a physician with Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California, advocates discontinuing antibiotics, when possible, that precipitated the condition. This measure resolves 15 to 23 percent of cases, according to a 2003 study published in "Connecticut Medicine."
The standard initial treatment for C. difficile colitis, inflammation of the colon resulting from the bacterial overgrowth, is 500 mg metronidazole given orally or intravenously four times daily for 10 to 14 days.
If symptoms persist on metronidazole and stool samples continue to show presence of the bacteria after 5 days, the next step is to treat with 500 mg vancomycin orally. Intravenous treatment with this medication is not effective because the drug does not reach the bowel unless routed through the gastrointestinal tract. According to data reviewed by Dr. Schroeder, the response rate to this treatment is better than 90 percent.
Using an agent, such as diphenoxylate, that reduces motility is contraindicated. Merck.com explains that using antidiarrheal medications can worsen a case of C. difficile, as reducing intestinal motility increases the time the intestine is exposed to the toxin produced by the bacteria.
Repopulating the colon with a healthy environment requires replacing some of the beneficial bacteria lost in the course of antibiotic treatment. In the January 2010 issue of "Today's Dietitian," Christen C. Cooper, M.S., R.D. describes the ways these healthy bacteria---also known as probiotics---can work to keep the gut healthy: they strengthen the quality of the lining inside the intestine; some of the beneficial organisms reduce the pH of the environment, deterring the growth of the harmful ones; and the Lactobacillus species produce compounds that retard the growth of harmful bacteria. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes that the use of probiotics may shorten the infection time of a C. difficile infection. Probiotics can be added to the diet in the form of a capsule, or they can be ingested from foods such as yogurt or fermented milk.
Congratulations to our 25 registered dietitian Quaker Go Grant winners; together, we’ve dedicated more than $75,000 to projects that are currently at work fighting hunger in communities nationwide. April winners:Go Grant winners; together, we’ve dedicated more than $75,000 to projects that are currently at work fighting hunger in communities nationwide. April winners:
Boys and Girls Club Members Jump with Jill at Nutrition
August 21st, 2009 Mt. Kisco, NY---Club members recently packed the gymnasium at the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester to learn the values of proper health, exercise, and nutrition with a fun twist. Jump for Jill, a rock 'n roll show for kids, teaches nutrition through music and movement. More than 150 Club children participated in the program, which was funded by a grant from Quaker Oats to Christen Cooper, MS, RD, of Cooper Nutrition. Additional funding was provided by the Northern Westchester Hospital.
Jill Jayne, MS, RD, is the country’s only Rockstar Nutritionist. Jump with Jill is a multimedia health program that teaches nutrition education through entertainment. It addresses an urgent need to connect with kids in a time when advertisements for high fat, high sugar foods, and endless opportunities to choose the couch over physical activity are at an all-time high. Jill taught Club members to make healthy choices by turning the media machine on its head -- empowering kids to get engaged, moving, and learning.
Jump for Jill is part of the Club’s growing initiative to educate its youth on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The Club’s Kisco Kids Café, which opened in Spring 2009, provides healthy snacks and meals for its members. The Café also serves as a teaching facility to host cooking and nutrition classes, which are held throughout the year.
The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester is located at 351 Main Street, Mt. Kisco, NY and can be reached at (914) 666-8069 or by visiting www.bgcnw.com. To contact the Club’s Teen Center, located at 317 Main Street in Mt. Kisco, please call (914) 733-0033.
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please call Mindy Citera: 914-666-7595
PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM AT BET TORAH NURSERY SCHOOL
(Mt. Kisco) In keeping with Bet Torah Nursery School’s weeklong celebration of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish Arbor Day, the Parent Education Committee, co-chaired by parents Ali Rosenberg and Deborah Goldman, organized a special presentation by Chris Cooper entitled, “Eating Green and Eating Greens: How to Keep Your Family and the Environment Healthy”.
Registered dietitian and Bet Torah Nursery School mom, Chris Cooper, expressed her view that “nutrition is not simply eating food, but rather a total package of nourishment. It should be viewed as a ribbon that unites the body, the environment, the family, and…our spiritual community, in good health.” She encouraged families to make food choices that are not only healthy for their bodies, but that also leave a minimal impact on the environment. Such foods would be those that are plant-based and which have undergone minimal processing and packaging.
Ms. Cooper offered information for families to help their children understand how food grows and how to make healthy food interesting and fun for them. She encouraged parents to eat with their children whenever possible and to have their children try new foods, especially fruit and vegetables, noting that most kids will need 8-12 exposures before trying an unfamiliar food!
Most of all, Ms. Cooper wanted to convey the importance of teaching children what choosing healthy foods does for the body and the Earth.
Bet Torah (www.bettorah.org) serves as a leading center for Conservative Judaism in Northern Westchester.
Caption for photo:
Left to right: Ali Rosenberg, Parent Education Committee Co-Chair; Chris Cooper, Presenter; Deborah Goldman, Parent Education Committee Co-Chair