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feeding your kids without losing your mind

Archive for the 'Bloggers Unite for Human Rights' Category

Summer harvest

July
19

Our first harvest of the season included eggplant, arugula, basil and cilantro.

The kids joined me in putting together an arugula salad, and we decided to add red grapes and pine nuts for color and crunch. For the dressing, we whisked together olive oil, vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, paprika and a pinch of sugar. Delish!

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Sunday, July 19th, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

The most important meal of the day

May
15

We all know higher gas and food prices are cutting deep into our own family budgets — $65 dollars to fill up! Milk at $3.99 a gallon! — but they are also carving holes into one program aimed at helping poor kids get better nutrition.

The federal school breakfast program gives nearly 10 million children the opportunity to start their days with a healthy morning meal at school, regardless of their ability to pay. Numerous studies have shown the benefit of starting the day out with a good breakfast (Mom was right!) so it was troubling for many educators to learn lawmakers are eyeing cuts to the states’ share of the federal program to save money.

Last month, Florida lawmakers citied the economy in shelving a bill that would have mandated free morning meals by 2010 to all children attending schools where a high percentage of the students come from low-income households. In Rhode Island, legislators tried to figure out the impact of a proposal to cut the state’s contribution to their breakfast program, about $600,000, entirely.

The Washington D.C.- based Food Research and Action Center says children and adolescents who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be overweight, since skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of obesity.

They also say research shows offering breakfast at school improves students’ attendance, increases their attentiveness and achievement, and reduces school nurse visits.

A full report on the benefits can be found here.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

Helping the world one loaf at a time

May
15

Bread. My soon to be 14-month old loves it. Come to think of it who doesn’t love bread, especially the warm, melt-in-your mouth kind.

tjndc5-5b3dir5qg9w3gsw36jt_thumbnail.jpgOn a recent trip to Rhinebeck, we were so excited to get some fresh whole-grain loaves from Bread Alone. Unfortunately, it had closed at 5 p.m. when we arrived at 5:01 p.m. Some of you may have heard of Bread Alone, it’s well-known in Dutchess County and if you frequent green markets in the Hudson Valley, you may have stumbled upon their crusty baguettes. Bread Alone can be found at farmers markets in Peekskill, Ossining, Cold Spring, Tarrytown, Hastings and Pleasantville.

But this post is not about where to get said bread. Bread Alone owner, Dan Leader, along with a retired physician, hatched a plan to build bakeries in South Africa and teach the locals how to make nutritious bread and run their own businesses. Two years ago, the South African Whole Grain Bread Project (SAWBGP) was born.

The plan goes beyond giving locals employment. SAWGBP is helping to develop a bread using locally grown grains that would provide nutrition for people infected with HIV/AIDS.

Throughout time, bread has been a staple in diets in most parts of the world. So as you bite into that multi-grain slice of goodness, think about how a South African child is now also getting that same opportunity.

Posted by Marcela Rojas on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

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Feed the little ones PB&J and save the planet

May
15

Something like that, at least.

When I first heard about the PB&J Campaign, I nearly dismissed the idea out of hand, because the campaign’s goal appears to be to make vegetarians out of us all.pbj-2.jpg

We are avowed carnivores in our house, and I have happily eaten veal and lamb. (Look, it’s hard for me not to inject a Homer Simpson drooling noise here, so let’s just leave it at that.)

Even so, it’s hard for me to argue that perhaps, as a society, we should eat less meat.

There. I said it.

This is the crux of the campaign:

Everything we eat comes from plants, whether we eat the plants directly or through an animal intermediary. The basic problem is that animals are inefficient at converting plants into meat, milk, and eggs. Relatively little of what they eat ends up in what you eat because animals use most of their food to keep them alive – to fuel their muscles so they can stand up and walk around, to keep their hearts beating, to keep their brains working.

That cow, pig, or chicken has to eat a lot more protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients than it yields in meat, eggs, or milk. The result is that it takes several pounds of corn and soy to produce one pound of beef, or one pound of eggs, one pound of milk, etc. This holds true even if we’re measuring calories or protein; it takes several times the calories or protein in livestock feed to produce the calories or protein we get from the meat, eggs, or milk.

That made me think.

For every pound of beef, eggs or milk, we’re using several pounds of food that could be eaten by others elsewhere around the world.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 11:00 am |
| | 8 Comments »

Hunger in the Lower Hudson Valley

May
15

One of the best and worst things about working as a journalist in a small, close-knit region like the Lower Hudson Valley is that you come in contact with representatives from many charitable organizations looking to raise awareness about their cause. Name a problem (affordable housing, hunger, health care and mental health issues, disaster relief, etc.) and chances are good that there is an organization of dedicated volunteers mobilized to try and help residents cope.

Since becoming a mother, however, I find myself getting more emotional when I think about those issues and problems that impact children. It’s especially upsetting to know that children in the Lower Hudson Valley go hungry on a regular basis, and the numbers will only grow as the economy falters. The anguish a parent must experience when they can’t provide this basic need or worry where tomorrow or next week’s breakfast, lunch and dinner will come from. It’s called food insecurity and the people who volunteer at regional food pantries will tell you that it’s much more prevalent than you might think.

foodpantry2.jpg

Food pantries can be a lifesaver, literally. Most of them gladly accept donations of non-perishable foods, money or volunteer time. And they need to keep their shelves stocked all year ’round, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we traditionally think about food drives. Check the Web site or call for more information. Here are just a few in the region:

Community Center of Northern Westchester, Route 117, Katonah.

Food Bank for Westchester, 358 Saw Mill River Road, Millwood, 914-923-110.

Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless, 48 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, 914-682-2737.

Gilead Presbyterian Church, 9 Church St., Carmel, 845-225-4586.

People to People Inc., 121 W. Nyack Road, Nanuet, 845-623-4900.

Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, 195 Hudson St., Cornwall-on-Hudson, 845-534-5344.

The Rockland County Department of Social Services posts a list of food pantries and soup kitchens on its Web site.

Make a difference in a child’s life. Pick up an extra box of cereal or a few canned goods and donate today. A family will thank you.

Photo by Kathy Gardner

Posted by Tracey Princiotta on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 9:00 am |
| | 1 Comment »

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

May
15

For a few weeks now, some of you may have noticed the badge in our blog’s sidebar that declares today as the day that Bloggers Unite for Human Rights.

Several of us here at ice cream is not for breakfast decided to join in, writing about topics that relate to our blog topic, feeding our children.

First off, at 9 a.m., we’ll have Tracey Princiotta writing about food insecurity in the Lower Hudson Valley as the worsening economy puts more families at risk of hunger.

At 11 a.m., Amy Vernon will explain the PB&J campaign and why eating less meat is a good idea not just for your arteries, but for others who are hungry around the world.

At 1 p.m. Marcela Rojas will tell you about Bread Alone, a bakery that a nonprofit in Africa to set up bakeries giving children with HIV/AIDS access to nutritious, whole grain breads.

At 3 p.m., Katie Ryan O’Connor will examine how higher food and fuel costs are forcing school districts around the country to slash critical food programs such as free school breakfasts.

We’ll update this post as the day goes on to hyperlink to each of the aforementioned posts.

Please let us know what you think and I hope we provide you with some (pardon the pun) food for thought.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 7:00 am |
| | 4 Comments »

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