Back to Back Issues Page
The Healthy Family Meals Newsletter, Issue #117 March is National Nutrition Month
March 20, 2009

Welcome! Learn How to Combine Healthy Recipes with Family Adventure!

If you are receiving your first issue of the Healthy Family Mealtime Makeover -- Thanks for signing up! I hope you learn new nutrition perspectives with every newsletter.

To receive your complimentary e-book that I have written on how to get your family excited about eating breakfast, download Breakfast and Brunches FREE!

Kindy's Musings....

As your family dietitian, I will be scoping out the most relevant research and news that you can use to help your family make healthy nutrition and wellness choices.


The theme for 2009's Nutriton Month is 'Eat Right'! Americans continue to need to make many 'fast food' choices and figure out how to eat right when dining out with their families. Read the latest research about fast food shared recently in the Wellspring Camps newsletter.

Fast Food News

The problems associated with fast food are well known. But this hasn't stopped researchers from continuing to plumb the depths in several new studies.

A new study released in December by researchers at Michigan State and Baylor College of Medicine determined that only 3 percent of kids' meals served at fast-food restaurants actually met federal dietary guidelines.

In a study of fast food meals available in Houston, 97% of available options exceeded federal guidelines in terms of fat and calories. The researchers also noted that 25% of children aged 4 to 8 years consume fast food on a typical day.

Another study has established a connection between a fast food diet and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. This study, from Sweden's KI Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, determined that mice that were fed a diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol for nine months developed a preliminary stage of the morbid irregularities that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

This steady drumbeat of news has focused attention on government efforts to increase our awareness of what we're actually eating when we saunter up to the counter and order a double cheeseburger with fries.

New York City is now requiring restaurants with 15 or more outlets to post the calorie content of food next to the price i.e., on menu boards. According to the New York Times, "The resulting sticker shock has brought parts of a great city to its knees, often to do push-ups."

Last fall, California became the first state to require calorie counts, although that law is less restrictive than New York's. In all, nearly three dozen states, cities and counties have passed or introduced laws that would require calorie posting in some form. And two proposals moving through Congress would make calorie postings uniform nationwide.

One, the Labeling Education and Nutrition Act, is backed by the restaurant industry and would give restaurants and grocery stores selling prepared foods a choice of labeling formats, including posters near the cash register or disclosures on the back of the menu. It would pre-empt tougher laws, like New York City's.

A second proposal, the Menu Education and Labeling Act, is supported by public health advocates and more closely mirrors New York City's law. It would not pre-empt more stringent local laws.

Meanwhile, fast food companies are getting the message. Yum Brands, which owns KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and other fast-food restaurants, will start voluntarily posting calorie counts for individual servings in its restaurants nationwide later this year, said Jonathan Blum, a company spokesman.

Will calorie and fat gram counts soon be required on every menu? Stay tuned.

One final note on the beverage front. Over the past few years, many of us have migrated from soda to seemingly healthier beverage options, such as juice, energy drinks, and fancy waters like Coca-Cola's VitaminWater.

Most readers of this newsletter know that juices typically have as much if not more sugar per serving than non-diet sodas. But what you may not know is that VitaminWater has a whopping 33 grams of sugar per bottle.

This fact has caught the attention of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which is suing Coke for deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on VitaminWater. The suit claims that Coke markets VitaminWater as a healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words as "defense," "rescue," "energy," and "endurance."

"Coke fears, probably correctly, that they'll sell less soda as Americans become increasingly concerned with obesity, diabetes, and other conditions linked to diets too high in sugar," said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner. "VitaminWater is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat. Underneath, it's still sugar water, albeit sugar water that costs about ten bucks a gallon."

Read the latest food trends and happenings with the links below:





Hawaiian Quesadilla Turkey Burgers

Thank you Sarah, from Pocatello, Idaho for contributing this family recipe!


4 frozen ground turkey breast burgers

1 small red onion sliced in rings

1 small can pineapple rings

4 large whole wheat tortillas

Shredded cheese

BBQ sauce

Olive oil cooking spray

Grill frozen turkey burger patties for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through. Arrange sliced onions and pineapple on grill an cook for approximately 2- 3 minutes on each side.

Preheat an indoor grill pan or george forman grill. Lay out a tortilla and spread 1 table spoon of barbeque sauce in the middle, sprinkle with shredded cheese. Layer a slice of onion, pineapple ring, and turkey burger.

Top with a little more barbeque sauce and shredded cheese. Fold tortilla around cooked turkey patty, pressing gently.

Spray a small amount of olive oil cooking spray on each side of folded tortilla and place on grill pan or on george forman grill.

Cook for two minutes on each side or until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden brown. Enjoy!

May garnish the top of burger with another onion slice and more sauce if desired.

What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?

Celebrating Healthy Families 2009

I encourage you to forward this newsletter to your friends, other parents, and colleagues for their review and enjoyment. However, please do so only by sending it in full, thereby keeping the copyright and subscription information intact.
Also, if you wish to post this newsletter to a newsgroup or electronic discussion group, you may do so if you preserve the copyright and subscription information.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Kindy --Your Family Dietitian

Copyright (c) 2009,

Back to Back Issues Page