Thursday, June 22, 2017

Weight Gain Due to Lack of Sleep

A lack of sleep does more than leave you feeling tired. Studies show that people who get less sleep are at a greater risk of weight gain for a couple of reasons: they tend to consume larger portions of food, choose higher calorie foods, make impulse food choices, get more pleasure from food, and expend less energy. One explanation for these appetite changes is that sleep loss causes a change in the hormones that control appetite. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended amount of sleep for 18-25 year olds is 7-9 hours. Although it may seem hard to get more sleep, whether you’re in school or enjoying summer nights, you may find it is worth going to bed an hour or two earlier when you feel better and make healthier choices! 

The full article can be found at

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pear-Berry Breakfast Crisps

The recipe below will be sure to boost your morning with antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber.  These crisps can also be used in conjunction with yogurt or ice cream for a delicious dessert.


1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/4 cup vanilla low-fat Greek yogurt
Pear-Berry Filling
3 ripe pears (about 18 ounces), cored, cut in _-inch slices*
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or any berries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. To prepare the topping, combine the oats, flour and salt in the medium bowl. Stir well to combine; set aside. Stir together honey and margarine in a small bowl. Add the honey mixture to the oat mixture; toss gently to coat the ingredients. Stir in the hazelnuts. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the filling, combine the pears, blueberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together honey and vanilla extract in a separate small bowl; gently toss with the pear-berry mixture.
  4. Pour the pear-berry mixture into an 8-x-8-inch baking dish. Spread the oat topping over the fruit. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  5. Serve warm or cold, topped with Greek yogurt.

Nutritional Information:

Makes 6 servings of:
Calories: 330; Calories from fat: 110; Total fat: 12g; Saturated fat: 1.5; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 220mg; Total carbohydrate: 52g; Dietary fiber: 7g; Sugars: 26g; Protein: 6g

Find the full recipe and more information at:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Flavorful Grilling

Grilling is not only a way to cook, it is also an excellent way to add flavor to all types of food. Before the barbecue session, ensure that the grill is clean and that it is adequately fired up to a sufficient temperature.  In addition, the proper equipment, such as a food thermometer, extra plates and utensils, should be available to ensure food safety. There are the traditional grilled dishes, but think outside of the box this summer. Try adding these new items to the barbeque menu:

Lean Alternatives - Try ground turkey breast, which can be up to 99 percent fat free. Instead of grilling up a beef burger, try making turkey burgers as ground turkey can be substituted in a delicious burger recipe and forms excellent patties. Or substitute a grilled marinated Portobello mushroom as the meat on a burger. 
Vegetables - A variety of vegetables can be cooked on the grill. They can be cooked in tin foil or placed directly on a hot grill. Grilling creates rich flavor, seasoned or unseasoned.  Grilled vegetables are also great for you as they are low in calories and packed with nutrients. Try grilling red peppers, eggplant, asparagus, summer squash, or cherry tomatoes. 
Fruit - Grilled fruit can be a tasty and nutritious dessert. Make fruit kabobs or place fruit slices onto the grill. Try grilling pineapples, peaches, or watermelon for unique flavors. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Tips for Grilling this Summer

Summertime is upon us, and so are delicious grilled foods! However, grilling can come with some health concerns to watch out for. These tips can help you maintain better health when grilling:

·      Cook at a lower heat – Cancer-causing agents, called carcinogens, form on foods where charring occurs. To avoid as much charring from taking place, try cooking your foods at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.
·      Trim off fat – Not only is removing excess fat from pieces of meat a great way to limit the saturated fat in your diet, but it will also help to limit the charring. As fat melts, it drips into the flames causing them to flare up and smoke, which promotes charring. 
·      Marinate – Try marinating meat for at least 30 minutes in some acidic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or beer. Marinating can help reduce carcinogen formation as well as tenderize and add flavor!
·      Look beyond meat – Adding other fruits and vegetables to the grill, such as squash, peppers, or pineapple, is a great way too add flavor and variety to your grilled meal.
·      Maintain a clean grill – It is important to keep your grill space clean by discarding any unused marinade, cleaning utensils, and using a brush free from loose bristles before you grill again. Taking these precautions will help to keep cooking out safe and sanitary. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Summer Fun Starts with Summer Foods!

During the summer months, many different fruits and vegetables are ready for harvest.  This provides a fantastic opportunity to bring fresh and flavorful foods into your family’s diet.  These experiences can be especially valuable to children as they explore their taste preferences and the world around them.

Fruits and veggies that ripen from May to August include: berries, avocados, tomatoes, and watermelon.  These foods can be grown in the backyard with help from the kids to provide an educational and agricultural experience.  After harvest, a variety of these foods can be consumed to increase fiber intake, along with some vitamins and minerals.

Incorporating fresh fruits and veggies such as these can help broaden your child’s palate, helping them to keep an open mind and positive attitude when it comes to eating.  In addition, their bodies will thank them for all the good nutrients they will be consuming.

Find this information and much more at

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Hydration

The summer months are upon us and so are the rising temperatures! While many people escape to pools or the ocean to cool off in the water, it is important to remember that that drinking water cools and rehydrates the body as well. 

Children especially need to be drinking enough water since they are playing outside and are unaware of their water intake needs. Generally, kids and teens need between 6 and 8 cups of water each day. This may seem difficult to fulfill, but fruits and vegetables are also sources of water that their body can use. 

When deciding how much to drink, consider the temperature, humidity, and physical activity you’ll be experiencing that day. Remember to drink water during exercise since dietary guidelines suggest drinking a half-cup to two cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes while exercising.

Water is the cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle. It is sugar-free, caffeine-free, calorie-free, and, most importantly, essential for human life. It helps the body maintain blood volume, lubricate joints, and transport nutrients. So pack a water bottle this summer and drink up!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Breast Milk and Food Safety

Like all foods, breast milk is susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens caused by cross contamination or time-temperature abuse.  In addition, the fragility of infants’ bodies and immune systems makes the safety of this food a top priority.  Below are a few tips to prevent your child from contracting a foodborne illness from your breast milk.

Keep it clean: While using a pump, be sure to clean all parts after each use.  Doing this in addition to washing your hands before and after using the pump will prevent cross contamination.

Store carefully: Breast milk can be stored at room temperature for a maximum of 4 hours, after which it must be moved to the refrigerator.  Here, it can stay fresh for up to 2 days.  If you choose to freeze your milk, it can be used 3-6 months after expression if kept at subzero temperatures.  With this being said, it is extremely important to label each sample with the date at which it was expressed and/or the expiration date.  When choosing which milk to feed with, use the FIFO (first in first out) method.

Reheat safely: Frozen milk should be thawed in the fridge or gently brought to temperature in a bowl of warm water.  Thawed milk can also be reheated in warm water, preventing hot spots and the destruction of important nutrients that microwaves are prone to.  

Out with the old: Thawed and reheated milk should be consumed or thrown out within 24 hours.  If unsure about the timing of a sample, it is better to waste the milk than to risk the child’s health.
This information and more can be found at: