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Don’t Get the Sugar Scares!

Halloween is here! The most dreaded holiday for dentists and dietitians across the country! But, it’s nothing a little education can’t fix, since the holiday has the potential to be a lot of fun for kids of all ages. All of the unique costumes give kids an opportunity to show off their creative abilities. Then, they go door-to-door ‘trick or treating’ for some sugary snacks! Many people have already begun changing this tradition by passing out more health conscious items, including stickers, granola bars and even fruit! But, how do you keep your kids safe from those ghouls and goblins that still pass out sickening sweet treats? We’ve put together a list of the top things to do with all that candy so your children don’t spend the entire month of November amped up on a sugar high. (As with everything, it’s important to remember that moderation is key! Don’t feel like you have to take it ALL away!)

  • Donate to your Dentist: Obviously, you don’t want to be that parent that gives away all of your children’s hard earned candy. So, have them set aside their absolute favorites. Then, find a local dentist who will trade you for the leftovers. Many dentists have items that they will trade your children for their candy.
  • Put it on Ice: Sit down with your kids and pick out all the chocolate. Then, throw it in the freezer. This way, your kids can enjoy their Halloween treats all year long! Throw away the rest… or you can always trade the dentist!
  • Take it to Work: Although no one person needs to be consuming all that sugar, spreading it out amongst your co-workers will keep your kids healthier. Plus, you’ll probably be a big hit around the office.
  • Sell It: There are many organizations out there that will purchase your leftover Halloween candy. Some of them even take what they purchase and send it to our troops so they can enjoy the sweet treats. Try searching your area for locations you can take your Halloween stash and sell it.

As you can see, there are many options for keeping all that candy out of your little one’s tummy. A little bit of Halloween fun can go a long way. So, be sure to take this opportunity to teach your children about healthy habits and using self-control when digging in to their tasty treats!

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“The Summer of ‘69”

The thought of homemade ice cream brings back a flood of childhood memories, running around with friends from sunup to sundown during summer break. Plus, as the weather heats up outside, these refreshing evening treats sound more and more appealing! Since June is National Dairy Month, we decided there is no better way to show our appreciation than to whip up a batch of cold, refreshing homemade ice cream.

The question is, how do you mix up a batch of ice cream that is smooth and creamy without loading it with sugar and extra calories? Well, we’ve got the answer for you with this healthy twist on traditional homemade vanilla ice cream.

Low-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream

1 tbsp. water

1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin

3 cups 1% low-fat milk

2 tsp. vanilla

3 egg yolks

1 14-ounce can non-fat sweetened condensed milk

  • Put water in a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin; let stand, stirring once, while you make the ice cream mixture.
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan. Add vanilla
  • Heat the milk and vanilla mixture over medium heat until steaming.
  • Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil or the custard mixture will curdle.
  • Strain the custard through a soft clean tea towel into a bowl. Add the gelatin and water mixture and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  • Stir until blended well, churn in your ice cream freezer.
  • Makes approximately 2 quarts

The key for loading this recipe with flavor is fresh fruit. If you want all of the ice cream to have the same flavors infused throughout, grind your favorite fruit lightly and mix in before churning in the ice cream freezer.  To provide a number of flavors for everyone to choose from, add some whole fruit pieces to the top after you’ve already dished up your ice cream.

It’s always important to remember that eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of all your favorite foods. By choosing lower-fat options you can still fit the foods you love into your diet and enjoy them in moderation.

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Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need for a Stress-Free Holiday

1. Control your hunger. Make sure when you go to parties you’re hungry… but not TOO hungry. If you
aren’t hungry, you may find yourself eating simply because everyone else around you is chowing
down. But, if you’re too hungry, you may consume too much before realizing that you are overly full.
2. Keep the proper amount of baked goods on hand. Too few and you won’t have enough for the
party. Too many, and you’ll end up eating all of the extras through the ease of convenience.
3. Cut caloric corners. Have healthy alternatives on hand when baking the holiday treats. Little steps
like reducing sugar and fat contents of the ingredients, or using things like egg substitute in a recipe
will help keep you trim during the holidays.
4. Keep an eye on the vegetables. Eat a salad before going to a party, or make sure that vegetables
make up half of what’s on your dinner plate. This will cut down on sugary baked goods and will help
get you the vitamins and nutrients you need.
5. Make your holiday activities active. Go door-to-door caroling, take up skiing, do some decorating or
go ice-skating. Keep the activities over the holidays fresh and full of movement. Turn off the TV until
those winter nights come, enjoy the winter days with some active movement.
6. Get a friend involved. Making a pact with a friend to stay healthy and to go workout over the
holidays makes it easier to stick to your healthy lifestyle goals.

And, always remember, we have a dietitian on staff here at NCES who would love to answer your questions and provide any tips you need. Just give us a call at 800.NCES.BOOKS or chat online at www.ncescatalog.com.

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Food Safety, Simply Put (Week 2)

Since July is National Food Safety Month, it only makes sense to discuss topics such as proper food handling and, well, food safety.
In the household, food safety is your concern and responsibility, as well as the concern and responsibility of everyone else in the home. Many food safety rules are fairly basic, but oftentimes overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the modern day kitchen. Here are some rules to live by when taking care of food in the kitchen.

  1. Wash hand with soap and warm water, or use a sanitizing towel or liquid cleanser before handling food.
  2. Put all of your perishable foods into the refrigerator within 30 minutes of shopping.
  3. When grocery shopping, grab the frozen foods and vegetables right before you check out.
  4. Put cooked meats in a clean container instead of the container it arrived in as raw meat.
  5. After cutting raw poultry, fish or meat, clean the cutting board before using it for anything else.
  6. Keep the refrigerator between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Keep the freezer below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Cook ground meat until it’s ‘well done.’
  9. Throw items out when they pass the expiration or sell-by date.
  10. Before eating raw fruits and vegetables, wash or scrub them under running water.

These tips and more can be found in our “Health Beat” healthy promotion newsletters, available on our site, http://www.ncescatalog.com or in our catalog.

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Six Picks Series – The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Enjoying Nutrition

  1. Don’t force the issue. When people choose healthy foods, but don’t choose ones that they enjoy eating, they are simply setting themselves up to want those foods they are avoiding even more.  
  2. Eat what appeals to you.  In order to really enjoy what you’re eating, stop preventing yourself from eating what you really love. If you stop beating yourself up for eating that brownie, you’ll eventually start eating healthy foods because you want them, instead of having to eat them.  
  3. Abandon the low-fat versions you don’t like. If you hate fat-free dressing, just eat the “light” version, and decide to cut out fat somewhere else in your diet. Cut fat in areas where you don’t notice the taste difference or where the result is worth the effort.
  4. Balance is good. Eat what you enjoy and know that weight control and good nutrition can be achieved by eating a combination of high and low-calorie foods.
  5. Be careful of resenting your nutritious choices. If you constantly force yourself to eat healthy foods in place of what you really want, you’re just setting yourself up to hate nutrition and desire unhealthy foods more.
  6. Think positive. Be uplifting when you think about your food choices. Instead of berating yourself for forgetting to eat vegetables one day, just make a plan to make the next day healthy and delicious so that you enjoy it that much more. Nutrition doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice what you enjoy.

Check out our website (www.ncescatalog.com) and catalog for other great resources and ideas!