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A volunteer's guide to serving healthy meals in shelters and meal programs

More than just a meal!
by Lindsey Hoeft on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of A volunteer's guide to serving healthy meals in shelters and meal programs

Fresh, frozen or canned? The following websites offer scaled up versions of popular recipes:
http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov/
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/recipes/food-service-recipes/ Brainstorming: Meal Ideas Healthy Meal Ideas Dairy Meals should be nourishing and just a ‘normal’ meal
Limit certain ingredients and preparations such as:
Sodium
Fat and frying
Sugar
Consider broiling, baking or boiling as healthy ways of cooking What to serve for a meal? A balanced plate Consider this…. Nutrition is the first line of defense Good Nutrition is Preventive Medicine Easy ways to include more fruits & vegetables Meal program guests are at high-risk for developing many chronic diseases. The Facts “I feel blessed because I know people are doing this out of the need of those served. I feel like it is a blessing to have a home cooked meal. There are more smiles in here than on the street!” “I am grateful for the food and what they (the volunteers) do!” Comments from meal program guests A presentation from the Ramsey County Healthy Meals Coalition A volunteer's guide to serving healthy meals in shelters and meal programs More than just a meal! Thank you for what you do. You are appreciated! Diabetes Heart
Disease Stroke High Blood Pressure Obesity Write down one meal that you prepare and serve Look at the food groups and the balanced plate picture. What matches? What doesn't? Additional questions to think about... Do fruits and vegetables take up half of the plate?
Can you substitute a leaner cut of meat for the protein option?
What kind of grain is in the meal? Is it a whole grain?
What are the beverage options? Skim, 1% milk or water are the best options.
Consider offering fruit for dessert or no dessert at all. The Ramsey County Healthy Meals Coalition's mission is to develop and implement practices that enable Ramsey County shelters and meal programs to provide healthy, culturally-responsive and cost-effective meals. Protein Culturally-Responsive Foods Consider the many racial and ethnic communities served at meal programs... African, African-American, Hispanic, Hmong, Karen, Latino and more! Prevent the onset of chronic disease Promote and maintain healthy lifestyles Reverse symptoms of current chronic health issues Fundamental for growth, development and proper brain function in growing children and for adults. Cost-effective for long-term health promotion Most guests eat most of their meals at a meal program... most days of the week. Meals not only provide a full stomach, but also essential nutrients. Guests desire and are open to trying new foods. Most recipes can be made healthier with simple substitutions - that
still taste great and don’t increase costs! Make half the plate fruits and vegetables Make at least half of the grains, whole grains Serve skim or 1% milk – or water for a beverage Compare sodium in prepared and processed foods Using ground beef?
Get a leaner version.
Rinse after cooking to reduce the fat even further! Substitute ground turkey or chicken for half of the ground beef in recipes. Use beans - they're cheap, healthy and full of fiber Coming up short on protein?
Eggs, peanut butter, fish, low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese are all good options Grains Whole grains are naturally loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber Read the ingredients label - whole grains should be listed first. Make half of the grains offered, whole grains.
Try 1/2 whole wheat pasta or 1/2 brown rice. Fruits and Vegetables Milk and milk products help build and maintain bone mass throughout the life cycle - this is especially important for children. Dairy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and can help lower blood pressure Offer 1% or skim milk and low-fat yogurt and cheese. Half the plate! ... but should we serve fresh, frozen or canned? Buy fresh produce in season. Canned fruit is often packed in heavy syrup and is high in sugar.

Choose canned fruit in its own juice. Canned vegetables are high in sodium/salt.

Rinsing canned veggies can get rid of up to 40% of the sodium. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh and an inexpensive option. Some cultures prohibit the consumption of certain types of food e.g. Muslim guests do not eat pork Offering a culturally-familiar fruit or vegetable is a good way to showcase diversity and introduce guests to various cultures. Try sweet potatoes, mangoes or various types of greens! Add a small side salad.
1 cup of spinach/lettuce and ½ cup of mixed vegetables each count as 1 serving. Coleslaw offers a non-starchy fresh vegetable choice
Use low-fat mayo or vinaigrette to make it even healthier Offer a hearty soup made with vegetables and a protein for a nourishing one-dish meal. Offer fresh fruit as a dessert option instead of ice cream, cakes, pastries or cookies – or skip dessert!
A normal meal doesn't always include something sweet. Be creative, have fun and enjoy the experience! For more information and tools, visit:
www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/ship/ship_2012_2013.htm An important reminder...
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