National Influenza Vaccination Week

It’s not too late to get your flu shot! Enjoy the holiday season knowing that you have done the best thing to protect yourself and loved ones from getting the flu. Patients five years and older are encouraged to visit the MGH Central Flu Clinic to get their flu shot.

Clinic hours and location:
165 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA

9am – 5pm

Visit massgeneral.org/flu for more details. Spread holiday cheer, not the flu!


2021 MGH Central Flu Clinic

Flu season is here! Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect you and others from getting or spreading the flu. The MGH Central Flu Shot Clinic opened today and will run through December 10th.  This clinic is open to patients aged 5 years and older.

Clinic Schedule:
September 27th – November 23rd
7:00am- 6:00pm Monday – Friday
8:00am – 12:00pm Saturday (October only)

November 29 – December 10th
9am – 5pm

165 Cambridge Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA

Monday, October 11th: 7am – 1pm
Day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 24th): 7am – 1pm
Thanksgiving Holiday (November 25th and 26th): Closed

Parking for the Central Flu Clinic is available at the Parkman, Yawkey and Fruit Street garages. Visitors to the flu clinic may park for up to one hour free of charge (after the first hour, regular rates apply).

Important Information About COVID-19
All patients and visitors are screened for possible symptoms of COVID-19 and given a mask to wear regardless of vaccination status. Visitors to the Central Flu Clinic are expected to be healthy and well. If you have upper respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throat or cough, please postpone your visit. The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19. Visit vaccines.gov or Mass.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccination site near you.

Visit www.massgeneral.org/flu for more details.


National Influenza Vaccination Week December 7-12

It’s not too late to get your flu shot!  Enjoy the holiday season knowing that you have done the best thing to protect yourself and loved ones from getting the flu!

Patients 9 years and older are encouraged to visit the MGH Central Flu Clinic at the Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation to get vaccinated.  Clinic is open through Wednesday, December 9th 7am – 6pm.

Visit massgeneral.org/flu for more information.


2020 MGH Central Flu Clinic

Flu season is quickly approaching. Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect you and others from getting or spreading the flu. The MGH Central Flu Shot Clinic will open September 22nd and run through December 12th.  This clinic is open to patients aged 9 years and older.

Tuesday, September 22nd through Saturday, December 12th

7:00 am- 6:00 pm Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 12:00 pm Saturday

Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation
(2 North Grove Street, Boston)

Columbus Day – Monday, October 12th, open 7a – 1p
Day before Thanksgiving – Wednesday, November 25th, open 7a – 1p
Thanksgiving Holiday (Thursday, November 26th through Saturday, November 28th), closed

Visitors to the Central Flu Shot Clinic may park at any MGH garage for up to one hour at no charge

Important Information About COVID-19
All patients and visitors are screened for possible symptoms of COVID-19 and given a mask to wear. If you have upper respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throat, or cough, please postpone your visit. The flu clinic is often busiest during the early morning and late afternoon. To minimize crowding and promote physical distancing, patients are encouraged to plan their visit outside of these times. The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19.

Visit www.massgeneral.org/flu for more details.


Pumpkin Muffins

Enjoy the flavors of fall with this pumpkin muffin recipe from the Pediatric Diabetes Clinic.  Did you know: pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, which can help keep your pumpkineyes healthy.

Kitchen Tools:

Cupcake tins
Cupcake papers
2 Large bowls
Large spoon
Large whisk
Wooden toothpicks
Wire cooling rack


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15oz) 100% pure pumpkin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Paper line or grease 30 muffin cups.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Place sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in a separate bowl and whisk until just blended.  Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir just until moistened.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove muffins from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

Store muffins in covered container or resealable plastic bag.

Prep time: 10 min l Makes: 30 servings l Carbs per serving: 30 grams

Recipe adapted from verybestbaking.com

Grilled Summer Vegetables

Enjoy the fresh flavors of summer with this easy recipe for grilled veggies from the MGH Be Fit Program.

2 medium zucchini, cut into large slices (about 1½inches)
2 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green), cored and cut into large chunks (about 1½inches)
1 large eggplant, cut into medium slices(about ¾inch)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into ¼ inch rounds
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (basil, thyme, chives,etc.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Turn grill on medium-high heat.  (If using a charcoal grill, see note below.)

Place all the vegetables in a bowl and add in herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss together until vegetables are well coated.

Spread vegetables on grill grate. Cook until they soften and start to show grill marks (about 10 minutes). Use grill tongs to flip them once or twice during this time to ensure even cooking.  Keep an eye on the vegetables as some may cook faster than others.

Note: To judge heat on a charcoal grill, hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grate. Keeping your hand there for 4 to 5 seconds (before it becomes too hot) is roughly medium-high temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 120 • Protein: 4g • Sodium: 160mg • Carbohydrate: 22g • Fiber: 9g •
Fat: 3g • Sat fat: 0g


7 Ways to Increase your Fiber Intake

Jordan Shute
Dietetic Intern

As the weather starts to warm up flowers begin blooming, trees start budding out, and fresh, local produce is right around the corner. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals our bodies need to work correctly.  Now is the time to check out local farmers markets to taste and experience fruits and vegetables grown right here in Massachusetts! Click here to find a market near you, or check for locally grown produce at your grocery store. Worried about produce spoiling before you can eat it? Buy frozen– it’s still full of the same nutrients as fresh produce.

Fiber is a weird word, right? You may have heard that eating fiber is good for you and your health, but what foods have fiber and how much do you need each day?  Fiber is a carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Our bodies can’t actually break down fiber to use for energy. However, fiber helps us feel full longer which helps keep hunger at bay and blood sugars in check.

Fiber comes in two different forms:  soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can help lower blood sugar.  Foods with soluble fiber include apples, blueberries, oatmeal, nuts, and beans. Insoluble fiber helps keep your trips to the bathroom regular and prevents constipation. Foods with insoluble fiber include carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, legumes, and brown rice.

Adults and children need 20-30 grams of fiber per day. Increase your fiber intake by:

  • Eating whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice
  • Snacking on raw vegetables and fruits instead of chips or candy
  • Eating whole grain pasta, bread, and brown rice instead of white bread, white pasta, and white rice
  • Eat beans or legumes a few times per week

Try one of these ideas to increase your fiber intake:

  • Layer low fat Greek yogurt with ½ cup blueberries and 1 tablespoon chia seeds (7 grams of fiber)
  • Dip raw vegetables in ½ a mashed avocado (½ avocado has 6.5 grams of fiber)
  • Steam 1 cup of edamame, top with a pinch of sea salt (8 grams of fiber)
  • Make peanut butter & banana sandwiches: spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter between 2 slices of banana (1 banana has 3g of fiber)
  • Make an apple donut: core an apple, then lay it on its side and slice in rounds. Top with peanut butter or Greek yogurt, then add chopped nuts, berries, or dried fruit.
  • Try a fruit pizza
  • Cut 1 head of broccoli into small pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (1 cup of broccoli has 5 grams of fiber)
Post content reviewed by Melanie Pearsall, RD, CDE

Be Fit Basics: Roasted Winter Vegetables

This recipe from the MGH Be Fit program is an easy way to enjoy seasonal vegetables.

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Set the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the vegetables between two sheet pans (space out in a single layer).  Drizzle equally with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until vegetables are tender (about 25 to 35 minutes), tossing them once with a metal spatula about halfway through the cooking process.

Note: Using two sheet pans, instead of one, will allow for even cooking. Overcrowding the pan will prevent the vegetables from caramelizing.

Yield:  8 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 180 • Protein: 3g • Sodium: 200mg • Carbohydrate: 34g • Fiber: 8g
Fat: 5g • Sat Fat: 1g

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Nutrition, Uncategorized

More Nutrition Myths Debunked

Sydney Bates, Dietetic Intern

There is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to nutrition. It seems that every day there is a new headline that’s at odds with everything we thought we knew. Despite emerging science, many nutrition myths are still prevalent. Here’s the truth about some common nutrition myths.

Myth: Egg yolks are high in cholesterol and should therefore be avoided
Fact: For decades, we were told not to eat eggs too often (and only the whites) if we wanted to be healthier and avoid elevated cholesterol. The latest evidence, however, shows that advice was scrambled. While egg whites are an excellent source of protein, the egg yolks contain most of the major nutrients including iron, folate and vitamins that support eye and brain health. The dietary cholesterol in eggs that was demonized for decades is now largely recognized by the medical community as having little effect on blood cholesterol. Overall, eggs contain a host of valuable nutrients, and focusing on the cholesterol content of eggs as a contributor to disease is not only counter-productive but false. Maintaining a balanced eating pattern with plenty of plant-based proteins and fats with the occasional animal product is the key to keeping those blood lipids at an optimal level.

Myth: Coffee is bad for you
Fact: The majority of studies on coffee have actually shown it provides protective effects against disease. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, and has also been shown to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes in regular consumers. It’s likely the bad reputation comes from cream and sugar many people add to their drink. Adding sweetener greatly decreases this protective effect. To reap the most benefits, limit the amount of cream, milk, sugar, or artificial flavorings you add to your coffee.

Myth: You can eat as much “healthy” food as you like
Fact: The key to a healthy lifestyle is eating a variety of foods from all the main food groups. What this means is that just because the media touts avocados and kale as healthy “superfoods,” it doesn’t mean more is better; even healthy foods still need to be eaten in moderation. Ever hear of the saying, “too much of a good thing?” It applies to so-called healthy foods too. The body needs a certain amount of nutrients to function, and any excess is either stored as fat or eliminated. Plus, when you eat from only a small selection of foods, you miss opportunities to obtain vital nutrients from other sources. No one food contains all the macro- and micronutrients we need. That’s why it’s so important to view articles that promise things such as “eat as much of these foods as you want and never gain weight” with a critical eye. These headlines are designed to grab your attention using the allure of being able to eat all day long and never gain weight. To maintain health, eat a variety of foods, from all the food groups, in portions that are satisfying but don’t leave you feeling overly full all the time.

Myth: Gluten Free is healthier…and other labeling misconceptions
Fact: The term “health halo” is given to foods with a reputation for being better for you. They may have a special title or brand that is associated with being more nutritious, but this is not always the case. For instance, foods like smoothies, granola, organic snacks, protein shakes or foods labeled “organic” or “gluten free” are often thought of as being better options. The fact of the matter is that this is simply marketing and tailoring to consumer demand. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that has received a lot of attention recently. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity need to avoid gluten, but there is no need for the average person to eliminate gluten from their diet. As for organic foods, if you have the resources to purchase the “dirty dozen” (produce known to have high levels of pesticides) organic, wonderful. If not, you will not be losing out on any of the health-giving vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce. Learn more about the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” and make an informed decision about which foods you will purchase organic. Overall, beware of falling for labeling traps and use your best judgement!

If you have questions about nutrition or your meal plan, speak with a Registered Dietitian to shed light on the evidence.

Post content reviewed by Melanie Pearsall, RD, LDN, CDE