WRDA Blog

Check our blog regularly to help you find accurate information to support your healthful lifestyle.
  • 17 Aug 2015 5:35 PM | Anonymous

    If you've read about coconut water — the liquid from an immature (green) coconut — online or in the media, you'd think it was a miracle beverage that could cure you of everything from heart disease to obesity. To get the real answers, we asked two registered dietitian nutritionists for their take on this increasingly popular drink.

    Coconut Water - Is It What It

    Read more - Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

    Reviewed by Wendy Marcason, RDN, LDN

  • 08 Sep 2014 5:21 PM | Anonymous

    Children and teens need the right fuel for growing, learning and developing. This means your kids need foods and beverages with plenty of nutrients (protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals) and not too many calories, fats or sugars undefined ensuring they are happy, healthy and successful throughout life.

    The secret to feeding a healthy family is to serve delicious nutrient-rich foods at every meal and snack. When children fill up on the right stuff undefined high quality nutrition for their bodies and brains undefined they will naturally have less room for the nutrient-poor choices (soft drinks, chips, candy, desserts).

    Here are some quick and easy ways to serve children high-octane choices from every food group, morning, noon and night.

    Whole-Grain Foods with Carbohydrates, Fiber, B-Vitamins and More

    Whole grains pack a lot of nutritional value. In recent years, there has been an explosion of new grain products on grocery shelves. With so many options, it’s hard to know which ones to pick. Choose items that list whole grains as the first or second ingredient on the label. Give kids whole-grain cereals for breakfast, kid-friendly “white” whole-wheat bread for sandwiches, crunchy whole-grain crackers for snacks and whole-grain pastas for dinner.

    Fruits and Vegetables with Vitamins A and C, Potassium and Fiber

    You can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables: fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100-percent juice.

    For kids and adults alike, eating more fruits and vegetables at every meal is important for health. At breakfast, enjoy fresh or frozen berries on cereal, slices of melon or a glass of 100-percent orange juice; at lunch, serve crunchy baby carrots or sliced apples; for dinner, put brightly colored vegetables (broccoli, corn, sliced peppers, frozen peas or leafy green salad) at the center of every plate.

    Low-fat Dairy Foods with Protein, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorus

    The nutrients in this group are important for kids, but most young people in America are not getting enough calcium or potassium. Fortunately, it’s easy to consume the three daily dairy servings that children and teens need. There are many nutrient-rich, low-fat dairy products to choose from: an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk with breakfast, lunch and dinner; fat-free or low-fat yogurt parfaits for breakfast or an after-school snack; or string cheese for an on-the-go energy snack.

    Lean Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans or Nuts with Protein, Iron, Zinc and B-Vitamins

    Whether it’s growing muscles or active brains, these nutrients top the list for children. Getting enough protein at every meal and snack helps with extending satiety (feeling comfortably satisfied after eating).

    While most kids eat plenty of protein at lunch and dinner, they don’t necessarily get their protein fix with breakfast or snacks. Start their day with eggs, bean burritos or last night’s leftovers. For snacks, provide nuts, peanut butter or other nut butters, sliced lean ham or turkey.

    Source: www.eatright.org

  • 30 Apr 2014 7:50 PM | Anonymous
    Autism

    From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) - eatright.org

    Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD, is a complex developmental and neurological condition that typically appears during the first three years of life. It affects brain function, particularly in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Classic symptoms include delayed talking, lack of interest in playing with other children, not wanting to be held or cuddled and poor eye contact. There is no known cause for ASD, but both genetics and environment are believed to play a role.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in every 68 American children has been identified with ASD. It is five times more common in boys than in girls.

    People with ASD often repeat behaviors and have narrow, obsessive interests. These types of behavior can affect eating habits and food choices, and this can possibly lead to the following health concerns.

    • Limited Food Selection/Strong Food Dislikes. Someone with autism may be sensitive to the taste, smell, color and/or texture foods. They may limit or totally avoid some foods and even whole groups of foods. Common dislikes include fruits, vegetables and slippery, soft foods.
    • Not Eating Enough Food. Kids with autism may have difficulty focusing on one task for an extended period of time. It may be hard for a child to sit down and eat a meal from start to finish.
    • Constipation. This problem is usually caused by a child's limited food choices. It can be remedied through a high-fiber diet, plenty of fluids and regular physical activity.
    • Medication Interactions. Some stimulant medications used with autism, such as Ritalin, lower appetite. This can reduce the amount of food a child eats, which can affect growth. Other medications may increase appetite or affect the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. If your child takes medication, ask your health care provider about possible side effects.

    What About a Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet?

    Some people feel a gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet improves the symptoms of autism. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Casein is a protein found in milk. Proponents of the diet believe people with autism have a "leaky gut," or intestine, which allows parts of gluten and casein to seep into the bloodstream and affect the brain and central nervous system. The belief is that this may lead to autism or magnify its symptoms.

    To date, controlled scientific studies have not proven this to be true. However, some people report relief in symptoms after following a GFCF diet. If you are considering a GFCF diet, talk with your health care team, including a registered dietitian nutritionist. There can be side effects and potential nutrient shortfalls when a GFCF diet is self-prescribed.

    Working With a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

    Just about every child, with or without autism, can be choosy and particular about the foods he or she eats. A registered dietitian nutritionist can identify any nutritional risks based on how your child eats, answer your questions about diet therapies and supplements advertised as helpful for autism, and help guide your child on how to eat well and live healthfully.

  • 11 Mar 2014 10:45 AM | Anonymous

    By Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN (www.eatright.org)

    Airports, highways and hotel rooms often appear to be junk-food-only operations. Candy bars under the cashier counter, rotating hot dogs at the gas station and stocked, overpriced hotel room mini bars are familiar sights. While not as noticeable, healthy options are available. Sometimes you need to bring these items with you, and in other instances you just need to know where to look. But no matter where you travel, your family can keep eating healthfully with these simple solutions.

    Before You Go, Pack Non-Perishable Snacks

    • Trail mix
    • Whole or dried fruit
    • Freeze dried vegetables
    • Nuts (pre-portioned into snack-size bags)
    • Nut butters (travel packs are great for planes)
    • Whole-grain pretzels or crackers
    • Instant oatmeal
    • Snack bars

    When it comes to snack bars, many aren't much better than candy. Patricia Bannan, MS, RD, author, recommends bars made of ingredients such as whole grains, fruit and nuts. "The most satisfying and energizing bars clock in at under 200 calories, with at least 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving," adds Bannan.

    Once You're Off, Seek Out Healthy Bites

    Airport snacks. These choices are easy to carry and are available in most airport terminals.

    • Part-skim mozzarella cheese stick
    • Whole-grain sandwich with lean meat, vegetables and mustard
    • Salad with lean protein
    • Vegetable soup
    • Fat-free latte
    • Fruit cup
    • Pre-cut veggies (paired with nut butter brought from home)

    Road trip stops. There might be long stretches of road with limited options between cities, but road trips don’t have to cause a disruption in eating healthfully.

    • Markets. Pick up pre-washed/pre-cut vegetables, hummus, yogurt, sandwiches, salads and fruit with peels like oranges and bananas.
    • Sandwich shops. Choose whole-grain bread, extra vegetables and mustard instead of oil or mayo.
    • Drive-thrus and casual restaurants. Check the calorie count before you order, if possible, and focus on items that are grilled, steamed, broiled or baked instead of fried or sautéed. Consider salads with lean protein and a vinaigrette-based dressing, broth-based soups, oatmeal and eggs with whole-grain bread. If you're craving comfort food, just watch your portions undefined stick to the basics such as a single burger patty without special sauces, kid-size sides and water instead of soda.
    • All-you-can-eat buffets. Before you grab a plate, walk around the buffet and decide which foods you’ll choose; then, stick to your plan. Aim to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter lean protein and one-quarter whole grains.

    Hotel hacks. Whether you’re settled in for a luxury stay or it's a quick slumber before sightseeing, here are some healthy eating tips.

    • Ask for a mini-fridge and then visit the local market for grocery staples. "Plan to eat breakfast in your room most days, so you know you’ve got one healthy, wholesome meal under your belt,” Bannan recommends. "If you'll be on the go all day, take your own snacks with you."
    • If you have a coffee maker, you can make instant oatmeal. Stir in dried fruit, nuts and milk for a satisfying start to the day.
    • Many hotels offer a continental breakfast as a part of your stay. Enjoy this free meal option by choosing whole-grain cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk, fruit or yogurt.

    In Developing Countries: Make Safe Choices

    A common question travelers ask when abroad: "Is the water safe?" The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends avoiding any tap water, including when brushing your teeth. Drink safe beverages such as boiled water or drinks, bottled water, bottled or canned drinks, and properly treated water. Carbonated beverages are a safe solution since you can be sure it's been sealed properly if it fizzes when opened.

    Avoid raw produce, including salads, advises the FDA. This will reduce the possibility of coming in contact with fruits and vegetables that may have been rinsed with tap water and may be contaminated. However, thoroughly cooked produce, fruits with a thick, intact peel or covering you peel yourself (such as citrus fruits and bananas), well-cooked meat, poultry and fish, and dairy from large commercial dairies are considered safe by the FDA.

  • 11 Feb 2014 1:22 PM | Anonymous


    Regular physical activity is just as important to a healthful lifestyle as smart eating. Apply the same principles of variety, balance and moderation to both your food choices and your physical activities. 

    • Variety: Enjoy many different activities to move different muscles, such as power walking for your heart and leg muscles, gardening for arm muscles and sit-ups for abdominal muscles. 
    • Balance: Because different activities have different benefits, balance your physical activity pattern. For overall fitness, choose activities that build cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, bone strength and flexibility. 
    • Moderation: Move enough to keep fit, without overdoing it. At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most and preferably all days of the week will do. 

    Practice variety, balance and moderation to keep your body beautiful both inside and out!  

    The Benefits of Active Living 

    A study published in the January 2007 Journal of the American Dietetic Association finds children who watch more television, eat fewer family meals and live in neighborhoods perceived by their parents as less safe for outdoor play are more likely to be overweight. 

    Parents and caregivers can encourage active play with these tips: 

    • Balance sedentary play (such as reading together) with plenty of active play. 
    • Choose day care that makes safe, active play a priority. 
    • Set aside time each day for active play together, perhaps tossing a ball, playing tag or taking a family walk. 
    • Designate an inside and an outside area that's safe, where your child can freely jump, roll and tumble. 
    • Pick toys that "move"undefineda ball or tricycle. 
    • Join a play group together.

    From the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics



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