July 2012 Archives

Volunteer of the Month...Lisa Ronning

Adrienne Ryherd
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Thumbnail image for AugustVolunteerLisa.jpgFor Lisa, volunteering with Recipe for Success is the natural next step in her journey towards a career in Nutrition Education. Having recently finished her junior year at Texas Christian University, where she is a Nutrition Major, she came home for the summer break to do summer school and get some hands on experience in the nutrition education field. After Lisa graduates, she will apply for a dietetic intern and will then take an exam to become a registered dietician. Working with RFS has already given Lisa a more specific idea of what kind of nutrition field she wants to work in.

Lisa had the opportunity to help out with the Eat This! Summer Camp, assisting with knife skills, food preparation and clean up."It was really fun getting to know the kids and see them getting excited about nutrition. They were more adventurous eaters than I was."

Since summer camp ended, Lisa has been volunteering in the Recipe for Success office and helping out at area elementary school gardens.

When Lisa is not in school, she enjoys the outdoor activities that help her stay active, but are still fun, such as biking and hiking.

As a Sigma Kappa sorority member at TCU, Lisa has done considerable volunteer work with the Alzheimer's Foundation "Walk to End Alzheimer's." Working with area elderly homes, she maintains a relationship with the residents, keeping them company and sending them gifts on holidays.

So what does Lisa have to say about her experience at Recipe for Success?

"I'm very glad that I found Recipe for Success. It has been a very rewarding experience and I definitely want to continue working for them."

Nickelodeon News

Adrienne Ryherd
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tv-flowers-lg.jpgNickelodeon and frozen vegetable distributor Birds Eye are teaming up to "empower kids to embrace a healthier diet by eating more vegetables." With Jennette McCurdy, star of the popular series iCarly, as the spokesperson, this campaign for healthier kids provides a breath of fresh air in a marketing industry that regularly pushes the more profitable high sugar, high fat snack foods to young audiences.

The iCarly iCook with Birds Eye Sweepstakes, complete with a website dedicated to encouraging recipe sharing and loaded with prize-filled contests - even the chance to land a guest spot on an iCarly episode and have your vegetable dish featured- this joint venture is "spurring kids' culinary creativity and encouraging them to share their veggie inspiration with other kids."

We are beginning to see an uptick in incremental, wide reaching improvements in food marketing that targets children. Just last month, Disney announced that it will ban junk-food marketing on its programming that specifically targets children. Now that two children's programming behemoths have set the stage, there is a growing hope that other bigwig marketers will follow suit.

Could marketing fresh vegetables actually become lucrative? Could carrots and green beans become the next item that children are begging to put in the grocery basket? Never say never.

But marketing and education needs to come from more than just the television and the computer screens. It needs to come from school and from home; it needs to involve interaction in and conversation surrounding the planting and cooking process so as to give children the confidence to make their own healthy choices. It is time to prove that healthy foods can indeed be craveable.

Helping to instill campus-wide cultures of health, Recipe for Success Foundation's nationally-recognized Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education Program offers interactive gardening and cooking classes that can be integrated into each school's curriculum, promising comprehensive and enlightening lessons that change the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food.

Treatment Vs. Prevention

Adrienne Ryherd
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In a society where it is much more lucrative to treat an ailment rather than to try and prevent it, we have become complacent with the same old health routines because that is what is presented to us as the only or best option.

We are constantly bombarded with multi-media marketing tactics to get us to buy the latest, greatest, and oftentimes, not nutritionally valuable food product.

Too Much

For many of us, chronic disease prevention is attainable and often times much easier than we think.  But with a national mindset that condones indulgence and instant gratification, touting supersized portions and drive-through menus, our expanding waistlines are just the beginning of our problems. And our busy lifestyles, with more time in the car, at work or at extracurricular activities and less time around the dining room table, merely feed into this rushed way of life.

Eating what we want, how much we want of it, and when we want it, and worrying about the consequences - in this case, health effects- later, is exactly why our national health care bills are currently about $270 billion per year.

Too Little

But what about those who can't access or afford nutritious and fresh foods? For those families living in nutritionally insecure areas, "food deserts" where corner stores and fast food chains are the only source for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the options to enjoy a healthy lifestyle are slim, while the residents most often are overweight or obese.

Lacking the funds and the freedom to buy fresh produce, many residents living in food deserts have to rely on public transportation or have to focus on paying rent and keeping the lights before they focus on eating organic and fresh foods.

And that is why grassroots movements are so important to enact widespread and long lasting change. Working from the ground up, reaching out to underserved populations who don't have the means to advocate for themselves, and empowering them so that they can begin to enact their own change.

At Recipe for Success Foundation (RFS), we have been putting research into action since 2005, have been teaching children that eating healthy is fun! Committed to changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food, RFS seeks to create long term changes in our children's lifestyles, as we battle the obesity epidemic through interactive education.

Gone in a SNAP

Adrienne Ryherd
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kidscooking.jpgAt the beginning of this year, cafeterias across the nation celebrated as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a move towards healthier school lunches.

Now, a mere few months down the road, there is more nationwide news concerning school lunches, but this time it is not being received with such praise.

The House Ag Committee is currently taking measures to dramatically cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In a time where more and more middle class families are signing up for the SNAP program and it no longer holds the amount of stigma that it once had, this decision is monumental.

The proposal would cut $16.5 billion worth of SNAP benefits to families in need.

And it's not just adults that this bill will affect. The point of contention for many is that, by cutting benefits for up to 3 million people, this bill also threatens the ability for many children to get free, nutritious meals at school. If passed, this legislation would lead to 280,000 kids losing access to school meals, which, for many of them, is their only meal of the day.

 As Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength postures, "SNAP is the first line of defense against childhood hunger."

Because almost half of SNAP participants are under 18, physicians have rightly described SNAP as one of our most effective vaccines, focusing on preventative care (a.k.a. diet) as opposed to retroactive care (post-illness medicines).  

Lacking a political voice, children need adults, community organizers, local and national politicians to advocate on their behalf. And this is not a superfluous issue, one that can be put at the bottom of a pile and saved for another day; this issue affects us every day, three times a day. What we eat, when we eat, and how much we have to eat directly affects every part of our lives, from attention span and stamina to physical health and growth.

At Recipe for Success, we are dedicated to educating children - in an interactive and empowering way- about the entire food process, from the garden to the kitchen. The nationally recognized Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education program gives children the tools and resources to be the kings of the kitchen, and teaches them that healthy food is fun!

What are you thoughts on the newly proposed budget cuts?

Summertime Snacks

Adrienne Ryherd
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Goodbye pre-packaged, sugar-coated, deep-fried snacks. Hello homemade fresh, easy and delicious snacks. Out with the old, and in with the new way of preparing fun and tasty food for (and with) your children this summer.

Empowering your children with tools, resources and confidence in the kitchen will help create a more open-minded and healthy approach to eating.

Following are a few general tips from Healthy and Delicious Snacks  on creating enjoyable and nutritious snacks:

·      Get creative. Play with shapes and textures of fruits and vegetables to make them more appealing to children.

·      Try a twist on the traditional. Ex: freeze grapes; use peanut butter and yogurt as fruit dipping sauces

·      Keep it simple. Use whole food products such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

·      Let them choose. Always have a variety of healthy snacks on hand.

·      Lead by example. Let your child catch you partaking in healthy snacks.

But perhaps the most important tip to remember is to invite your kids into the kitchen to be a part of the preparation and cooking process. They are sure to be more inclined to tasting new foods (and liking them) if they play a part in the washing, chopping and mixing of ingredients. Try a healthy twist on what is usually deemed "junk food" and end up with a delicious compromise, such as a whole-wheat veggie pizza (which won't taste like a compromise at all!).

At Recipe for Success, our mission is to get kids interested in where their food is coming from. That's why our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education Program focuses on interactive gardening and cooking classes. Students turn into little chefs and in turn bring their enthusiasm and food knowledge home to share with their families!

Check out the kid-tested and approved Recipe for Success "Rainbow Slaw" recipe.

Rainbow Slaw

4-6 Servings

For the Slaw:

½ head             Purple Cabbage

2                        Carrots

1                        Jicama

½ pound            Sugar snap peas (or Snow Peas)

1                        Red bell pepper

¼ cup                        Dried blueberries, cranberries or currants

½ bunch            Spring Onions (green onion/scallions)

½ bunch            Cilantro

Optional: Serrano chilies (seeds removed and thinly sliced)


For the Dressing:

1 teaspoon            Mirin

1 teaspoon             Rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoon            Lime Juice

1/3 cup            Vegetable oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Prepare the Slaw:

·      Wash all produce.  Peel the carrot and jicama.

·      Using a grater, the grater attachment on a food processor or a chef's knife, grate the carrot, jicama and cabbage.  Combine in a bowl.

·      Thinly slice snap peas and bell peppers; add to bowl.

·      Thinly slice the spring onions and add to slaw.

·      Chop the cilantro and add to the slaw.


Make the Dressing:

    Measure the mirin, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper and add to a mixing bowl.
    Whisk lightly until the ingredients come together.
    Measure the oil.  Slowly pour the oil into the acid mixture while whisking.
    The oil and vinegar has come together or "emulsified" when you notice the consistency thicken and color become cloudy.


Dress the slaw and enjoy!

Volunteer of the Month...Dee McBride

Adrienne Ryherd
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DeeMcBride.jpgHealthy and Delicious Snacks

A Houston native, Dee McBride is no stranger to the world of nonprofits. With 40 years of work experience under her belt, the now retired Dee puts her energy into volunteering in the Recipe for Success office, along with cultivating her hobbies of gardening, traveling and reading.

After 20 years with Burlington Resources, with 10 of those years as the foundation administrator, working to make sure that 401c3 organizations were qualified for funding, Dee has extensive working knowledge of nonprofits. Upon retirement, Dee volunteered with Meals on Wheels for four years. She then started to search out other volunteer opportunities, but could not find a good match until she came across Recipe for Success.

With an interest in administrative, not mention real life experience with fresh foods - Dee grew up on a farm where fresh vegetables and fresh meats were prevalent, making her a firm believer in local, fresh foods as a healthier, tastier option. "Recipe for Success has been a great influence on my eating habits, making me more aware of my food choices."

With her insider nonprofit knowledge and her enthusiasm to volunteer, Dee is delighted to provide office support for Recipe for Success.

"One thing I love about volunteering with Recipe for Success is that every week that I show up to volunteer, I get to work on different tasks. From filing paperwork to working in the library to filling packets of seeds for classes, I get to do a little bit of everything."

Although Dee has so far spent all of her time in the offices, she is eager to help out with the Seed-to-Plate Nutrition EducationÔ Program cooking and gardening classes, to further expand her volunteerism and her Recipe for Success knowledge.

"I plan to stay as long as they'll have me. I've found my niche."