National Nutrition Month

Written by Nicole Busboom, Extension Assistant

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created an annual campaign, “National National Month”, during the month of March to promote nutrition education and information. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”, which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.

How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods – that’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!

Let’s practice mindful eating in an activity called “The Last Orange on Earth”. This was created by the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension. Items you need include an orange for each participant and a paring knife. Follow the steps below:

The Last Orange on Earth

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Admire the color, shape, and texture of the fruit.
  3. Close your eyes and imagine where your orange grew. Can you feel the warm sun? Can you smell the blossoms? Can you see the fruit on the trees?
  4. Open your eyes and smell the orange.
  5. Place the orange on a napkin or piece of paper towel. Roll the orange firmly on the table to release the orange essence.
  6. Use a knife to make several cuts, just through the peel. Create quarters by first cutting around the fruit and then cutting from top to bottom.
  7. Take time to smell the orange. Does it smell stronger? Sweeter?
  8. Peel the fruit, take time to enjoy the aroma, texture, and color.
  9. Examine the inner structure – hundreds of tiny juice-filled sacs.
  10. Place a segment in your mouth, close your eyes, and bite down. Pay attention to how the juice bursts into your mouth and fills with orange flavor.
  11. Chew slowly and experience the texture of the membrane. How is this different than drinking a glass of orange juice?
  12. As your chew slowly, pretend this is the last orange on earth. It’s all yours!

Have a conversation with the participants. Was the orange satisfying? Did you savor the flavor of the orange? What would happen if we actually took time to savor the flavor of our foods?

As March begins, think about National Nutrition Month and how can you focus attention in your own household of making informed and sound eating habits. Will you try any new foods or flavors this month?  If so, remember to think of mindful eating!


 

orange chickenCrock-Pot Orange Chicken

4 Servings

Recipe courtesy of diethood.com

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup low-sugar orange preserves*
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste**
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease crock-pot insert with cooking spray
  2. Place chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot, one next to another, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine orange preserves, soy sauce, garlic and ginger, mix until combined.IMG_0450-Edit
  4. Spoon or pour over the chicken.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 hours.***
  6. In the meantime, prepare the sesame seeds.
  7. In a frying pan, heat the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, cooking just until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Set aside.
  8. Remove chicken from slow cooker and transfer to a plate.
  9. Spoon the orange sauce over chicken.IMG_0460
  10. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.IMG_0461

 

*A standard jar of orange marmalade or preserves will provide enough for two recipes

**You may also use fresh ginger to taste. You can save fresh ginger in your freezer by sealing it in an air-tight bag or container for up to 6 months. 

***Cooking times will vary greatly. I butterfly my chicken breasts for better portion control, so my cook time was 1 1/2 hours on high

This post was reviewed by Carrie Miller, MS, RD, Extension Educator, and Morgan Hartline MS, RD, LMNT, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator. Photos by Morgan Hartline. 

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