Happy Birthday Cookie Monster!

By Diane Ruyack

M is for milk that goes with C for Cookies!  Cookie Monster from Sesame Street is an awesome little blue fuzzy monster with a big appetite for cookies!  November 2 is Cookie Monster’s birthday and self-proclaimed Cookie Monster Day!  It is time to party so cookies should be the main event on this day! Since Cookie Monster loves letters, why not make sugar cookie letters.  Kids can spell their names, learn the alphabet and get creative with icing and sprinkles!  Cookie Monster just loves anything blue so this healthy cookie recipe is just for you! Just add a glass of cold milk for a super healthy treat.

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A Healthier Cookie?

By Diane Ruyack

What is crispy or chewy and goes with milk as a delicious snack or dessert?  Cookies! How do we make them healthier?  Here are some suggestions and ideas to help.

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Not All Snacks Are Created Equal!

By DeDe Hausmann

Let’s get real here.  When you think of snacks do you think of red, ripe delicious-tasting apples or a big chunk of chocolate?  As for me I’ll go for chocolate anytime over an apple EXCEPT when I know I need that nutritious apple, and I have recently had some mouth-watering chocolate.

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Say Cheese!

By Mary Nicholson

What celebrations come to mind during the month of February?  Certainly there’s Valentine’s Day or even President’s Day.  But what about a whole month celebrating Children’s Dental Health?  If you think about it, Valentine’s Day instantly brings to mind images of a heart-shaped box of candy, sugary conversation hearts, and maybe a bouquet of roses, right?  So go ahead and savor the sweets, but don’t forget about celebrating the teeth that enable you to enjoy them!

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Super Bowl Snack Ideas

By Diane Ruyack

Super Bowl XLVI is less than a week away, and it’s time to start planning the menu!  Take some inspiration from the following game day statistics to either follow the trends or to take the food path less traveled with healthy and gourmet game day snacks.

  • Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving.
  • 1,200 calories: Amount the average Super Bowl watcher will consume while snacking.
  • Football fans are expected to eat an estimated 69.6 million pounds of avocados during this year’s Super Bowl (mostly in guacamole).
  • .An astounding 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday.

So let’s Grab every bowl in your cupboard and fill them up with healthy and nutritious Super Bowl snacks!  Start out popping popcorn and then add all kinds of toppings: Continue reading

How to Beat the Freshman 15

Choose foods packed with vitamins and minerals.

“Freshman 15” originally referred to the typical number of credit hours a full-time college student takes each semester. But pop culture also claims it’s the number of pounds college co-eds gain their first year away from home.

The Freshman 15 IS real. Research shows about 70 percent of students gain weight between the start of college and their sophomore year – but the good news is the “Freshman 15” has lost weight. In reality it is more like the “Freshman 8.” But whether it’s 8 or 15 pounds, it’s the same factor contributing to the obesity epidemic among all Americans – a small increase in daily calories causes significant weight gain over time. 

 College freshmen flunk when it comes to good nutrition. Results from a recent Tufts study show students should get an “F” in eating enough fruits or vegetables, a “D” in eating enough fiber-rich grains and a “C” in consuming enough calcium. On average college students consume only half of the recommended servings of dairy each day.  To make the dean’s list, freshmen must make nutrient-rich foods a priority.

 Many factors can tip the scales:

  • Like hectic schedules
  • Social eating
  • All-you-can-eat meal plans
  • The biggest culprit may be late night snacking. One study found that, on average, freshmen take in about 500 extra calories between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.  For late night snacks, I recommend sliced fruit and cheese, yogurt topped with sliced almonds or whole grain cereal with fat-free milk.  

 Stocking up the dorm room: Undergrads should stock up on these fridge favorites: baby carrots and celery, hummus, string cheese, fresh fruit, yogurt, drinkable smoothies, water, pudding, low-fat and fat-free milk and lean sandwich meat.  These are healthy snacks perfect for the on-the-go student, and many come in single serve options that can be packed for class. 

 Students can fuel up between meals or for late night study sessions with easy grab- and- go healthy snacks such as:

  • Animal crackers
  • Canned fruit
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Granola bars
  • High fiber cereal (portioned boxes)
  • Nuts or seeds (pumpkin, almonds, sunflower, walnuts, pistachio)
  • Popcorn (light or fat-free)
  • Tuna fish
  • Trail mix
  • Pudding
  • Oatmeal
  • Reduced fat peanut butter
  • Whole grain crackers

               These snacks can be mailed in a surprise care package to hungry freshman.

For good health, college students need to exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week.  It’s easy to include fitness in college life with these five tips. 

  • Walk or bike to class
  • Go for a walk with friends
  • Take a fitness class as a course.
  • Check out the college gym or wellness center.
  • Join an intramural sport.

 In addition to eating nutrient-rich foods and exercising regularly, freshmen can prevent packing on the pounds by:

  • Making Time for Meals
  • Don’t Skip Breakfast
  • Get Plenty of Sleep

 Eating nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, and exercising regularly can help students beat the dreaded “Freshman 15!”

International Picnic Day – Fun in the Sun

International Picnic Day is June 18th

Guest Bloggers:  Amber Swinehart & Cheryl Jones, Ball State University Dietetic Interns

It’s that time of year again when the sun is shining and everyone likes to get out for some fun and fresh air!  Get ready to have some food and fun on international picnic day, June 18th.  It’s time for friends and family to get together to enjoy the outdoors.   Though it’s not an official holiday recognized by Congress, tons of families, organizations, and social clubs gather to celebrate this special day. 

The word picnic comes from the French word “piquer” (to pick or peck) and was joined together with the obsolete word “nique” (meaning to trifle).  These words were put together to form “picnic” where family and friends “pick” at small or “trifling” amounts of a wide variety of different foods brought by everyone to form a meal.

Change it up with a fun new place this year!  Try a riverbank, wooded area, garden, meadow, or even a picnic on a boat.  No matter 2, 4, or 10 people, a picnic can be an enjoyable experience for everyone and every occasion.  Get your friends and family involved in some fun and games like Frisbee golf, a scavenger hunt, horseshoes, charades, or corn hole.  To keep the kids entertained try making a picnic coloring book, playing with bubbles, having a water balloon toss, or setting up a play tent. 

After all the fun and games don’t forget to bring a picnic basket full of delicious foods and drinks for everyone to enjoy.  Some quick and easy ideas could include stuffed pita pockets, wraps, fresh summer fruit like strawberries and melon, cheese and crackers, and potato and macaroni salads.  Cool down with a refreshing beverage like strawberry lemonade, a glass of ice-cold milk, or a glass of champagne for adults.  For a fun and refreshing dessert try a yogurt S’more parfait  or some angel food cake with berries.  No matter what you pack in your picnic basket just relax and enjoy the company of your friends and family.