March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ birthday !!! To pay tribute to our favorite children’s author, we have a very healthy poem written by the FSCS Health center nutritionist, Denise Hajjar.
Start your Day the Healthy Way
By Denise Hajjar
Would you drive a car with no gas? This is the question I may ask.
You need to fuel your body and your mind said the Cat in the Hat…that friend of mine.
The Cat in the Hat eats green eggs and ham so why oh
why don’t you eat a clam?
or a snail….or a snake?
Because that can give us a belly ache for goodness sake!
So what is a nutritious breakfast asked Sam I Am?
A slice of whole wheat toast with a touch of Jam!
Or an egg of course, but please no spam! YucK!
Now for some fruit…like some berries or grapes… or nice yellow banana like feeding the apes!
Choose at least 3 from the 5 food groups….even though it may give you the…..Oops! You can’t say that said Sam I
Oh never mind that said the Cat in the Hat…
These are my breakfast ideas that will fuel your brain and keep you running like a plane or a train… But sometimes I run out the door with no food in my belly…hey how about an apple with some jelly?
Well, perhaps an apple but with some peanut butter; a fruit and a protein, there’s nothing better! The protein will be sure to keep you focused all day and the apple will keep the doctor away!
It has been our sincere pleasure to work with your family in providing Health Care Services this school year. We overwhelming appreciate your confidence and warmly recognize your support as we strive to make sure that each and every student has the brightest future and utmost success.
I recently received a card and on the back was this beautiful saying brought to us by Papyrus cards:
“LEGENDS SAY THAT HUMMINGBIRDS FLOAT FREE OF TIME, CARRYING OUR HOPES FOR LOVE, JOY AND CELEBRATION. HUMMINGBIRDS OPEN OUR EYES TO THE WONDER OF THE WORLD AND INSPIRE US TO OPEN OUR HEARS TO LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS. LIKE A HUMMINGBIRD, WE ASPIRE TO HOVER AND TO SAVOR EACH MOMENT AS IT PASSES, EMBRACE ALL THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER AND TO CELEBRATE THE JOY OF EVERYDAY. THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DELICATE GRACE REMINDS US THAT LIFE IS RICH, BEAUTY IS EVERYWHERE, EVERY PERSONAL CONNECTION HAS MEANING AND THAT LAUGHTER IS LIFES SWEETEST CREATION”.
We wish you a happy, healthy and safe summer!
What better way to kick off the ‘end of the school year’ than to have a published author visit our schools to inspire summer reading!!! Author and Illustrator, Rod Gonzalez, travelled through our elementary schools reading to 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. We are so very thankful for sharing his book with us! The students were so excited and asked extraordinary questions about pirates!
Before the school year comes to an end, we’d like to extend a special ‘thank you ‘to the wonderful team at Helen Keller International. With their help, over hundreds of students from Rosa Parks Community School and the Oakwood Community School received optical screenings and free pairs of eye glasses. The teachers, students, and staff alike were all impressed by your excellent work. Thank you for helping our community. We applaud you!
By Taylor Weber, Montclair State University Intern
February is American Heart Month, and even though it’s almost over, there is still time to show your heart a little extra love this month! No matter your age or gender, taking time to stop and make smart decisions now will help to support a lifetime of health that your heart will thank you for ❤ A tip that will make your heart smile is to reduce your sodium intake! On average, Americans eat close to 3500 mg of sodium a day, while the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2300 mg of sodium daily and to go along with this, our country has a major heart disease problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death and about 75 million Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure!
You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to decrease my salt intake?” Well, it’s easy — just follow these steps and you’ll be enjoying flavorful meals that your heart will love!
- Cut down on the processed foods – These foods are just jam packed with salt that are not doing any good for our health. Try eating whole, fresh foods because not only do they taste good, they are much more filling to help keep you full longer.
- Substitute with herbs and spices — Try cooking with cumin, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, oregano, garlic or onion powder to offer a nice flavorful bite just like salt does.
- Use low sodium condiments – When you are reading food labels, look for condiments with sodium around 140 mg of sodium per serving.
Try adding citrus juice — Adding the juice from fresh lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruits are an excellent way to flavor your food without salt
November is National American Diabetes Awareness Month. It is a topic that we hold dear to our hearts here at the Health Center. What is diabetes, you may ask? There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 Diabetes is when the body can no longer make any insulin. Insulin is a hormone your body needs to use glucose. Glucose is a sugar your body uses to give you energy. This is why people with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin every day in order to live. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Type 2 Diabetes is when the body can make insulin; however, it may not make enough, the insulin may not work well, or both. Type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed for many years.
Every year we see more and more of our students being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by unhealthy diet and being overweight. It is a disease that is preventable with proper diet and exercise and we strive to make nutrition education a priority for the families at our schools. If you are part of the health clinic and are interested in receiving guidance and support, we are here for you to help with meal planning, counseling, and much more. Simply contact the treatment coordinator at your school’s health center.
You can find additional information and advice on the Diabetes Awareness website: www.diabetes.org. Here we have included some important information to review if you feel that you or a family member may be at risk.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Children and teens may be able to prevent diabetes or delay its onset for many years. Small changes can make a big difference. Even a small amount of weight loss can help prevent or delay diabetes.
Losing weight is hard, especially if you’re trying to do it by yourself. Get the whole family involved. After all, a healthy diet for preventing diabetes is a healthy diet for everyone.
Lose Weight By Eating Healthy
Here are some healthy eating tips the whole family can try.
Drink water — Limit sugar-sweetened drinks including, sodas, juices, sports drinks, and coffee drinks. These drinks add calories with little or no nutritional value.
Eat more fruits and vegetables — If fresh is not available, try frozen or canned fruits (in natural juice, not syrup) and vegetables. They’re more affordable, easy to cook and they don’t go bad!
Make healthy snack foods easy to find in the kitchen — Place grapes, carrots or plain popcorn on the counter.
Limit fast food — When you do choose fast food, make healthier choices:
- Choose salads with dressing on the side
- Choose foods that are grilled or broiled
- Choose diet sodas or low-fat milk to drink
- Hold the mayo
- Choose baked chips or apple slices instead of French fries.
- Order the kid-size meal
Learn how to Create Your Plate — Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables. For the remaining side, fill half with a lean protein, and the remaining quarter with carbs or starches, like brown rice or whole grain pasta.
Lose Weight By Getting Active
Limit sitting in front of a screen time to no more than 2 hours a day — This includes TV, computer, phone and video games.
Get moving — Children and teens should get 60 minutes a day of exercise most days of the week. Here are ways your family can be more physically active:
- Walk, bike, or scooter to school. Try a “walking school bus” or supervised bike rides.
- Turn up the music and dance
- Walk outside, in a mall, at a park, or in a museum
- Join your local YMCA
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Get off the bus a stop early and walk
- Park at the far end of the lot
- Play interactive video games that get you up and moving
- Walk around while talking on the phone or watching TV
Set Goals — Challenge your child, and yourself by setting small goals. Reward your successes with non-food items. (Ex. Having a sleepover, renting a movie, going shopping)
Children and teens with type 2 diabetes often feel no symptoms at all. However, be aware of some common symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Frequent or nighttime urination
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, contact a healthcare provider.
To learn more, call us at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or email AskADA@diabetes.org.
Having raised four children, believe me when I say that Halloween stirs up a whole bunch of emotions. While we absolutely love to see our little nuggets prancing around in their favorite costumes, the days before are filled with stress; sowing and trying on customs, searching for creative odds and ends, or standing on long lines exchanging last minute costumes…hmmm not so much. So as we wait for this deliciously ghoulish holiday to begin, here are some healthy alternatives to the day’s activities:
If you do have some time to whip up a healthy pizza before, during or after trick or treating try:
5 large ripe tomatoes peeled or 1 large can of peeled plum tomatoes
1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, first cold press
1 tablespoon of basil
1teaspoon of oregano
First, preheat oven to 425. Mix tomatoes, basil, oregano, and a few sprinkles of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a blender until puree into a sauce. Arrange on dough and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes on 425. In meantime, use a ghost cookie cutter and cut out ghost shapes of mozzarella cheese add a green pepper slice or carrot slice for a top hat…ok some ghosts wear hats, right? Pop in the oven until shapes start to resemble a ghost about 5 minutes…. take out of the oven an cut some olives for eyes; could be green olives or black olives.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, lutein and scientist believe this rich mixture of phytochemicals fight disease as well as serve up a good portion of anti-cancer benefits– not to mention they are an excellent source for healthy eyes. Oregano is about one of the healthiest herbs you can serve your family. It contains vitamins A, B6, K and C as well as minerals such calcium and potassium. Oregano is a great digestive aid. Keep in mind that adding a few drops of oregano oil in your favorite juice each morning helps to boost your immune system. Basil also contains vitamin A and K and they don’t call it Holy Basil for nothing. Ayurvedic medicine has been remedying with basil for thousands of years. It too helps to fight infections and works well to help clear acne due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities and of course, vitamin A, helps to cleanse infected skin, cells.
For dessert, a special treat: Carve a mini orange jack o lantern…scoop out the orange “guts” and refill with some organic orange sherbet…great fun is watching the sherbet drip through the eyes and mouth! Oranges are very high in vitamin C and quercetin and there is much press regarding oranges’ health benefit in reducing the onset of asthma.
If you are really into this festive holiday, and of course wish to not sleep the night before…. boil eggs, peel and add a ghost face with an edible black marker. Eggs are an awesome start to a school day; the protein keeps your child full longer and focused on schoolwork.
Finally, a few ideas for Filling those Trick-O-Treat bags:
Rice crispy treats
Spider or glowing rings
Halloween pencils (unsharpened)
Crazy Halloween erasers
Glowing rubber bracelets
Finally a treat for mom! Don’t know what to do with that leftover, carved pumpkin?
Make a promise to yourself after all the day’s activities and the kids are soundly asleep. Go to the bathroom…lock the door and relax with a good lavender soak and apply:
To create a face mask of oatmeal and shredded pumpkin and add a few drops of fish oil and relax with a face mask for about 10 minutes.
1 and ½ tablespoons of shredded pumpkin
1 teaspoon of oatmeal (old-fashion)
1 teaspoon of fish oil or if you cringe at the thought of the smell, you can use coconut oil. While the fish oil will help to rebound elasticity to help with wrinkles, coconut oil is a great rejuvenator and skin softener. In fact, put some on your lips to help soothe and keep them moist during sleep.
The pumpkin is high in beta-carotene and aids in washing away dead skin cells, oatmeal helps to clean and calm the skin.
Rinse and follow with a good night cream of
1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon of cocoa butter or honey
This will both soften and smooth out wrinkles!
Denise Hajjar, MS,
Holistic Nutrition Educator
Questions? Email Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your child suffer from allergies? If so, we have some good news for you! There is a wonderful movement happening called the Teal Pumpkin project. The movement was created by the Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE). Their mission is to create a safer and happier Halloween for all kids.
To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can visit their website at https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project.
On the website, you will find wonderful resources including ideas for non-food treats along with information on how you can participate. Together we can assure that all children are able to enjoy a safe and FUN Halloween this year!