Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Don't get fooled...It's really a healthy dip recipe and fun classroom prank!

The first day of April has been recognized as the notorious day for jokes and pranks. This year I decided to have a little fun with the kids and try a new dip for an after school snack. Some of the ideas I got I read in Family Fun Magazine then I added a little twist of my own.

For a fun classroom joke to play on Olivia's teacher we gave her a plate of Brown "E's" and the Greek letter Pi. Hee Hee.



Then for an after school snack I made them a dip that I modified a little bit to look like raw cookie dough. I never let them eat raw cookie dough so they knew something was up but the joke was on them because not only was the dip delicious it was packed full of fiber and protein. The mystery ingredient was a can of chickpeas!

Click here for the recipe for a delicious and healthy dip! 


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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Smoothies = 3 + 3...Top 3 ingredients to include and Top 3 reasons to drink them!

Smoothies have been the dietary rage for the past few years. People promote smoothies for all sorts of reasons and mainly for weight loss, meal replacement and even cleanses. But even before smoothies became a popular item they were a great way for people to pack in the nutrients. 

I have always liked smoothies for 3 reasons:

1. They are quick to make.You can make a smoothie in under 2 minutes if you are in a rush. 
2. They can cram in a bunch of nutrients and drink them down with ease. 
3. They are easy to make and even my 5 year old can make them.


When drinking smoothies you also want to be wary that it is still possible to over do it and take in way too many extra calories or fat, especially if you are purchasing smoothies from fast food restaurants. The best way to get the most out of a smoothie is to make it at home. Here are the 3 ingredients I recommend to always include in a smoothie:

1. A protein source : Skim milk, soy milk, low fat or no fat Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons nut butter, 1 tablespoon PB2 powder, whey or soy based protein powders (we have been using Biochem whey protein...just make sure to read the label to make sure you know what you are getting, especially if its for kids). A good average for protein would be to have 15-20 grams of protein per serving, and under 500 for calories. 

2. A fiber source: Bananas, frozen or room temperature, frozen blueberries, mangoes, cherries, strawberries or any other frozen or fresh fruit. If the fruit is frozen you don't have to add extra ice. 

3. Flax seed or a super green. I like flax seeds for their omega-3 fatty acids (good fats) and super greens like kale or spinach or even collards or beet greens for their phytochemicals. 

Whatever you add to your smoothie know that you will be making a healthy addition to your daily intake and getting closer to your recommended 5-9 servings of fruits or vegetables, 25 grams of fiber and, protein needs for the day! 

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Lucky for me these greens are good for me! And....magically delicious!


St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. Although traditionally a day set aside for adult indulgence in green colored beer, children have been swept into the "making everything green" day. For children the fun starts with lots of artificially colored green foods such as Jell-O, cakes, cookies, ice cream and cereals. Recently I saw a Pinterest post that had a box of Lucky Charm cereal with a tag wrapped around it that said "Lucky to have you! Love Mom".
Who doesn't remember the happy little Leprechaun  jumping over the rainbow touting about his Lucky Charms Cereal being "Magically delicious". I am pretty sure that the cereal company did not really add any magic into their boxes of sugar, chemical and artificially colored cereals, just a whole lot of junk. Do you know what the ingredients are in Lucky Charms Cereal? Here is a list of the ingredients found in Lucky Charms Cereal.

Whole Grain Oats, Marshmallows (Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Gelatin, Calcium Carbonate, Yellows 5&6, Blue 1, Red 40, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3

Needless to say, I got a little upset with the idea of giving out the cereal as part of the festivities.
Why does food always have to be colored, flavored, sugar laden and just flat junk, to make a party fun? Why can't we serve green vegetables and fruits and have just as much fun? Here is a list of snack ideas I came up with and/or found on Pinterest that do reflect a healthier side of St. Patrick's day.


1.Guacamole with green chips, broccoli, celery or sugar snap peas for dipping
2. Green smoothie (combine apple juice, milk, berries, 1 teaspoon honey and an avocado or spinach leaves)
3. Grapes and green apple slices kabobs (vanilla yogurt for dipping)
4. Kale chips (roast kale tossed in olive oil and sea salt until crispy)
5. Veggie Pirate Booty chips
6. Cucumber shaped shamrocks dipped in low-fat ranch
7. Mini-sandwiches cut with clover molds
8. Healthy, low fat potato salad 
9. Ants on a log (celery with nut butter or hummus sprinkled with raisins)
10. Pistachio low fat pudding topped with shelled pistachios.
11. Baggie filled with green grapes with the tag: "Lucky this green stuff is good for me!" To print out the tag click here.



May the luck of the Irish be with you, and not all the junk!


Happy National Nutrition Month!
Follow me on Facebook: ABCD Eat Right
Twitter: ABCDEatRight1

Lucky for me these greens are good for me....and Magically Delicious!


St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. Although traditionally a day set aside for adult indulgence in green colored beer, children have been swept into the "making everything green" day. For children the fun starts with lots of artificially colored green foods such as Jell-O, cakes, cookies, ice cream and cereals. Recently I saw a Pinterest post that had a box of Lucky Charm cereal with a tag wrapped around it that said "Lucky to have you! Love Mom".
Who doesn't remember the happy little Leprechaun  jumping over the rainbow touting about his Lucky Charms Cereal being "Magically delicious". I am pretty sure that the cereal company did not really add any magic into their boxes of sugar, chemical and artificially colored cereals, just a whole lot of junk. Do you know what the ingredients are in Lucky Charms Cereal? Here is a list of the ingredients found in Lucky Charms Cereal.

Whole Grain Oats, Marshmallows (Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Gelatin, Calcium Carbonate, Yellows 5&6, Blue 1, Red 40, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3

Needless to say, I got a little upset with the idea of giving out the cereal as part of the festivities.
Why does food always have to be colored, flavored, sugar laden and just flat junk, to make a party fun? Why can't we serve green vegetables and fruits and have just as much fun? Here is a list of snack ideas I came up with and/or found on Pinterest that do reflect a healthier side of St. Patrick's day.


1.Guacamole with green chips, broccoli, celery or sugar snap peas for dipping
2. Green smoothie (combine apple juice, milk, berries, 1 teaspoon honey and an avocado or spinach leaves)
3. Grapes and green apple slices kabobs (vanilla yogurt for dipping)
4. Kale chips (roast kale tossed in olive oil and sea salt until crispy)
5. Veggie Pirate Booty chips
6. Cucumber shaped shamrocks dipped in low-fat ranch
7. Mini-sandwiches cut with clover molds
8. Healthy, low fat potato salad 
9. Ants on a log (celery with nut butter or hummus sprinkled with raisins)
10. Pistachio low fat pudding topped with shelled pistachios.
11. Baggie filled with green grapes with the tag: "Lucky this green stuff is good for me!" To print out the tag click here.



May the luck of the Irish be with you, and not all the junk!



Happy National Nutrition Month!
Follow me on Facebook: ABCD Eat Right
Twitter: ABCDEatRight1

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Get moving during #Nationalnutritionmonth. Run Club Anyone?


Along with eating healthy and finding that inner motivation, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is one way you can take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle. Finding a community outlet is a great way to introduce physical activity to the entire family. Joining team sports and utilizing public parks is a great way to get moving, but sometimes team sports can be costly and not all parks are equipped with the right resources. One way that I was able to increase my families physical activity was to go through my children's school. 
I enjoy running and wanted to instill that into our kids. Its an easy, low expense way to release energy and feel good about your accomplishments. Last year a friend of mine told me about how her Elementary school had started a running club. I was so excited and teamed up with a few moms at our Elementary and got a club going which we call "Hawks on the Move". We didn't want to exclude teachers or students from joining if they did not want to run and therefore encouraged both running and walking.  

After jumping through all of the bureaucratic hoops we got the run club approved and started the club in January 2014. We started off with a sample letter and waiver to send home to the parents. The cost was $10 to join the club and included a t-shirt and helped to offset the cost of the beads and water. We recruited awesome teachers and moms that were not only avid runners but saw the benefits of more physical activity for the children. We received an overwhelming response with 100+ children signing up to meet one day after school each week through April. We measured out a track in our large open field and each lap was roughly 1/4 mile. The children receive beads for each mile ( 4 laps) that they ran. We bring water and music and let the kids get their energy out on Friday afternoons. 

This year we started the club earlier in October and will again end it in April with a Turtle Trot supporting our local turtle rehab and education center Gumbo Limbo. 

We have had sponsors which have included the YMCA, Sports Authority and KIND snack bars and local physical trainers who helped us with warm ups. The YMCA donated a team of trainers which put together a fun warm up, Sports Authority donated water bottles, coupons, pencils and lanyards, KIND snacks donated snack bars. 
As a Registered Dietitian I also wanted to make the club about instilling healthy habits and came up with a weekly handout that touches on a brief nutrition topic. If you are interested you can download the 10 week handouts here.  If you want more information on how to start a run club ( or at least how we did it), click here to download the start up handouts. 
Get moving and good luck with your clubs! 

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Are you up for a challenge? Let's do this...get moving and eating right!


Here we go! National Nutrition Month is in full swing and what better way to "Take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle" then to challenge yourself with a new healthy food, idea or activity! 



Mrs. Obama with her Let's Move campaign announced the #GimmeFive challenge this past week and what better way to sum up the changes that you want to make then by making a list of the top 5 ways you will change to make a healthier lifestyle. Let us know what you do and check in with our daily tip to keep you moving and eating healthy! 


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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle! Happy 1st day of National Nutrition Month 2015

Whats the BEST way to take a bite out of a healthy lifestyle?


The best way to bite into a healthy lifestyle is to follow the recipe! 

Mix together the following bite

balanced ingredients:  
-A tablespoon of taste
-A drop of sweat 
-A pinch of passion

Tasty foods chosen in moderation and sprinkled with a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables makes every bite better. Sweat is the best seasoning of life and dropping 30 minutes of activity into a daily routine, will make a stronger and healthier body. Finally, finding the passion to reach a healthy lifestyle is the motivating ingredient to maintain balance in a healthy bite. You can do it so get moving! Follow us all this month for healthy tips, challenges, recipe and activity ideas to keep you and your family healthy! 

Happy National Nutrition Month 2015!


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