Tag Archives: healthy eating

Make Halloween SAFE and HEALTHY

halloween_socialKids love Halloween – dressing up, going to parties and, of course, eating yummy treats. But parents need to keep some guidelines in mind to make sure the day is full of treats, not tricks. Use these tips to make the festivities SAFE and HEALTHY.

Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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Hand out some healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Exercise can be part of the fun. Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.

Avoid walking areas and stairs that aren’t well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

Test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.

Yes, a little candy is OK, but limit the sweet treats beyond the holiday.

For more ideas on safe, healthy Halloween fun, check out these pages:

 

New 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

By Shorus E. Manning, RD, LD, SNAP-Education Dietitian, DHEC Professional and Community Nutrition Services

Dietary Guidelines are released every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. These recommendations influence various federal nutrition programs and the day-to-day lives of Americans. The vast majority of the recent report is similar to previous guidelines, but there are some key differences.

What You Need to Know

  • Cholesterol – The new guidelines no longer include a limit of 300 mg a day. Instead, just focus consuming as little as possible. Remember that we don’t need cholesterol from outside sources, since we make our own.
  • Overall Healthy Eating Pattern – Instead of focusing a great deal on individual components, the new guidelines emphasize an overall healthy eating pattern. So don’t look for specific foods to reduce your risk of chronic illnesses. Consider your whole diet. Your overall diet has the greatest potential to make you healthy instead of specific foods.
  • Sugar – This is one of the biggest changes in the new guidelines. We need to limit our added sugar to just 10 percent of our calories. On a 2,000-calorie diet, that is about 50 grams of added sugar per day.
  • Protein – The lean protein recommendations stay the same. However, there is an emphasis on incorporating 8 oz. of seafood into your weekly protein consumption. A single serving of fish is 3 oz., which is about the size of your checkbook. When it comes to eating too much protein, there was a specific focus on over consumption of protein by men and boys. The average amount should be between 5 to 6 oz. per day. A lower intake of processed meat like bacon, sausage and sandwich meats are encouraged, but this is a part of the whole healthy eating diet plan.

Click here to read the full content of the Eighth Edition of the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthy Tips for Thanksgiving

By Sandra H. Spann, MS, RDN, LD, DHEC Office of Professional and Community Nutrition Services

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Thanksgiving is a time to express our thanks with friends and family, but it is also a time when many Americans over-indulge in a bounty of meats, casseroles and sweets. This holiday season, follow these simple tips to help you feel as light on your feet as you do in your heart with loved ones around you.

Start the day with a small but healthy breakfast to keep you energized and your metabolism moving. Trying to “save yourself” for a big meal at the end of the day can leave you feeling sluggish and extra hungry – leaving you more likely to overeat at Thanksgiving Dinner.

Take a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It’s a wonderful way for families to get some physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day and with your meal. Drinking at least eight glasses of water throughout the day will keep your whole body hydrated and help your digestion.

Skip the salt! Use herbs and spices instead of salt to enjoy the flavor of your food. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure.

Build a Healthy Plate

Fill ½ half of your plate with vegetables such as carrots and green beans, broccoli, salad and asparagus.

Fill ¼ of your plate with starches such as sweet potatoes and dressing. Other choices for this section may include corn, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Fill ¼ of your plate with lean turkey slices. Remove the skin from the turkey before eating.

Avoid casseroles or dishes that have heavy creams, sauces, butter or crusts. Skip the bread or rolls.

For more information, please visit the DHEC website.

Cooking Matters Program Teaches Healthy Meal Preparation

By Shorus E. Manning, RD, LD, DHEC SNAP-Education Dietitian

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The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Healthy Food Initiative works to empower low-income families, kids, and adults with the knowledge and skills to prepare healthy and tasty meals on a budget. As part of that effort, DHEC has partnered with Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters® program. Participants in the Cooking Matters program learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Courses and tours equip families with the skills they need to stretch their food dollars and maximize the benefits they receive through public nutrition programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). Cooking Matters is currently in 27 states and has served more than 100,000 families across the country since its inception in 1993. DHEC’s Office of Professional & Community Nutrition Services oversees the Healthy Food Initiative and the partnership with Cooking Matters.

Cooking Matters Serves Families in Three Ways

Hands-On, Six-Week Courses

Community partners that serve low-income families offer six-week Cooking Matters courses to parents.  Team-taught by a volunteer chef and a nutrition educator, the course covers meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting and nutrition. At the end of each class, participants take a bag of groceries home.

Interactive Grocery Store Tours

Cooking Matters at the Store tours provide families with hands-on education as they shop for food. The tours give families skills to compare foods for cost and nutrition. Families learn how to plan and budget for healthy, affordable, and delicious meals.

Education-Based Outreach

Using Cooking Matters toolkits, handouts and recipes, DHEC presents nutritional information and conducts demonstrations at community events, fairs, and emergency food distribution sites.

Questions?  Email raaschac@dhec.sc.gov or call (803) 898-1629.