September 8th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
School days usher in that familiar school daze.
Reduce anxiety and improve performance with a quality breakfast that includes protein and whole-grain carbohydrates, advises registered dietitian Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.
A bowl of oatmeal with milk “can give you some energy to the brain,” she says. “That milk begins to work on brain chemicals.”
Read More:Good Breakfast Calms Back-to-School Jitters
August 30th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
School is almost in session, so it’s time to “think outside the loaf,” according to registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.
“Kids do get tired of the same old sandwiches,” says the visiting professor of exercise science at Willamette University in Salem, OR. She’s also the author of numerous books, including Age-Proof Your Body: Your Complete Guide to Looking and Feeling Younger.
A tortilla wrap is a great way to experiment with a variety of healthy ingredients, Somer says, and tortillas are a good choice for budget-conscious families.
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August 5th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Convincing children to eat their veggies can be challenging, so Chicago-based registered dietitian Jodie Shield encourages parents to get creative.
Tell your kids to play with their food, urges Shield, coauthor of The American Dietetic Association Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids.
You can combine snack time with playtime by creating veggie critters as afterschool treats.
Here’s what you’ll need to make an organic Cauliflower Caterpillar:
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 tubs (8 oz. each) reduced-fat cream cheese
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 unpeeled cucumber, sliced thinly
1 carrot, shredded
Red bell pepper, cut into small, triangular pieces
- Add the dressing mix to the cream cheese. Stir until well combined to create “glue.”
- Create the caterpillar’s body by placing 3 cauliflower florets on a plate and gluing cucumber slices between them .
- Attach shredded carrots for legs and asparagus for antennae.
- Glue pepper triangles to caterpillar’s head to create eyes.
- Use remaining “glue” for dipping, and store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley
Read More:Kid Food: Make an Organic Cauliflower Caterpillar
September 8th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
When kids head back to school, families can experience mealtime meltdowns.
Schedules must be coordinated, lunches need to be packed, and busy parents are desperate to find quick ways to create healthy meals.
Here are three basic survival tips:
- Plan menus over the weekend. Making decisions when you have some downtime reduces stress and can save you hours in the supermarket and kitchen. Some great recipe ideas appear at the end of this article.
- Shop smart. Keep must-have ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. In addition to fresh organic fruits and veggies, rely on prepared organic pasta sauce, salsa, canned beans, cheeses, whole-grain pasta and brown rice. Make sure you have sufficient supplies of favorite condiments.
- Cook Once, Eat Twice. Double your recipes. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers for future meals.
A Dozen Recipe Ideas
Read More:Back-to-School Mealtime Solutions
August 23rd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
College life can be stressful. A poor diet complicates matters, impairing a student’s ability to study and succeed.
“Too many college students fall into the trap of late-night convenience foods that tend to be filled with fat, sodium, sugar and calories, and not many nutrients,” says registered dietitian Nettie Freshour, an adjunct professor of human nutrition & foods at West Virginia University. “When people follow this pattern for an extended period of time, they lose out on many important nutrients that fuel their metabolism. When these are missing in the diet, it can lead to feeling tired all the time and weight gain.
“When you feel better, you do better,” she adds. “Eating healthy foods and exercising have been shown to increase mood and self-esteem. This can lead to increased productivity and better grades—plus, you will stay more alert in class.”
Freshour offers the following tips for healthy eating:
- Consume a variety of foods that provide all of the nutrients needed to stay alert, feel great and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fresh fruits and vegetables; whole-wheat and multigrain bread; lean sources of protein like grilled chicken and turkey, fish, beans, nuts and skim milk; and low- to non-fat dairy are good choices.
- Pack a lunch. It’s healthier and cheaper than eating out. Prepping lunch the night before class saves time and reduces stress. A homemade turkey sandwich, baby carrots and a banana are better than standing in line for a hamburger, fries and soda.
- Reduce fat intake. Avoid or limit deep-fried items, whole milk, high-sugar desserts and high-fat salad dressings. Try a quick, easy alternative: a whole-wheat bagel sandwich with 2 oz. turkey, lettuce, tomato and mustard.
- Avoid alcohol. In addition to decreased physical activity, alcohol is the other major factor in weight gain during college. Consuming two regular beers weekly will add 1 pound per semester. Consuming a 12-oz. strawberry daiquiri weekly will add 6 pounds per semester.
- Reduce caffeine intake. Consuming caffeinated beverages can cause dehydration, fatigue and headaches.
- Eat low-calorie foods. Consumption of high-fat, high-calorie foods leaves you tired and less motivated to exercise or study. Foods that are nutrient-dense, high in antioxidants, and low in fat and calories can help improve productivity, enhance mood, and help maintain or lose weight.
Editor’s note: We encourage you to choose organic foods, whenever possible, to avoid exposure to pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals.
Read More:6 College Survival Tips