June 8, 2017

Chicken vs. Chicken

Author: Maureen Mikel

Kids Cafe focus group“Mmmm this is the best cheese I’ve ever had!”

“Look, there’s chicken, and ham, AND cheese AND bread!!”

“Oh yeah, this gets a thumbs up!… no, a double thumbs up!!”

These were just some of the reactions I overheard during a Kids Cafe Focus Group I had the opportunity to attend last Wednesday, May 31st at Goldenrod Recreation Center.

Second Harvest Food Bank’s Kids Cafe is an after-school meal service program that provides food for needy children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties, providing quick access to meals at the end of the school day. Kids Cafe Focus Groups help the food bank’s chefs hone in on, not only the most nutritious food they can distribute to kids in our community, but what kids enjoy most as well. Read More …

March 20, 2017

#MeatlessMonday Recipe: Reunion Salad

Author: Melissa Kear

This week’s National Nutritional Month #MeatlessMonday recipe is perfect for the first day of spring! One of our most popular recipes, this dish uses fresh vegetables, black-eyed peas, and a light sauce to make a refreshing, tasty salad that can be easily customized with other great flavors.

Check out the recipe below, or download your own printable copy here.

Second Harvest #MeatlessMonday Reunion Salad recipe

March 29, 2016

Savor the Flavor on a Budget

Author: Guest Blogger

Nutrition blog flavor on a budget

A strong misconception is that eating flavorful and nutritious food will break the bank. That doesn’t have to be true. Below you will find a few tips that can help you savor the flavor of nutritious food, while eating healthy on a budget.

1) Planning is a very important step in eating healthy on a budget. Start planning your meals for the week on a Sunday or Monday. Check local ads for weekly promotions like buy one get one free items. Also look for coupons for your favorite pantry staples. Consider using these items to create a plan or calendar of meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack(s).

2) Buy fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season or on sale. If you don’t eat them right away, freeze them. Fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be used in a variety of ways—the more you consume, the better! When selecting canned fruit, choose fruit that is canned in its own juice or light syrup. When choosing canned vegetables, choose vegetables that are canned with no added salt or low-sodium.

Read More …

March 11, 2016

Pediatric Interns Work with Food Bank to Narrow Nutritional Gap Among Food Insecure Kids

Author: Santos Maldonado

2016 Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital internsAt Second Harvest, we are keenly aware of the link between health and hunger, especially among children. As part of our ongoing effort to collaborate with community partners, pediatric interns from Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital have been visiting one of our 19Kids Cafe” Children’s Afterschool Feeding locations for the last two years. The goal is to learn more about the communities where asset limited, low-income and resource poor families live. The twice monthly visits help interns glean valuable insight into the circumstances that may lead to health problems among the young.

Dr. Kristy Wesinghan, from Orlando Health, describes it this way: Read More …

March 9, 2016


Author: Guest Blogger

National Nutrtition Month 2016 Crunched for TimeIn this day and age, time is of the essence.

Kids are getting home from school later than usual. There is sports practice, and lots of homework. On top of their schedule, you may be working nights, long days, and feeling tired and overwhelmed from all that life brings.

Convenience stores and fast food restaurants are on every corner, with a wait time of less than 5 minutes. It’s tempting to give into the convenience. However, there is a bigger price to pay for convenience, and that is your health.

Most convenience foods are loaded with salt, sugar, saturated fat, trans fat, and preservatives. These types of foods can lack nutrients, and eating them too often can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

If you find yourself crunched for time, try these tips to avoid relying on convenience foods. Read More …

March 2, 2016

Savor the Flavor Together!

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

Written by Jamie Williams, Keiser University Dietetic Intern

NationalNutritionMonth2016Cooking doesn’t always have to be a chore. It can be creative, exciting, and fun for the whole family. Although our hectic schedules may not always allow, strive to prepare one meal a week together with your family, or simply make a goal of eating as many meals as you can together in the week.

Spending quality time together allows families to reconnect, talk about their daily lives, and develop a family bond. If you have children, cooking together can give them a sense of responsibility while allowing them to develop their self-expression through food.

Having family meals can help savor the flavor of your traditions. Passing on family values and traditions plays a huge role at meal time. This time together is perfect for conversing about old family memories and history—ones that may very well be passed on to future generations. Read More …