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Food Bites

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How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa

We love trying and using alternative grains, but we always come back to Quinoa.  It is so easy to make, delicious in a variety of recipes, and a great substitution for rice (which we eat a lot of)  I change up the method I use to cook quinoa depending on what else I am making and if I am already using the stove, etc.  Each method has its advantages, but I think that to make SUPER fl.... read more

Posted in Blog, Gluten Free, Side Dishes, Special Diets, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 2

5 Favorite Fiber-rich Foods

fruit and veg heart
  When many people think of fiber they think of bland, boring foods.   Yet everyone knows how beneficial fiber is.  So why is it, that a large majority of Americans are not getting the recommended doses of fiber? One reason is because there are too many people not eating the recommended 7-9 servings of fruits of vegetables everyday.  Fiber, a calorie-free substance tha.... read more

Posted in Blog, Fruit and Veggies Facts, Whole Grains | Post Comment

Go Green! It Could Save Your Life!

Going green
  I have always been a person who loves greens; raw spinach, green beans, peas (only as an adult), kiwi, green apples, romaine lettuce, avocadoooo!!!  But knowing just how powerful they can be at giving us a long life of vitality is something that I had to learn through my education towards becoming a registered dietitian.  Now, greens are a staple in my household.    .... read more

Posted in Blog, Fruit and Veggies Facts | Post Comment

Healthy Red Snack Day - Kids Buffet

I can think of some fun reasons to have a HEALTHY RED SNACK DAY KIDS BUFFET!! National Wear Red Day  FEB 7 Red Ribbon Week Valentines Day Feb 14 Canada day Fourth of July! But perhaps the most important reason to have a red snack buffet- Lycopene!   From WebMd: Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants -- such as lycopene and anthocya.... read more

Posted in 4th of July, Blog, Food Bites, Snacks, Valentine's Day | Post Comment | 2

How to Cook, Store, and Use Beans

Beans are not only nutritious, but they are inexpensive, versatile and very filling!  We have compiled all of the information you will ever need to know about beans for you! Read on to become a bean master......  The information in this chart has some of the most popular and commonly used beans.     Alternative   Names Cooking Method Time     .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 8

Chia Seeds: Health Benefits and Energy Bites

Chia seeds have gotten quite the hype the last few years.  In the running and endurance athletics community they have definitely become a hot commodity since their introduction in the book 'Born to Run' by Christopher McDougall.  In the book, the super-athletic Tarahumara Indians in Mexico consumed chia seeds while on their desert runs and were provided with surges of.... read more

Posted in Blog, Dessert, Food Bites, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 54

8 Ways To Reduce Your Kids Sugar Intake

If you are tired of your kids acting moody and feeling sluggish as a result of too much holiday sugar then let's re-commit together to take the health of our families up a notch!  I'm ready!   Sugar doesn't only make kids (and yourself) moody and tired. Too much sugar (more than 25 grams of added sugar a day) also: Reduces brain function!   Leads to over-eating (that one should .... read more

Posted in Blog, Childhood Obesity, Food Bites, Healthy Kids | Post Comment | 4

Gingerlicious Gingerbread Granola

My kids and I are fantasizing about how many different granola flavors we can imagine! The possibilities are endless!  Here are a few they wanted to try: Pumpkin Granola Apple Pie Granola Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Maple Pecan Granola Almond Coconut Raisin and Cinnamon! and today's Gingerbread Granola! We love granola for a billion reason.  But the most important to my k.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, Food Bites | Post Comment | 2

Warm Wheat Berry Breakfast

I remember as a kid, that occasionally on Sunday nights we would have a 'special' dinner.  We called it Hot Porridge and we all loved it.  Now that I am an adult I look back and realize that it was just cooked wheat berries!  We would drizzle a little honey and a splash of milk on it and eat it up.  I haven't eaten it in years and the other day I saw a picture of cooked wheat b.... read more

Posted in Apricots, Blog, Breakfast, Cranberries, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 5

How To Open A Pomegranate

We really try to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, and sometimes in the Winter it just doesn't seem like there are as many varieties to choose from.  Enter pomegranates.  I almost forget about these tart delights, until they start popping up at the grocery store in November.  They were on sale at our local grocery store for .77 cents!!  You better believe that I snatched some.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Pomegranate | Post Comment | 15

Christmas Pepper and Pea Potatoes

New Meal Plan!  I know some of you look for the meal plans we post every weekend for ideas.  Instead of writing a blog post for the meal plans, we are going to keep them under the top tab titled: Meal Plan to avoid having the same thing in fifty different places around here.  I'll remind you it's there every Monday though!  Check out and print the meal plan for this week here. .... read more

Posted in Blog, Christmas, Food Bites, Gluten Free, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 2

Fresh Pumpkin Puree in 3 Simple Steps

While of course it's easier to get your pumpkin from a can, and generally cheaper, there are a few reasons you may consider pureeing your own pumpkin!   You puree will be organic if your pumpkins are! It actually is cheaper if you grow your own pumpkins. It's a skill that is good to learn. It's good to be independent and self reliant. Your kids can get the farm to table connection, and .... read more

Posted in Blog, DIY, Food Bites, Squash | Post Comment | 18

Homemade Veggie Wash

Do you wash your fruits and vegetables?  Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. Even though we aren't always diligent about it, it is a good habit to get into.  While washing your vegetables isn't a guarantee you will remove everything that could make you or your family sick, it can help. The reasons you would want to wash them would be to: Remove dirt and debris Minimize bacteria p.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Fruit and Veggies Facts | Post Comment | 15

101 Healthy Shortcuts plus New Healthy Meal Plan

Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? We try to send some helpful tips once a week, with updates of blog posts and a helpful tip or recipe!  Upon signing up, you get an auto welcome email with 101 Healthy Shortcuts.  One reader asked if we could post the 101 list here so she can print them!  So, here you go!  (I uploaded a pdf of them here) Healthy eating doesn't have to .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Menu Ideas | Post Comment | 3

Crunchy Pecan Chicken Plus 10 Protein Foods

#myplate sauteed greens
One search that brings people to my website almost  more than any others is the term "protein for kids" or "how much protein for kids".  We use three different ways to measure how much protein kids should be eating, according to the guidelines.  These are: 2-4 ounces of meat or beans per day. 0.45 grams of protein per lb of body weight, or 1/4 of your meal (similar to Choose .... read more

Posted in Blog, Dinner, Food Bites | Post Comment | 12

Beans and Benefits Plus New Meal Plan

It has been recommended for optimal health, to eat 1/2 cup of beans or legumes per day. ( This is easy to do by including beans in soups or salads, or pureed to be a dip. Beans are: A great source of protein at a very low cost! Beans are a great source of naturally occurring folate.   Folic acid, the synthetic version of this b-vitamin may not have the protective benefits that natur.... read more

Posted in Food Bites, Menu Ideas | Post Comment | 6

Complex Carbohydrates and 5 Minute Dinner

Ever have a quiet minute in the day, so you pick up a book, only to fall asleep? Or you try to watch your favorite TV show and then fall asleep on the couch, missing the whole thing?  There is a way to get your groove back, and I promise it doesn't include Diet Coke. Complex carbohydrates, like whole-grain bread, whole grain cereal,  brown rice, and whole wheat pasta  is our bodies.... read more

Posted in Blog, Dinner, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 2

The Truth About Eggs and Farm Fun

  My good friend Jandee has a farm.  A  We went to visit her farm last week, and the kids had a blast checking out all of the animals, collecting eggs and learning about where our food comes from. This is Jandee.  She told me to bring empty egg cartons, but didn't tell me why.  I thought we might be making some craft for the kids.  But oh no, she get.... read more

Posted in Food Bites | Post Comment | 1

Breakfast Essentials!

I wouldn't dream of sending my kids to school without breakfast, but sometimes when we are in a rush, it's tough to make it a balanced breakfast.   I wake them up at 7am, and they have to be out the door by 7:30. Exactly 30 minutes to get dressed, eat, and pack a lunch. If I haven't gotten everything finished I do in the mornings, I'll turn the TV on to distract the little one. This back.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 10

How Sweet It Is: Different Types of Sugar

   What exactly is sugar?  To understand what sugar is you have to go back to junior high science class and do a brief review of photosynthesis. All green plants manufacture sugar through photosynthesis, which is how plants use sunlight to make energy. This energy is in the form of sugar and more specifically sucrose.  Sucrose is found in fruits and vegetables. Once .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 5

Top 5 Superfoods to Include in Your Diet

What is a Superfood?  It is a food that contains high concentrations of essential nutrients with proven health benefits.  So here are our Top 5 Superfoods.       1) Blueberries. They rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants.  High in fiber and Vitamn C.  Also, Blueberries are low in calories -- fewer than 100 for a full cup.  Plus they .... read more

Posted in Food Bites, Fruit and Veggies Facts, Uncategorized, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 3

The Salt of The Earth

Sea Salt
My father in law (who is blind) will add salt to EVERYTHING he eats.  However, being blind he can not see how much salt he is adding. It usually ends up being a whole pile of it!  If you try to slow him down, by saying, "STOP! Too much salt!" He will give it a few more shakes! He loves salt.  Leads me to wonder, how much salt are my kids getting in our mostly healthy diet.  Som.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 3

Nutrition Lesson Plan: Whole Grains

We concentrate a lot around here about making half our meals fruits and vegetables, which I still think is very important. But one important lesson to teach kids is to make half their grains, whole grains (or all of them!) Here is another lesson idea for teaching kids whether you home school or teach at an institution. For more lesson ideas, visit our lesson plan page. Make Half Your Grains Wh.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 5

8 MyPlate Lesson ideas for K-2nd Grade

Whether you are teaching in school, homeschool, or you just like to teach your kids about nutrition, use these lesson ideas to make education fun! For more free printable nutrition lesson plans go here.  Also check out Healthy kids Challenge for great nutrition curriculum tools! Choose MyPlate: Introduce to the class the different foods that comprise the new MyPlate guidelines using visual.... read more

Posted in Blog, Choose MyPlate, Food Bites, SHK news | Post Comment | 3

5 Simple Rules For Super Immunity! {Plus Giveaway}

I am a long time fan of the books written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  I remember being introduced to his first book, Disease Proof Your Child, by a neighbor who was extremely healthy. This book teaches parents how to feed your kids the best food and by doing so, avoiding childhood illnesses like ear infections, colds, fevers, etc. One thing about Dr. Fuhrman's books that some find tough, is to eat.... read more

Posted in Fruit and Veggies Facts, Fruits and Vegetables, Healthy Kids | Post Comment | 82

10 Thermos Ideas For a Healthy Lunch

Some of you have kids that actually bring home their lunch bags and containers.  You have a great opportunity to send hot or cold items in a thermos, and suddenly there are so many more options for your kids to take a healthy lunch.  Here are some foods we enjoy for lunch, that would be great to take in a thermos: Pasta Salad: This is my favorite lunch time meal!  We use: 1/2 .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Lunch | Post Comment | 104

How Much Sugar Do Your Kids Eat?

cheerios and sugar
I've had sugar on my mind lately.  I was purchasing some foods with sugar in them for a nutrition class I was teaching yesterday, only to surprise myself how much sugar some of the common foods have that our kids are eating.  (and my kids happened to be pretty excited when they saw my stash of junk food) What I realize, is that being informed is the most important thing.  Simple co.... read more

Posted in Articles, Blog, Childhood Obesity, Food Bites, Healthy Kids, Snacks | Post Comment | 19

11 Ways To Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know that seven out of 10 Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables? Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian, author of "Eat Your Way to Happiness" and Tropicana Pure Premium spokeswoman, says, "Committing to small, simple dietary changes can have a powerful impact on your overall health, and it couldn't be easier." Take the Fruit & Veg pledge to squeeze more fruits and vegetabl.... read more

Posted in Articles, Blog, Breakfast, Food Bites, Fruits and Vegetables, Healthy Kids, Kids in the Kitchen | Post Comment | 5

10 Ways To Use Vegetable Juice {Plus Meal Plan}

I have 2 quarts of Mott's Garden Blend Vegetable juice.  It has tomato, celery, carrot, and parsley juice.  I had no luck getting my kids to try to drink the juice, so instead I found a recipe to use it in.  We tried some homemade burgers and homemade fries for dinner last night, using this recipe, from Southern Living Magazine.  The recipe has you soak three slices of bread in.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, Dinner, Food Bites, Juices, Lunch, Menu Ideas, Snacks | Post Comment | 4

5 Ways to Flavor Water

Water is boring to some kids, but essential to drink often!  This summer, it's important to keep your kids hydrated.  How much water should your kids be drinking?  New recommendations do not have a specific amount.  With different climates, activity level, and genetics, everyone needs a different amount.  A tried and true rule of thumb is the pee test! So, for letter-W, w.... read more

Posted in Berries, Blog, Cherries, Food Bites, Fruit Recipes, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten Free, Juices, Nut Free, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 6

Teaching Kids The ABC’s Of Essential Vitamins

Kids are smart!  Teaching them what healthy food can do for them is an inspiring way to get them excited about eating good food.  One thing I love to teach when I'm visiting classrooms is about which Vitamins are essential, and WHY we need them!  Not only do the kids get it, they start looking for foods they need for the essentials. So, for another Letter-V post, it's vital to talk .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Fruit and Veggies Facts, Healthy Kids | Post Comment | 10

10 Favorite Healthy Travel Snacks

Jill, from Healthy Kiddo Snacks submitted these healthy ideas for traveling this summer. Jill is a true scientist, focusing her research in diabetes and obesity.  With a masters in physiology, Jill knows first hand how damaging a typical child's diet is to his health. Check out her website for more healthy snack ideas! Jill's ideas for Travel Snacks fits perfectly with letter-T week! Summer .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Healthy Kids, Snacks | Post Comment | 8

Snacks to Take Swimming at the Beach or Pool

Today I've got a Q&A from Lisa B. Lisa asks: Do you have good snack ideas for taking food to the pool in the summer?  I want something that holds up in the heat and humidity but I want to avoid buying boxed crackers, etc.. Great question Lisa! While we live in the desert and we don't have much problem with humidity, we do have some intense heat!  Food to take to the lake, swimming .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Healthy Kids, Snacks | Post Comment | 8

Healthy Add-Ins and New Meal Plan

You don't have to be a "hiding vegetables" advocate to appreciate the nutrient boost given to foods when you add healthy ingredients.  Here are some of our favorite add-ins to increase the nutrients in a dish! Healthy add-ins Add to sauces: whole or pureed vegetables, whole or pureed beans, Add to baked goods: Whole wheat flour, ground flax meal, wheat germ, ground bean flour, berries, pure.... read more

Posted in Blog, Breakfast, Dinner, Food Bites, Lunch, Menu Ideas, Snacks | Post Comment | 3

The Potency of Potassium: Why Your Kids Need it and Where to Find it

{A guest post by Leslie Johnson about Potassium! Thanks Leslie!} While many different food products and parenting magazines will stress the importance of well-balanced meals for your kids that include vitamins X, Y, and Z, one nutrient that often gets left out of the mix is potassium. While most healthy individuals have sufficient levels of potassium in their bodies, this can only occurs if an in.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Fruit and Veggies Facts | Post Comment | 4

10 Best Sources of Omega-3

Your kids might need more Omega 3 if they suffer from dry skin, depression, or fatigue.  Including it in their diet may help reduce stress, lower hostility rate in young adults, reduce levels of aggression, (a definite plus if you have a toddler) lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, may protect against macular degeneration (which my father-in-law is blind from).  The most impressive e.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 7

Mom’s Top Strategy For More Vitamin B

Moms across the country were surveyed and asked, "What is the easiest way to make sure your kids are getting enough Vitamin B?" They answered with their top ways: #5 Meat and Poultry (Meat and Poultry have a naturally occurring B3-Niacin!  This is essential for converting food to energy, healthy skin, nerves, and digestion) #4 Vitamin B Supplements  #3 Dairy and Eggs (Eggs and Dairy p.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Snacks | Post Comment | 10

My Bag of Tricks to Make ‘Fun Food'

I had no idea that my crinkle cutter could create such a reaction! My readers love the crinkle cut veggies!  My kids love them too, so I'm pretty confident your kids will like them.  Since everyone is asking about how I cut our cucumbers the other day, here is the reveal of the crinkle cutter: To be completely honest, I can not verify where I found it.  It was most likely at Targ.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 6

Easter Brunch Makeover!

Brunch! It could be my favorite meal. With delicious cinnamon rolls, cheesy eggs and potatoes, muffins the size of my head, Danish rolls, casseroles, and gallons of juice, it could also be the day that un-does all your efforts to keep your kids healthy. There are alternatives to these high fat- high sugar traditional foods, that are in fact still delicious, and won't leave you wanting a nap when .... read more

Posted in Blog, Bread, Breakfast, Easter, Food Bites, Fruits and Vegetables, Holiday, Lunch | Post Comment | 5

Lycopene: Antioxidant Kids Need!

I'm happy to bring you this article for our letter L series as a guest post by Alexis Bonari, Freelance Writer! Thanks Alexis!! If you are a parent who has been researching the different types of foods that could be beneficial to your child's health, then you may or may not have heard of lycopene. Not only is lycopene an antioxidant which is responsible for the red coloring of certain fruits a.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Fruit and Veggies Facts, Tomatoes | Post Comment

5 Misleading Food Label Claims

We all know how to read a food label for the important things. We check the ingredients, check the nutrients, check the serving size, etc.  But how many of us are mislead to believe something about the food that maybe has no merit? Food companies are allowed to make certain statements on their labels, and while the claims may have merit, it is also misleading.  Some buzzwords that mean n.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites | Post Comment | 5

Vegetables going bad? Juice them!

Juicing is expensive. It becomes thrifty however, when you are juicing produce that is about to spoil! This weekend, I was about to toss a bag of mini cucumbers that started shriveling, when I thought of Jonni's advice "Waste Nothing!" Then I realized it was J week, and cucumber juice was born. The juice had a delicious and fresh smell to it.  To make our juice someth.... read more

Posted in Blog, Cucumbers, Food Bites, Fruits and Vegetables, Gluten Free, Juices, Pineapple, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 11

What You Need To Know About Iron

Do your kids get tired, unable to concentrate, their immune function is inadequate, or having headaches? They could need more iron-rich foods.  Letter-I week continues with how to get more Iron in children's diet. Children ages 4-8 years old need 10mg of iron per day.  Some of our favorite iron sources include Spinach! With 6.4 mg per 1 cup Lentils have 6.6 mg per 1 cup Pumpkin see.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Fruits and Vegetables | Post Comment | 9

The Herbs That Improve Your Cooking And Your Health

3 of the best, nutrient dense, and versatile herbs are Parsley,  Basil and dill.  Using these three herbs will improve your cooking by adding flavor to a boring dish and bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients. With using herbs such as these, your cooking will result in big flavor even while using only a small amount.  Your family will begin to wonder what happened to thei.... read more

Posted in Basil, Blog, Food Bites, Gardening, Herbs | Post Comment | 5

Good For You Grains

We can't discuss the letter G without giving our whole devotion to Grains!  Grain are so versatile and can be so delicious! The USDA's recommendation, is to make half your grains.  I'd say make them all whole grains! Why not? Whole Grains Are: More filling as compared to refined grains. Blood sugar stays more even when you eat the whole grain, as compared to refined. The carbs are .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Lunch, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 7

Getting your kids to drink more water in four easy steps

My 12 year old does not divulge any personal details about his life, unless he is specifically asked.  Even then, the right question must be asked for him to share. There is nothing secretive about him, he is just by nature, a private person.  About 10 days ago, he had an indoor soccer game.  I noticed he took an extra long time using the bathroom.  He came out and we walked t.... read more

Posted in Berries, Blog, Food Bites, Fruits and Vegetables, Healthy Kids, Juices | Post Comment | 15

4 Plant Proteins for Heart Health

We aren't vegetarian, but we try to limit meat consumption.  I wish I could say it was because I'm concerned about heart health and the impact on the environment, but it's not at the top of our list, although it is of concern. We do try to cut back on meats where we can, simply because they can be so expensive! (especially when you are trying to buy grass fed, organic for a family of 5) But .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Snacks, Vegetarian | Post Comment | 4

5 Reasons Cranberries are Awesome

Since my kids have decided the only benefit to having a bag of cranberries in our fridge is to decorate their snowman, I thought I would take the opportunity to promote their amazing health benefits. Cranberries are awesome because: They are rich in Vitamin C! So rich in fact, American sailors brought them on voyages to prevent scurvy.  Our kids need vitamin C today to support their imm.... read more

Posted in Blog, Cranberries, Food Bites, Fruit and Veggies Facts, Fruits and Vegetables | Post Comment | 2

Muffin Tin Food Guide and $150 Giveaway!

Nutrition is about balance and variety.  What I teach my kids about the food pyramid, in any of it's forms (like mine below), is that we should be selecting food from each food group, each day.  We don't worry about technicalities or make it difficult. This is a typical afternoon conversation at my house: Erica: I'm staaaaarving!  Me: Well, what food groups have you eaten from to.... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Giveaways, Healthy Kids | Post Comment | 9

Our Five Fiber Faves

"What has no calories, prevents constipation; may lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes; and is generally under consumed by people selecting a western-type diet?  Dietary Fiber" Most people don't get enough fiber.  Adults need between 20-30 grams of fiber per day. Children, need 5grams plus their age.  So a 5 year old, should be getting 10 grams of fiber per day, e.... read more

Posted in Blog, Bread, Food Bites, Snacks, Whole Grains | Post Comment | 7

Rainbow Research Hot off the Press

Anytime I can find research supporting the benefits of fruits and vegetables, I feel compelled to share it!  This week from the American Association for Cancer Research, an article was published showing that a variety of fruits and vegetables can lower risk for lung cancer.  The study specifically concluded that variety was more protective that quantity of fruits and veggies. Even in smo.... read more

Posted in Food Bites, Fruits and Vegetables | Post Comment | 3

Be choosy- Deli Meat

School is starting on Wednesday for us (hooray), and we will be back to brown bagging our lunches.  Choosing lunch meat for sandwiches should be done with as much care as all your other groceries. Promise me you won't purchase lunch meat just because the word "Healthy" is splattered on the packaging!  Promise? So, what should you look for? Fewest ingredients rules! This is always .... read more

Posted in Blog, Food Bites, Lunch | Post Comment | 8

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