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Published: Monday, 5/5/2008

Food tips for moms

Food brings so many emotions to moms lives through good memories, good health, good times, and good eating.

Eating fruits and vegetables can have a positive impact. According to a survey by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, 90 percent of moms said it is important to include fruits and vegetables in family meals. When moms experience positive emotions like happiness or contentment, 70 percent say they are most likely to eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.

When moms experience negative emotions like sadness or stress, almost half say they are most likely to eat sweets, and almost one-fourth of them turn to salty snack foods and heavy foods such as cheeseburgers.

The American Diabetes Association offers tips to plan a healthy and penny-wise pantry, important to moms and dads and anyone buying groceries. It is a misconception that a healthy meal plan must be costly and consist of high-priced specialty foods. Healthier foods can save money. Reduced portion sizes and buying fewer high-calorie, high-priced foods helps cut costs too.

For healthful, economical choices at the grocery store, the ADA advises:

• Buy boneless cuts of meat, which are often better buys because you are not paying for the bone. Think of cost per edible serving rather than cost per pound.

Turkey has 46 percent edible meat per pound, while chicken has 41 percent.

• There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. Choose white eggs because they cost less.

• Vegetables frozen in butter sauce cost twice as much as plain frozen vegetables and they have more calories.

• Instead of buying small containers of yogurt, buy a quart and separate it into 1-cup servings.

• Avoid individually packaged snacks. Reap significant savings with a do-it-yourself approach.

• Price fruits according to cost per edible serving. If you are paying by the pound, you are paying for inedible seeds and rinds.

• If fruit is too expensive, buy frozen or canned fruit packed in water.

• You can make your own cooking spray by putting vegetable oil in a spray bottle.

• The cost of special dietetic or diabetic foods is high and not necessary.

If you are looking for motivation and inspiration, read about one mom s success story. Bestselling author Pam Anderson, who lost 42 pounds, reveals her weight-loss secrets and recipes in The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great (Houghton Mifflin, $27). Mrs. Anderson was the celebrity chef at The Blade Great Taste Food & Cooking Expo held in October, 2007. In her new cookbook published this spring there are breakfast recipes, lunch meal-in-a-bowl salads or soups, and before-dinner nibbles such as Deviled Eggs for Two and Classic Texas Caviar (a black-eyed pea salad).

For those who want to buy local foods, the first-quarter results for The Splendid Table Locavore Nation, a one-year study on eating sustainably, showed that 14 out 15 participants maintained a local/regional diet 45 percent of the time. One of the members made the 80 percent goal.

The Locavore Nation participants write about their experiences on The Splendid Table Web site at www.splendidtable.org. Difficulties included narrowing the amount of variety in their diets; seasonal sacrifices such as no berries in winter; driving long distances to find suppliers, and cooking from scratch.

The Splendid Table s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, $35) is a good resource. Ms. Rossetto, who appeared at the 2006 Blade Great Taste, includes Oven-Roasted Chicken Cacciatora, a Tuscan one-pan meal. Salmon in a white wine sauce gets a makeover with garlic shavings and basil on fresh greens.

For mom on Mother s Day, make a Rustic Jam Shortbread Tart or Little French Fudge Cakes with gooey chocolate pockets.



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