All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at FoodNetwork.com

5 Healthiest Restaurant Kids’ Meals

by in Dining Out, April 3, 2012
kids menu
Think beyond grilled cheese when dining out with your kids.

Trying to feed your kids healthy options when dining out can be stressful. Most restaurants offer the usual chicken fingers, mac and cheese, hamburger with fries or grilled cheese, but the calories, fat and sodium on these items is through the roof. Here are the healthiest options we found at popular restaurants.

Chili’s
The grilled chicken is the way to go at Chili’s. You can order the Grilled Chicken Platter, which has 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 170 milligrams of sodium or the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with 230 calories, 5 grams of fat and 230 milligrams of sodium. Add a side of celery sticks with ranch dressing for an additional 80 calories, steamed broccoli for 30 calories or mandarin oranges or pineapple for 35 calories.

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Healthy Passover Foods: Traditional and Fresh Ideas

by in Healthy Holidays, April 2, 2012
matzo ball soup
Food Network Magazine's Matzo Ball Soup

In a Passover food rut? Although it’s wonderful to dine on traditional foods, sometimes you just want to try something new.

Traditional Fare

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Herb of the Month: Parsley

by in In Season, April 1, 2012

parsley
Spring is in the air and fresh herbs are in season, readily available at grocery stores, farmer’s markets and home gardens. We’re starting the season by celebrating a quintessential green herb: parsley. Did you know it was traditionally added to plates as a way to freshen breath after meals?

Parsley Basics
This green Mediterranean herb is part of the Umbelliferae family along with carrots and celery. The parsley plant prefers to grow in rocky areas. There are more than 30 varieties of the herb with the most popular being the stronger flavored “flat” leaf (AKA Italian) and the milder “curly” leaf.

Parsley is grown worldwide. In the U.S., it’s mostly grown commercially in California and Florida. Curled parsley is available all-year while Italian parsley may sometimes be more difficult to find.

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Order This, Not That: Panera Bread

by in Dining Out, March 29, 2012
panera bread sandwich
Panera's Breakfast Power With Ham on Whole Grain is one of the healthier options on their menu.

It seems like Panera Bread is a healthy restaurant choice — they serve mostly soups, salads and sandwiches. But with so many options available, it can get confusing. Let us help you navigate the menu, with an easy-to-understand list of what to order at this chain, and what to avoid.

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The 10 Most Common Sources of Sodium

by in Food News, March 26, 2012
deli meat
There's lots of sodium to be found at the deli counter.

Nine out of 10 American adults eat too much sodium. Chances are you’re probably in that 90%. The CDC recently released a report pinpointing the top sodium culprits so you can keep a mindful eye on them.

The Issue
A February 2012 report released by the CDC, found 10 foods that are responsible for more than 40% of the sodium in our diets. Too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, which may put you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.  The report estimates the average adult eats about 3,300 milligrams of sodium each day—that’s almost 1½ times the recommended daily amount. The report found that 65% of sodium comes from food sold at the market while 25% comes from meals eaten in restaurants.

Find out more about the risks of high blood pressure.

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Diet 101: DASH Diet

by in Diets & Weight Loss, March 22, 2012

dash dietThe Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet has been traditionally recommended for those with high blood pressure. However, this diet was recently ranked as the Best Overall Diet for Healthy Eating by U.S. News.

Overview
The DASH Diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in order to help prevent and lower high blood pressure (AKA hypertension). The diet promotes nutrients like potassium, calcium, fiber and protein, which have been shown help reduce high blood pressure. The plan emphasizes that you take in these nutrients by eating a variety of foods especially fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. High calorie meats (like red meat), high fat and high sugar foods are all discouraged, and reducing salt intake is encouraged. Although this plan was created for those with high blood pressure, it is no more than a well-balanced diet where whole foods are encouraged while high calorie and processed foods are discouraged.

The plan also encourages regular exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle including not smoking.

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Get Your Plate in Shape: Dinner

by in Healthy Recipes, March 21, 2012
sausage lasagna
A piece of this lasagna plus a green salad and even some dessert equals a well-balanced meal.

In honor of National Nutrition Month we’re giving you meal ideas that follow the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations. We’ve covered breakfast and lunch—now it’s dinner time.

The Guidelines
Ending the day with a well-balanced meal is important. This is your last big change to take in any nutrients you may not have gotten enough of during the day. For example, if you have pasta primavera for lunch, be sure to include 3 to 4 ounces of protein for dinner. If you didn’t get in all your fruits during the day, make sure to add one for dessert.

Meal 1: Lasagna
Sausage Lasagna
Green Salad With Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Baked Banana With Cinnamon and Honey

Food groups: protein, grain, dairy, fruit, veggie

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Weight Loss Success Story: Comedian Lenny Clarke

by in Diets & Weight Loss, March 16, 2012

lenny clarke
Actor and comedian Lenny Clarke (star of Are You There, Chelsea? and Rescue Me) shed close to 200 pounds and has kept it off for 5 years. How’d he do it? I had the opportunity to chat with him about his weight loss success.

Q: You weighed 388 pounds, then went on Weight Watchers and lost 182 pounds. What was your “aha” moment that made you start taking action to lose weight?
Everything bad that I could do, I did do, including years of booze and drug abuse. To weigh myself, I had to go on a truck scale— at my heaviest it said 388 pounds. People were coming up to me and said “you look good” with horror in their eyes. They would rub my belly like Buddha and that was hurtful.

Even when I was filming my weight was an issue. During a scene in Fever Pitch, I was supposed to drive Jimmy Fallon to a baseball game. I was so fat I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel and they needed to adjust it for me. When they shot There’s Something About Mary, I played the fireman who was supposed to come through the window to help Ben Stiller when he got himself stuck in his pants. I was too fat to fit through the window, so they needed to rewrite the scene.

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Get Your Plate in Shape: Lunch

by in Healthy Recipes, March 15, 2012
peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Pack a lunch that meets the MyPlate guidelines.

We’re continuing our celebration of National Nutrition Month; last week we gave you breakfast options that follow the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines; now on to lunch.

The Guidelines
The guidelines for lunch are pretty similar to breakfast. You want to make sure half of your plate is filled with fruit and veggies, ¼ with grains and ¼ with lean protein. Although the MyPlate photo shows milk as a side beverage, it’s not a must at every meal. You can get in your dairy in the form of low-fat or nonfat cheese or yogurt too.

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The Healthiest Social Pages

by in Healthy Tips, March 14, 2012
social pages
Who should you follow?

The food and nutrition information on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest can make your head swirl. With so much information, it’s also tough to know if you’re getting up-to-date reliable facts.  Here are our top recommendations.

Twitter
Some awesome tweeps to follow include:

Rebecca Subbiah RD
Founder of Chow and Chatter, Rebecca is a food blogger and dietitian in both the U.S. and U.K. Her tweets are full of excellent nutrition articles, tips, and healthy recipes.

Twitter handle: @chowandchatter

Rachel Begun
Registered dietitan and gluten-free guru Rachel Begun shares sound advice about going gluten-free and links out to tasty gluten-free products. She also sprinkles in some general nutrition info, too.

Twitter handle: @RachelBegunRD

Rebecca Scritchfield
Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian who encourages healthy food and daily movement and fun. She encourages putting #mefirst (so you’ll often see her using the hashtag). Her nutrition info is always informative and engaging.

Twitter handle: @ScritchfieldRD

Jill Weisenberger
A registered dietitian and diabetes expert, Jill provides a plethora of information, links and recipes.

Twitter handle: @nutritionjill

Food Safety News
This is a great resource to follow to keep up with food recalls and the latest food safety information.

Twitter handle: @foodsafetynews

And don’t forget to follow Healthy Eats on Twitter, plus our Healthy Eats writers: Toby Amidor, Dana White, Robin Miller, Katie Cavuto Boyle, Janel Funk and Silvana Nardone.

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