Summer is almost here! It's important to continue healthy behaviors that you have developed over the school year in the summer months. The OrganWise Guys make it easy for you with a one page summer tip sheet. Children and families, we hope that you have a safe and healthy summer! To download the OWG Summer Tip Sheet, click here.
The Organwise Guys, Inc has created quality, educational and effective programming to help fight childhood obesity for 20 years.
All of us have surely noticed the variety of eggs in our local grocery stores. There are brown eggs, white eggs, jumbo eggs and more, which can make it overwhelming when deciding which ones to buy. In honor of National Egg Month, The OrganWise Guys are here to help you learn about the difference (if any!) between white and brown egg varieties.
Egg Color – Let’s address the debate over brown eggs vs. white eggs. What’s the difference? Actually, there is NO difference in nutrition between brown and white eggs. The difference between brown eggs and white eggs is simple; the color depends on the type of hen that lays the egg. Brown hens lay brown eggs, and white hens lay white eggs. It’s as easy as that!
Egg Size – So, what determines the size of an egg? The government does by deciding the weight classes of eggs. For example, if you see the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grade shield (a red, blue or black shield with a letter in the center) on an egg carton, you know that a trained individual has checked the quality and size of the eggs. If the USDA shield is missing, but you still see a letter, this means that the eggs meet state requirements. Egg size does NOT tell you how big an egg appears; rather it tells you the minimum weight requirements per one dozen eggs. The requirements are:
Jumbo – 30 oz per dozen
Extra-Large – 27 oz per dozen
Large – 24 oz per dozen
Medium – 21 oz per dozen
Small – 18 oz per dozen
Peewee – 15 oz per dozen
Don't you feel like you know so much more about eggs now?
In last week's Foods of the Month blog post, we discussed all the ways to eat spinach (a May Foods of the Month) as a snack. Spinach, which is full of antioxidants and iron, is a great addition to any dinner dish as well! Here are some of our favorite ways to eat quick, healthy spinach dinners:
Pizza with Spinach - Use whole grain pizza crust for your pizza, top with low-fat cheese, then add your favorite veggies, including spinach. Use several handfuls of fresh spinach leaves to top your pizza, then bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble. This is a quick and easy weeknight meal for your whole family!
Ziti with Spinach - Add frozen spinach to tomato sauce to enhance your regular pasta dishes. Thaw the spinach, then cook with a little bit of oil and garlic on the stove. Add one jar of your favorite tomato sauce, and continue to simmer on low for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Use this semi-homemade sauce in your favorite ziti recipe (with whole wheat pasta and low-fat cheese of course!). This dish is especially good for those picky eaters since the spinach is blended into the sauce.
Spinach Salad - Fresh spinach leaves are full of so many vitamins that keep our bodies healthy. Next time you make a dinner salad, use spinach leaves instead of regular lettuce. We like making our dinner spinach salads with grilled chicken breast, goat cheese, some nuts and dried berries. Top with a low-fat vinaigrette for a filling and healthy meal.
Whole Grain Pasta Salad with Spinach - This dish is full of flavor and perfect for barbeques or pot luck suppers. Add a mixture of cut up spinach (use about 2 cups), basil, red pepper, onion, pine nuts, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes to whole grain pasta (that has cooled off after cooking). Mix together with a 1/4 cup olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir together and let it sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. This tasty pasta recipe makes the perfect side dish or light lunch!
Thanks to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and funding from the Walmart Foundation and the Kansas Health Foundation, The OrganWise Guys (OWG) have been popping up in parks across the country. Last summer, various park sites across the country implemented OWG programming into their summer camps. What a great setting to expose children, familes, and the entire community to a healthy lifestyle!
With school out for some and soon for others, the timing of National Kids to Park Day (KTP), to be held on Saturday, May 18, 2013, is ideal! KTP is put on by National Park Trust (NPT) and promotes a nationwide day of outdoor play where children are encouraged to visit their local parks and discover all they have to offer. To celebrate KTP, various events at local parks all over the country have been set up. You can find these local events here. If there is not an "official" KTP event set up at a park near you, take advantage of this designated day to introduce some fun, adventurous ideas to your kids. Try incorporating some physical activity into a service project. For example you can have a group of children walk around the park picking up trash and collecting items to recycle and each time they find something, they perform a certain exercise (i.e, 10 lunges, 10 push ups, 10 jumping jacks, etc.). The OrganWise Guys LOVE the idea of combining the parks, physical activity and fresh air!
Will you take your children to a park this weekend? What fun things do your kids do at the park?
Annually, the third Wednesday of May is National Employee Health and Fitness Day, but the entire month of May is also devoted to creating a healthy workplace environment. The importance of living a healthy lifestyle, including eating nutrient-rich foods and exercising, extends beyond just your physical well-being. A person who takes care of themselves physically is generally a more confident and productive employee. So, celebrate this month in your workplace by incorporating fun activities that promote health and wellness! Here are some fun ideas you can begin to integrate this month and throughout the year:
- Promote taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Start a walking group that meets before or after work or even during the lunch hour
- Sign up as a team for a run/walk for a good cause and encourage everyone to train together for it
- Hold monthly educational sessions by bringing in guest speakers to talk about various health topics
- Send out a brief weekly newsletter providing healthy tips or even recipes
- Plan a health fair type event with healthy offerings and activities for families
What other ideas do you have to help create that healthy workplace environment?
Spinach, a May Foods of the Month (FoM), can be eaten many different ways. We feature spinach as a FoM because it is full of antioxidants, espeically when eaten fresh! Spinach is also an iron rich food so be sure to include spinach in your diet. For more ways to eat spinach, try it as a snack; eat our recommended spinach snacks afterschool, or serve them on the weekends while entertaining friends for a healthy alternative. Here are some of our favorite ways to snack on spinach:
Spinach and Artichoke Hummus - Make your own hummus using this recipe or use store bought hummus. Use a food processor to blend several handfuls of fresh spinach leaves into the hummus. Serve with whole grain triscuits and veggies for a healthy and tasty snack.
Fruit Smoothie with Spinach - Add spinach to your favorite smoothie recipe to get lots of nutrients! In a food processor, mix two handfuls of fresh spinach leaves with your favorite ingredients. We like to make our spinach smoothies with cut up granny smith apples and one tablespoon of peanut butter. Add ice cubes and a splash of water to make the mixture blend easily and serve.
Mini Egg Salad Sandwiches with Spinach - Prepare your favorite egg salad (be sure to use low-fat mayonnaise!), then spoon the salad onto whole wheat bread. Add fresh spinach leaves, then cut into bite size sandwiches square.