Seen on Saturday morning: December 15th

December 19, 2007 12:46:45 PM PST

You've probably noticed, your mailbox if filling up this holiday season with requests from charities. While it is the season for giving, you should know some tips before opening your wallet.

With us this morning is the CEO of the BBB wise giving alliance, Art Taylor. Joining him is Ray Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.

  • Find out what a charity spends on administration or overhead and don't waste your money on any that exceed 30 percent of the money raised or that won't disclose the percentage
  • Stay away from charity telemarketers. They typically keep more than half of every dollar they raise.
  • Check out the organization's fund raising techniques and make sure it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
  • See how the charity ranks with groups like the BBB Wise Giving Alliance
  • Choose a charity with a mission that fits your personal interests.

    For more information, visit at

    -----COOK SMART EAT SMART-----

    Learning important nutrition lessons, early in life. An eight-week program through the boys and girls club offers hands-on cooking classes.

    With some healthy food alternatives is registered dietitian with 'cook smart, eat smart,' Elizabeth Fassberg. Joining us a little later is a boys and girls club member, Joseph Velasquez.

    In terms of the class, you could say that people can check with their local Boys and Girls clubs to inquire about membership. There are different types of membership starting at $8. The class is no additional cost for members. And viewers can also check in with their local Boys and Girls club to find out more about the classes in their area.

    Tell me about the Unilever Cook Smart, Eat Smart program? The program is part of Unilever's Eat Smart, Drink Smart labeling program designed to help consumers make better selections when grocery shopping. The eight-week program, offered to children ages eight to 13, is helping children living in low-income areas learn how to shop smart, cook smart and eat smart through a comprehensive nutrition curriculum.

    What are the children learning through this program? The goal for the Cook Smart, Eat Smart program is simple: to help the children and their families make it easier to choose more nutritious foods and to help them get the nutrition 'basics' right.

    Why are programs like these important? Programs likes these are important to help children understand nutrition and food at a young age in order to establish a lifetime of healthy habits. The Cook Smart, Eat Smart program is providing a combination of nutrition education and hands-on cooking knowledge. Educating children and their families about nutrition and teaching cooking skills now, will serve as a foundation for children and their families to make better-for-you choices for a lifetime.

    What's the most important thing we can teach our children about nutrition? The most important thing we can teach our children about nutrition is balance. Providing our children with the education to make smart choices is the most valuable tool we can offer.

    One of the things that we have heard repeatedly from the children is that they tend to skip breakfast. The fruit burrito is a great example of a nutritious yet quick breakfast option for the children. In addition, the Zucchini Muffins can serve as a snack or breakfast option. The English Muffin Mini Pizzas are a great alternative to the traditional slice of pizza and a good opportunity to showcase easy and delicious ways to add vegetables to your diet.

    Tell me about some of the recipes we have here today? Today we are comparing some better-for-you choices with some standard favorites. We have:

  • Fruit Burrito/Packaged Cinnamon Buns
  • Zucchini Muffins/Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • English Muffin Mini Pizzas/Slice of Pizza


    Serves: 8
    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
    1/2 cup Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter
    4 small (8-inch) whole-wheat or plain flour tortillas
    2 cups sliced strawberries
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar (equal parts cinnamon and sugar, blended)

    In medium bowl, combine yogurt and Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter.
    Evenly spread mixture on tortillas. Top with berries. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and roll before serving.

    Nutrition Information per 1/2 Burrito:
    Calories 220, Calories From Fat 100, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 11g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 250mg, Total Carbohydrate 27g, Sugars 11g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 8g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 45%, Calcium 10%, Iron 8 %


  • Medium Bowl
  • 2 Regular Spoons
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Small Spatula
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons


    Serves: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes

    2 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted
    1/2 cup Ragu® Organic Garden Veggie Pasta Sauce
    1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    1 1/2 cups assorted fresh vegetables (small broccoli florets, pepper slices, mushroom slices, corn niblets, carrot squares, etc.)

    Preheat toaster oven to 400°F.
    Place muffin halves on toaster oven tray. Top each muffin half with 2 Tablespoons Ragu Organic Garden Veggie.
    Pasta Sauce. Sprinkle with equal amounts cheese.
    Top with assorted vegetable pieces. Toast in toaster oven until cheese is melted, or bake 5 minutes in oven at 400°F.

    Nutrition Information per serving:
    Calories 130, Calories From Fat 35, Saturated Fat 1.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 4g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 330mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Sugars 5g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 8g, Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 30%, Calcium 15%, Iron 6%


  • Toaster Tray or Baking Sheet
  • Measuring Cups
  • Regular Spoon
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife


    Serves: 16
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes for squares, 15 minutes for mini-muffins

    Nonstick cooking spray with flour
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup Promise Buttery Spread
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
    1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained on paper towels to remove excess liquid (about 2 medium zucchini)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat muffin baking pan OR 9-inch square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour and set aside. (*Note: For the classroom, use a muffin baking pan for mini-muffins.)
    In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda,and salt; set aside.
    In a large bowl, beat together Promise Buttery Spread and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Beat in yogurt. Gradually beat in flour mixture, then grated zucchini. Mix until just combined. Do no over-mix batter.
    IF USING SQUARE CAKE PAN: Evenly pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean. IF USING MUFFIN PAN: Spoon batter 3/4 of the way full into muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove from pan and enjoy warm, or let cool completely and serve.

    Nutrition Information per square:
    Calories 110, Calories From Fat 30, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 3.5g, Cholesterol 25mg, Sodium 125mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Sugars 12g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 2g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 6%, Calcium 4%, Iron 4%


  • Mini-muffin Baking Pans
  • Large Bowl
  • Medium Bowl
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Large Wooden Spoon
  • Grater
  • Electric Beaters
  • Wire Rack
  • Paper Towels

    Also, for more recipes and information about eating smart, consumers can go to


    It's the time of year for family gatherings and taking pictures that help the memories last a lifetime. And now, your kids can get in on the fun.

    With us this morning with some kid- friendly cameras is ABC news radio tech producer, Andrea Smith.

  • Nickelodeon Npower Dora Flash Jr. $59.99
  • Nickelodeon Npower SpongeBob SquarePants Flash Digital Camera 1.3MB $41.99
  • Vtech Kidizoom camera $59.99
  • Casio Exilim EX-S880-$225
  • Fuji FinePix F50fd $225

    For more information, visit at ABC news

    -----NEW YEAR WEIGHT-----

    You may be indulging yourself now in your favorite treats while attending various holiday parties, but soon, it will be time for that favorite resolution of losing weight and healthy living.

    With us this morning with some tips is the executive editor of Shape Magazine, Trisha Calvo.

    Tips for Sticking to Your Get Healthier and Lose Weight Resolutions

    Make your favorite foods healthier. Don't try to ban them from your diet. It's not really possible-or necessary. What you can do is make them healthier. Instead of eating a bowl full of pasta, have half the pasta and mix in an equal amount of chopped vegetables and beans. You'll instantly cut the calorie count but still feel as full. You can also switch from full fat cheese to low fat-the low fat cheeses are much tastier than they used to be. If chocolate is your weakness, try dark chocolate. The rich flavor often means that you'll be satisfied with a small square instead of an entire bar.

    Slow down. You will enjoy your food more and feel full faster-and both lead to painless calorie restriction. In one study women ate 67 fewer calories at dinner when they ate slowly. May not sound like a lot, but that adds up to a 7-pound loss in a year with very little effort. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that your stomach is full, so you take in more than you'd otherwise need if you eat quickly. So pay attention when you eat and try not to gobble your food down.

    Keep a food journal. You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating. Writing down everything you eat for a few days helps you lose weight because it shows you exactly what you're eating and gives you information on where you must make changes. For instance you may notice that when you have just a piece of fruit and coffee for breakfast, you're starving at lunch and eat twice as much as you do on days you have cereal. Or that you always hit the vending machine for chips or candy after you have your weekly staff meeting.

    Fill half you plate with fruits or vegetables at every meal. This visual guide will help you increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals that will protect you against cancer, heart disease and other health problems.

    Get tested! You've probably got a brand new appointment book or calendar for the new year-so pull it out and call your doctors to set up screening tests over the next few months, like a skin check for skin cancer, a mammogram to screen for breast cancer, cholesterol and blood pressure tests to check your heart health and a pap smear to test for cervical cancer. With regular screening, you have a better chance of catching abnormalities before they become problems.

    Schedule down time. Every year, it seems like our schedules just get busier and crazier-and along with that comes increasing stress. More and more, studies are showing that stress plays a role in everything from fatigue, to heart disease, to depression. Vow to carve out at least 15 minutes a day to relax-whether you simply read a novel or pursue a hobby-and once or twice a week make a longer date with yourself to do something you love.

    Walk more. Daily exercise is one of the best ways to fight heart disease, cancer, obesity and even depression. A 30 minute walk a day will do it. You don't have to do it all at once, 10 minutes three times a day is good, too. So if you've got to go somewhere that's one or two subway or bus stops away, walk instead. New York is one of the best walking cities after all, so take advantage!