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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Heart Shaped Fruits

I couldn’t get enough of my heart shaped cookie cutter for heart health month in February! Did you know you can use a small shaped cookie cutter on a strawberry to make it into a perfect heart shape? This worked so well to add a special touch to fruit skewers for Valentine’s Day! I picked up my heart shaped cookie cutters from Walmart for only $0.99! I love finding great finds at a great price!

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Simply take your cookie cutter, push it through the strawberry, cut the heart-shape in half to make two heart shaped strawberries! You can also use these on other fruits, like melons, I just thought the strawberries were perfect for a heart!!

I got a little carried away and made all of my heart-shaped strawberries into a big heart!

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*Picture taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

Happy 4th!

This weekend is known for parties which could also mean that some of us may overeat on some of our favorite barbecue treats! Today, I have a healthy snack that you can bring with you to your next party. Not only is it very fast, but it’s also very simple to make! Bring it to a party for not only you, but your families, friends, coworkers, etc. Why not make something sweet and enjoyable for everyone to enjoy, even children! This is a sweet treat to make made from nature’s very own candy.. fruit! In the following recipe you will need toothpicks, raspberries, blueberries, and mini marshmallows. You can always substitute for other red fruits. Instead of using marshmallows you can also try to use bananas, however they might brown very quickly after slicing them.

The great thing about these little snacks is that you can enjoy them on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or any other patriotic holiday to celebrate the USA! Happy 4th everybody! Enjoy the day and be safe!

*Pictures were taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

 

Fruit Lady Bugs

lady bugs

This is a great one for the kids! Looking for something creative for your kids to make? Why not make a lady bug? This recipe is easy for anyone to make! All you need is chocolate frosting, a blueberry, and a strawberry! In order to draw in the legs, I used a white paper plate for the background in order to see them clearly. These make excellent snacks and the kids can get involved in making them too!

Clementine Pumpkins

Although Halloween is over, I had to share this fun and easy snack I have made twice already this season! This is a perfect idea for a dessert at a party you might be hosting in the Fall, or to give your children to bring with them as a snack for school!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag or box clementines (Naval oranges or tangerines may be substituted)
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, cut crosswise into 3 or 4 segments, each about 1-2 inches long, and then sliced in lengthwise in half

Directions:

1. Peel each clementine by hand carefully, so it does not come apart. Remove the middle pith, if possible.

2. Cut each celery stalk into pieces 1-inch or longer, to make pumpkin stems and insert it into the top of the fruit, so that it resembles a pumpkin stalk.

3. Adjust the width and length of the celery stems according to the size of your “pumpkins.”

 

Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, All Kinds Of Berries!

Berries deliver fiber, vitamin C and a delicious taste for summer! Berries are also a great source of phytochemicals which help defend against heart disease and cancer. Fresh berries are a diabetes-friendly fruit and also great for weight management. They are a perfect snack, great in yogurt, smoothies and cereal and even in a salad!

Cranberry: Excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. They may play a role in preventing urinary tract infections.

Blueberry: Good source of vitamin C and fiber. They contain free-radical compounds which may provide heart health and cancer-fighting benefits.

Gooseberry: High in vitamin C. They are great in sauces or jams!

Raspberry: Low in calories and high in vitamin C. They have a whole 8 grams of fiber in one cup!

Strawberry: High in vitamin C and Folate. Great to use frozen strawberries when they are not in season!

Blackberry: Excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Great in salads, sauces and as a dessert!

Boysenberry: Provide vitamin K and are an excellent source of fiber and folate. These are slightly sweeter than raspberries!

For more information: MAY/JUNE 2014 Edition. Food and Nutrition. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Source of Photograph: atlantablackstar.com

Fun Facts on Fruits

  • Tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable.
  • Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heart burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
  • An average strawberry has around 200 seeds!
  • Dark green vegetables contain more vitamin C than light green vegetables.
  • Because bananas are easy to digest and are very nutritious, they are one of the first fruits given to babies.
  • An apple tree can produce up to 400 apples a year.
  • A banana ripens quickly when you put it in a brown paper bag with an apple or a tomato.
  • Dried fruits contain more calories than whole fruits since drying takes out the water.
  • An avocado has more fat content than any other fruit.
  • An average fruit is 1/4 only made of water.
  • Bananas are great for athletic and fitness activity because they replenish necessary carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise.
  • One orange supplies a healthy dose of Vitamin C, which plays an important role in cancer prevention, healthy blood circulation and wound healing. 
  • Kiwis are packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange.
  • Nectarines are a great source for vitamin A and various phytochemicals that are good for your eyes and joints.
  • Mangoes belong to the same family as the cashew and the pistachio nut.

What else do you know about fruits? Add to the list!!

http://www.fruitsinfo.com/did-you-know.php

http://www.fruitatwork.com.au/fruit-information.html#oranges

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.

Book-Carbohydrate-Fiber-Foods

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

Need Some Flavor In Your Water?

A lot of people I talk to have trouble drinking water without any flavor.. and I don’t blame them! Our taste buds like a little flavor, but there are healthier ways to add this flavor rather than buying flavored waters, drinking sports drinks, relying on soda to fill the need of flavor in our beverages. Here are some tips to adding NATURAL flavors to our water!

You will need…

-1-2 liters’ of water, depending on how strong you want it to taste
-Part of 1 watermelon or 1 cucumber
-1 lemon or lime
-A handful of fresh mint leaves (approximately 10-13)
-Ice cubes

Slice up a good amount of watermelon into cubes, rind and all, and put them into a jug or pitcher. Cut 1 juicy lime into wedges and toss in with the watermelon. Add a handful of fresh, fragrant, mint leaves and pour in 2 liters of cool water, filling the jug all the way to the top. Let this sit overnight in the fridge and let all the yummy flavors steep and infuse the water. When you want to drink it, put in a generous helping of ice cubes, pour, and enjoy daily.

Remember: You can always substitute a fruit or a vegetable depending on your own taste! You don’t have to follow this recipe step by step, this is just to give you an idea of how great you can make your water taste.. and look!

Doesn’t this look refreshing?

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Summer Snack.. A Must!

Looking for a new, healthy recipe for the summer?

Are you a peanut butter fanatic?

Than you must try this creamy peanut butter dip!

    • Take one 5.3-ounce container of nonfat Oikos Greek Vanilla yogurt.
    • Mix in two tbsp. peanut butter (I prefer crunchy), 1/2 tbsp. honey, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.
    • Serve with slices of apple, banana, and pear. Store unused portion in the fridge.

Makes four, two-tbsp. servings. Each serving contains 66 calories, 3.75 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, .75 grams of fiber, and 5.5 grams of protein.

Visit www.fitsugar.com for more amazing recipes and nutrition tips! (What an awesome site!)