Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Are you up for a challenge? Let's do this...get moving and eating right!

Here we go! National Nutrition Month is in full swing and what better way to "Take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle" then to challenge yourself with a new healthy food, idea or activity! 

Mrs. Obama with her Let's Move campaign announced the #GimmeFive challenge this past week and what better way to sum up the changes that you want to make then by making a list of the top 5 ways you will change to make a healthier lifestyle. Let us know what you do and check in with our daily tip to keep you moving and eating healthy! 

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle! Happy 1st day of National Nutrition Month 2015

Whats the BEST way to take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle?

The best way to bite into a healthy lifestyle is to follow the recipe! 

Mix together the following bite

balanced ingredients:  
-A tablespoon of taste
-A drop of sweat 
-A pinch of passion

Tasty foods chosen in moderation and sprinkled with a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables makes every bite better. Sweat is the best seasoning of life and dropping 30 minutes of activity into a daily routine, will make a stronger and healthier body. Finally, finding the passion to reach a healthy lifestyle is the motivating ingredient to maintain balance in a healthy bite. You can do it so get moving! Follow us all this month for healthy tips, challenges, recipe and activity ideas to keep you and your family healthy! 

Happy National Nutrition Month 2015!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentines Day Classroom Party Ideas...Still sweet just not full of chemicals and sugar!

Here we are again...another fun classroom party that may be filled with artificial dyes, flavors, processed foods and did I mention SUGAR! Everybody loves the brightly colored red, pink and white for Valentines Day but why not choose some of these easy classroom party snack additions filled with healthy ingredients and subtracting out the unhealthy ingredients. Here are 10 ideas to make your Valentines Healthy and still "Heart-y"

1. Small sandwiches cut into hearts. Fill them with cheese, cream cheese or nut butter and jelly.

2. Strawberry low fat milk (Buy organic milk boxes like Stoney Farms where there is not a lot of additional sugars added), or make your own. Paper straws add a great decoration to the already pink milk.

3. Dark or white chocolate dipped fruit (or vegetables). My daughter can't wait to help me make chocolate covered carrots this year. She thought that was a blast last year when we were experimenting with dipping fruits and vegetables. Dip just the very tips of the produce trying not to necessarily engulf the entire bite, leaving more fruit than chocolate.

4. Tomato salsa with baked chips or raw vegetables like cauliflower and red peppers for dipping.

5. Valentine Confetti Popcorn- Popcorn, dried strawberries, raisins and mini chocolate chips. What is a party without confetti? This confetti will fill the bellies with fiber and antioxidants.

6. Happy Trails Trail Mix are made by mixing together yogurt covered raisins or pretzels, dried cranberries, strawberries or tomatoes and mini-chocolate chips.

7. Layer strawberries and red grapes on a stick up cut out melons into heart shapes to make a festive Fruit kebab.  

8. Whole fruit wrapped in a cute Valentines Day fruit mask! Hooray for the Naturally sweet Valentines Day card! To print out your own fruit mask click here. And Don't forget to post a picture of your wrapped fruits on our Facebook page

9. Consider X-ing out red velvet cake and cupcakes and substituting homemade Strawberry muffins for a healthier treat.

10. Cutie oranges. I can't get enough of these easy to peel handful of healthy treats.

Last year I sent these in with my son's valentines day cards. Not my original idea, I found it on Pinterest but LOVE it!!

Have a great Valentines Day and feed your loved ones with healthy treats that they will love! xoxo

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Protein snacks for kids

I am forever on a search for high protein, low junk snacks for our 8 and 5 year old kids.   They are very active kids involved in baseball, football, running clubs, dance and other school events and, I think it is important to mention that they are both vegetarians. Neither of them will eat beef, fish, chicken or pork. One will eat eggs and the other will eat tofu, and otherwise that leaves us with nuts, seeds, yogurt, beans, milk and to some extent whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables to seek out for their protein sources. 

Protein is important to build and repair tissues in the body. Most every process in a body needs protein for adequate health. 

On average kids need protein based on their weight in kilograms. To determine a general goal for protein needs for kids take their weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 to reach their kilograms. For a healthy child without any health concerns you can take their weight in kilograms and multiply by 0.8-1.0 to determine their need for grams of protein. For example: Jackson is 87 pounds and therefore his protein needs would be: 87/2.2= 39.5kg x 0.8 = 32 -40 grams of protein per day. 

Determining the amount of protein in a food item can be found by reading a food label. Make note of
how many servings the label is referring too and then scroll down to grams of protein. 

Here is a list of after school and lunch time snacks that I find healthy and protein rich:

1. Quick and easy granola and snack bars are one of my easiest forms of protein rich snacks. The kids favorite bars are KIND snack bars which have protein contents that range from 3-8 grams of protein per bar. Low in sugar and rich in whole grains. I love these snacks so much I asked them to donate to our run club which has 100+ kids. The kids loved the snacks and learned a little bit about healthy eating! 
2. A whole grain protein rich waffle which can be served any time of the day. Containing as much as 16 grams of protein these falafel waffles were recently published in Food &Nutrition Magazine. 
3. Ants on a Raft or the classic ants on a log incorporate protein rich nut butters with apples or celery topped with raisins. 
4. Smoothies are amazing because you can jam pack in a ton of nutrients that are easily swallowed or sipped up. Some great protein additions include: low fat Greek yogurt ( a little more protein than regular yogurt), low fat soy or cow milk (Almond milk is very low in protein), nut butters and even tofu.

No matter how old your kids are, protein is an important part of their diet. Keep in mind the protein sources and a mental note of their daily protein intake. For questions concerning protein email me: Brandi@ABCDEatRight.com . 

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Score your own Super Bowl Touchdowns with kid friendly healthy party snacks

Football party food is rarely considered the healthiest fare. This year score a touchdown with your team by serving these 7 easy and healthy options:

1. Guacamole- mash up a few ripe avocados, squeeze a half a lemon and add salt and pepper to taste. Dip your favorite chopped vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, red peppers, cauliflower. 

2. Skewered thinly cut chicken strips with cherry tomatoes and onion. Marinate the chicken overnight in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

3. Salad on a stick: Layer chopped romaine lettuce, quartered tomatoes, carrot slices or coins, red pepper slices and cucumbers. Dip in oil and vinegar. 

4. Grilled portabello mushrooms with goat cheese. 

5. Grilled stuffed peppers. Stuff with black beans, cheese and cooked rice or cooked quinoa and garbanzo beans. 

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower field with Greek yogurt dip. 
7. Fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe) cut into football shapes using a cookie cutter.

No matter who loses at the Superbowl this year, your family will score a huge win with all of the healthy options!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tea...Drink to your health!

This year for my New Year Resolutions I wanted to relax more and try to relieve stress more often. My first step was to switch from coffee to tea. Throughout my life tea seems to have a calming effect on me and now the research is backing up what my body already knew. I have tried all types of teas, iced or hot, and always come back to the soothing and health benefits of tea. 

Did you know that tea contains flavenoids which may be linked to decreasing certain cancer risks? Flavenoids are phytonutrients that work at a molecular level to, put simply, clean up the bad cells in the body.  I love the fact that drinking something may actually make me healthier and tea is on top of the list of healthy drinks. Just like eating blueberries or kale, teas are rich in antioxidants which work to rid the body of free radicals, which are also simply, the bad cells in the body. Tea is lower in caffeine than coffee and some studies have shown that tea may increase mental alertness and promote weight loss.   

Green, white, black and oolong teas have the most concentrated amounts of antioxidants. So these teas should take precedence when choosing a tea that has the best nutritional bang for the bag!

As a side note, not all teas are created equal and one should avoid bottled teas with added sugars and flavors, instant teas,  "dieters tea" and those teas that promise to kill pain or treat cancer or any other disease.

After trying many different kinds of teas I have to recommend #The RepublicofTea for their great tasting teas and awesome assortment of flavors. They have every tea you can imagine and I have yet to be disappointed. To order their teas click here. 

One last item I would like to include this week in my rave about tea is a tea smoothie! Smoothies are a great way to jam pack in a lot of nutrients from healthy fruits and vegetables. Tea provides that extra boost of antioxidants to help the body even more. Enjoy!

Pom-Berry Green Tea Smoothie

1/2 cup Pom Seeds
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen blackberries
1 banana
2 cups milk (soy, low fat dairy or almond)
1/2 cup brewed green tea
Optional: sweetener of choice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
Makes 2 - 2 cup servings.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Do you Drop? A new scale and app from Apple that makes cooking a cinch!

I have never been a perfectionist, but I love to cook. Recipes sometimes seemed too binding and having an innate desire to make foods healthier, that is the Dietitian in me, I often end up substituting ingredients. Making precise measurements always seemed a little bit too much for me and I prefer to wing it at times. If you are like me, or if you have young kids who are learning how to cook, you are going to LOVE this new creation by Apple called Drop Kitchen

How do you get started? 
First you purchase the scale, which costs about $100. Then you download the "Get Drop" app to your iPad. Once the app is downloaded it will sync with the scale. Then you are able to browse the recipes, which are amazing. The layout is similar to Pinterest which entices you with beautiful pictures of the food you can create. Once you have chosen the recipe, you gather the ingredients then get started. 

Who can use it?
Our five year old daughter was able to use it and loved it. I loved it because I no longer needed measuring cups or spoons, which always add to the dish washing load. 

Cooking gadgets are always pure joy to me and my husband did an awesome job when he surprised me by purchasing Drop for my Christmas present. I see cooking almost like therapy. I recommend this app and scale, especially when baking with kids. Enjoy!

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