Week 5: Labels, Allergies and Taste

MOOC Summaries - Child Nutrition and Cooking - Allergies, Taste, LabelsWeek 5: Labels, Allergies and Taste

“What have we learned about achieving good eating habits based on enjoyment of the right foods? More tips on working with food allergies, reading nutrition labels, and understanding the elements of taste. Cooking this week: the simple stew, a basic homemade salad dressing plus a Sunday morning treat that will make the whole family smile.”


  • Allergies and Taste Preferences
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Cooking Demonstrations

The 8 Foods That Cause Most Food Allergies

  • Eight food that account for about 90% of all food allergic reactions in the US: peanut, milk, egg, wheat (gluten), soy, fish, shellfish, tree nut.
  • Around 8% of children in the US have at least one food allergy.
  • Anyone who spends time with the child has to know how to respond in case of an emergency and some children need to carry medication with them at all times.
  • Children with food allergies could be bullied because their restrictions make them different.
  • Some families with allergic children should try to keep the kitchen free of their child’s allergen.
  • Read labels carefully at the supermarket before purchasing anything.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/0uj0b/the-8-foods-that-cause-most-food-allergies

Understanding Taste

  • Tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body.
  • Tongue helps to move food around in the mouth and coordinate swallowing.
  • Food is supposed to go into this muscular tube behind the trachea called esophagus.
  • Tongue receptors are cells that receive messages from food and send them to the brain.
  • The cerebellum is in charge of body coordination and balance.
  • There are receptors for sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami (savory).
  • Our sense of smell is responsible for about 80% of what we taste in food.
  • There are sensory cells at the top of the nasal cavity and these cells can pass through a thin layer of bone. Then they connect with other cells that transmit messages from those sensory cells to the brain. Little odor particles will tickle these sensory cells and cause them to send messages that then get transmitted to the brain.
  • Taste provides us with information about what we are eating.
  • We have a library stored in our brains of favorite foods that might trigger memories through taste and smell.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/ff5Pj/understanding-taste

Reading Nutrition Labels

  • First thing to look at is the serving size.
  • Calorie isn’t always the best way to judge whether something is good for you or not.
  • Just because something has added vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be healthy food for you.
  • Sodium is something we need to keep an eye on a label because processed food usually have it pretty high to extend the shelf life.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fat as these increase the risk for heart disease.
  • Avoid high sugar content packaged food.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/adR5S/reading-nutrition-labels

Protecting Children’s Health

  • In general, the health of a family can have a very real effect on the health of a child.
  • Factors like education and socio-economy status of parents can affect the development of the children.
  • If a country is financially secure, it’s more likely that the citizens of that country will be financially secure themselves.
  • How media present news and advertisement will also affect a child’s health.
  • If sensible laws are passed and communities are well maintained, families can thrive and raise healthy children.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/mgaQy/protecting-childrens-health

Food’s Environment Impact

  • It turns out that what is healthier for you, is also healthier for the environment.
  • When producing beef or chicken, there are a lot of fossil fuels that go into it.
  • It goes into the corn that the beef eats.
  • There’s a lot of pesticides and fertilizers that come from fossil fuels.
  • It goes to the shipping, the transportation and the manufacturing.
  • There’s actually 30 times the amount of greenhouse gas emission that come from a kilogram of beef than a kilogram of lentils.
  • Cow manure sits in these enormous lagoons that can pollute the air and the water for hundreds of miles around.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/ImZl6/foods-environmental-impact


  • Ingredients: garlic, onion, meat, carrot, potato, chicken broth, pasta sauce, lemon, salt, pepper.
  • Season meat with some salt and pepper and your favorite spices.
  • Dust meat with some corn starch.
  • Brown the meat first until it is nice and brown on all sides.
  • Add chunk garlic and onion into a pot.
  • Pour sauce over meat, add chicken broth and some lemon juice.
  • Add all other chopped vegetables.
  • Make sure everything is submerged nicely.
  • Cover it and put it in the preheated oven.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/4IAM5/stew

Salad Dressing

  • Ingredients: any sort of vinegar that you like, olive oil, garlic, lemon, honey, salt, pepper.
  • Start with a little bit of garlic in an empty container.
  • Add vinegar and lemon juice.
  • Add some honey to take the edge off the lemon and vinegar.
  • Add some salt and pepper.
  • If you like any herb, you can add some fresh chopped up herbs as well.
  • Add as much olive oil as your vinegar.
  • Make the dressing and use it for a week.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/hUt1m/salad-dressing


  • Ingredients: flour, egg, vanilla essence, milk.
  • If you use gluten free flour, add a tiny bit of xanthan gum so that it will hold the crepe together.
  • Crack some eggs.
  • Add some milk and vanilla essence.
  • Whisk it and it’s ready.
  • Use a flat pan to make a crepe.
  • The mixture will look a bit runny, not as thick as a pancake mixture.
  • Add some butter to the pan and pour a little bit of crepe batter onto the pan.
  • Wait till we start to see the edges getting brown before flipping it over.
  • Add any jam that you like Nutella etc.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/ylpuH/crepes

Roasted Vegetables

  • Preheat oven for 350°F.
  • Cut up some vegetables.
  • Toss them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Bake.
  • You can also roast cauliflower.
  • Potatoes cook slower than other vegetables like carrots or cauliflower so they should be in a separate bowl.
  • Cut them into smaller cubes if you want them to cook faster.
  • You can add some herbs that you like as well.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://www.coursera.org/learn/childnutrition/lecture/g2FfS/roast-vegetables

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 photo: depositphotos/szeyuen

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