Optimizing Your Omega-3 Intake

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CSP, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

You’ve probably heard the many health benefits associated with eating omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s easy to be confused by each variety. Which one is the one you need? Where can you find it? And most importantly, how much? Let this be your guide to sorting out the confusion.

Essential Fats

Omega-3 fat is an umbrella term for the polyunsaturated fat family.  There are three main fats in this group:  Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). These fats are essential because the body cannot make them on its own; it relies 100 percent on you to include these foods in your diet.  A small amount of ALA can convert into EPA and DHA in the body, but since the process is not efficient, it’s important to eat a variety of foods rich in omega-3s.

An Important Part of Heart Health

Omega-3 fats have anti-clotting effects that help prevent heart disease and stroke. They also help your heart keep a steady beat, preventing it from increasing in rhythm, which puts your heart at risk. These fats also help lower your blood pressure, keep your blood vessels healthier, and lower your triglycerides.

As an anti-inflammatory, omega-3s can reduce your risk of clogged arteries, as well as help with conditions like eczema and arthritis. Omega-3 consumption has also been linked to lower risks of cancer. DHA specifically provides additional benefits to your brain health and functioning.

Recommended Intake

The suggested daily intake for ALA varies between 0.7-1.6 grams per day depending on age and gender. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association, and the World Health Organization agree that your diet should consist of 500 mg DHA/EPA per day, which is equivalent to eating fatty fish twice a week. The highest amounts of EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish including salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, cod, and if you dare, anchovies and sardines.

If fish is not on your weekly menu, you may want to consider some of the following sources of omega-3s. ALA are found in vegetarian fats, especially rich in vegetable oils (canola, flaxseed, soybean, and walnut oils), nuts, seeds (flax, hemp and chia seeds), and leafy vegetables including Brussel sprouts, kale and spinach.

Foods fortified with omega-3s include:

  • Eggs
  • Buttery spreads
  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Yogurt
  • Some bread and pasta

Introduce a few omega-3 rich foods into your diet, and in time you will be replacing unhealthy fats with healthy ones. Try the recipe below for an omega 3-rich smoothie as an easy way to start incorporating these essential fatty acids into your diet.

“Oh-MEGA-3” Fruit Smoothie

1 cup Mixed Frozen Fruit

1 Tablespoon Flaxseed

1 Tablespoon Hemp or Chia Seed

½ Banana

½ cup Milk or Omega-3 fortified Orange Juice

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Feeding Tubes and the Trend to Blend

Children with feeding tubes traditionally receive their nutrients from commercial formulas. Recently, dietitians at CHOC Children’s have begun working with families who prefer to feed their children blenderized tube feedings (BTF), which are real foods that are blended into a consistency similar to formula.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, registered dietitian Katherine Bennett explains:

  • The reasons families and dietitians are choosing blenderized meals over formulas
  • Concerns to keep in mind when preparing blenderized tube feedings, including food safety and how to balance the nutrients that a child needs
  • How CHOC supports families who are interested in trying this method for their children.

Hear more from Katherine in this podcast.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

December 14 is National Roast Chestnuts Day

By Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

It’s that time of year we sing about “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” But, did you know that this delicious chestnut is packed with numerous health benefits?  They are moderately lower in calories and contain less fat than other nuts and seeds.  A 1 ounce serving provides 69 calories and 0.6g fat.  Sounds like the perfect snack this holiday season!

Chestnuts are the edible seeds of the chestnut tree.  The sweet, starchy seeds sit inside a prickly outer shell called the burr, which splits open as they ripen.  Chestnuts are in season and available in markets from October through March. Fresh chestnuts are often displayed and sold in the fresh produce section. You can also buy chestnuts dried, vacuum-packed, or canned.  To verify freshness look for creamy white seeds. Avoid a greenish, mold-like appearance. When preparing fresh chestnuts, they must be peeled and cooked before consuming.

Add cooked, peeled chestnuts to stuffing, rice or savory pie filling. Incorporate cooked chestnuts into soups, stews, casseroles, or vegetable dishes. Or add pureed chestnuts to mashed potatoes.

Here are additional health benefits from chestnuts:

  • Chestnuts are rich in vitamin C. They are the only nuts that contain this vitamin. They also contain B-vitamins and folate.
  • Chestnuts contain a rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFAs). MUFAs are part of a healthy diet and help to improve our lipid blood profile by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
  • Chestnuts are a good source of potassium, which helps in lowering blood pressure. In addition, they are good sources of copper, manganese, and selenium, which are all important components in the body’s antioxidant and anti-flammatory responses to harmful free radicals.

 Wild Rice with Water Chestnuts and Mushrooms

1 13 cup wild blend brown rice

2 23 cup 99% fat free chicken broth

1 8oz can water chestnuts (drained)

1 can (8 oz dry weight) mushroom pieces and stems (drained)

1 tbsp butter

Directions:

Cook rice in chicken broth – bring to a boil then simmer, covered for 45 minutes.  Sauté water chestnuts and mushrooms in butter. When rice is done, add together and stir well.

Nutritional Information:

Servings per Recipe: 5, Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories: 202, Total Fat: 3.9 g, Total Carbs: 41.9 g, Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g, Protein: 5.8 g

Source: www.sparkrecipes.com and http://www.healthcastle.com/chestnuts-food-month

Avoid Becoming Thank-“full” this Holiday

By Sarah Kavlich, RD, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s 

Today, in many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration is centered on gratitude and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. The star of the Thanksgiving meal is arguably a stuffed turkey; and often times after a day of feasting, that may not be too far off from the way we feel. You and your family can avoid overeating this holiday season with these easy steps:

  • Eat breakfast! Although known as the most important meal of the day, it is often thrown by the wayside, especially when we anticipate a larger meal to come. Instead, have a light breakfast before your feast, which can help keep you from overdoing it later.
  • Use smaller plates. We eat with our eyes and when we see a large plate with a lot of empty space, our brain has a tendency to think we are still hungry once we are finished. Instead, serve your appropriate portions on a smaller plate. Once you’ve finished your meal, you’ll be able to listen to your stomach when it tells you you’re full.
  • Load up on non-starchy veggies like salad and green beans. These sides can offer plenty of fiber, which can fill you up with out adding extra calories. If you are the cook, try a new spin on green bean casserole (see below), with all of the traditional flavors but without all of the traditional fat.
  • Hold the gravy. Did you know that gravy alone can add up to 170 calories in a half cup? Try your meal without it this year.
  • Skip the seconds. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean your health goals need to take a holiday too. Focus on visiting with friends and family and not just eating. If you are truly still hungry later in the day, have a light snack to hold you over.
  • Stay active. Use this opportunity to spend time with those you love by going on a walk together before or after your meal.

Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds
Salt
2 pounds green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced shallots (about 4 large)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans to pot and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into an ice bath. Drain beans again and dry on paper towels.

Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add green beans and butter and cook until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.

Yield: 8 servings, 150 calories, 10g fat, 4g protein, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 8mg cholesterol, 164mg sodium. Source: Myrecipes.com

Learn more about CHOC Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services.

Calories In, Calories Out? — May Not Always Be the Simple Equation to Weight Loss

By Jessica Brown, RD, CSP, CNSC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

The appreciation for bacteria living in our gut, and how it affects our health, is quickly gaining traction. Studies have shown that the 100 trillion microbes that live in and on the human body, called the microbiome, play an important role in overall health, including diabetes, celiac disease, allergy and autism.

Growing evidence over the past 10 years has even linked the gut microbiome to obesity. A study published in Science, a leading scientific journal, in 2013 contributed to this association. Researchers transplanted germ-free mice with fecal microbiota from obese and lean adult twins. They found that those mice transplanted with the obese gut microbiota had an increase in body mass and fat accumulation compared to those transplanted with lean gut microbes. One of the proposed theories is that obese microbiomes can harvest or release more energy from dietary components, such as non-digestible fiber, which contributes to weight gain. Further, this study showed that a lean gut microbiome can displace an obese one, preventing weight gain, if they consumed a healthy diet.

There are multiple influences to our microbiome at an early age, including what type of birth, (C-section versus natural birth), what type of feeding (formula versus breastmilk), and early exposure to antibiotics. Other influences include our environment and diet.

Eating a high-fiber diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in meats, refined carbohydrates, and artificial sweeteners has been shown to increase the beneficial bacteria in our gut.

Prebiotic foods such as asparagus, artichokes, garlic, leeks, onions, oats and lentils have been shown to keep our microbiome healthy. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir are also beneficial.

A recent report published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal summarized multiple studies that demonstrate the potential benefits of probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system — on the prevention and treatment of obesity and inflammation. It is important to realize that there are multiple strains of probiotics, and each strain has different effects. The effects of probiotics and obesity deserves further attention before specific recommendations can be made in the health care setting.

With the increasing prevalence in obesity, it is exciting that the manipulation of gut flora may be an integral part of weight loss and disease prevention in the future. So, it may not be just about how many calories you eat and how much you exercise that determines your weight, but what you eat and the health of your gut bacteria.

Learn more about CHOC Children’s Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services.

Related posts:

  • Optimizing Your Omega-3 Intake
    By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CSP, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s You’ve probably heard the many health benefits associated with eating omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s easy to be confused ...
  • Feeding Tubes and the Trend to Blend
    Children with feeding tubes traditionally receive their nutrients from commercial formulas. Recently, dietitians at CHOC Children’s have begun working with families who prefer to feed their children blenderized tube feedings ...
  • December 14 is National Roast Chestnuts Day
    By Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s It’s that time of year we sing about “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” But, did you know that this delicious ...

Back to School Nutrition

By Janelle Sanchez, RD, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

Nutrition can improve your child’s academic performance, as well as provide the energy needed for an entire school day. Check out these helpful tips in planning for back to school lunches, or any meal!

  • Consider choosing the least busy day of the week to organize your menu for school lunches. This can help with dinner prepping too!
  • Shop together — choose a few healthy options for each food group. This is helpful to get picky eaters to try new foods, and actually eat the meals that you both picked together.
  • Prep ahead and give your child an age-appropriate task, such as washing and cutting up fruits and vegetables. Portion out items into baggies for easy grab and go items. Consider freezing some of the items the night before to act as an ice pack.

Here are some good examples of foods from each food group:

Protein

Turkey roll ups, chicken, eggs (try hard boiled), tuna salad, peanut or nut butters, beans, lentils, hummus, tofu and string cheese.

Protein is important for growing children as it is a building block for bones, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood.

Grains

100 percent whole grain bread/bagel/bun, tortilla, English muffin, rice, pasta, crackers, cereal, granola bars, rice cakes, pretzels and pita.

Compare food labels — Choose whole grains, items higher in fiber and lower in sugar for better nutrition and to keep your kids fuller longer, to prevent over eating.

Fruit

Fresh fruit (strawberries, watermelon, apple slices, orange wedges, peaches, grapes, pineapple squares, and kiwi), fruit leathers, packaged fruits in 100 percent juice, and 100 percent fruit juice boxes.

Fruit are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, folate (folic acid) and phytochemicals. Choose whole fruits more often, and juice occasionally.

A good rule of thumb: Follow the MyPlate recommendations, selecting from all the food groups. Mix it up from day to day so lunch, or any meal, doesn’t get boring.
A good rule of thumb: Follow the MyPlate recommendations, selecting from all the food groups. Mix it up from day to day so lunch doesn’t get boring.

Vegetables

Carrot sticks, broccoli, sweet potato slices, beets, spinach, peas, bell peppers, cucumber, tomato and celery.

Choose red/orange vegetables containing Vitamin C. Green vegetables will boost your Fe intake. Blue/purple vegetables provide antioxidants that may protect against cancer and heart disease. Try adding a lower calorie dip (using yogurt, hummus, etc.) to pair with the veggies.

Dairy/dairy alternatives

Milk, soy milk, almond milk, cheese, yogurt, drinkable yogurt.

These are excellent sources of calcium and Vitamin D, important for building and maintaining healthy bones. Choose low fat or non-fat sources.

Fat

Avocado, olives, nuts, oils (olive oil, canola, vegetable, peanut), butter, margarine, mayonnaise, sour cream and salad dressing.

Be mindful on the portions of fat in the meals, as they are high in calories compared to protein and carbohydrates. Choose healthy fats (unsaturated fat- plant sources) instead of unhealthy fats (saturated- animal sources).

Extras/condiments: Help children learn to season foods without adding salt. Instead, try adding fresh garlic, or garlic powder, onion, cinnamon, basil, nutmeg, parsley, etc. Choose light mayo instead of regular.

Treats: Occasionally a cookie or brownie can fit in as well.

Lastly, although school nutrition programs are evolving, there is still some room for improvement. There can be a place for school meals however. Consider reviewing the meal options for the week with your children and pick the best options together.

We know that eating patterns and preferences can be influenced early in life and extend into adulthood. Let’s teach our kids what healthy meals look like to set them up for success. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov to learn more.

Related posts:

  • Optimizing Your Omega-3 Intake
    By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CSP, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s You’ve probably heard the many health benefits associated with eating omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s easy to be confused ...
  • Feeding Tubes and the Trend to Blend
    Children with feeding tubes traditionally receive their nutrients from commercial formulas. Recently, dietitians at CHOC Children’s have begun working with families who prefer to feed their children blenderized tube feedings ...
  • December 14 is National Roast Chestnuts Day
    By Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s It’s that time of year we sing about “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” But, did you know that this delicious ...

 

Quick Tips to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight

In a recent report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated recommendations on childhood obesity prevention. Along with diet modifications and reducing screen time, the AAP encourages pediatricians to work with families to identify opportunities for physical activity. Parents are also encouraged to model healthy behaviors for their children.

More importantly, healthy eating and physical activity should be tailored to the child’s developmental stage and family characteristics.

Here are a few reminders to help your family maintain a healthy weight:

  • Buy fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, high-calorie snacks and sweets. If you want to have these foods for a special celebration, buy them shortly before the event and remove them immediately afterward.
  • Healthy foods and beverages (water, fruits, vegetables and other low-calorie snacks) should be readily available and in plain sight on the kitchen table, counter or in the front of a shelf.
  • High-calorie foods should be less visible – wrapped in foil rather than clear wrap, and placed in the back of the fridge or pantry.
  • Encourage children to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Increase physical activities together to meet the recommended 60 minutes of activity a day. Examples of activities, include: team sports, dog walking, bowling, using the stairs, going to a park, playground, or walking/bicycle trail.
  • Reduce sedentary behaviors. One way to achieve this is to remove the TV and other media from the bedroom and the kitchen.
  • Children who sleep less than 9 hours a night are more likely to be overweight or obese; focusing on bedtime and understanding how much sleep children need at various ages can help improve a child’s overall health and well-being.

For more health and nutrition tips, visit choc.org/health.

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    “Looks can be deceiving. It can be hard for parents to tell if their child is obese,” says Dr. Vaquero Solans. “Parents who are overweight or obese might not ask ...
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July is National Ice Cream Month

Summer is the peak season for ice cream consumption. In 1984, July was declared national ice cream month. Historically, ice cream as we know it first emerged in the 17th century in France. In the 13th century, Marco Polo brought back from China descriptions of a sherbet-like desert. Today, we have so many flavors and types to choose from!

CHOC Children's Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services

Here are a few more fun facts about this refreshing treat:

– Next to cookies, ice cream stands as the best-selling treat in America!

– The top five ice cream consuming countries in the world are: New Zealand, United States, Australia, Finland and Sweden

– It takes about 50 licks to finish a single ice cream cone.

– It takes 3 gallons of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.

So what about the sugar content and the overall calories in each ice cream serving? Always read the product label to get the cold truth.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for fat content for ice cream include:
•”ice cream” contains at least 10 percent milkfat
•”Low-fat” ice cream contains a maximum of 3 grams of total fat per ½ cup serving.
•”Non-fat” ice cream contains less than 0.5 grams of total fat per ½ cup serving.

When it comes to ice cream toppings, choose wisely. Instead of whipped cream, hot fudge or chocolate sauce, try cut up fresh fruits, such as blueberries, which are in season, or a small sprinkle of chopped nuts. To go leaner, skip the ice cream cone and eat your scoop in a cup.

So this summer, enjoy your ice cream in moderation and be sure to top it with a fresh berry!

Related posts:

  • Optimizing Your Omega-3 Intake
    By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CSP, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s You’ve probably heard the many health benefits associated with eating omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s easy to be confused ...
  • Feeding Tubes and the Trend to Blend
    Children with feeding tubes traditionally receive their nutrients from commercial formulas. Recently, dietitians at CHOC Children’s have begun working with families who prefer to feed their children blenderized tube feedings ...
  • December 14 is National Roast Chestnuts Day
    By Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s It’s that time of year we sing about “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” But, did you know that this delicious ...

 

Bite Into a Healthy Slice of Watermelon

CHOC Clinical Nutrition and Lactation ServicesBy Leah Blalock MS, RD, CSP, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s

Nothing says summer like a thick slice of watermelon, complete with juice running down your arms and dripping off your elbows. Not only is it fun to eat, it’s packed with health benefits.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant thought to originate in Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Today, Georgia, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona are the United States largest watermelon producers. According to Guinness World Records, the heaviest watermelon was grown in Arkansas in 2005, and weighed 268.8 pounds.

This sweet refreshing fruit, made up of mostly water, is packed with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. Lycopene has been linked with heart health, bone health, and prostate cancer prevention. To maximize your lycopene intake, let your watermelon fully ripen. The redder your watermelon gets, the higher concentration of lycopene.

Another phytonutrient found in watermelon is the amino acid citrulline, which converts to the amino acid arginine. These amino acids improve blood flow, leading to cardiovascular health and improved circulation.  Cucurbitacin E is another unique anti-inflammatory phytonutrient found in this popular summer fruit.

Waist line watchers also benefit from watermelon. It is considered a good source of fluid and fiber which slow digestion and promote satiety.

There are many great ways your family can enjoy watermelon.

  • Try combining diced watermelon with fresh mint, feta cheese and fresh arugula for a savory salad.
  • Make a summery gazpacho by pureeing watermelon with fresh tomatoes and cucumber.
  • Watermelon popsicles are also a refreshing treat –puree watermelon until it’s smooth. Pour the puree into frozen popsicle molds and freeze until firm.
  • Or, try this yummy recipe:

Watermelon Salsa Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest (from about 1 lime)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)

1 tablespoon sugar

Freshly ground pepper

3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 small red onion, finely chopped

8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Tortilla or pita chips, for serving

Directions

Stir together the lime zest, lime juice, sugar and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the watermelon, cucumber, mango, jalapeño, onion and basil and toss gently. Chill the salsa until ready to serve. Add the garlic salt just before serving. Serve with chips.

Source: Food Network Magazine

Learn more about clinical nutrition and lactation services at CHOC.

Related posts:

  • Optimizing Your Omega-3 Intake
    By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CSP, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s You’ve probably heard the many health benefits associated with eating omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s easy to be confused ...
  • Feeding Tubes and the Trend to Blend
    Children with feeding tubes traditionally receive their nutrients from commercial formulas. Recently, dietitians at CHOC Children’s have begun working with families who prefer to feed their children blenderized tube feedings ...
  • December 14 is National Roast Chestnuts Day
    By Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s It’s that time of year we sing about “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” But, did you know that this delicious ...

Food Safety Practices and Tips for Your Summer Outings

By Jan Skaar, RD, CSP, CNSC, CLE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s CHOC Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services

Are you planning your next weekend getaway or summer vacation and thinking about enjoying the outdoors? Food always tastes better outside, especially after a fun activity! With a little extra effort, you can make safe and mouth-watering meals that will add to the memories you make with your friends and families.

  1. Make a plan. Depending on the activity, determine how many meals and how much drinking water will be needed. Food and water needs will be higher in warmer weather and with increased activity. If you will not have access to running water, make sure you include water needs for cooking in addition to drinking. If hiking is on your agenda, make sure you plan for 2 cups of water or sports drink per person per hour. Use disposable wipes or towelettes for personal hygiene and hand washing. If you are preparing meals for camping, make a list of all the ingredients and tools needed. Decide what you will pack ahead of time and what you will buy fresh near your campsite. Don’t forget to include pre-measured packets of seasonings and spices for your recipes. Cooking outside does not mean you have to skimp on flavor!
  2. Pack ready to eat or non-perishable foods. There are plenty of healthy foods for meals and snacking that do not require refrigeration. Leave the chips and soda at home. Dried fruits, dried or freeze-dried vegetables or veggie chips are great meal additions and snacks for trekking. Trail mix, granola or energy bars work great for throwing in your day pack. Individual kits of tuna or chicken salad can be mixed up easily and eaten with whole wheat crackers or tortillas. Whole grain pasta, rice mix, pancake mix and oatmeal are quick options that only require water for mixing or cooking. Don’t forget your favorite tea, coffee or cocoa for sipping around the campfire!
  3. Bring appropriate food servings, storage and disposal items. Whether you decide to “go green” or use disposable plates and serving ware, decide which will work best for your trip. If you will have access to running water, reusable dishes and cooking equipment can be washed with biodegradable soap. You may want to consider disposable items if access to water is limited. Bring plenty of large zip lock bags and compostable trash bags. Remember, when you and your family are enjoying the natural environment, “pack it in and pack it out” to leave no trace.
  4. Make sure to follow food safety practices. Plan appropriately for food safety depending on the weather, environment and the length of time you stay. Non-perishables cannot be kept out in hot weather (over 90F) for more than one hour, no more than two hours in cooler temperatures. Food temperature danger zones are between 40 and 140F. Cold foods that need refrigeration should be transported and kept in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice. An ice block combined with bagged ice will be longer lasting. Keep the cooler in a shaded location. Cook and grill meats to proper internal temperatures; be safe and use a thermometer. Wash hands or use moist towelettes frequently before and after eating or preparing foods. Keep raw meats and ready to eat foods separate.

Now that you’re dreaming about your next picnic or campsite in the mountains, make your own plans for an outdoor adventure! Healthy, safe and delicious foods will add to your enjoyment.

For more health and safety tips for your family, please visit choc.org/health.

Related posts:

  • Optimizing Your Omega-3 Intake
    By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CSP, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s You’ve probably heard the many health benefits associated with eating omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s easy to be confused ...
  • December 14 is National Roast Chestnuts Day
    By Jill Nowak, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s It’s that time of year we sing about “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” But, did you know that this delicious ...
  • Avoid Becoming Thank-“full” this Holiday
    By Sarah Kavlich, RD, CLEC, clinical dietitian at CHOC Children’s  Today, in many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration is centered on gratitude and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. ...