Monday Message

Article of the Week

Food, Nutrients, and your Teen:

Puberty marks the start of the teenage growth spurt; however, that time differs for each child. For girls, puberty typically begins at about age 12 or 13, about two years younger than for boys. From the school-age years through the teens, the average youngster grows to be 20 percent taller and 50 percent heavier. Body changes that happen as children mature are stressful for some, and may affect their self-image and, perhaps, the choices they make about eating and physical activity. (Some overweight children may start puberty sooner, but for now, there are too many unanswered questions to know why.)

How your teenage child grows (when, how and how much) has more to do with genes than with food choices. However, smart eating does help determine if your child grows to his or her maximum height potential, with strong bones and a fit body. All teens need enough calcium for bone growth and strength, protein for every body cell including muscles, carbohydrates and fats for energy, vitamins and minerals for the “sparks” that make it all happen, and enough water. Energy and nutrient needs increase to meet the growth demands of adolescence, and teens need understanding parents who appreciate that their adolescent’s growth pattern, although different from a friend’s, is perfectly normal.

Hot Tip

Pack a Healthful Picnic:

Pack a picnic cooler ahead of time for that family outing and be prepared by checking out the tips below:

  • Keep clean. Bring hand wipes or sanitizer, a clean tablecloth, and separate utensils for preparing and for eating.
  • Keep cold food cold. If perishable (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, mayonnaise), keep your food in a chilled cooler. Don’t store your cooler in a hot car.
  • Keep bug free: Put food in well-sealed containers.

Wondering how to make your picnic simple, safe and savory? See the tips below:

  • Go vegetarian: a hearty salad (beans, cooked rice or pasta, and chopped vegetables, tossed with an herb vinaigrette), peaches or mangoes, and bread sticks.
  • Keep it easy: several cheeses, hearty whole-grain breads, grapes and berries, zucchini sticks, and Kalamata olives.
  • Remember drinks: juice or water, perhaps frozen to stay cold as they melt

Recipe of the Week

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade: 


This bubbly summer refresher takes classic lemonade to the next level by adding strawberries and sparkling water. Make the strawberry lemonade mixture up to two days in advance, but wait to add the sparkling water until you’re ready to serve.


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 16-ounce container fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 10 large lemons)
  • 3 cups naturally flavored strawberry sparkling water*


  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine strawberries and half of cooled sugar-water mixture in a blender. Cover and process until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a 2-quart pitcher.
  3. Stir in remaining sugar mixture and lemon juice. Add sparkling water just before serving.

* Cooking Tip

  • Club soda or plain sparkling water may be substituted for strawberry-flavored sparkling water.

Featured Video

Easy Migas:

Have you ever heard of the Tex-Mex dish, “migas”? It’s a quick and easy breakfast that takes simple scrambled eggs to the next level!

See the video and get the recipe 

Kids Eat Right

Tip of the Day

Drinking a glass of water before your meal can help curb your appetite; a small apple or salad works too! Research has found that eating low-calorie foods that are also high in water such as fruit, non-starchy vegetables and water-based vegetable soups, causes you to eat less at meal times or throughout the day. Also, these foods can help you to feel full, and that means you will feel satisfied with eating less at your meal. To help you control how much you eat at meals, consider this strategy.


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