by Lindsay Damast in Healthy Recipes, August 20, 2015
by Sally Wadyka in Healthy Tips, July 30, 2015
If you sent your little ones to camp this summer — be it a day camp, a weeklong skill-growing intensive or the full-fledged sleep-away experience — you likely relinquished control of their diet to the cafeteria gods. Your diligent meal planning and healthy eating lessons gave way to fried finger foods, endless carbs and thrice-daily snacks and sweets — which your kids easily burned off by running in circles all day. But now that they’re back home and preparing to start school, you’ll need to transition your happy campers back to normal eating habits. Rather than rip the bandage off all at once, we suggest trying out better-for-them versions of typical camp foods — so they won’t even notice they’ve crossed the bridge back into healthy eating land.
Sloppy Joes (shown above)
This meaty mess of a sandwich is probably the most-iconic cafeteria food, ladled from a giant vat onto a hamburger bun. Ellie Krieger uses extra-lean ground beef for these Joes and relies on fresh ingredients (onion, garlic, peppers) and a handful of sauces and seasonings to imbue the meat with that deep, indulgent flavor.
by Amy Reiter in Food News, July 24, 2015
Everywhere you look these days, there’s another smoothie or juice bar popping up offering blends of fruits and vegetables in drinkable form. Even the refrigerated aisle at the supermarket is lined with bottles of similar sorts of drinks. They seem like an easy way to pump more fruits and veggies into your daily intake. And why not use the same method to supplement your kids’ diet? Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, May 29, 2015
Feel Good About Olives
Are olives a food you can feel good about eating? A panel of nutritionists and diet experts polled by Time magazine all say olives make a very healthy snack indeed. They point out that about four large olives have only about 20 calories, are nutritionally rich and contain about two grams of healthy monounsaturated fat, which benefits your heart, your brain and your belly. What’s more, olives are packed with antioxidants like biophenols, which keep bad cholesterol from building up in your artery walls. They’re also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and aid in disease prevention. Plus, as a fermented food, they offer gut-friendly bacteria. One drawback: Because they are cured, olives may be high in salt, so the experts suggest you compensate by cutting out another salty snack. A small price to pay … Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, March 22, 2015
Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Aim to Get Real
Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, both owned by Yum Brands, have announced plans to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from their menu items. This means that Taco Bell’s seasoned beef will soon feature black pepper rather than “black pepper flavor,” and artificial dyes including Yellow No. 6, Blue No. 1 and carmine will be removed from the chain’s nacho cheese, avocado ranch dressing and red tortilla strips, respectively. High-fructose corn syrup, unsustainable palm oil and some (though not all) artificial preservatives will also be phased out, although fountain beverages and co-branded products will not be affected. Pizza Hut, meanwhile, aims to eliminate artificial colors and flavors by late July and will then begin listing ingredients online. Read more
by Keri Glassman in Cooking for Kids, January 10, 2015
Should our youngest children be scarfing down greasy fried food in the middle of their day? Is there any reason we shouldn’t be feeding our toddlers tofu? Read more
by Keri Glassman in Cooking for Kids, November 8, 2014
Neophobia. It’s the fear of trying something new, and I see it in the clients I work with all the time. I’ve known a friend of mine for 20 years, and for 20 years she’s let neophobia rule her food culture. She eats only white food: pasta, bread, chicken, yogurt, potatoes and rice. Eating anywhere with her is pretty much a miserable experience. She’s anxious about eating away from home in the first place and constantly worries, “Will there be something I can eat?” When she’s ordering from the waiter, she’s got a rush of nervous questions: “Is it spicy? Is there anything green in it? Is the dish all mixed together?” Sadly, her rotten relationship with food and penchant for making dining a painful experience (for everyone) can probably be traced in a direct line back to her childhood.
by Jason Machowsky in Kid-Friendly, September 12, 2014
“Fine! Just have the CUPCAKE!” I yelled (in my head) as I practically threw the sugar-infested, oversize cupcake (that I was planning to bring to a party) at my 3-year-old son. The meltdown he was having in the pouring rain on Second Avenue was reaching gargantuan proportions. My continuous noes were clearly not working. Three-year-olds can be relentless. I raised my white flag, tore open the box and let him indulge.
If you’re a parent, you know this story all too well. If you’re a parent and have never been in a similar situation, well, then, please hand over your Cliff Notes on parenting, stat! When it comes to desserts and sweets, most of us struggle, whether we are 3 years old, 25 years old or 50 years old. It doesn’t help that treats pop up near daily at birthday parties, family events, school activities and holidays. Like all of you, I don’t like being the parent police and always saying “no.” But we are smart enough to know that we can’t let sugary indulgences be a free-for-all either.
by Toby Amidor in Kid-Friendly, September 6, 2014
Enlisting kids to help out in the kitchen can have numerous benefits beyond an extra pair of little hands assisting us:
- Cooking teaches children useful skills, including cooperation, coordination, math (fractions and more) and problem-solving.
- Cooking is a bonding experience for parents and kids.
- Cooking an array of things, including fruits and vegetables, helps children develop a healthy relationship with the foods they eat, which is associated with better health and eating habits as they become teens and adults.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, July 6, 2014
It’s the time of year when kids head back to the classroom — and parents head back to the kitchen for another year of lunchbox anxiety. But there’s no need for packable meals to inspire stress. Here are simple lunches worth a spot in any brown bag, plus some time-saving packaged add-ins that parents can actually feel good about. Read more
A Harvard University study released last month found that kids gain weight more quickly over the summer than during the school year. With the warm weather and more opportunities to play outdoors, one might think the opposite is true. But it turns out there are several factors at play.
The study, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Preventing Chronic Disease, compiled and analyzed the results of seven studies published since 1990. The studies were conducted among children ages 5 to 17. The researchers found that black, Hispanic and overweight children and adolescents were at highest risk of gaining weight quickly over the summer. The study determined that these adolescents gained weight because they spent more time in front of TV and computer screens and were more likely to eat unhealthy snacks. These children also may have slept less, as their summer days were less structured compared with those during the school year.
What Parents Can Do
There are several basic strategies that can help keep kids from gaining weight during summer vacation. Here are five.