Snowmen Bagels

As much as I am awaiting Spring and hope to see no more snow this Winter, here is a great idea for a snowy day! I recently made this at a daycare with children and they were a hit!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat mini bagel (snowman body)
  • shredded carrots (nose)
  • low fat cream cheese (white for snowman)
  • dried fruit- I used cranberries (mouth and buttons)
  • blueberries (eyes)
  • pretzel sticks (arms)

Picture below is done by a crafty 5 year old!

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Greek Yogurt Heart Bites

These Strawberry and Yogurt bites were a perfect recipe that I made for a lot of valentine treats this past February! Not only do adults and teens love them, but the kids do too! This is also a simple recipe that the kids can be involved in too. This recipe was provided from Produce For Kids (http://produceforkids.com/) They have amazing recipes for kids to make on here!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (if you want them sweeter, use vanilla)
  • 2 tbsp. honey

Directions:

  • Mix together and spread into a heart shaped ice cube tray
  • Freeze for 2 or more hours

For the exact recipe: http://www.produceforkids.com/meal-planning/strawberry-yogurt-bites

 

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*Picture taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

Breakfast & Snack Ideas

If you are feeling rushed in the morning to eat breakfast, you can still make breakfast convenient and fuel your brain! Here are some examples of convenient breakfasts: Remember to always have protein with your meals (Aim for 20 grams)

  • 8 oz. skim milk, a banana and 1 Kind Bar (aim for a bar with at least 7g of protein, less than 8g of sugar and more than 3g of fiber)
  • 1 low-fat cheese stick, mini whole wheat bagel, one piece of fruit
  • Hard boiled egg (cook the night before), 1 slice 100% whole grain bread and a 6 oz. can of tomato juice
  • 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt with added granola or fruit

If you are craving a snack at night, have a snack 1 hour to 30 minutes before you need to relax or before going to bed. Limit the snack to 150-200 calories.

Examples include:

  • 3-4 cups of air-popped popcorn (lightly salted) with sprinkled cheese
  • 2 slices of cinnamon raisin bread with 1 tbsp. peanut butter/almond butter
  • 100% whole wheat English muffin with 2 tsp. jam or peanut butter
  • 5 graham crackers + 10 almonds
  • 9 triscuits + 10 peanuts
  • 1 thin slice of angel food cake topped with 1/4 cup berries

Can We Really Call This “Stuff” Food?

I was just on http://www.buzzfeed.com (awesome website by the way!) and happened to come across a link to 12 fast food items that have a disgusting amount of ingredients.

Here’s a quick breakdown for you..

  1. Dunkin Donuts pumpkin pie donut — around 50 different ingredients (you may want to rethink your “sweet tooth” on this one!)
  2. Burger King french toast sticks — 82 different ingredients (think again when you’re craving a breakfast food, you’re better off making your own french toast!)
  3. McDonald’s filet-o-fish — 101 different ingredients (think you’re making the right choice by choosing fish? Think again…)
  4. Taco Bell’s Doritos loco taco — 72 different ingredients (if only they advertised all the ingredients on this new product in their commercials.. maybe it wouldn’t be so popular!)
  5. Subway Italian sub — 95 different ingredients (we might think that we’re making a healthy choice going with Subway.. I mean come on, Jared Fogle lost so much weight from eating sandwiches from here!)
  6. Starbucks birthday cake pop — 60 different ingredients (what a great present to give someone for their birthday… a cake pop filled with massive amounts of ingredients.. enjoy that for a birthday present why don’t ya!)
  7. McDonald’s chicken Caesar salad — 69 different ingredients (hmm… who knew a salad could have SO MANY ingredients?!)
  8. KFC pot pie — 208 different ingredients!! (but it’s not fried…)

So, you might want to think again when you go into a fast food restaurant! Even though something may be lower in calories or look like a healthier choice, look closer at the ingredients listed on a food product. Do your research. This is your body, your child’s body. We only get one body to live in. Why wouldn’t we feed it the nutrients it needs? Don’t give in to temptation and advertisements. Stick to simple, fresh, wholesome foods. We don’t need all of this “fake” food to survive.

no-fast-foodPhoto credit: robertdaylin.wordpress.com

Get The Energy You & Your Family Need

We all have heard that eating breakfast is the best way to start our days and get our metabolisms going. But what should our plates look like in the morning to give us the most energy and brain power? The answer is protein and fiber.

Protein and fiber helps us feel full longer, but remember it’s all about having a balanced plate. We all have different appetites and taste buds in the morning, so here are some great options to choose from!

Eggs are a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. And don’t forget to add some fiber-rich vegetables to your eggs as well! It’s helpful to add whole grains to our breakfasts such as whole grain toast, whole grain cereal, whole grain pancakes, etc. Low-fat dairy products (as well as soy based products) are also a plus in the morning. Using fresh fruit to put into plain low-fat yogurt is an excellent way to incorporate fruit (another excellent source of fiber) into the diet while getting protein from dairy products. Adding granola, nuts, or seeds to breakfast foods is also a way to get more protein and help us get the energy we need throughout the day! So let’s stop feeling sluggish, and feed our bodies the nutrients it needs!

**These are also great energy snacks to keep in mind for your work days/school days/everyday days!

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Photo credit: nutrition.answers.com

What To Eat For Breakfast

People who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than those who eat breakfast. It’s important to eat a breakfast that is rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Protein and fiber help slow digestion to keep you full until your next meal.

Eggs, milk, yogurt, nut butters, and seeds are all good examples of protein filled foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are loaded with fibers. Eating a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese and veggies is an excellent choice. Also, eating at least one serving of fruit or vegetables at breakfast is a good way to start the day!

Remember to keep in mind that sugary cereals and sweet rolls will leave you feeling hungry by mid-morning.. so aim for a protein-fiber packed meal to keep you going!

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Keep Your Metabolism Going!

Looking for ways to control your metabolism? Here are some simple tips to keep your metabolism going!

  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink green tea
  • Make your workout intensity higher
  • Eat breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day!
  • Lift weights
  • Drink more water!
  • Add some spice to your foods– a dash here and there can help boost your metabolism
  • Make sure you squeeze in some cardio during the day
  • Eat clean, eat wisely
  • Grab a cup of coffee or tea in the morning– just watch the amount of sugar and milk you put in your cup!
  • SMILE and LAUGH often

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For more information: http://greatist.com/health/11-scientifically-proven-ways-boost-metabolism

 

Blueberry Banana Pancakes, Only 3 Ingredients!

Do you enjoy pancakes in the morning? Are you a fan of blueberries and bananas? Instead of indulging in a high calorie breakfast of regular pancakes, try this recipe out! This recipe only requires 3 ingredients.. can it get any easier?!

  1. 1 large banana
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1 handful blueberries

Directions:

  • Peel and slice the banana
  • Mash the banana and the egg
  • Mix until fully combined
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat
  • Fill 1/4 cup with the pancake mix
  • Add 5-7 blueberries
  • Cook until lightly brown

What do you think? Do you have any healthy recipes you would like to share?

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For more information on this recipe: http://undressedskeleton.tumblr.com/post/38657925508

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber!

Most Americans are not getting enough fiber in their diets. The average adult only eats 15 grams/day, but did you know the recommendation for males is 38 grams/day and women 25g/day? Here are some great facts on fiber from Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD.

In order to add more fiber to your diet, it’s important to add more plant based foods to your diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts. Avoiding refined grains — such as white flour, white pasta, and white rice — and replacing them with whole grains is a great way to boost the amount of fiber in your diet.

Soluble fiber is found in beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, oat bran, nuts, seeds, psyllium, apples, pears, strawberries, and blueberries. Soluble fiber is associated with lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, wheat bran, nuts, seeds, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, nuts, grapes, and tomatoes.  One of the benefits of insoluble fiber is that it helps keep you regular, prevents constipation, and reduces the risk of diverticular disease.

Here is a sample healthy meal packed with nutrients and 37 grams of fiber:

  • Breakfast: whole-grain bran flake cereal (5 grams of fiber), half a banana (1.5 grams of fiber), and skim milk.
  • Snack: 24 almonds (3.3 grams of fiber) and a quarter cup of raisins (1.5 grams of fiber)
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich made with 2 slices of whole wheat bread, lettuce, and tomato (5 grams of fiber), and an orange (3.1 grams of fiber)
  • Snack: Yogurt with half a cup of blueberries (2 grams of fiber)
  • Dinner: Grilled fish with a salad of romaine lettuce and shredded carrots (2.6 grams of fiber), half a cup of spinach (2.1 grams of fiber), and half a cup of lentils (7.5 grams of fiber)
  • Snack: 3 cups popped popcorn (3.5 grams of fiber)

7 Ways to Add More Fiber

Here are seven more ways to add fiber to your diet:

  1. Start your day with a whole-grain cereal that contains at least 5 grams of fiber. Look at the list of ingredients to be sure the whole grain (such as whole wheat, whole rye, or whole oats) is first on the list.
  2. Read labels and choose foods with at least a few grams of fiber per serving. A good source of fiber contains 2.5-4.9 grams of fiber per serving. An excellent source has 5 grams or more per serving.
  3. Use whole-grain breads with at least 2-3 grams of fiber per slice for sandwiches.
  4. Choose whole fruit over juice. Whole fruit can have as much as twice the amount of fiber as a glass of juice.
  5. Toss beans into your soups, stews, egg dishes, salads, chili, and Mexican dishes. Substitute beans for meat in at least one vegetarian meal per week.
  6. Experiment with international cuisines (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and beans in main dishes.
  7. Make snacks count as opportunities to enjoy foods high in fiber. For instance, snack on raw vegetables with bean dip or hummus.

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For more information: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/fiber-how-much-do-you-need

America, Do We Really Run On Dunkin’?

Earlier this week, Dunkin’ Donuts revealed their glazed doughnut breakfast sandwich– a combination of a glazed doughnut, bacon, and eggs. There is a combination of sugar, fat, and salt together which creates an addictive response in our brains. It shows there are 8 grams of saturated fat and 730 mg of sodium(1/3 of daily recommended amount) in one of these sandwiches! What do you think about this new creation?

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