Monday, January 15, 2018

Top Posts of 2017

Happy New Year! The holidays can be such a rushed time. I like to take the beginning of each year to slow down and reflect. I reflect on last year's goals and what goals I want to make for the new year.

I look back on the blog to see what you're loving too. So, here are your top 10 favorite posts from 2017.

Hope you enjoyed this look back on you 2017 favorites. These roundups are some of my favorite blogs to read, so I hope you enjoyed it!

If you have any suggestions for recipes or nutrition topics, feel free to e-mail me at You can also find me on  FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter

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Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Goal Update

Every year I set goals. Goals are challenges that motivate me. They are benchmarks to strive for. They give a little more concrete purpose to my everyday life. They encourage me to change, try something new, and push myself.

Here are my 2017 goals and progress.

1) Try 12 new recipes.

I set this goal to challenge myself to try new things. It can be so easy to get into a rut of cooking the same things over and over. Ask my husband, it still happens. To challenge myself, I wanted to try at least one new recipe per month. Here’s my progress:

Dutch baby

Snicker doodle cookie pie

Homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Stuffed peppers

Chocolate nests

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Homemade Pita Bread

Berry Shortcake

Vanilla cupcakes and vanilla bean buttercream frosting

Cinnamon swirl bread

Oatmeal bread 

Cinnamon chip scones

Chocolate peanut butter pie with chocolate cookie crust

Gingerbread cookies

2) Read 10 books.

I love to read! It’s one of my favorite hobbies, but sometimes I find that I waste too much time on social media or watching television. Can you relate?

So, this goal challenged me to read about one book a month. I gave myself a little grace period for longer books or busy seasons. I found myself gravitating to memoirs, books about cooking, and anything encouraging. Here’s what I read.
  • Kathleen Flinn – The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks
  • Annie F. Downs – Looking for Lovely

  • Kathleen Flinn – The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School

  • Ruth Reichl – Garlic and Sapphires: the Secret Life of Critic in Disguise

  • Kristin Schell – The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Our Own Front Yard

  • Chip and JoAnna Gaines – The Magnolia Story

  • Jenna Weber – White Jacket Required: A Culinary Coming-of-Age Story

  • Melanie Shankle – The Antelope in the Living Room: the Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life: A Memoir

  • Kathleen Flinn – Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family

  • Samantha Verant – How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of Love, Food, and Faux Pa
  • Melanie Shankle – Sparkling Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn
I met my goal!  I read a few more books, but didn’t really enjoy them. So, they didn’t make the list. I also started a few other books, didn’t enjoy them, and stopped reading. I omitted them from the list as well because I want to keep things positive.

Do you have any book recommendations for me?

What is one of your favorite books?

What’s genre of books to you gravitate toward?

3) Be physically active consistently.

I have a gym membership and enjoy attending classes. I found a great instructor who is positive, encouraging, and even learns the names of the people attending class. So cool!

I started the year strong. Then, I had a few injuries, which stopped my physical activity for a while. Then, the weather was amazing this autumn! So, I was able to enjoy the weather and be physically active.

I’m restarting this goal during the holiday season. And, hope to be ready to start classes again in the new year.

4) Learn and improve a skill.

I imagined taking more cooking classes this year, but I didn’t. I was able to be a part of a recipe video at work. It was so fun! I learned a ton!

I was a "hands-in-a-recipe" video. So, I did all the chopping, mixing, and cooking. I learned a ton about the behind-the-scenes of how videos are made, and got to be a hand model. Hahahaha! Who would have thought?!? So, I’m counting that as my new skill.

What are your thoughts?

Do you set goals?

What did you accomplish this year that you’re proud of?

What is one goal you have for 2018?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment below or on Instagram or Twitter.

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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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