Thursday, April 16, 2009

Healthy Summer Eating Hints


Smart Summer Snacks
Summer is here and that means the kids are home from school. Instead of grazing all day, encourage your kids to stay on a meal schedule. Help them plan smart snacks, such as:

• Raw vegetables with low-fat dip
• Fresh fruit
• Homemade popsicles made from 100-percent fruit juice
• Italian ice
• Pudding made with low-fat milk.

As with other food choices, snack with variety, balance and moderation in mind. Smart snacking can make between-meal eating a valuable part of a healthful eating style for the whole family.

Tips for Safe Outdoor Eating
With warmer temperatures and more outdoor gatherings summer is a time of increased risk of food poisoning. Before you pack your picnic basket this weekend, remember these simple food safety tips.

• Keep hot food hot and keep cold food cold
• Pack food in a well–insulated cooler with plenty of ice or icepacks to keep temperature below 40 degrees F
• Keep raw foods separate from already prepared foods
• Transport the cooler in the back seat of your air-conditioned car instead of in your hot trunk and keep your cooler closed tight
• Bring moist towelettes or soap and water to clean your hands and surfaces often
• Don’t leave food outside in hot weather (90 degrees F or above) for more than one hour.

Summer Heat Challenges Fluid Intake
Staying well-hydrated is essential to maintaining adequate blood volume, energy levels and body functions. Most people should consume at least eight to twelve cups per day. However, the exact amount depends on your activity level. If you’re working or playing outside, your hydration needs are higher. In addition, if you have more muscle than fat, you also need more liquid. And of course, with hot, humid days the need goes up. One quick estimation of dehydration
is to check the color of your urine, it should be pale to colorless.

Stay well-hydrated by drinking water, juices, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables.

Safe Camp Lunches Make Kids Happy Campers
Help your children have a great camp experience with a safe and healthy brown bag lunch. Carrying a lunch in the summer requires extra focus on food safety. If your child’s lunch will sit out from the time he or she arrives at camp until lunchtime, pack all protein foods with an ice pack to keep the temperature below 40 ° F. If you can’t
use ice packs, choose protein foods that don’t need refrigeration, like peanut butter or other nut butters or individual cans of meat, fish or turkey.

Guidelines for Summer Barbecue Buffs
This summer, keep your feast safe and fun with these guidelines.

• Wash your hands (for about 20 seconds) before, during and after handling food. Pack hand sanitizer for times when soap and water aren’t handy.
• Scrub the grill with hot, soapy water before each use.
• When marinating, always use a separate brush for raw and cooked meats, or wash in hot, soapy water between uses.
• Always use a meat thermometer to make sure meats are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
• Remove from the cooler only the amount of raw meat, fish or poultry that will fit on the grill at one time
• Cook your favorite foods to the right temperature by using a meat thermometer; hamburger to at least 160 degrees F and chicken breasts to 170 degrees F


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