Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nutrition Program Update

Patricia Ann Redihan, Extension Resource Educator (par87@cornell.edu)

Every year at this time I somehow expect nutrition programming to slow down and I’m always a little
surprised when just the opposite occurs. This year is no different.

If you haven’t heard, we were fortunate to hire Sally Daniels as our full-time nutrition program educator for the Eat Smart New York (ESNY) program in January. With 19 years experience working with the Equal Opportunity Program, Sally brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and community connections to this position. Sally is currently conducting ESNY classes with participants of the ARC, Rainbow Chasers, and a group of consumers from the community. She is exploring interest in ESNY classes in Cayuta.

A figure who may be familiar, Danielle Bannister, is temporarily re-joining our staff this summer to help with Cooking Matters classes. Formerly known as Operation Frontline, Cooking Matters is a program of the national organization, Share Our Strength (S0S). Cooking Matters targets the same audience as ESNY families and individuals with modest incomes, and covers similar subject matter, but includes additional features. Cooking Matters is co-facilitated by a volunteer chef as well as a nutrition educator. Participants prepare a meal in class and then go home with a bag of groceries to try the featured recipe at home. Small incentives such as measuring cups and spoons, cutting boards, instant read thermometers and cloth shopping bags are provided. At the end of the six week session, each participant takes home a glossy manual developed by SOS with the nutrition information and recipes that were shared in class. Cooking Matters classes are offered free of charge.

We’re excited to collaborate with the Finger Lakes Parent Network (FLPN) to kick off the first Cooking Matters series of the year. This series began Friday, June 29 at the Human Services Complex Building. Local chef, Mary Ann Coombs, co-facilitated with Danielle Bannister. Ten adults and five youth were expected to attend.

A second Cooking Matters series was scheduled to begin July 17 in Tyrone at the Wayne Baptist Village Church.This is a result of a collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Mustard Seed Ministry.
The Ministry generously donated a new crock pot to each participant who completed the six week series.This series is family oriented; we recruited ten adults and ten youth. Youth should be 9-15 years of age. Please spread the word and help us find interested participants for these classes. For more information, contact CCE at 535-7161 or par87@cornell.edu.

Another class scheduled for the general public is Cooking in Season. As part of the Montour Falls
Library’s Healthy Living series, this hands-on class will provide the opportunity for participants to prepare local produce in healthy delicious ways. Cooking in Season takes place July 10, 7 - 9 p.m. at the Parish House. This class is free, but pre-registration is required. Please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County @ 607-535-7161 or Roxanne Leyes @607-535-7489.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet

Patricia Ann Redihan, Extension Resource Educator (par87@cornell.edu)

Are you having trouble losing weight and keeping it off?  Do you feel hungry all the time while you diet?  Tired of eating the same foods?  The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet addresses all these issues and more and may just be the eating plan for you. 
The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, created by Pennsylvania State University professor Dr. Barbara Rolls, is rated the #1 New York Times Bestselling Diet for good reason.  This research-based eating plan expands on Dr Rolls’ earlier work on Volumetrics and  includes a  12 week weight loss and healthy eating plan, user-friendly tools for monitoring hunger and satiety, an emphasis on exercise, and 105 delicious and filling Volumetric recipes.    
You may be saying , “sounds familiar” but I assure you that Volumetrics is different.  The major premise of Volumetrics is that we tend to eat the same volume or weight of food over the course of several days.  When you eat that same amount of food, you tend to feel full.   Volumetrics works with this principle by using a concept called calorie density.  As Dr. Rolls phrases it, “ foods vary in the number of calories they pack into each bite.  Reduce the calories per bite-that is the calorie density (CD)- and you can eat the same amount of food while saving calories”.  Here’s an example of Volumetrics - the five following snacks all provide 100-calories each: 16 jelly beans, ¼ cup raisins, about a cup of grapes, close to 2 cups of apple slices, and almost 4 cups of cherry tomatoes.    Note how much more of the water-rich, fresh fruits and vegetables you can eat for the same amount of calories as the relatively small quantities of jelly beans and raisins.

Adding water and/or fiber to recipes are two ways to reduce the calorie density of foods.  In other words, the more vegetables and fruit you incorporate into your meals and snacks, the greater the volume of food you can eat and the fuller you will feel.   For example, cut back on the protein item or grains in a stew, casserole, and stir-fry and add more vegetables to bulk up the product and at the same time reduce the calorie density.  You will feel just as full at the end of the meal and yet consumed fewer calories.

At your next meal, try this Volumetrics strategy: begin the meal with a big green salad or a large bowl of broth-based or tomato-based soup.  Be sure and keep your portion to 100-150 calories.  Dr. Rolls’ work demonstrated that subjects who consumed 3 cups (100 calorie) of salad at the beginning of a meal consumed 100 fewer calories from their meal.  In another study, those who consumed a low CD soup as a first course reduced their overall caloric consumption from that lunch by 20%.  

For a copy of the Volumetrics Soup recipe used in the above study and/or first course green salad recipes that provide 100-150 calories/portion, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County at 607-535-7161.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recipes, Tools of the Trade

written by: Patricia Ann Redihan, Extension Resource Educator (par87@cornell.edu)

We use a lot of recipes in our CCESC Nutrition Program.
With our participants who have physical or developmental challenges, we use quick recipes with few ingredients such as fruit salad, veggie English muffin pizzas and cheese quesadillas. Other groups make recipes involving more steps such as turkey tacos, ratatouille, baked chicken fingers and chili.

Food preparation activities are required in only one of our six class sessions, but we have participants cooking in every class. Cooking helps accomplish a number of results.

Cooking teaches basic food preparation skills. Despite the plethora of TV cooking programs, cookbooks and magazines, many adults don’t possess basic food skills. Food skills include reading a recipe, using a food label, taking food safety precautions, as well as actual food preparation. Anecdotal reports of people bringing ”take-out” to dish-to-pass parties, or pantry shoppers requesting frozen French fries instead of a bag of potatoes, suggest that many adults across demographic groups don’t have basic cooking skills or perceive that they don’t have the time to cook. Sometimes, people simply haven’t grown up in a household where someone cooked.

Integrating hands-on food preparation activities helps participants apply the key nutrition messages that we promote. For example, even after defining and discussing whole grains in class, the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guideline message: “Make half your breads and cereals whole grains every day”, doesn’t mean much if you don’t know how to prepare whole grains or have never tasted them. In a recent class, we prepared two different brands of whole wheat pasta and ratatouille. The vote is still out on whether participants will prepare either of the pastas at home although, in general, both brands were well received. The ratatouille was a big hit, despite this not being the traditional season for ratatouille.

Cooking in our classes provides an opportunity to introduce unfamiliar foods. This can make all the difference between participants trying “new” foods or not. Recent examples include garbanzo beans, sweet potato fries and salmon patties. Buying less familiar foods, even touted as “good for you”, is too risky when food dollars are tight and you’re not sure how to prepare them or whether you will like their taste. Cooking in class reduces these risks and makes desirable behavior change more likely.

Food preparation activities in a nutrition class provide an additional bonus. They make all the difference in the class dynamics, especially when participants are given a choice of recipes. After asking participants what recipes they want to prepare in class, one can almost feel a new sense of belonging and ownership in the class. You can count on someone volunteering to bring in a favorite family recipe. With the caveat that the recipe may need to be tweaked to meet our Cornell recipe guidelines, we usually can incorporate their recipe into our class.

Do you have a favorite, healthy family recipe that you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you! (Sorry, we can’t do traditional desserts, but just about all else qualifies.) Contact Paddy Redihan at par87@cornell.edu.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Look Who is Cooking Now!

Article from CCE Schuyler Better Living March/April 2012
Patricia Ann Redihan, Extension Resource Educator

CCESC’s Nutrition Program is planning for a new nutrition education program: Cooking Club for Preschoolers (and their Parents).

This Cooking Club idea is the result of a request from several Head Start parents who, upon graduating from our Eat Smart New York nutrition series, requested a structured opportunity to cook with their preschoolers.

The purpose of this group is to provide an opportunity for young children to learn about, prepare and taste healthy foods in the supportive presence of their parents. The targeted audience is Head Start and WIC families, as well as other low-income families with preschoolers. The Club will meet once/month for 1 and 1/2 hour sessions. A research-based curriculum designed for this age group, Color Me Healthy, will be used to provide hands-on, engaging food experiences. Age-appropriate physical activities will be integrated into the sessions. Preschoolers will make child-friendly recipes such as tiny tacos, counting soup, rainbow tossed salad, sweet potato surprise, hide and seek muffins etc.

The children will have the opportunity to develop assets and skills that include:
• Confidence and self-esteem
• Preliminary math skills
• Pre-reading and beginning reading skills
• Small motor skills, hand-eye coordination
• Food literacy (exposure to new foods, familiarity with

• An awareness and appreciation of cooking and healthy

(Cited recipes and phrases in italics come from Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes, A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up, by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson, Tricycle Press Printing, 1994)

Parents also have much to gain from these sessions, from an increased appreciation of healthy foods and how to prepare them to learning age-appropriate ways to interact with their young children. Most of all, parents and preschoolers will have fun spending time together as a family and building those so-valuable memories.

An estimated date for launching is March/April 2012. Stay tuned for future updates on our nutrition education program for the youngest chefs in the County! If you are interested in supporting this program with a financial gift or would like to participate please contact us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe for Turkey Meatballs in Pitas

Wow, how exciting - we got to be on TV !!

Here is the recipe we did, it's delicious and low-fat!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CCE Annual Meeting

It's that time of year again, time for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County's Annual Meeting! This year the Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 from 7:15 am to 9:15 am. We will be at the Silver Spoon Cafe in the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls. We will again offer a full breakfast, a short business meeting with the election of members to the Board of Directors and a keynote speaker. This year, Peter Smallidge, State Extension Forester and Director of the Arnot Forest, will speak on "Arnot Forest: A History of Solving Real-World Problems". Reservations, with payment [ $12 per person ], are required by Friday, December 4th. Please call our office if you have any questions (607) 535-7161 or email schuyler@cornell.edu. We look forward to seeing you there!!