Saturday, September 27, 2014

Feature: Is fast food restaurant a healthy choice for your child’s birthday party?

By Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso

Planning for a birthday party of your child is an exciting but tiring task especially if you have never done it before. When planning a birthday party you have to consider a lot of things like food, venue, guest list, theme, invitation, games, decorations, cake and goody bags, and other preparations needed.

Where should you have it? Nowadays people choose to have their child’s birthday party at fast food restaurants or at rented-out space instead of doing it at home.

Fast food restaurants have become popular as a venue for kiddie parties for several reasons. Many mothers are busy with their work that they do not have time to plan, much more prepare for a good party. Or maybe there is not enough space to hold the guests, thus, it is more convenient to have the party at a fast food restaurant.

Some of the large fast-food chains are beginning to incorporate healthier alternatives in their menu like salads, fresh fruits and milk shakes.

Here are simple tips you can consider when planning a kiddie party in a fastfood restaurant:

Consider and include the three food groups in the menu list. For example, spaghetti (energy-giving), fried chicken (body-building), and vegetable or fruit salad (regulating).

Serve burger with tomato, lettuce and cucumber instead of the regular cheeseburger.

Serve fruit juice instead of softdrinks.

If possible, ask the fastfood restaurant to use reduced fat dressing for burgers and salad instead of regular dressing.

Consider food safety.

A balanced meal can be also achieved when eating at a fastfood restaurant as long as food items are chosen well. Think Variety!

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, Telephone/Fax No. 837-2934,837-3164; 837-20-71 loc. 2287, 837-8113 loc. 328  email:  mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph,  FNRI-DOST website:  http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Better brown than white: moving towards a healthier form of rice

By Charina A. Javier

The “unli-rice” phenomenon is proof that rice is the most commonly consumed food item of Filipinos.

Rice is the staple food among Filipinos which contributes about 35.7 percent of the average daily individual food intake, making it the major source of carbohydrates in the Filipino diet. The Food Consumption Survey (FCS) by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) showed that the daily rice intake per person has risen from 272 grams in 1993 to 291 grams in 2003 and 307 grams 2008.

Rice has several types, varieties and forms. Its type is usually based on grain size, thus we have, long grain, medium grain, short grain or waxy. Its varieties usually depend of the source or area where rice is grown. In the Philippines, common varieties include Dinorado, Sinandomeng, Milagrosa, Maharlika, Angelika, Malagkit, Wagwag, Ifugao or mountain rice, among others.

Rice forms include rough or paddy rice which still includes the hull, brown rice where only the hull is removed, and regular milled rice which is often referred to as white or polished rice.

Brown rice, the unmilled form of rice, is gaining popularity today primarily due to its nutritional benefits. The bran layer of brown rice is known to be rich in dietary fiber, minerals and B vitamins.

Brown rice has higher nutrient, vitamin and mineral content despite poor acceptability and shelf life in comparison to milled rice.  Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice in terms of niacin, thiamin, phosphorus and calcium. Moreover, it provides all the necessary carbohydrate requirements of an individual just like white rice. The dietary fiber it contributes is attributed to the prevention of risk of obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer.

Brown rice is a healthier alternative that will hopefully reduce the demand for white rice while increasing the intake for micronutrients and dietary fiber. These nutrients has been associated with the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes and some forms of cancer.

At present, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has successfully developed the technology for extending the shelf-life of brown rice so that now, we can store it at a much longer time. The Institute is also currently undertaking studies on characterization and bioavailability to support the growing interest about this food.


For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Number: 837-2934 and 837-3164; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)