Go NUTS about Pumping IRON

This post is from NCSU student, Jamie Becker, who has been teaching this Power of Eating Right class. Get caught up on the last 3 weeks of class by reading Jamie's other blog posts: 1st class, Go Bananas, Get your Vitamin C ofl blog2

This week’s lesson involved the Meat & Bean group on the MyPyramid. The kids were excited for another cooking class! They had really good examples of good sources of proteins such as hamburger, pork, pinto beans and peanut butter. One source of protein that most people don't think about besides nuts is eggs. Most people put them in the dairy category of foods, however eggs are not from cows and are therefore not in the dairy group.

When eating proteins it is important to focus on lean protein, examples include grilling or baking meats to cut down on the fat and buying leaner cuts of meats. Teenagers need five to seven ounces of protein each day, however most Americans in general eat twice as much as they should. When trying to watch how much you consume in terms of fats and protein, you should try to eat most foods that are in the grains, vegetables, and fruits categories instead. By filling up on these other groups of food, one will cut down on the fat and not consume over the recommended daily allowance for protein.

ofl blogWhen discussing the nutrients that one receives from protein, the most significant is iron. If teenagers and adults don't get enough iron they develop anemia, which can make you feel tired and it’s harder to concentrate. To avoid anemia eat iron rich foods such as spinach, beans, peanut butter, and fortified foods. Our Operation Frontline class went great this week and the kids learned a lot. Several of them knew friends who had anemia, and through our lesson they learned valuable ways to help anemia by eating certain iron rich foods.

We cooked turkey chili with lost of vegetables to show them that they can use a leaner protein in place of hamburger without having to sacrifice taste. Also, when cooking soups and chili’s for winter you can add more vegetables than you normally would to get more servings of vegetables and mask the flavor with the tomato base of the chili.