Friday, May 26, 2017

Is Juice Healthy for Kids?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated recommendations for juice intake in children on Monday, May 22, 2017. This is the first update to the juice guidelines since 2001. Today, we're covering a few of the questions I've received from parents. Is juice a healthy beverage for kids?

What do the new guidelines state?

The APP guidelines encourage parents to limit fruit juice provided to kids. Here is a summary of the new recommendations:

            No juice before age 1

            For toddlers ages 1-3, up to 1/2 cup per day (4 ounces)

            For children ages 4-6, up to three-quarters cup per day (6 ounces)

            For children and teens ages 7-18, up to 1 cup per day (8 ounces)

Why isn't juice healthy for children under one year of age?

Juice is not a necessary part of a healthy diet. Infants can meet there fluid and calorie needs with breastmilk or infant formula.

What are possible negative effects of giving juice to your children before the age of one?

Juice is high in sugar and low in fiber. It’s easy to drink too many calories when you drink sugary beverages. If you take in excess calories, this leads to weight gain. Excess calories from beverages decreases intake of other vitamin and mineral-rich foods. Drinking sugary beverages also promotes tooth decay and cavities.

What ingredients should parents be looking out for in juice?

I always encourage people to read the nutrition facts label. Look for 100% juice with no added sugar. Check the ingredients on the food label, which should contain fruit juice.

What are common mistakes parents make with juice? 

Many parents believe juice is a healthy beverage. Often people assume that juice has the same nutritional benefits as whole fruits and vegetables. However, it takes 3-4 medium-sized oranges to make one cup of juice. Juice is high in sugar and often lacks pulp or fiber. One cup (8 ounces) of juice contains 6-7 teaspoons of sugar! As a registered dietitian, I would encourage parents to offer their children whole fruits and vegetables, which have both the vitamins and fiber that children need.

What are some healthy beverage substitutes for juice?

Our bodies are primarily water, and we loss water throughout the day, so water should be our primary beverage.

Low fat milk is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium is important for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is especially important for children because of growth spurts. After 2 years of age, offer your child low fat milk, which is 1% or skim milk. If your child does not tolerate dairy products, I encourage low fat, low sugar dairy alternatives. 

Let me know if you have any more questions on the new juice recommendations for kids. Comment below. You can read more on the American Academy of Pediatrics' website and the journal article. You can also watch the television spot here. Thank you for having me Fox Good Day!

Remember that I am a registered dietitian, not your personal registered dietitian (RD). Please check with your child's pediatrician or personal RD before making a dietary change. Everyone is unique. Different people have different dietary needs. To find a RD in your area, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' website to find an expert near you.

For more tips, encouragement, and recipes for a healthy lifestyle, you can follow me on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

National Nutrition Month Roundup

March is National Nutrition month. The theme for 2017 is Put Your Best Fork Forward. This month, I shared nutrition tips and recipes to help you eat seasonally, meal plan, and cook healthy meals for you and your family.

I love educating children and their families about healthy eating. Healthy eating starts with making smart choices at the grocery store, preparing foods in a healthy way, and choosing healthy meals and snacks. Healthy eating is a lifestyle. If we make healthy choices today, these choices add up to a healthy tomorrow.
If you missed anything this month, here are the nutrition tips and recipes:

Thank you for celebrating National Nutrition Month with me. My hope is that you developed healthy eating habits this month that you will continue. Let’s keep putting our best fork forward.
Remember every time you eat, you can make healthy choices. What healthy choices did you make this month? What healthy choices do you plan to continue or try in the future?
Please comment below. I would love to hear your healthy choices. Feel free to tag me, @RDtipoftheday, with your healthy choices. Also, use the hashtag #healthyRD for the chance to be featured. Remember your health is a journey. Choose the healthy road.
For more tips, encouragement, and recipes for a healthy lifestyle, you can follow me on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

7 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Happy National Nutrition Month! This month I'm focusing on the 2017 theme - Put Your Best Fork Forward. So far, we covered why eating breakfast is important and 7 breakfast ideas to start every day healthfully. I hope those topics have been helpful.

One of the most common barriers to healthy eating is the idea that healthy eating is more expensive. I think this is a common misconception. Making healthy meals at home is cheaper and more economical than eating out. Today, I'm going to share my tips for healthy eating on a budget.

Set a budget.
Making healthy choices within in your budget is important for everyone. Start with setting a reasonable food budget. Healthy boundaries, like a budget, are important parameters to set before shopping.

While I'm shopping, I like to keep a running total of the things I'm buying. As I put groceries in my cart, I keep a rough estimate of the total cost of my grocery haul.

Make a list.
Include items for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Include foods from all food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, meat or protein, and dairy or dairy alternatives.
If you make a list, you are less likely to make a spontaneous or impulse purchase, which adds to your grocery expenses.

Use coupons.
I like to look at coupons I get in the mail or specials on the grocery store's website as I make my grocery list. My grocery store also sends specific coupons to me based on things I usually purchase. I love it! Most stores also have apps where you can download electronic coupons. Try it out. 

Make sure you're using coupons on things you actually use. Don't just buy something because it's on sale.

Compare unit prices.
What is a unit price? A unit price is the price per ounce or price per serving. It is listed on the price tag. The unit price helps you compare prices on different products to help you decide which product is the best value. Typically, larger containers are less expensive than individual servings. If you purchase individual servings, you are paying for extra packaging and convenience along with the food product.

For example, these 6-ounce yogurts are $0.70 each with a unit price of $0.117 per ounce.

This is an 8 count pack of yogurts. These total cost is $4.29 and the unit price is $0.0894 per ounce.

The larger, 32-ounce yogurt costs $2.19 and the unit price is $0.0664 cents per ounce. The individual, 6-ounce yogurt costs 11 cents per ounce. So, the cost per ounce of the large container of yogurt is almost half the cost of the individually packaged yogurt! The best value per portion or the best unit price is the largest container. If you love yogurt, then the 32 ounce container is the best value.

Shop in season.
Produce, like fruits and vegetables, are less expensive when they are in season.
Remember to compare the cost of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables to make a healthy choice at a great price. Remember to look for vegetables canned with “no added salt.” Look for fruit canned in its own juice to avoid added sugar.

Use leftovers.
After you've made a budget, a grocery list, and prepared all the food, what do you do with the leftovers? I like to make "new" meals with leftovers. It can be difficult to eat leftovers for a few meals straight, so I like to take leftovers and make "new" meals. Pizza and frittata are great vehicles for making leftovers new again. Here are my recipes for pizza dough and vegetable frittata

Read Nutrition Facts labels.
How do you make healthy choices? Read the Nutrition Facts Label and compare nutrients, like vitamin and mineral content. Talk with a registered dietitian (RD) about the vitamins and minerals that your child needs. A RD can also provide you with information about label reading that meets your child’s healthy needs.

For more tips, encouragement, and recipes for a healthy lifestyle, you can follow me on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pizza Dough

Happy Pi Day! Today, I'm sharing a recipe for pizza pie dough. Pizza seems to be a universally loved food. Kids love pizza. Adults love pizza. Americans and Italians love pizza. I love pizza!

I recently learned how to make pizza dough. I make it often for my family. I love this yeast-based dough recipe. The pizza dough does require some time to proof, which makes it a great make-ahead dinner.

Pizza is a great vehicle to use leftovers. I find that I tend to have leftover meat, like chicken, and vegetables in my refrigerator at the end of the week. So, I use pizza dough to turn my leftovers into a delicious, "new" meal. Here's the recipe.

6 ounces (3/4 cup) warm water
1 packet yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil (plus 1 teaspoon for the bowl).

Large glass bowl
Large mixing bowl
Cling wrap
Grill pan or cast iron skillet
Candy thermometer (optional)

Mix sugar, water, and yeast. RDtip: Make sure to use warm water with a temperature between 110-120*F. The warm water helps activate the yeast. Hot water can kill the yeast, which will inhibit the leavening of the pizza dough.

In a large mixing bowl, add salt, flour, and olive oil. When yeast mixture is bubbly, add to the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients until combined. Pour dough onto a floured surface. Kneed the dough for 3-4 minutes until it is elastic and smooth. 

Place the dough in a large, glass mixing bowl that has been coated with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a clean towel. Place the dough in a warm, draft-free environment for 1 hour to proof. 

The dough should double in size. RDtip: I use my oven as a draft-free proofing environment. Note: Do not turn the oven on while dough is proofing.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll out your dough on a floured surface. Grill your dough in a grill pan on medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side. 

Top pizza dough with your favorite toppings to create your own pizza. Here are a few of my favorites pizzas to make.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
BBQ sauce
Cooked chicken
Red onion
Mozzarella cheese

Mediterreanean Pizza
Mozzarella cheese
Mushrooms onion
Banana peppers

Tomato Herb Pizza
Goat cheese
Heirloom tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar reduction

To make these pizzas into a more balance meal, add a side salad like a Greek Salad or Caesar salad.

These recipes turn your leftovers into a great, new meal. Using leftovers to make "new" meals is a great way to save money and no one will guess that this was a meal made of leftovers. So, try making pizza dough and reveal in the praise of your loved ones.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Feel free to make pizza dough with your kids. It's a really fun hands-on meal for kids.  

You can invite your friends over and turn any night into a pizza night. Have fun! If you make any of these recipes, tag me @RDtipoftheday. I love seeing your creations.

For more tips, encouragement, and recipes for a healthy lifestyle, you can follow me on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Vegetable Frittata Recipe

Good morning! I love starting my day with breakfast. Breakfast is a fantastic opportunity to fuel your body. I try to start my day with at least 3 different food groups and include 1-2 servings of fruits or vegetables. It's my personal challenge to start the day with a healthy, nutrient-dense meal.

Mornings can be rushed. So, I like easy breakfast recipes that are tasty. I like making breakfast for dinner or "brinner" too. So, making a "brinner" that reheats well for the next morning is a win-win.

Frittatas are one of my favorite breakfasts. A frittata is an egg dish that combines vegetables, milk, cheese, and sometimes a protein. It's similar to a baked omelette or crustless quiche.

Here’s the recipe for one of my favorite frittatas.

6 large eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup asparagus, cut into quarters
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/8.teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

Kitchen Tools:
Mixing bowl
Sauté pan
Oven-safe baking dish (I use my favorite Emile Henry dish. You could also use an oven-safe skillet.)
Kitchen knife
Cutting board
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons

Preheat oven to 400*F.

Pour olive oil into sauté pan. Add mushrooms and salt. Sauté for 10 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Set aside to cool.

Crack eggs into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk eggs until combined, and they become a pale, yellow color. Add milk, 1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and black pepper. 

Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. I like to use canola oil spray. Poor egg mixture into the baking dish. Top with asparagus and the remaining cheese. 

Bake the frittata for 15-20 minutes until the center is set. Slice and enjoy!

For more tips, encouragement, and recipes for a healthy lifestyle, you can follow me on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Breakfast Ideas for Every Day

March is National Nutrition Month (NNM). The theme for this year's NNM is Put Your Best Fork Forward. This month, we are focusing on how you can make healthy eating choices every day. Let's start at the very beginning with first meal of the day, breakfast.

Breakfast is the first opportunity you have to fuel your body. You are breaking the period of fasting, or not eating, while you’re asleep at night.

Eating breakfast is a healthy choice with many benefits. Children that eat breakfast perform better in school. Our brains need fuel, aka food, so it's important to start our day with a healthy, nutrient-dense meal.

Some people skip breakfast because they are running late for school or work. It can be hard to make time for cooking and eating breakfast in the morning. So, here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas you can prepare in advance or assemble quickly.
  • Whole grain cereal, low fat milk or milk alternative, and fruit
  • Breakfast sandwich with whole grain English muffin, turkey sausage, and cheese
  • Mediterranean omelette with eggs, feta, tomatoes, and spinach
  • Whole grain waffle, peanut butter, and fruit
  • Breakfast burrito with a whole grain tortilla, eggs, cheese, and vegetables.
  • Frittata with eggs, vegetables, and cheese
  • Granola, low fat yogurt, and fruit

That’s seven ideas, so you're set for a week of tasty, nutritious breakfasts. You can eat one every day for a week without repeating. Can you think of more delicious breakfast ideas? Share your favorite breakfast ideas in the comment section below.

If you want more breakfast recipes, you can try: 

Do you usually eat breakfast? Or, are do you tend to skip breakfast?
What are the barriers that keep you from eating breakfast? What helps you eat breakfast?
Feel free to share your comments below.

I love eating breakfast for dinner. Try these recipes in the morning for a great start to your day. Or, try them for a quick dinner. I bet you can make a great breakfast for dinner in less time than you can order take-out.

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