Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fish Update

I panic at the fish counter. What fish is low in contaminants? What can I buy and still be environmentally sensitive? What fish has a lot of omega 3 fatty acids?

Well, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has updated their list of what is "super green".
Top 5 are:
Albacore tuna (troll or pole caught from the US or Canada),
Farmed mussels,
Farmed oysters,
Wild Pacific sardines,
Wild pink shrimp from Oregon,
Farmed rainbow trout and
Wild caught Alaskan salmon.

Need more choices? Go to their website for a more extensive list:

Want more info on why you should be increasing your omega 3 fatty acid intake? Our June 2009 newsletter focused on the benefits of those omega 3 fatty acids found in fish (you can find it in the newsletter archives on our website).

Remember that children and pregnant women should not have more that 12 ounces of fish a week.
- Patricia

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sugar and agression

Research was published this week reminding us again of why we may want to think more about the ramifications not just of what we feed our children but how we feed them.
This research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests that by allowing kids to have candy frequently (in this study daily), kids " do not learn to delay gratification, which some think is a feature of violent individuals generally"
The researchers, from Wales noted that 69% of the study participants who were violent by the age of 34 reported that they ate confectionery nearly every day during childhood, whereas only 42% of those who were nonviolent did. The authors further stated that "persistently using confectionery to control childhood behavior might prevent children from learning to defer gratification, which can lead to more impulsive behaviors. These are both biases that are strongly associated with delinquency."

The overall conclusion is that early food experiences DO matter and food rewards to control behavior may not control behavior in the way imagined.

So, please, go ahead and say "no" to candy. Remember that candy is not a "TREAT" (please see our newsletter for this month for my rant about how candy is as much as a "Treat" as letting your child eat a stick of lard or a cup of salt). Rather than create a neighborhood of hooligans this Halloween, hand out some low sugar snacks or toys (little plastic animals, bubbles) or art supplies (pencils, crayons, chalk).
For more information see the British Journal of Psychiatry October 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Let them eat cake

This is my absolute favorite cake. Basically the only cake I ever make. Yes, it has sugar and of course it has chocolate (why else would I make it) but it also has sweet potato (or yam or pumpkin). You can even add more nutrition by tossing in some ground or chopped nuts. In case you need further justification for eating this cake, add cinnamon as cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Add a little ginger for digestion.

These make great black and orange cupcakes for Halloween!

The recipe was adapted from the Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash, a wonderful cookbook and great reference for growing and cooking vegetables.

Black and Orange Marble Cake
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt or angelfood cake pan.
Combine dry ingredients and set aside:
3 cups flour (how about 1 of these being whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
Combine wet ingredients in a mixer:
1 1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs (add one at a time, beating well after each)
1 1/2 cup sugar (can do a mixture of brown and white)
To the wet ingredients add dry ingredients ALTERNATING with 2 cups of pureed sweet potato, yam, pumpkin or butternut squash. Both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods carry pureed, organic pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash in cans during the fall months.

Separate out 1/2 of the batter. Melt 4 ounces chocolate chips. Mix into 1/2 of the batter. Spoon both batters into pan, alternating scoops of batter then take a knife and swirl (your kids will love to help with this part). Bake for about an 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Check for doneness by putting a toothpick into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Batter sticking to the toothpick, cook longer. If it is not cooked yet but starts to brown on top, cover with a piece of foil while the center cooks.

Variations: Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts.
Add the rest of the chocolate chip bag, do not melt these first.
Omit the chocolate part and add raisins or nuts and raisins.