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Monday, August 22, 2011

HEALTHY & EASY MEALS FOR TODDLERS


BREAKFAST RECIPE

CHEESY SCRAMBLED EGGS

Ingredients
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup of organic shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup organic whole or low fat milk
  • 1 TBS grated parmesan cheese
Directions
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Pour mixture in a warmed non-stick frying pan (you can use organic canola oil spray).
Stir as the egg mix is cooking. Eggs are done when firm and not runny.IDEA: Add small pieces of cold cuts like organic turkey to this recipe if desired.

 
LUNCH OR DINNER RECIPES

TODDLER'S TORTILLA


Ingredients
  • 2 whole grain tortillas or corn tortillas
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of thinly diced turkey (cooked)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli 
Directions
Scramble 2 eggs in a frying pan with extra virgin olive oil and add the broccoli and turkey when the eggs are almost cooked. Cook until the eggs are firm. Warm tortillas in a toaster oven.
Place tortilla on a plate and cover with the egg scramble. Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs. Roll up the tortilla or fold in half. Serve warm with fruit dices mixed in or baby carrots.

FUN SPINACH NUGGETS
 
Ingredients
  • 1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked, and drained
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs - (3/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup wheat germ or flax meal is a healthy substitution)
  • 1 ½ cups low fat shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 3 Large organic eggs or 5 egg yolks
Directions
  • Heat oven to 375F
  • Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. *Optional: you can substitute eggs for veggie or fruit puree.
  • Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes using cookie cutters. Place them on a baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm with brown rice or mashed sweet potatoes.

GRILLED CHEESE & TURKEY SANDWICH
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of organic whole grain bread
  • 2 slices of organic low fat provolone cheese or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 slice of organic oven roasted turkey breast
  • 1 tsp organic butter
Directions
Option 1: Lightly butter 2 slices of whole grain bread. Place turkey slice between cheese slices with butter side down. Place sandwich in Panini/Sandwich grill Warm until cheese is melted. Trim bread borders if desired.
Option 2:  Warm frying pan. Lightly butter 2 slices of whole grain bread. When frying pan has warmed, lay one slice of bread butter-side down; then, top with 1 slice of cheese, 1 slice of turkey then top with 1 slice of cheese. Top sandwich with remaining slice of bread (butter side up). Fry and flip sandwich as needed until bread becomes golden and toasted.
IDEA: Hide Turkey, Chicken, Cooked Broccoli, Peppers, Tomatoes or Spinach between 2 slices of cheese!

 
CHEESY CHEESE LOGS
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of organic all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of organic butter
  • 1/2 cup of organic thinly shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 1 organic egg
  • Dash of pepper
  • Dash of garlic powder

Directions
  • Heat oven at 375F
  • Mix butter and Flour together then add the cheese & egg. 
  • Roll mixture into thin logs; place them on a baking tray (coated with organic canola oil spray). Bake logs for about 1o minutes. * You may need to bake them longer, depending on thickness of the cheese logs.

YUMMY SPRING TIME PASTA

Ingredients
  •  1 bag of organic tri-color pasta (fun shaped!)
  •  1 C chopped fresh organic broccoli
  • 1/4 C sliced black olives - optional
  • 1/2 C organic baby Carrots, julienne
  • 1/2 C organic zucchini, sliced thin
  • 2 TBS organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2TBS grated parmesan cheese
Directions
  • Boil pasta al dente.
  • In frying pan sauté broccoli, carrots, zucchini in olive oil until crisp yet tender.
  • Drain & rinse pasta. Combine pasta and vegetables in large bowl and add parmesan cheese to lightly coat. Serve warm or cold

YUMMY HOMEMADE PIZZA

Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pita bread
  • 2 slices of organic tomato or 2 TBS of organic tomato spaghetti sauce
  • ½ C low fat shredded mozzarella cheese or deli style mozzarella cheese.
Directions
  • Top open pita or flour tortilla with tomato or tomato sauce. Add cheese.
  • Broil in toaster oven until cheese is melted. Allow to cool prior to serving. Serve with baby carrots or edemame. IDEA: Hide some veggies like cooked Broccoli, Carrot, Onions, Peppers, zuchinni or spinach!
CHEESY VEGGIE QUESADILLA

Ingredients
  •  1 whole wheat tortilla
  •  2 slices of cheese (mozzarella or provolone or cheddar)
  •  chopped cooked organic veggies
Directions
  • On the tortilla, spread out the veggies then cover with cheese slices. Place on warmed frying pan. Fold tortilla once cheese has melted. Flip quesadilla to warm other side. IDEA: use organic non fat refried beans instead of veggies or mix two or three cheeses like ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar and more!
CARROT HUMMUS
Ingredients
  • 1 package of organic baby cut carrots (about 1 lb)
  • 2 cans of organic garbanzo beans (about 15 oz each, rinsed & drained)
  • ¾ cup of chopped parsley
  • 5 TBS of lemon juice - optional
  • 1 TBS Asian sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 gloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt – optional

Directions

  • In a 2 to 3 quart pan, combine carrots and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots mash easily (about 15 to 20 minutes). Drain well.
  • In a food processor, or blender, whirl carrots, garbanzos, chopped parsley, lemon juice (optional), oil, and garlic until smoothly pureed.
  • Serve with pita wedges or veggies such as organic celery, organic cherry tomatoes, organic broccoli and more! You can also make sandwiches with hummus, provolone cheese and veggies!
ANNE’S BLACK BEAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1 can low sodium organic black beans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened organic apple sauce
  • 1 box of organic chocolate cake mix (like Pamela's Products Luscious Chocolate Cake Mix)
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350º and grease a 9″ cake pan.
  • In a blender, blend the beans with the water they come in until very smooth.
  • Then add the apple sauce to the blender and blend until smooth. Add the cake mix, a little at a time, until blended.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake it for 30-40 mins. The top of the cake should be rounded and firm to the touch, and the cake should be pulling away from the sides of the pan
  • Allow to cool, and then remove from pan. Chill in fridge over night. Serve chilled from fridge.


    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Healthy Nutrition Tips for Pregnant Women
     By Rossana Rutledge, RD, LD

    1. Don't forget to drink water: the Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups of fluids daily. Beware of beverages that are high in sugar or so called "empty" calories. How much fluid you need to drink each day will depend on many factors, such as your activity level, the weather (hot), and your size. You will also need more fluids if you have a fever or are vomiting or have diarrhea.
    2. Eat a balanced diet rich in fiber: during pregnancy you and your baby need a diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Making healthy food choices every day will help you reach this goal. Every day, choose a variety of:
    • Vegetables and fruits, like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, red peppers, apples, melon and bananas.
    • Eat plenty of whole grains like brown rice or whole oatmeal, fortified, cooked or ready-to-eat cereals;
    • Choose dairy products that are nonfat or low-fat yogurt; nonfat or low-fat milk.
    • Make sure you eat cooked beans and healthy meats like lean beef, lamb, and pork; shrimp, crab; cod, salmon, polluck, and catfish.
    • ¼ cup of nuts and seeds a day.
    3. Eat your breakfast: try to eat three main meals & two snacks every day. Most important of all, is to make sure you eat breakfast daily. Your body has been fasting while you were sleeping. You need to break the fast with a healthy breakfast. Try fortified ready-to-eat or cooked breakfast cereals with fruit. If you have morning sickness, start with whole wheat toast. Eat more food later in the morning.
    4. Make sure you eat only healthy snacks:
    • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit
    • Baby carrots with hummus
    • Rice cake with low fat cottage cheese
    • Avoid “junk food” like snacks that are high in sugar and fat.
    5. Eat up to 12 ounces a week of fish: be aware of mercury levels in fish.
    Safe to eat up to 12 ounces (about 2 servings) per week - cooked fish and shellfish:
    • Shrimp
    • Crab
    • Clams
    • Oysters
    • Scallops
    • Salmon
    • Pollock
    • Catfish
    • Cod
    • Tilapia
    Safe in moderation (eat up to 6 ounces or about 1 serving per week):
    • Canned albacore or chunk white tuna, which has more mercury than canned light tuna
    Do not eat these fish that are high in mercury:
    • Swordfish
    • Tilefish
    • King mackerel
    • Shark
    * Don’t eat uncooked fish or shellfish including refrigerated uncooked seafood labeled nova-style, lox, kippered, smoked, or jerky.
    6. Take a prenatal vitamin with DHA: make sure your prenatal vitamins contained the suggested for pregnant women for:
    • Iron: 27 mg
    • Folic acid: 400 to 800 mcg
    • Calcium: 1,000 mg; 1,300 mg if 18 or younger
    • Vitamin A: 770 mcg; 750 mcg if 18 or younger
    • Vitamin B12: 2.6 mcg
    7. Food safety: most foods are safe for pregnant women and their babies. But you will need to use caution with certain foods.
    Do not eat:
    • Smoked seafood like salmon, and mackerel. Avoid raw or uncooked fish like sushi.
    • Hot dogs or deli meats unless steaming hot.
    • Do not drink unpasteurized milk or juices.
    • Avoid store-made salads, such as chicken, egg, or tuna salad.
    • Avoid unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as unpasteurized feta, Brie, Roquefort, queso fresco, and blue cheeses.
    • Aviod herbs and plants used as medicines without consulting your doctor. Some “natural remedies” can be harmful during pregnancy, such as noni juice, or unripe papaya.
    • Avoid raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean)
    To avoid food borne illness:
    • Always wash hands with soap after touching soil or raw meat.
    • Keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood from touching other foods or surfaces.
    • Clean, handle, cook, and chill food properly. Cook meat completely. 
    • Wash all produce before eating.
    8. Limit caffeine: moderate amounts of caffeine, that is less than 200 mg per day, appear to be safe during pregnancy. Make sure you read the nutrition label to learn how much caffeine a product has. Make sure you ask your doctor whether drinking a limited amount of caffeine is okay for you. Drink water or seltzer instead of caffeinated soda. Avoid herbal teas during pregnancy. 9. Weight gain during pregnancy: weight gain recommendations during pregnancy vary according to your pre-pregnancy BMI (based on your pre-pregnancy weight) and the number of babies you are carrying.  For example; if you are in the Normal BMI range, it is advisable that you gain 2 to 5 pounds (~1-2 kg) in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy. If you are pregnant with two or more babies, these recommendations do not apply to you.
    10.Don’t drink alcohol: most women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects; however, it is not commonly known that moderate or light drinking also may harm the fetus. In fact, according to the CDC “there is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to drink while pregnant. All drinks with alcohol can hurt an unborn baby. A 12-ounce can of beer has as much alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1-ounce shot of liquor….” For more information visit 
    http://www.cdc.gov/features/alcoholfreepregnancy/

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Organic Vs Conventional


    THE GREAT DEBATE: ORGANIC vs. CONVENTIONAL
    By Rossana Rutledge, RD, LD

    There is actually no right or wrong answer here. We still don’t have enough evidence to claim that organic foods provide more nutritional value than conventional foods. The most important decision you should make towards a better health is to make sure you eat a healthy balance diet.  Your diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables. The health benefits of fruits & vegetables will outweigh any risks due to synthetic pesticide exposure.
    Here is an approach that most experts (including myself) advocate for those of you who want to keep the balance between both.  Start by replacing the most pesticide-heavy fruits or vegetables with their organic equivalent. Recently, The Environmental Working Group published two new lists: “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15” (formally called the “dirty dozen” and the ‘Consistently Clean’). These lists show which foods consistently scored the highest in pesticide levels and toxicity and which scored the lowest.

    Dirty Dozen – Buy This Organic
    Clean 15 – Lowest Pesticides
    1    Apples
    1    Onions
    2    Celery
    2    Corn
    3    Strawberry
    3    Pineapples
    4    Peaches
    4    Avocado
    5    Spinach
    5    Asparagus
    6    Nectarines – Imported
    6    Sweet Peas
    7    Grapes – Imported
    7    Mangoes
    8    Sweet Bell Peppers
    8    Eggplant
    9    Potatoes
    9    Cantaloupe – Domestic
    10  Blueberries – Domestic
    10  Kiwi
    11  Lettuce
    11   Cabbage
    12  Kale/collard greens
    12   Watermelon

    13   Sweet Potatoes

    14  Grapefruit

    15  Mushrooms

    Source: Environmental Working Group. To download a free EWG’s shopper’s guide visit their website at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

    STILL NOT SURE?
    If you can afford them, I encourage you to try organic foods. They are worth buying & eating for the following reasons:

    ·         You will avoid high concentration of possible harmful synthetic pesticides/ synthetic fertilizers as well as fruits & vegetables that have been irradiated or  genetically modified (GMOs and the technologies involved are still very controversial).

    ·         Organic farmers raise their animals on 100% organic diet (most of the time vegetarian diet). They don’t use growth hormones, antibiotics or other drugs; organic meat is not irradiated. For example: organic dairy products come from animals that are fed 100% organic diet and were not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones like rBST.

    ·         You want organic products for environmental reasons. According to USDA guidelines, organic farming practices are designed to reduce pollution and conserve water and soil. For example, they are required to use organic pesticides (derived from natural sources and processed lightly).

    ·         Personally, I think they taste better!  If you don’t believe me, try this: buy organic & conventional milk at the same time. Pour ½ cup of each, smell them first. Then taste them. See?



    Monday, August 8, 2011


    HEALTHY SNACKS FOR KIDS: MOVING BEYOND CRACKERS & POTATO CHIPS!
    By Rossana Rutledge, RD, LD
    It is time to keep junk food out of the house! Nutritious snacks can provide energy and important nutrients for your child. The following are some suggestions on how to make healthy snacks for your kids.
    HEALTHY SUGGESTIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS:

    ·         When it is time to eat a snack, try to have the same routine every day. For example: wash hands first, then use the high chair or ask your toddler to sit down. I found that having those kiddy table & chairs set, very helpful for snack time.

    ·         Offer your toddler a variety of healthy foods.  You will decide when and what to serve. Try to be consistent with time. Let your child decide how much to eat from the foods you serve. Serve your child a minimum of 2 snacks thought out the day.  Snacks are very important. They are like mini meals that can help children make up for the nutrients they missed at meal time

    ·         Serve veggies like baby carrots, halves cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber sticks, celery or sweet bell peppers with low fat organic ranch dressing, homemade cucumber dip or hummus.

    ·         Instead of unhealthy dips try the following: organic vanilla or plain yogurt; plain greek yogurt; homemade guacamole, hummus (try our carrot hummus recipe!); flavored or plain cream cheese; cottage cheese; organic low fat ranch; organic ketchup; almond or sunflower spreads.

    ·         Chocking Warning: for children less than 2 years of age, serve only cooked veggies; make sure you ALWAYS cut them lengthwise and then into smaller pieces.  Make sure you ALWAYS cut fruits lengthwise and then into smaller pieces. Serve only soft fruits like bananas, ripe pears or ripe apples.  Always cut grapes & cherries in halves.

    ·         Remember that children will eat more on some days than others.   Also, remember that your child will like to eat what you eat so try to set a good example. Keep the TV off during meals. Make snack time fun (try music, singing, etc.)

    ·         Do not make your child’s eating the center of attention. Please, never use food to bribe or play games. Never force your child to eat. Children need to control their own eating. Never give food to a child who is very upset or crying.

    ·         How much? Each child is different. Start with small servings. Give about 1 TBS of each food for each year of your child’s age.  For example, if your child is 2 years old, serve her 2 tablespoons of vegetables and 1-2 TBS of hummus.

    ·         Chocking Warning: for children less than 2 years of age, serve only cooked veggies; make sure you ALWAYS cut them lengthwise and then into smaller pieces.  Make sure you ALWAYS cut fruits lengthwise and then into smaller pieces. Serve only soft fruits like bananas, ripe pears or ripe apples.  Always cut grapes & cherries in halves. Don’t feed a child that is upset or crying. Children under the age of 4 can choke on foods like hot dogs, popcorn, nuts, raw carrots, grapes, candy, jelly beans, gum or hard candy.

    EASY, FUN & NUTRITIOUS KID APPROVED SNACKS!

    ·         Apple, Almonds, Apricot or Avocado:
    peeled them, cut them in wedges and serve them with one of our suggested healthy dips! Almonds about ¼ cup is just the right amount for kids to munch on. Sever almond butter with apples. Warning: Do not give nuts to children under 3; they can be a choking hazard. If there is a family history of food allergies, make sure you talk to your child’s pediatrician first before giving nuts to your child.

    ·         Banana, Baby Carrots or Broccoli:
    peeled them, cut them and serve them with one of our suggested dips! Combine banana with graham crackers, organic low sugar cereal or vanilla yogurt.

    ·         Cantaloupe, Cereal, Cherries, Chick peas, Cottage Cheese, Cheese & Cucumber:  
    who says you can’t revisit breakfast foods for snack time? Mix dry cereal with raisins & yogurt.  Cut peeled & cucumbers sticks to dip in yummy hummus.  Mix cottage cheese with can pineapple.  Serve cheese pieces or cheese sticks with multi grain crackers (for kids ages 3 & up). Cut fresh cheese slices into shapes with assorted cookie cutters & combine them with veggies with fun colors. Chocking Warning: for children less than 2 years of age, make sure you ALWAYS cut fruits/veggies lengthwise and then into smaller pieces.  Offer only soft cheese like cottage cheese.  CHEESE STICKS:  cut the lengthwise. Buy the softer mozzarella version like Trader Joe’s fresh mozzarella sticks. Never give hard cheese cubes to children less than 2 years of age. 

    ·         Dates & Dried Cranberries:
    dates are more suitable for older kids. Just cut them really small & mix them with dry cereal, yogurt or add them into your homemade muffins!

    ·         Edamame!
    these soybeans are a great source of protein! You can keep in them in the freezer & they are ready in 3 mins! Plus Kids love popping them out of their pods as much as they love the taste!

    ·         Frozen Banana with Nuts, Fruit Cup, Fruit Rolls, Fruit salad or Fruit Sauces:
    if berries are in season make a berry salad & serve it with mini waffles with a touch of maple syrup. . . YUM! Try to offer fruit rolls or fruit sauces only if you will be snacking away from home. They are an excellent choice for the “mommy on the run,” or as treat in lunch boxes. Frozen Banana with Nuts: suitable only for kids 3 & up:  dip a banana cut lengthwise in honey or maple syrup, roll it in crushed nuts and stick it in the freezer for an amazing treat during summer time.  Warning: Do not give nuts to children under 3; they can be a choking hazard. If there is a family history of food allergies, make sure you talk to your child’s pediatrician first before giving nuts to your child. Do not give Honey or corn syrup until 1 year of age. They can cause infant botulism which is a food poisoning that can lead to death.

    ·         Graham crackers, Halves Seedless Grapes & Guava:
    dip graham cracker sticks in organic vanilla yogurt, mix them with green & red apple wedges; spread organic strawberry jam mix with whipped cream cheese & top it with sliced bananas. . .YUMMY! Serve grapes

    ·         Hummus: 
    kids love dips, and this one, made from pureed chickpeas and sesame seeds, is a great tasting nutritious dip that goes well with crunchy veggies or soft whole wheat pita bread.

    ·         Jelly:
    try organic jelly on mini rice crackers. Serve with banana or peeled apple wedges.

    ·         Kiwi:
    suitable for kids ages 3 & up. Serve them with fresh cut strawberries or in fruit salads.

    ·         Low -fat Chocolate Milk:
    suitable for children 2 & up. Serve it with any snack. Kids just love chocolate milk!

    ·         Mango, Melon, Multigrain Bread or Mini Waffles, Muffins:
    cut multi grain bread into shapes with assorted cookie cutters & combine them with almond, peanut or sunflower butter, nutell (a chocolate-hazelnut spread), organic jam or jelly, cream cheese and more! Warning: do not give nuts to children under 3 specially If there is a family history of food allergies, make sure you talk to your child’s pediatrician first before giving nuts to your child). Homemade mini bran muffins make a great healthy snack for your little ones.

    ·         Nectarines:
    always serve ripe, peeled and cut in wedges for kids under 3 years of age.

    ·         Oatmeal, Orange slices:
     
    are not suitable until 1 ½ years of age.  Serve juicy, sweet seedless orange wedges with graham crackers, halves grapes, and more. Mix oatmeal with cinnamon, small apple cubes or raisins!

    ·         Papaya, Parfait, Peach, Pita Bread:
    serve whole wheat pita bread with hummus, or dip it with a mix cream cheese, a bit of sugar & cinnamon! To make a parfait top yogurt with kids friendly cereal with fresh berries  and you’ve got yourself a healthy alternative to an ice cream sundae.

    ·         Raisins, Raspberry, Rice Crackers:
     
    raisins in mini boxes are perfect to keep on hand in your purse, car or diaper bags. You can mix them with cereal, yogurt, fruit salads, fruit cups and more.  Warning: dried fruit are usually a choking hazard for kids under 2. Serve fresh raspberries with sweet, ripe melon pieces. Mini rice crackers are the ideal snack on the go. More suitable for children ages 2 & up.

    ·         Strawberry, Smoothies:
    fresh cut strawberry goes well with almost all other snacks like yogurt, cottage cheese, other fresh fruits, animal crackers, natural flavor gelatin, mini waffles, mini pancakes and more! Fruit smoothies are ideal snack for picky eaters.  Blend up fruit with low fat milk and yogurt to make one of these tasty treats.

    ·         Water, Watermelon:
    always offer water at snack time. It is important to avoid or to limit juice to no more than 4 to 6 oz per day. If your child is thirsty, offer her/him water instead of sweet drinks. Sweet drinks can make your child feel full. In hot weather, serve fresh chopped fruit along with water instead of juice.  If your child is involve in any type of physical activity class, for example little gym classes or soccer, offer low fat chocolate milk along with water instead of juice.  Please avoid serving sport drinks to young children. By 1-2 years of age, your child should be drinking only from a cup or sippy cup now, not a from a baby bottle.