From The Nutritionist

Nutritionist Arielle Lebovitz
Guest Author
Arielle 'Dani' Lebovitz, M.S., R.D.

Celebrate Halloween and Children's Health Month with Delicious Meals at Home

Fall has arrived! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, and the spookiest time of the year is just around the corner. October not only hosts Halloween, the number one biggest candy-selling day of the year, it is also Children's Health Month with October 1st marking Child Health Day.

First proclaimed in 1928 by President Coolidge, Child Health Day is celebrated to promote the health and well-being of our Nation's youth and that begins in the home with the way we nourish our families.

The way we feed our families is key to keeping our kids healthy and reversing the childhood obesity trend that has more than tripled in the past 30 years. October is a great month to encourage a fun and healthy lifestyle for your children and does not have to be expensive or time consuming on busy weeknights or Halloween.

Picky eaters? Not a problem! Campbell's Kitchen® recipes have some of your kid's old favorites and new quick delish meals they are sure to love. Still not convinced? Use these tips to encourage your children to try new foods.

Get kids involved!
Support Child Health Day and Children's Health Month by encouraging your kids to help with meal planning, shopping, and preparation. Getting kids involved in the kitchen will empower them to try new foods and make better choices. Not only will they take pride in the food they helped to prepare, they will learn how to make healthy food choices that will last a lifetime!

Try a "make your own mini pizza bar" and give prizes for the scariest pizza face at your Halloween party! All you need are Pepperidge Farm® Deli Flats®, Prego® Pizzeria Style Pizza sauce, 2% mozzarella cheese, and an assortment of fresh sliced veggies such as mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, onions, and any other frightening toppings.

Be a role model!
Purchasing healthy options is the first step to encouraging your kids to make healthy food choices; however, enjoying those foods each day in front of your children will motivate them to try the foods themselves. Using descriptive words to describe why you like those foods may entice children to try them such as "this is delicious, I like the crunchy noise it makes!"

On a busy night this Fall try this recipe for Crunchy No-Fry Chicken. The Crunchy No-Fry Chicken goes great with some frozen veggies and instant brown rice for a savory, and crunchy nutritious combination. How can a child resist a food that makes cool crunching noises when you eat it?

Make Family Meals a Priority!
Not only is family meal time an ideal place to catch up with your kids and talk about the day, studies show that kids who eat meals as a family on a regular basis are more likely to make better choices about the foods they eat and promote a healthy weight.

Choosing favorite family comfort foods are always a hit as the weather gets cool, try this recipe for Quick Skillet Chicken & Macaroni Parmesan. It is quick, delicious, and budget friendly too! Maximize your nutrients and fiber intake by swapping out the macaroni with whole grain macaroni or another fun whole grain pasta shape.

Snack Smart!
Smart snacking is an easy way to ensure your kids are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy in between meal times. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always an ideal option but with candy on the mind during the month of October this can be a challenge.

This year, instead of adding to the confectionary treats, consider providing trick-or-treaters with Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Made with Whole Grain Cheddar crackers or raisins for a healthier trick-or-treat option. Allowing kids some control to pick the treat they want to indulge with is important, but using these treats as a reward will not aid in promoting healthy food behaviors. By providing treats that are a healthier option, your kids might enjoy the opportunity to pick both a sweet treat and a savory snack!

Have Fun!
Set your kids up for success this October and celebrate Children's Health Month with delicious wholesome meals that your kids are sure to enjoy. Before your kiddos bundle up and scare the neighborhood with their spooky costumes and indulge in the average 24.7 pounds of candy per person, each Halloween, make sure they have a great family meal. It's as simple as opening your favorite can of Campbell's® soup! I know I will have my Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom soup and a recipe on hand!

Live Deliciously,
Arielle "Dani" Lebovitz

References
http://mchb.hrsa.gov/childhealthday/history.html
http://www.halloweenstats.com/
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2012/09/04/president-obama-proclaims-september-2012-national-childhood-obesity-awareness-month
http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=9965#transcript

Arielle "Dani" Lebovitz, M.S., R.D.
Dani received her Master's degree in Health Communication at Boston University and her bachelor's degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from Colorado State University. She completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and has worked in many different capacities in the nutrition field including clinical nutrition, dialysis, and health promotion. Dani currently works as a Health and Fitness Specialist and Registered Dietitian at Robins Air Force Base where she enjoys educating people of all ages in nutrition and fitness including children. Dani recently earned a Certification as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She has been published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, American Association of Kidney Patients AAKP Renal Life, and is a regular contributor to the Robins Rev Up newspaper. Dani enjoys her Campbell® soup even in the hot and humid Georgia summers!

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.