Kid-friendly recipes

The Amazing Avocado… Great Nutrition Meets Great Taste

Avocado

Avocado season is quickly approaching, and there are more ways to enjoy this superfood than just making guacamole. Flavorful, creamy, and full of healthy fats, avocados are perfect for desserts, dips, salsas, salads, sandwiches, and more!

If you’ve been avoiding avocados in your heart-healthy diet because of their high fat content, know that those fats are primarily mono- and polyunsaturated — good fats needed to process the fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. Avocados also have plenty of antioxidants, primarily carotenoids found in the deep green part of the flesh, closest to the peel.

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Summer Picnics and Barbeques

Summer is filled with fun events. Everything from graduation parties, to Fourth of July picnics, to good old-fashioned backyard barbeques – it’s likely that you already have several events you’ll be celebrating the summer season. With a little preplanning, these social gatherings can offer not only great company and fun, but a menu that is nutritious and delicious.

To help you stay on track with healthy eating while still enjoying the celebration, take a look at some of the best foods choices, and those you should be wary of.

Keep Portions in Perspective

Portion size counts, even if you are selecting healthy choices. While the goal is to fill your plate with the best food choices available at any barbeque, you don’t want to sabotage your health efforts by eating too much.

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5 Tips for Building a Healthier Salad

healthier salad photo

With the warmer weather just around the corner, salads can be quite appealing. Eating salad is a great way to curb your appetite and add nutrients to your diet. Yet, when it comes to your health, not all salads are created equally. Salads can contain more calories and fat than you think!

Take, for example, a Cobb salad. A classic Cobb salad contains chopped bacon, eggs, blue cheese, avocado, and loads of creamy dressing. Or if one of your favorites is a chef’s salad, typically it comes loaded with Swiss cheese, roast beef, eggs, and dressing. These salads can cost you more than 1,000 calories and 80 grams of fat! That said, don’t give up on salads. If you choose wisely they are not only healthy but delicious!

Follow these 5 tips to help you build a healthier, low-calorie salad: Continue reading →

Fast, fresh and healthy brown bag lunches

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School lunch is an excellent time to refuel your child’s energy as well as help boost concentration and memory for the afternoon. The trick is providing a lunch that packs a nutritional punch and appeals to your child. Live Light Live Right nutritionist Judy Marshel shared her tips with us.

The ideal lunch contains 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole grain, 1/4 vegetable, 1/4 fruit and a serving of low-fat dairy. Continue reading →

Healthy Tip of the Month: Breakfast is your best friend

breakfast

It’s true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, eating breakfast instead of skipping it can actually help you lose weight. Why?

Well, when you sleep for a full night, your body hasn’t had any calories in 8 or 10 hours, so it’s like a car running on fumes. It needs fuel to get going. (That’s why it’s called breakfast as in, you are breaking a fast.)

If you eat when you wake up, it helps fire up your metablism, allowing your body to burn more energy. Eating breakfast helps you from getting too hungry and overeating later in the day.

If you’re not a breakfast fan, try some of these healthy breakfast ideas:

  • Fresh fruit with low-fat or non-fat yogurt
  • Unsweetened cereal or oatmeal with low fat or fat free milk
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter

Drink Up: How to stay hydrated this summer

lemonwater

Did you know that water makes up between 45% to 75% of your weight? That your blood is 80% water? That if you don’t replace what’s lost every day, blood thickens, forcing your heart to work harder and raising your risk of a heart attack? But you choose your drinks wisely, because many are packed with calories.

In hot weather, maintaining a healthy fluid balance can be difficult. Yet staying properly hydrated not only helps you stay alert, but helps control appetite, improve your activity and athletic performance, and keeps every day symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and dry skin at bay.

While a large 24-fl oz glass of iced soda or a fruit juice or a chilled juice concoction or energy drink will keep you cool on a hot day, it can pack nearly 300 calories daily from sugar and other unhealthy ingredients!. So that clearly is not a good choice. But there are terrific low-calorie alternatives to a Big Gulp, and they can be just as tasty. Continue reading →

Scrumptious Smoothies

We’re always on the lookout for yummy snacks. One of our all-time favorites: the smoothie. A smoothie makes a delicious and healthy snack, if it is prepared with low-fat ingredients.

We found a whole bunch of delicious smoothie recipes. Try a few out and tell us what you’re favorite is. The apple/spinach smoothie makes for a perfect wintertime treat. Continue reading →

Amazing Oven Baked Sweet Plantains

8  servings, ½ each/Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 very ripe plantains ( when the skin is yellow with spots of black they’re perfect)
  • cooking spray

This recipe couldn’t be easier. And it’s hands down delicious. Plantains are terrific with beans and rice, which make a tasty, easy and healthy meal for the whole family.

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Coat a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Cut the ends off of the plantains and peel.
  4. Cut each plantain on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.
  5. Arrange in single layer and coat tops with cooking spray.
  6. Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until plantains are golden brown and very tender.

    Nutrition Information: Per serving, >½ plantain

    Calories Protein  (g) Carbohydrate  (g) FAT (g) Fiber (g) Sodium (mg)
    110 2 28 0.3 2 3.5

Raving About Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a fantastic one-pot meal. A little goes a long way — and can easily feed a big group. This recipe is also a great way to get lots of vegetables onto the plate without turning off the picky eaters at the table.

6 Servings/Total Time:  2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried small red or kidney beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 6 1/2 cups water 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups assorted brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each  ground allspice, ground cloves, cayenne pepper and ground bleep pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or broth 1 tomato, cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

Preparation

  1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, 4 cups of the water and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaves.
  2. While the beans are cooking, combine the rice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; saute until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the allspice, cloves, cayenne, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the cooked beans, the vegetable stock, tomato, thyme and hot-pepper sauce.
  8. Cook until the vegetable mixture is heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  9. Divide the rice among warmed individual bowls. Top each serving with beans and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Nutritional Information: Per Serving

Calories Protein (g) Carbohydrate (g) FAT (g) Fiber (g) Sodium (mg)
382 14 63 9 11 517

Recipe Alert! Best Jerk Chicken

Everyone loves jerk chicken and we love this jerk recipe. It’s tasty, it’s easy and it’s sure to please everyone at dinnertime.

8 servings, 1 breast or drumstick /Total Time: (excluding marinating chicken): 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1½ teaspoons allspice, ground
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper, ground
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper, crushed, dried
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, pureed or finely chopped
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 pieces chicken, skinless (4 breasts, 4 drumsticks)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash chicken and pat dry.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chicken in large bowl. Rub seasonings  over chicken and marinate in refrigerator for 6 hours or longer.
  3. Space chicken evenly on nonstick or lightly greased baking pan.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 30–40 minutes or until the meat can easily be pulled away from the bone with a fork.

Nutritional Information: Per Serving

Calories Protein (g) Carbohydrate (g) FAT (g) Fiber (g) Sodium (mg)
145 4 10 5 1.8 202