Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cornucopia: Horn of Plenty...Abundance of Nutrition

nutritional
Cornucopia - The Horn of Plenty
Of all the traditional Thanksgiving decorations, my favorite is the Cornucopia - The Horn of Plenty. Why? Well, because it always makes me think of the beautiful colors of Autumn and the abundance of nutrition that comes with fruits and vegetables that are in season. In modern times it is represented as a horn shaped basket that is filled with plenty of fruits, flowers and vegetables. In Greek mythology, it was an amazing horn that had the magical power to fill itself with whatever kind of food or drink its owner wanted.

What Do We Wish For?

What kind of things would you fill your horn of cornucopia with this Thanksgiving? The winter months can seem so barren as the trees grow bare and the we no longer see our beautiful gardens in bloom. But that doesn't mean we can't grow plants indoors! There are many winter flowers that can decorate your home during the holidays and all winter long. For example, the poinsettia plant, African violets, primrose and the Christmas rose.

There are plenty of fruits and vegetable that are in season that have much nutritional value. Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to stop eating fresh or local fruits and vegetables. Here are a just a few of my favorites that you can include this season.

  • Pomegranates - A featured fruit in Greek mythology, just like the cornucopia, this delicious and beautiful fruit is called the jewel of autumn. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and may help break down LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Apples - A great snack when you're craving sweets, or chop them up and add them to a vegetable salad or to leftover turkey salad this holiday.
  • Blood Oranges - High in vitamin C these are a taste of sunshine on a cold winter's day. During the cold and flu season, vitamin C is a must.
  • Cranberries - Sweet and tasty, they are high in antioxidants and can help prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Radishes - A great low-cal snack by themselves or in a salad, they add color and taste.
  • Sweet Potatoes - A thanksgiving dinner favorite, they are lower in carbohydrates than white potatoes and high in potassium.
  • Rutabagas - Sweet and nutty and great in stews or mashed with a butter substitute to keep this root vegetable low in calories and carbohydrates.

Thanksgiving Crafts

Making a cornucopia as a table centerpiece can be a fun craft for kids over the holidays. Craft stores are a great place to by a horn shaped basket without going to a lot of expense. It can be filled with fresh fruits and set on the table to add color and serve as a nutritious, low calorie desert after thanksgiving meals. It can also be filled with plastic fruits and flowers if it's a decoration you'd like to keep from year to year. Either way, it's a colorful bit of ancient history to include on your holiday table.

Thanksgiving for kids
Example of mosaic cornucopia from kaboose.com
Some other craft ideas that will make thanksgiving for kids more fun include:
  • Stuff the cornucopia with other objects. You could fill it with canned goods and donate them to a local food shelter or a neighbor in need. Or wrap up leftovers and put them in a cornucopia basket for guests to take home.
What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Please feel free to share a favorite decoration idea or memory in our comments section. We at FamilyWize wish you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
 
Greek mythology
 The horn of plenty, part of ancient history and a
Thanksgiving tradition, as this photo from
dreamstime.com shows.

Caroline Carr
Contributing Writer


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