The Nutrition Program at the Proviso East High School (PEHS) Student Based Health Center (SBHC) offers individual nutrition counseling as well as a variety of other programs and services. The goal of the Nutrition Program is to provide activities that assist students in the development of optimal dietary patterns and nutrient intakes through health education, medical nutrition therapy services and improved access.
The Registered Dietitians at the SBHC work with students on an individual basis to develop a personalized healthy eating plan that will help them achieve their personal wellness goals.
- Overall Wellness/Preventative Health
Walk into the Student Based Health Center located on the 1st floor of PEHS next to the Nurse’s office or call (708) 449-9522 and ask the receptionist, Mrs. Araceli McBeth, to request an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.
Click here for delicious, healthy recipes!
Nutrition, Food and a Healthy You
By Anne Fishel, Washington Post, January 12
Anne Fishel is an associate clinical professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.
As a family therapist, I often have the impulse to tell families to go home and have dinner together rather than spending an hour with me. And 20 years of research in North America, Europe and Australia back up my enthusiasm for family dinners. It turns out that sitting down for a nightly meal is great for the brain, the body and the spirit. And that nightly dinner doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal that took three hours to cook, nor does it need to be made with organic arugula and heirloom parsnips.
For starters, researchers found that for young children, dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to. The researchers counted the number of rare words – those not found on a list of 3,000 most common words – that the families used during dinner conversation. Young kids learned 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from parents reading storybooks aloud. Kids who have a large vocabulary read earlier and more easily.
Older children also reap intellectual benefits from family dinners. For school-age youngsters, regular mealtime is an even more powerful predictor of high achievement scores than time spent in school, doing homework, playing sports or doing art.
Other researchers reported a consistent association between family dinner frequency and teen academic performance. Adolescents who ate family meals five to seven times a week were twice as likely to get A’s in school as those who ate dinner with their families fewer than two times a week.
Does a body good
Children who eat regular family dinners also consume more fruits, vegetables, vitamins and micronutrients, as well as fewer fried foods and soft drinks. And the nutritional benefits keep paying dividends even after kids grow up: young adults who ate regular family meals as teens are less likely to be obese and more likely to eat healthily once they live on their own.
Some research has even found a connection between regular family dinners and the reduction of symptoms in medical disorders, such as asthma. The benefit might be due to two possible byproducts of a shared family meal: lower anxiety and the chance to check in about a child’s medication compliance.
It isn’t just the presence of healthy foods that leads to all these benefits. The dinner atmosphere is also important. Parents need to be warm and engaged, rather than controlling and restrictive, to encourage healthy eating in their children.
But all bets are off if the TV is on during dinner. In one study, American kindergartners who watched TV during dinner were more likely to be overweight by the time they were in third grade. The association between TV-watching during dinner and overweight children was also reported in Sweden, Finland and Portugal.
In addition, a stack of studies link regular family dinners with lowering a host of high risk teenage behaviors parents fear: smoking, binge drinking, marijuana use, violence, school problems, eating disorders and sexual activity. In one study of more than 5,000 Minnesota teens, researchers concluded that regular family dinners were associated with lower rates of depression and suicidal thoughts. In a very recent study, kids who had been victims of cyberbullying bounced back more readily if they had regular family dinners. Family dinners have been found to be a more powerful deterrent against high-risk teen behaviors than church attendance or good grades.
There are also associations between regular family dinners and good behaviors, not just the absence of bad ones. In a New Zealand study, a higher frequency of family meals was strongly associated with positive moods in adolescents. Similarly, other researchers have shown that teens who dine regularly with their families also have a more positive view of the future, compared to their peers who don’t eat with parents.
What’s so magical about mealtime?
In most industrialized countries, families don’t farm together, play musical instruments or stitch quilts on the porch. So dinner is the most reliable way for families to connect and find out what’s going on with each other. In a survey, American teens were asked when they were most likely to talk with their parents: dinner was their top answer. Kids who eat dinner with their parents experience less stress and have a better relationship with them. This daily mealtime connection is like a seat belt for traveling the potholed road of childhood and adolescence and all its possible risky behaviors.
Of course, the real power of dinners lies in their interpersonal quality. If family members sit in stony silence, if parents yell at each other, or scold their kids, family dinner won’t confer positive benefits. Sharing a roast chicken won’t magically transform parent-child relationships. But, dinner may be the one time of the day when a parent and child can share a positive experience – a well-cooked meal, a joke, or a story – and these small moments can gain momentum to create stronger connections away from the table.
Nutrition, Sports | January, 30 2015
As the big game approaches and you prepare to celebrate, it’s time to forget about takeout! Grab your friends and family to try out a new pizza recipe from Dr. Ian Smith, PCFSN Council member! Dr. Smith has the perfect healthy recipe for a delicious pizza just in time for Super Bowl Sunday.
This delicious recipe is an exciting upgrade from a plain old cheese-and-pepperoni pie! Dr. Smith suggests topping the pizza with grilled chicken so that you combine the best of a cookout and a pizza party. Built on a pre-baked pizza crust, this amazing dish can be prepped, cooked, and out of the oven in less than 45 minutes!
So whether you are cheering for the Puppy Bowl, having family over to root for the commercials, or enjoying the game with friends, try making your own pizza for a healthier option!
Grilled Barbecue Chicken and Red Onion Pizza
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
One 12-inch, pre-baked, whole-wheat pizza crust
1 cup sugar-free barbecue sauce
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 large red onion, julienned
6 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1. Preheat a grill -pan over medium-high heat.
2. Spray the chicken breasts with olive oil cooking spray and season them well with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken without moving the breasts, until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 5 minutes more, until completely cooked through and an instant-read thermometer reads 165° degrees F.
3. Transfer the chicken to a plate and brush both sides with barbecue sauce. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into thin slices.
4. Preheat the oven to 425° degrees F.
5. Put the pizza crust on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Spread the barbecue sauce over the surface of the crust.
6. Sprinkle 3/4 of each cheese evenly over the sauce. Arrange the sliced chicken in a single layer over the crust and scatter the slivered onion evenly over it. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the pizza and bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly and hot, 10 to 12 minutes.
7. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the top and serve.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.
Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: "whole wheat," "brown rice," "bulgur," "buckwheat," "oatmeal," "rolled oats," quinoa," or "wild rice."
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk: Both have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.
Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. Select leaner cuts of ground beef (where the label says 90% lean or higher), turkey breast, or chicken breast.
Compare sodium in foods: Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled "low sodium," "reduced sodium," or "no salt added."
photo of a woman drinking a bottle of waterDrink water instead of sugary drinks: Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets. Try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or watermelon or a splash of 100% juice to your glass of water if you want some flavor.
Eat some seafood: Seafood includes fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (such as crab, mussels, and oysters). Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fat). Adults should try to eat at least eight ounces a week of a variety of seafood. Children can eat smaller amounts of seafood, too.
Cut back on solid fats: Eat fewer foods that contain solid fats. The major sources for Americans are cakes, cookies, and other desserts (often made with butter, margarine, or shortening); pizza; processed and fatty meats (e.g., sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ribs); and ice cream.
Use the MyPlate Icon to make sure your meal is balanced and nutritious.
Ways to Reduce Fat, Salt, and Sugar
Controlling Portion Size
Healthy Eating in School
It was once thought that fat in the diet was a bad thing. Fat has been deemed responsible for a range of diseases from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. It is true that over consumption of certain fats may lead to some diseases, but not all fats are created equal. That is, there are good fats, bad fats, and very bad fats. Let’s take a look:
These healthy unsaturated fats help fight the very diseases that the bad fats can cause. They are divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and both types are shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. Unsaturated ‘heart-healthy’ fats are found in cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), nuts, seeds, olive oil, canola oil, and avocados. Just remember that although these foods have healthy fats, they still have calories so follow their serving size!
These are what we know as the artery clogging fats that have been shown to raise cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in meat, poultry skin, dairy, chocolate, and coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats should be less than 10% of our total fat intake. Trans fats are the very bad fats as they not only raise the bad cholesterol but lower the good cholesterol. You can find Trans-fats not only by looking on the label, but looking for the word ’hydrogenated’ in the ingredient list. They are usually found in commercially processed products, fried foods, and bakery goods. These fats should be avoided as much as possible.
Moral of the story is to choose your fats wisely. Our body needs fat in the diet, so make the most of fats and be heart-healthy! For more information, check out: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/oils.html
By Anne Lorenc, Loyola University Dietetic Intern
One of the many approaches taken to promote healthier eating included a section titled “Foods and Nutrients to Increase.” This section emphasized including more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, unsalted nuts and seeds, and oils into the diet. Maintaining this balance of food groups will ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake for proper body functioning. This section also discusses nutrients of public health concern, including potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D.
There has also been emphasis on obtaining all necessary nutrients from whole foods for many reasons:
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2010. Available at: www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Accessed February 28, 2012.
Supplements: Nutrition in a pill? Mayo Clinic. 2011. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/supplements/NU00198. Accessed February 27, 2012.
Jennifer Hudson lost weight using Weight Watchers and looks amazing. What’s the secret behind Jennifer’s success and the key to why Weight Watcher’s works? It’s all in understanding energy balance.
Unfortunately, the American population hasn’t seen the results that Jennifer’s seen. The obesity epidemic is increasing in America with every year that passes. What’s worse is that the epidemic is now affecting our youth. In 2008, approximately 20% of children between the ages of 6-19 were considered obese.
So what’s behind our growing waistlines? Obesity and overweight are the result of an energy imbalance; the energy we take in exceeds the energy we use up.
Where does the energy come from? The energy that we need to perform our activities of daily living comes from our food and is measured in calories (kcal). Calories are found in carbohydrates, protein and fat. Out of these three, fat contains the greatest number of calories per gram (g).
Carbohydrates provide 4 kcal/g
Protein provides 4 kcal/g
Fat provides 9 kcal/g
Now let’s try and make sense of this caloric imbalance. When people gain weight the amount of calories consumed exceeds the number of calories used.
For example, imagine eating 2 slices of regular cheese pizza. Your body has just consumed about 550 calories. If you decide that for the rest of the night you’ll sit on the couch and watch television, the amount of calories you spend in activity is zero. Now you have an excess of 550 calories. Since you aren’t using the calories your body decides it will store the energy for later, as fat. The more calories stored (fat accumulating) the more weight you’ll gain.
Although, if after those 2 slices of pizza you decide you’ll go for a swim, you could potentially use up all those calories, meaning you wouldn’t gain any weight.
The idea is as follows:
If calories in > calories out → weight gain
If calories in < calories out → weight loss
If calories in = calories out → weight maintenance
By now you must be asking what can we can do in our lives to encourage weight loss for those that are overweight or obese or to maintain a health weight?
1) Increase your physical activity: It is recommended that the average person exercise at least 30 minutes daily.
2) Reduce our calories in: By choosing foods that are lower in calories (reduced fat or skim milk as opposed to whole milk), limiting or eliminating high calorie foods (i.e. pastries, chips, etc.). Also consider decreasing portion sizes or making low calorie substitutions (low fat cheeses, applesauce in baking rather than oil, broth instead of cream soups).
3) Cook Smart: Bake and broil instead of fry.
Tuna and Edamame Bagelwich
- 3 ounces low sodium white tuna, in water, drained
- 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1/8 cup of edamame (edamame is a softer version of the soybean and is often used in Asian foods. You can buy them fresh or frozen)
- 2 Tablespoons of red onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Dash of hot sauce
- Bagel Thin (Thomas' 100% Whole Wheat Thins Bagel)
- Lettuce, Tomato, and Cucumber
1. Combine all ingredients except for the Bagel Thin and the toppings.
2. Spread tuna mixture on bagel and top with lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
Too much sodium can negatively impact heath by increasing blood pressure and risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Recommendations are to eat less than 2300mg of salt daily, only one teaspoon!. Most people eat more like 2-3 teaspoons of salt daily. Be careful, sodium comes from more than just what is added to food during cooking. More than 90% of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and prepared meals eaten away from the home.
Check the Nutrition Facts Panel to identify how much sodium is in the food, aim for <300mg per serving
Note: if you eat more than the serving side listed you are also eating more sodium
Look for terms such as sodium-free or salt-free, very low sodium, low sodium, reduced sodium or less sodium, and no-salt added or unsalted as they have less sodium
For more information visit:
American Heart Association - http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp#.TzTF7bGuZNY
3/4 cup natural almond butter (natural peanut butter can also be used)
1/2 cup skim milk (can also use non-dairy milk – almond, soy, rice, hemp, etc)
1 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
Yield: 1 1/4 cup
Serving Size: 2 TBSP
Nutritional Info (per 2TBSP serving): 93 kcals, 7 grams fat, 2 grams sugar, 3 grams protein, 1 gram fiber
There is a common belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but is that really true? Well, research supports that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. There are many reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it replenishes your fuel after a night of sleep. When we sleep, our body is still working by using energy to keep the heart beating and the lungs working properly. However, when we sleep we do not replenish this energy that the body uses. Hence, in the morning when we wake up we have to make sure that we replenish our energy sources in order for all of the body organs to work properly. A major organ that needs fuel in order to work properly is the brain. Again, after a night’s sleep energy levels are low, specifically glucose. The main fuel used by the brain is glucose. By eating breakfast, you are replenishing your glucose stores which are then used by the brain to work throughout the day.
The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend variask us to get many different nutrients during the day, but do not always tell us how to go about and get all of the needed nutrients. A great way to get all of the nutrients needed in a day is to eat breakfast. Eating breakfast allows you get more of the vitamins and minerals needed. The reason for this is simple, when you eat a healthy breakfast, you eat more foods that contain those nutrients. When you skip breakfast, you lose out on the chance of getting your nutrients for the morning.
Weight loss is an issue that many people deal with in today’s society. Eating breakfast is one way to lose weight. Now wait, it does not make sense. How can you lose weight when you are EATING? Well, the answer is that when you eat breakfast, you get energy to move during the day. This energy can be used to exercise and burn calories. The other reason why breakfast may help you lose weight is because when people skip breakfast in the morning, they tend to compensate later on during the day with high caloric snacks. These snacks are high and calories ultimately lead to weight gain. Eating breakfast prevents you from eating these high caloric snacks.
Eating breakfast has its many benefits; it can help you replenish your energy, get all of the nutrients needed in a day, and may help you lose weight. Now you know some reasons why breakfast is called the most important meal of the day. Can you think of other reasons?
By Cristian Mendoza, Loyola University Dietetic Intern