Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day: From A Different “Perspective”


By Anthony Sepe


Our blog is titled:  Blog: From A Dietitian’s Perspective.  Hence, today this post is titled:  Happy St. Patrick’s Day: From A Different “Perspective.”  We could have given a recipe for the regular corned beef brisket and cabbage, which by the way would have been okay or we could have given a recipe for lower sodium corned beef and cabbage and tips to lower the sodium in our meal today, which would have been okay, too, we could have even placed pictures of the corned beef and cabbage in the post—and that would have been acceptable as well, but—we’re not going to do that.  Instead, we’re going to look at things from a “different perspective.”


I’m a different kind of Dietitian or am I.  If someone 82 years of age said to me: “ I’m a Diabetic and I really want a piece of pie or a dessert, I’m going to let this ‘person’ have that dessert.  First, It drives me crazy to hear someone say:  “I’m a Diabetic.”  I teach that person to say: “I’m someone with Diabetes.”  The reason is because there is so much more to this person.  This person has family and friends, perhaps she/he likes to play the piano or golf or take a walk on the beach at night.  So much more makes up this person than the fact that they have defined themself as a “Diabetic.”  Therefore, at 82 years of age, I’m going to say: “Sure—have a piece of pie and not the whole pie.”  Now, on the other hand, if this person  much younger say, 21 that’s a different story altogether, more involved, may be more medically compromised and I may not be so lenient with that person.  


At the same time, we can be teaching how to make healthier choices and eating more family-friendly meals.  To do this, let’s give you a really healthy dessert recipe, which will meld nicely and compliment that Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner tonight, which we didn’t take away from you because it is my belief that there really is no “bad” food.  Ms Amanda Westerling works on the National Institutes of Health’s We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) Program.  The recipe “Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip” is just one of the many fantastic recipes that she has in  Keep the Beat Recipes Deliciously Healthy Family Meals.  The recipes are designed to give people a satisfying portion, while helping people to stay within their calorie needs. They also tie-in directly with the Dietary Guidelines because they are limited in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.  The focus is on family-friendly meals and snacks and getting children involved in meal preparation, but many of the meals are great for adults too.  Dishes such as Baked Eggrolls, Mexican Lasagna, and Oatmeal Pecan Waffles are sure to please most family members.  Here is that delicious dessert recipe to have with your meal tonight:


fruit skewers with yogurt dip
tangy fruit and sweet yogurt make a perfect taste combination


  • 1 C strawberries, rinsed, stems
    removed, and cut in half
  • 1 C fresh pineapple, diced (or
    canned pineapple chunks in
    juice, drained)
  • ½ C blackberries
  • 1 tangerine or Clementine,
    peeled and cut into 8 segments
  • 8, 6-inch wooden skewers

For dip:


  • 1 C strawberries, rinsed, stems
    removed, and cut in half
  • ¼ C fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Directions:

    1. Thread two strawberry halves, two pineapple chunks, two
    blackberries, and one tangerine segment on each skewer.

    2. To prepare the dip, puree strawberries in a blender or food
    processor. Add yogurt, vanilla, and honey, and mix well.

    3. Serve two skewers with yogurt dip on the side.


    Note: Skewers have sharp edges, so monitor younger children
    while eating, or take the fruit off the skewers for them.
    Younger children can rinse the fruit, thread onto skewers,
    and mix the dip. Older children can make the recipe


    prep time:
    15 minutes

    cook time:

    4 servings

    serving size:
    2 skewers,
    1½ Tbsp. dip

    each serving provides:
    calories 71
    total fat 0 g
    saturated fat 0 g
    cholesterol 0 mg
    sodium 10 mg
    total fiber 2 g
    protein 1 g
    carbohydrates 18 g
    potassium 174 mg
    vitamin A 6%
    vitamin C 70%
    calcium 4%
    iron 2%
    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


    Source:  Ms Amanda Westerling, American Institutes for Research (AIR), Health Programs

    So, is my “perspective” so different after all?  I like to think I’m realistic Smile

    Thank you for reading and Happy St. Patrick’s day to all.


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