Learning about healthy eyesight and taking steps to treat your eyes right is something the whole family should do—and there are fun ways to do it together.
Eye Food Treats
There are some foods that are actually really good for your eyes—and we’ve got some great recipes you can make with your parents that are fun to cook, delicious to eat, and good for your eyes.
The foods that have the excellent health benefits for your eyes include foods that contain vitamins A, C, and E; fatty acids; Omega-3 and beta-carotene. Examples of these types of foods include:
- Leafy green vegetables
Family Friendly Recipes from Food Network Chef Robert Irvine!
Check out these two special recipes full of fresh, eye-healthy ingredients, created by Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, to celebrate the 2012 Transitions Championship golf event.
Orzo Pasta Salad with Carrot Vinaigrette
Starting with the carrot vinaigrette, blend 6 ounces of Raspberry Champagne Vinegar, ½ cup carrots, 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon ginger powder, ¼ cup light corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon salt and pepper blend in a food processor and puree until smooth. Next, pour mixture through a chinois, and return to food processor and slowly add 2 cups of 80/20 blended olive oil (80% vegetable oil, 20% olive oil) until smooth. Remove and store covered in the refrigerator. In a large bowl, toss 6 cups of cooked orzo pasta, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 1 cup diced bell peppers, 1 cup blanched broccoli florets, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon minced parsley with the carrot vinaigrette. Place salad on large serving plate or bowl over shredded romaine, and finish with ½ cut chopped mint, ¼ cup chopped basil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and serve.
Blueberry Pom Punch
Yields 5 gallons of punch
In a sauce pot over low heat, prepare 3 cups of granulated with ½ gallon water and 1 pound of fresh mint to create a simple syrup. Then, strain out the mint, cool the syrup and add 8 pints of blueberries. Puree mixture in a food processor. After blending, pour mixture through a chinois, then blend with 3 gallons of Pom juice and ½ cup of ginger juice. Allow mixture to rest and blend flavors for 3 hours under refrigeration. To serve, pour over ice and blend with fresh berries of choice.
Here are some more delicious recipes you can easily make with your parents or caregivers that can help to keep your eyes focused today and healthy tomorrow!
Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Pops
Berries are very good for your eyes and this cool treat is tasty. Combine 1 cup blueberry juice, 1 cup of cleaned blueberries, and a 6-ounce container of fat-free vanilla yogurt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into frozen pop molds and insert wooden craft sticks. Freeze until completely firm.
Nutty Popcorn and Fruit Mix
On the days you are rushing to a soccer game or baseball practice, pack this great snack to keep your eyes at their best. Pop one package of plain popcorn, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle popcorn with 2 to 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Stir in 2 cups potato sticks, 1-1/2 cup peanuts or almonds, and 1 cup mixed dried fruit.
Carrot Raisin Salad
This yummy salad is crunchy and sweet with great-for-your eyes carrots and raisins. Place 4 cups of shredded carrots and 1 cup of raisins in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons milk. Pour over carrot mixture and toss.
Creamy Orange-Cherry Oatmeal
A delicious twist on breakfast that is especially rich in omega-3. In a saucepan, heat 1 ½ cups of milk or soy milk with 2/3 cup of dried tart cherries. When simmering, add 1 cup of oats. Reduce heat and simmer until oats are cooked and liquid is absorbed. Add 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate and stir thoroughly. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired.
Peanut Butter Candy Sandwiches
A quick, healthy treat made with eye-friendly whole wheat bread rich in vitamin E and healthy fats. Mix equal parts of toasted wheat germ and peanut butter, then sweeten with honey and spread on whole wheat bread.
Rainbow Chopped Salad
This can be a fun and colorful snack or can be served with grilled chicken on top to be a complete meal. Mix 1 ½ cup each of chopped bell peppers and broccoli florets, 1 cup of shredded carrots, ½ cup of diced radishes, and 1 tablespoon minced red onion with a ½ cup of creamy dill ranch dressing. Toss to coat and refrigerate until you are ready to eat it.
Instead of chips, whole grain popcorn makes a crunchy snack your eyes and taste buds will approve of. Take four cups of freshly air-popped popcorn and add ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little bit of cayenne pepper for just a hint of spiciness. Toss together and snack.
Oven Sweet Potato Fries
Fries are always delicious and these are made with beta-carotene-rich sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 450°. Peel one large sweet potato and then cut into wedges. Toss the wedges with 2 teaspoons canola oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Spread the wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until brown and tender, turning once. Should bake for about 20 minutes total.
Green Mashed Potatoes
Here is a fun twist on an old favorite that is full of lutein and vitamin C for your eyes! Peel and cut 2 ½ pounds of russet potatoes and place them in a large pot of cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender (approximately 20 minutes). Drain and return to pot. Place 1 bunch of collard greens (washed, stemmed and cut into ½ inch strips) and 2 garlic cloves (minced) in a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Bring to simmer and steam covered for 10 minutes or until cooked through, but still bright green, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Add the collard greens, as well as a ½ cup of fat-free Half & Half cream, 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper to the potatoes. Mash or whip to desired consistency.
Eyefoods Nut Mix
Munch on this simple snack to give your eyes a boost of healthy vitamins! Mix 1 cup chopped almonds, ½ cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup chopped cashews, and 1 cup pumpkin seeds together in a large bowl. Store any remaining mix in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks in a glass jar or storage container.
Tropical Island Parfait
This sweet treat is even yummy for dessert! Chop up ½ cup of cantaloupe, ½ cup of strawberries and ½ cup kiwifruit. Beginning with nonfat granola cereal (3 tablespoons makes 2 servings), alternate layers of granola, nonfat yogurt—try flavors such as vanilla or pineapple (you’ll need about 1 ½ cups for 2 servings) –and fruit in parfait glasses or goblets. Sprinkle additional granola on top.
When You Play Sports
Playing sports and other physical activities is very fun—it’s a great way to be with your friends and get some exercise.
But, you also want to be smart when you play sports and make sure you take steps to protect yourself and your eyes from getting hurt.
Most eye injuries among kids ages 11 to 14 do occur while playing sports, especially during baseball, basketball, ice hockey and racquet sports.
The good news is that 90% of these injuries could be prevented by taking proper precautions!
Take Proper Precautions for Sports Safety!
- Consider wearing protective eyewear regardless of whether or not you wear glasses or contacts.
- Your everyday eyeglasses do not count as protective eyewear. You need to have your parents, caregiver or coach help you find the correct pair of safety glasses, goggles, safety shields or eye guards.
- Lenses that are made from something called polycarbonate material, such as Transitions lenses, provide the highest level of protection; they can withstand a ball or other objects traveling at 90 miles per hour.
You can find more information about protective eyewear and sports at www.thevisioncouncil.org.
Know Your Dominant Eye for a Competitive Edge!
Dr. Larry Lampert is a sports vision specialist who trains professional athletes of all levels to use their vision to improve their sports performance and give you an edge in all activities. Even if you’re not in the pros (yet!), this simple tip can help when you play sports.
Knowing your dominant eye is important for all sports—and no different than whether you are right- or left-handed, you are right- or left-eye dominant. But, even if you are right-handed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are right-eyed.
It only takes a quick test to determine which eye is your dominant eye. Simply bring your hands together in front of you, and bring your thumbs and pointer fingers together to make a small hole between your hands. Bring your hands up to your nose. Find an object or a spot on the wall and focus on that spot through the hole you have made with your hands. Then close one eye at a time—the eye that finds the spot is your dominant eye.
Knowing your dominant eye can help give you an edge when you play sports, regardless of which sport you are playing or what your skill level is.
For example, if you hit a golf ball, you should always position your dominant eye directly over the back tip of the ball when you line up to putt. This straightens your alignment and gives your putt a greater, direct impact. Of course, it’s always important that your eyes are healthy and that your line of vision is clear.
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