Health experts say that kids ages six to 17 years old should get at least 60 minutes of exercise each day, but even recess times can vary from state to state during the school year. (Many parents and teachers have spoken out when recess time has been slashed, asking for more break time to benefit young students.) Parents with kids who home school have an even bigger challenge if they’re slipping into less-structured playtime. And even in summer, despite all of the chances to be outdoors, computer games may still beckon inside or on the sidelines. Continue reading
Ahhh, soup! This one is flavorful, hearty, and nutritious, and should get you in the mood for fall right around the corner. Each one-cup serving is only 130 calories with just 12 g of carbs, 3 g fat, 260 mg of sodium, and 4 g of sugar, with good sources of both protein (15 g) and potassium (520 mg). Pick up pre-cooked rotisserie chicken in the grocery store as a time-saver, if you’re short on time to cook the chicken yourself, or if you don’t already have leftover chicken. Preparation is fast, whether you make it the night before or for same-day servings. It travels well for kids’ lunches, too! Continue reading
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!
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.
Turn off your oven — no baking needed for these chewy treats! Perfect with that cup of tea or glass of skim milk, you’ll love this combo of peanut butter and whole grain oats, with just 120 calories per serving (two cookies!), 18 g of carbs, 5 g of cholesterol, 5 g total fat, 1 g of fiber, 2 g of protein, 15 g of sodium, and 12 g total sugar (using granulated sugar).
Research is ongoing, but studies have pointed to “gut health” as impacting not only the digestive system, but the immune system as well. A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that consuming different strains of probiotics over an eight-week period could reduce body weight and BMI, which are two caution areas related to diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Studies at Johns Hopkins have revealed an altering of blood pressure when different gut bacteria are produced in mice, rats, and people. Good gut bacteria have also been known to help reduce allergy symptoms, inflammation, and skin issues, like acne. Experts have been looking at the effects of probiotics on mood and stress, too.
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).