Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Celebrating Real Food

Did you know that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 consume the recommended levels of total fruits and vegetables? Since 1980, the percentage of American children aged 6-19 who are obese has tripled, while the percentage of adults who are obese has doubled and the estimated annual medical cost for obesity is about $150 billion dollars. These are some of the eye-opening statistics noted by the Food Day Campaign.

Food Day, October 24, is a nationwide celebration to inspire Americans to choose healthy and sustainably produced food and is a grass-roots campaign for better food policies. It aims to help people Eat Real, which means cutting back on sugar drinks and processed foods in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein. To Eat Real:

1. Take advantage of local farmers markets and winter markets for fresh, local produce and sustainably raised protein.
2. Buy produce in season, which saves money and boosts flavor, but during winter months, canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are great options. Choose those with no added sugar or salt.
3. Choose nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods for snacks instead of calorie-dense traditional snack foods such as chips and cookies.

WMHS and our community will celebrate Food Day with an Apple Crunch celebration in our cafeteria.

Apples are nutrition powerhouses. The old adage, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” was written for a reason. Research links eating apples with reduction of complications or prevention of various diseases, including Alzheimer’s, asthma, cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes. The fiber in apples helps to control blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol levels. Apples are low in calories and high in fiber.  One medium apple contains only about 80 calories and 5 grams of fiber.  

This season, try making your own apple chips. Preheat oven to 200-225 degrees F. Slice apples very thinly (mandolin works well, but not mandatory) and place in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour, flip over and bake for another hour. Turn off oven and let cool in oven. Cooking times may vary depending on oven, so watch carefully towards the end.

For more nutrition information, contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian at or 240-964-8416.
For more information about Food Day, including ideas about how to celebrate at your organization, recipes, and a healthy Halloween kit, visit