Scrambling Out the Door? Don’t Forget Breakfast!

Father Sitting at the Breakfast Table Eating Fruit With His DaughterThat phrase about breakfast you probably heard growing up is still ingrained in your brain: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But is it still true today? You bet. However, it’s more likely that your family’s morning “scramble” means that they’re colliding with each other while leaving the house for work and school, instead of sitting down together for a nutritious a.m. meal. Continue reading

Oat-Banana Breakfast Cookies

Home made cookies made of cereal and fruits(Serves 14)

Dessert for breakfast? Not really! Yet these cookies can certainly do double-duty in the morning as a healthier grab-and-go breakfast choice, paired up with a cup of fruit, or as an after-school (or after-dinner!) snack. Just 112 calories each, with zero cholesterol, just 6 g of fat, and 84 g sodium, these potassium-rich (147 mg) nibbles also boast 2 g each of fiber and protein.  Continue reading

Safer, Spicier Picnics

Family Camping By Lake On Hiking Adventure In ForestPicnic season is underway, a time for outdoor food and fun. But it’s also an opportunity to look at not only what we’re eating and how to prepare it safely, but with a little more flavor! (And that doesn’t mean more salt.)

Safety First

Each year, one in six people in the U.S. gets food poisoning from the E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella in spoiled food. That’s 48 million cases annually with 128,000 hospitalizations (and 3,000 deaths). Avoid sickness with these tips:

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Simple Grilled Vegetables

Vegan cuisine: Grilled mixed vegetables on a wooden cutting board(Serves 6)

Nothing says summer like grilled veggies! The beauty part of this recipe: You can throw these onto the grill outside to join the picnic, or cook them right in the oven. This one only calls for garlic and vegetable oil, but you can also jazz things up by sprinkling in some favorite fresh or dried herbs. At just 149 calories, 5 g fat, and 49 mg sodium (plus an added boost of 45 mg calcium and 459 mg potassium), these are a light side dish to any meal, indoors or out!

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Tropical Fruit Smoothie

Freshly blended yellow and orange fruit smoothie in glass jar with straw. Turquoise blue background, copy space(Serves 2)

When something quick and nutritious can do triple duty as a breakfast drink or the dessert that follows brunch, lunch, or dinner, that’s a home run!  This yogurt smoothie is full of fruit, and comes in at just 290 calories with 62 g of carbs, 5 mg of cholesterol, 2 g of total fat, 8 g of protein, 70 mg of sodium, and 43 g sugar. Adding in uncooked, rolled oats brings in 4 g of fiber and makes it especially filling. Using Greek yogurt makes it a little thicker too, so adjust accordingly with a bit more juice or milk, as needed. Bottoms up!
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The “Yuck” Factor: Getting Kids to Try (and Like) Healthy, New Foods

Focused loving father is using the blender to make smoothie while his son is holding ears while smiling in a bright kitchen. (Focused loving father is using the blender to make smoothie while his son is holding ears while smiling in a bright kitchen.,If you’re a parent, you may find yourself in a tug of war with your kids about food. That includes what you’d like them to try, and what they’ll actually eat. This battle of wills can be frustrating, especially when you’ve exhausted all methods of persuasion.

Bribing picky eaters with dessert isn’t the way to go, either. Treats are okay once in a while, but the idea is to get them used to eating healthier food overall. Having them try healthier choices (many made in a way that they’ve never had before, and might like) is the goal.

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Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Homemade shepherd's pie made in a skillet. (Serves 4)

Got leftover chicken and veggies? This Irish classic is as easy as pie! With a prep time of 40 minutes and a cook time of just 10 minutes, it’s a lighter recipe, too (just 336 calories per serving, 32 mg cholesterol, 4 g of total fat, 24 g of protein, and just 302 mg of sodium), using chicken (instead of beef or lamb). Set your table for St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

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Black Bean Soup with Red Miso and Ginger

Traditional Brazilian cuisine (caldinho de feijão) with herbs on a green napkin and a traversed spoon metal spoon.Loaded with probiotic goodness, red miso (not white), a Japanese cooking staple made from fermented soy beans, is the star here (for more flavor and texture). At just 179 calories per serving, 34 g carbs, zero cholesterol, 4 g of total fat (none saturated), 11 g of fiber, and 9 g of protein, use this soup as a starter, or as a main meal with a salad, and whole-grain sourdough bread.

Note: Skip any added salt, as the miso is salty enough (743 mg). Monitor your salt intake that day, to stay under the recommended daily sodium limit of 2,300 mg (1,500, if you have high blood pressure).

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Creamy Ginger-Lemon Salad Dressing

Homemade asian peanut dressing with black sesame seedsThis light, Asian-influenced dressing gets its creaminess from Greek yogurt, and its tang from the blend of lemon and ginger. It’s an easy, quick, and tasty paring with any mixed greens combo, with just 33 calories, 1 g of carbohydrate, zero cholesterol, 2.5 g of total fat, 2 g of protein, and 2 g of sugar. (And why couldn’t you drizzle it on chicken or seafood as well?!)

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Pry Yourself Away From Processed Foods

man reading nutrition label.

Packaged foods often make life easier, when there’s little time or energy to cook. But while you may be beating the clock with getting food on the table at home (or in your cube for lunch at work), you’re likely side-stepping healthier eating. According to the American Heart Association, almost 70 percent of the typical American diet comes from processed and restaurant foods.

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