Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Healthy sports, Halloween, classroom and home snacks!

October is one of my favorite months of the year. So many fun fall events to look forward to, a slight change in the weather (we live in South Florida) and mid season football. The only thing I don't look forward to is the large amount of candy, colored festive foods and sugar...sugar...sugar! 
Therefore, I wanted to come up with a daily fun snack idea to share with you to reach a healthy snack time wherever you are throughout the month. 

For the next 31 days make sure and check out our Facebook page: ABCD Eat Right to "like the snack", post your own snack ideas and share the snacks.   

Here are a few pics of ideas that will be posted 
throughout the month! 

Keep up with us on Facebook so you don't miss a 
spooky healthy post! 

And don't forget to printout your Halloween Bat Masks to wrap all of your whole fruit in! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Are you NUTS about tailgating?

Photo courtesy of Americas Production Company, Inc.
Tailgating festivities are all about grilling and grabbing easy bite sized foods and the best way to not feel bogged down after the game is to incorporate healthier snacks and foods.

I am always looking for that easy, healthy and delicious snack especially during the big game. Having young children makes it also necessary to have a variety of healthy as well as child friendly foods.

Here is a quick list of healthy snacks that you can make to cheer on the team: 

Guacamole. Full of healthy fats, a good source of fiber and over 20 vitamins and minerals, avocados make a healthy choice for tailgating events. Remember to eat in moderation and serve with an assortment of raw vegetables along with whole grain chips. 
Overtime with veggies! Lay out your tray of cauliflower and broccoli to resemble a football field. Dip the pieces of veggies in low fat Greek Yogurt dip or guacamole.

Trail mix. A great way to incorporate nuts, seeds and dried fruits for a sweet and savory nutrient rich snack. 
Edamame. Sprinkled with a small amount of sea salt, these pod filled protein and fiber rich snacks make a healthier choice over potato chips. 
Apples and nut butter are a crunchy alternative to cookies or other sweet options. Apples and nut butters are rich in fiber and nutrients.
Make them stackable! You can make salad, fruit and sweet kebabs that all have a healthy twist.

No matter who you are rooting for whether its peewee football to the NFL, tackle some of these healthy snacks at your next gathering. If you needs a few more healthy snack ideas make sure and visit .

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Unhealthy school lunches...It doesn't have to be this way!

We have all been there and even as a Registered dietitian I struggle with making a healthy lunch everyday for our two kids. Tufts University recently did a study on what parents send in lunchboxes and why they sent what they sent. It was interesting given all the scrutiny that school lunch has been under in the past years. Here is what I have summarized as the top 3 excuses that parents have used to pack an unhealthy lunch box: 
1. My child is a picky eater
2. I don't have time to make a healthy lunch. 
3. I don't know what to pack. 

So what does the study suggest
NOT do to make it a better lunch? 

1. Justify Junk food by telling yourself that they have to eat something and you do not want them to starve or get dehydrated.

2. Don't stock up on "grab and go's". This makes it too easy to load up the refined foods and is an easy way to forget the healthy stuff. 

3. Convince yourself that they will not eat it. If you buy it...they will (eventually) eat it. 

Consider coming together with the teachers, lunch staff and other parents to encourage them to provide healthier fare. It's called Herd immunity. If everyone pitches in a little bit, eventually the kids won't see the junk food and desire it more. 

For tips on how to bring a healthier atmosphere to the classroom and lunchroom Click here for a lunch box basics printable to share with your classroom and post in your kitchen. 

P.S. Here is a quick pic to show you what I pack for our 9 year old son. I make sure he has a fruit and/or vegetable, something from the low-fat dairy group, whole wheat bread and whole grain crackers and a protein source (In this picture the protein comes from the milk and cheese). 

Have a great school year and keep up with us on 
Facebook: ABCD Eat Right
Twitter:  @abcdeatright1
email me: 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Are you hitting the road this Labor Day weekend? Here are a few tips to keep your quick getaway healthy!

According to AAA Travel, over 34 million people plan to travel this weekend! If  you are one of them and your not looking forward to unhealthy food consider some of the following tips!

Traveling is a great place to get in your refined foods. Theme parks, beaches and family reunions host a number of unhealthy eating choices. This is also a time of year where you may feel compelled to throw out your healthy eating habits and give in to the easy route of fast food and quick picks.

Here are five tips for circumventing the junk on your family vacay so that you don't go home feeling worse than you did before you left for your summer fun.

1. Research rocks-
A little pre-planning goes a long way. After you have picked your vacation city do a search for healthy fare in the area. Find out which restaurants have healthier choices. Here are a couple of websites I like to look at: and

2. A little pre-shopping goes a long way-
Let's face it, no matter how hard we try there are very few "clean" options available at theme parks. The best that we did were salads but we ate at the best restaurant the theme park had. It's best to bring your own healthy snacks. When we went to the theme parks we loaded up on dried fruits (mangoes, raisins, cranberries), dried nuts, Kind bars, apples and oranges as well as bottled water.

3. Dine in-
When choosing a place to stay, consider a condo or renting a house. The ability to have a kitchen is by far a life saver when trying to avoid unrefined foods. Double check to see if you have access to a grill. This is a great way to spend time with the family in the great outdoors and an easy way to cook vegetables and lean meats.

4. Hydrate the right way
Don't forget about the importance of hydration. Sometimes being dehydrated gets in the way of eating healthy. Your efforts to take in extra fluids can lead to your intake of easy refined foods that are quick to grab when grabbing a drink. Bring your own water bottle full of water, fresh juice blends or smoothies.

5. Adventure hunt - Seek out local produce or farmers markets in the area where you are vacationing.When we were headed down to the Florida Keys we stopped at an amazing local fruit stand called Robert is Here. Our kids experienced amazing local tropical fruit and we bought enough local produce to last us the 4 days we were in Key Largo. To find local farmers markets in your area of vacationing visit:

Have a safe weekend and we will see you after Labor Day!
Facebook: ABCD Eat Right 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

1 in 6 kids suffer from this (?) Can you guess what that is?

If you answered Food borne illness you were right! According to the US Center for Disease Control and prevention 128,000 of the 15% of Americans that suffer from food borne illness end up in the hospital every year.

September is National Food safety month and a great time to review the basics and keep your home and lunch box safe. Here are 12 tips to keep the lunchbox and kitchen food borne illness free! 

Top 6 tips to keep the kitchen healthy:

  •  Keep it clean- wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before food preparation, after handling raw meat, poultry and eggs and before you move to the next step in cooking. (Sing the ABC Song or click here for more fun song ideas)
  • Always rinse fruits and vegetables before eating and peeling
  • Cook meats to the proper temperature: Click here for the internal temperature chart. 
  • Wash your surfaces with soapy water after prepping meals.
  • Avoid cross contamination, store raw foods below cooked foods, swap out grilling tools to avoid raw cross contamination.
  • Thaw overnight or thaw in cold running water (do not let sit in a bath of water).

 Top 6 tips to keep the lunchbox healthy: 

  • Pack 2 freezer packs if the lunch contains perishable foods such as meats, eggs or yogurt. Frozen water bottles or juice boxes, as well as freezing yogurt can be used to help keep the lunchbox within a safe temperature range. By lunchtime these items will be ready to eat or drink.
  • Clean the lunch boxes often by wiping them down or tossing them in the washing machine. 
  • Pack lunches in an insulated lunchbox instead of paper bags (its better for the environment and it keeps foods safer).
  • Throw away any leftover food and packaging after lunch is over. Do not reuse packaging unless it has been thoroughly washed. 
  • Pack the lunch the night before and keep in the refrigerator, this keeps the meal cooler longer and makes it easier during the morning rush. 
  • Wash your hands before you start meal preparation and make sure to tell kids to wash their hands before meal time. 

Cheers to a healthy school year that is food borne illness free! 

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Are you ready for some football? Healthy snacks for tailgating parties.

Tailgating is a community bonding experience that can be filled with outrageously delicious, but not always the most healthy, foods. Here are 5 healthy and easy food items that can be added to any tailgating festivity that squeeze in a little bit of healthy fats, vegetables and lean proteins. Guaranteed to  score a touch down with the taste buds and the body!

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. 

Have a great season!
Facebook: ABCD Eat Right

Monday, August 24, 2015

Healthy and Hydrated, keys to a great start to a school year. Why is hydration so important?

Staying hydrated is an important part to staying healthy during the school year. Although children may not be in the hot sun as much they will still work up a thirst in the classroom as their biggest muscle organ (their brains) start exerting themselves in scholastic exercise.  

How much does a child need to drink? 
A child needs 6-8 cups of fluid per day. 
One cup is equivalent to 240 milliliters which is equal to 8 ounces. 

What counts as fluid? 
-Water (the best hydrating liquid around)
-Milk (low fat and skim milk)
-100% juice (limited amounts due to the high amount of sugar and extra empty calories)
-Anything that is a liquid at room temperature (soup, Popsicle, smoothies, pudding etc.)

What are the signs of dehydration? 
Fatigue or tiredness
Lethargy or sleepiness/less active
Vomiting or nausea
Dry skin
Dry or sticky mouth
And often times hunger

Thumbs up to low fat milk, water and 100% juice.

Thumbs down to sports drinks, energy drinks, sodas and non-100% juice drinks.

Stay hydrated and have a great school year!
Facebook: ABCD Eat Right