“Looking for a new healthy snack? Try edamame (pronounced ay-duh-MAH-may). It’s an exotic-sounding name for boiled green soybeans, and they’re much yummier than they may sound. A half-cup serving of shelled edamame gives you 9 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein and 13 grams carbohydrate, with only 2.5 grams of fat and 120 calories.

Eating Right

Kids, Caffeine & Energy Drinks

While you're worrying about protecting yourchild against illegal drugs, don't forget about a perfectly legal high now available in more than 100 varieties and raking in nearly $5 billion annually in the U.S.

So-called "energy drinks" provide a daily buzz for millions of kids across the country. Consumption of these beverages has become popular among everyone from student athletes to individuals in energy drink-chugging contests posted on websites such as YouTube and MySpace.

The problems with these drinks are multiple: They're loaded with several times the amount of caffeine found in ordinary soda, and the sugar content is so high that they basically qualify as a candy bar in a can. If your child is drinking several of these a week, it can have serious implications for his long-term health and ability to perform.

Caffeine is not good for growing children and teenagers. It leaches calcium from the bones, weakening them as it does so. It's addictive and in high amounts produces hyperactivity and nervousness. Caffeine also leaches water from the body, so children who drink nothing but caffeinated beverages often end up dehydrated, which can lead to kidney problems.

Finally, too high doses of caffeine can cause a racing heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, diarrhea, shaking, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and even seizures, a result of caffeine overdose. After a couple of hours, as the caffeine and sugar wear off, fatigue, lethargy and headaches are often experienced, especially by kids who consume these drinks every day.

Many pediatricians recommend children and teens not consume any caffeine. And they also remind parents that if your child is eating properly and getting enough sleep, he or she will naturally have all the energy they need.

Eating Disorders Common Among Elderly

Say the word anorexia and most people picture waif-like models and teenage girls. Yet anorexia also is a growing problem among the elderly. In fact, a full 25 percent of nursing home residents refuse to eat and are malnourished. The reasons for this are both physical and psychological. Seniors who have difficulty swallowing or who have diseases such as dementia may have problems eating or forget to eat. Most, however, stop eating because of depression.

A subset of depressed elderly stop eating because of a traumatic event that has to do with food. Seniors who are prone to anxiety or are overly fastidious often refuse to eat after choking on food or having a bad reaction to something they ate. Others experience humiliation after vomiting their food or being unable to control their bowels after a meal. In these cases, their fear of repeating the incident can turn into a genuine food phobia, known as sitophobia.

Most seniors with sitophobia can be helped if family and caregivers take the time to discover the initial cause of the fear and take a non-judgmental, reassuring attitude toward the experience.

Barbecued Chicken Salad



skinless, boneless whole chicken breasts, cooked and cubed


large red bell pepper, diced


stalks celery, chopped


red onion, diced


can (8.75 oz.) sweet corn, drained


cup barbecue sauce


tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise


In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, bell pepper, onion and corn until well mixed. Mix together the barbecue sauce and mayonnaise; pour over chicken and vegetables. Combine thoroughly and chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce or other greens. Makes 5 servings.

Nutrition per Serving

(1 cup)

Calories: 135
Total Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Carbohydrate: 16 g
Protein: 13 g

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