Eating like a Pro..athlete!

We had the pleasure of chatting with Katie Cavuto, dietitian/nutritionist from Healthy Bites, she is the nutrition advisor for the Philadelphia Philies Baseball team and also cooks privately for some pro athletes!  She shared with us some valuable insight into how professional athletes eat to enhance their performance, avoid injuries and stay healthy. 

Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

  1. * Although pro athletes may participate in "junk" food commercials that is not how they eat on a daily basis! 

  2. * Pro's carefully select their meals to make sure they are feeding their muscles and brains with each bite. 

  3. * Whole grains are a must for athletes! The power combo of fiber and easy to digest carbohydrate makes it an important part of their diet, specially for "carb loading" meals.

  4. * Within 30 minutes post work out it is important to get a snack that will replenish your glycogen stores and avoid muscle break down, it must be something with carbohydrates and some protein, Katie suggests low fat chocolate milk.

To hear more tips and our discussion on how this relates to you and your children please listen to our podcast here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betterfoodchoices/2014/04/09/eat-like-a-pro-athlete-tips-and-recipes

for the health of your family,

Carolina

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Let’s Talk about Eggs!

eggsEggs went from good to bad to good again? Confusing right? Well, we were too! As a registered dietitian I look at evidence based practice for nutritional advice. I had basic knowledge of what is in the egg and it’s nutritional composition, but so much new research points the light on how those nutrients (and there are a lot in just one egg) function in our body and impact our health. On our podcast this week (listen here) we looked at all the components of egg and evaluated the new information available to be able to present you with facts that will help you make your own decision on the subject. The media tends to “dramatize” the evidence in order to sway you whichever way may benefit them, so put your “thinking” cap on and be equipped to know what’s best for you and your family.

Here are a few facts to remember about eggs:

  • A medium egg has 65-80 calories and 6-7 g of protein
  • Eggs are rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5
  • One egg contains 113mg of choline
  • Omega-3 Eggs are a good source of DHA
  • Eggs should be paired with veggies and avoid combining it with other animal sourced protein/fat foods such as meats.
  • Eggs fuel your muscles, brain and eyes #FuelYourDreams

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

All our podcasts are available on iTunes: Better Food Choices and iHeart Radio

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From Junk Foods to Fresh Foods

Produce,BasketFull‚ÄčLike clock work, I put the kids to bed and right around 8pm all I can think about is chocolate! Food cravings are pretty common, but when they are completely out of control and stear all your meal choices that's a red flag. We recently looked to Dr. Josh Axe's e-book (get it free here) Superfoods Super You for advice on how to turn your food cravings into fresh food eating. Which foods to substitute for each of the top 10 most craved foods in America. 

It will take will power and determination, but keep in mind that you are eating for your health with every bite you take at each meal. Everything you eat will either contribute to a disease process in your body, or boost healing and health. We encourage you in this podcast to eat as much fresh foods as possible, avoid over processed foods and most importantly, be an example for your kids. 

Listen to our podcast here: From Junk Foods to Fresh Foods

We would love to answer your questions about this or any other nutrition related subject you'd like! Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and connect with us.

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March is: National Nutrition Month

NNM 2014Registered Dietitians Nutritionists all over the country get a little extra excited this time of year! National Nutrition month is a great time to remind everyone how everything you choose to eat impacts your health.

I think we tend to disconnect food from health at times. Eating is such a social event in our lives that we usually think of it as a time to share with family, friends and to celebrate. And I am so glad that we do! As long we also make the connection between our health and we are choosing to nourish our bodies. Advancements in science combined with an increased awareness to nutrition brought an era of experiments in foods like never before! There are so many new diets that come out every month, and so many different findings about what we should and shouldn’t be eating. But one thing remains the same: your health is directly related to how you nourish and take care of yourself!

Let’s use this month to get back on track on fueling our bodies with the nutrition it needs to achieve its best! More importantly, let’s teach our children this valuable concept that they will be able to use it for the rest of their lives.

Our Fuel Your Dreams program uses children’s own goals to motivate them to eat healthier. It places the decision making in their hands by offering them the right tools to come to their own conclusion that by eating healthier they will perform better in whatever goals there are trying to achieve. Use our www.fuelyourdreams.net to find recipes that connect different parts of the body to recipes that you can easily prepare at home for your kids. If you have a musician at home, empower them to look for recipes that fuel their eyes, ears and muscles; if you have a soccer player, encourage them to look for recipes that feed their muscles and bones! One click at a time you’ll together find many options that will fit your whole family needs in a fun and educational way.

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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Meet Veggie Fries: The new and improved fry!

Now, most of you that know me are completely shocked to hear the words even come out of my mouth. I have avoided fast foods and most fried foods for my family at all costs! And I still do, that’s why these Veggie Fries still fit into my family's healthier eating plan!

Veggie Fries come in 4 different flavors: Carrots, Broccoli, Chickpea and Red Pepper, Tuscan Bean and Herb. Each one has potatoes as the first ingredient, but then 3 of the varieties have white beans and the other has chickpeas! The broccoli, carrot and Chickpea and Red Bell Pepper have a vegetable in it as well! This awesome combination of ingredients makes them higher in fiber, protein and vitamins than a regular all potato French fry. veggie fries broccoli

Okay, so as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist this product looked pretty great with no trans-fats, only 0.5g of saturated fat per serving, and up to 3g of protein. But will the kids accept it and like it? My kids absolutely loved them! They couldn’t get enough of it when I made it to go with our Turkey burgers. But my kids have been exposed to all vegetables since a very young age, and they aren’t picky eaters by all means.

Our Kid Kritics group though range from 5 to 12 years of age and are a varied bunch! I have some picky eaters, some healthy eaters and even some kids that are scared of anything green. When taste testing the Veggie Fries – Broccoli a few of the kids weren’t so sure about the green color and were suspicious of what it could be and taste like. But remember, our Kid Kritics kids are well educated on our Fuel Your Dreams program and they look for the specific foods that feed their dreams on a daily basis. They tried all 4 different flavored Veggie Fries (on different days) and approved every single one of them! Remember, that means that over 70% of the kids said they liked it and would love to have it again. To be specific, Veggie Fries rated as high as 100% on the Veggie Fries-Carrot flavor for example. They are crispy on the outside and fluffy on th inside, full of flavor and delicious to enjoy all by itself, no need for dips!DSC_0696

Bottom line, Veggie Fries are a great alternative to regular fries providing better nutritional value and they taste amazing! As a bonus, they got our “picky eaters” and “afraid of greens” kids to look at green foods differently, and who knows… maybe now they will be more open to trying more green foods in the near future. We are not about hiding vegetables in other foods, but we are all for including vegetable in everything we possibly can so that we maximize our intake of the most varied selections of vegetables we can in one day; and these Veggie Fries are a great way to help us meet our daily servings for vegetables.logo small

If you are intrigued to trying them, please look at their website (www.eatvegggiefries.com) to find out where you can get some! And remember to always check our Sweepstakes page because we give a full case of Kid Kritics Approved Foods every week!

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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Homemade Sports Drinks and tips to feeding your young athletes

sports camps 3Playing sports is such a big part of a child’s life, enjoying organized sports activities, preparing for the big games, cheering for your child, celebrating their accomplishments, these are all amazing experiences the whole family gets to enjoy when it comes to sports. And as a mother, we usually focus on one thing: is my child healthy and getting everything they need to grow?

Sports can be extremely demanding on growing children’s bodies! Therefore feeding them to develop and boost their immune system is key to avoid injury and keep them healthy. We talked about several foods to include and some to avoid for your young athletes on our show, link below. And I also promised to share a recipe for homemade Gatorade. First I want to clarify: Gatorade or any sports drinks should only be used when your child is practicing strenuous exercise in which he or she is sweating and usually in the sun. They are not meant to be used as a thirst quencher or habitual drinks. They are filled with sugar and electrolytes that do not need to be replaced unless they are actually running low in our bodies, which usually only happens during prolonged exercise. The problem I have with the store bought electrolyte replacement drinks is that they come with artificial food colorings, sweeteners and some artificial stabilizers which are all potentially harmful to your child (and adults too!) health.

The best natural electrolyte replacement drink is plain coconut water! It has all those electrolytes that the store bought drinks have but nothing artificial added. It should be your number one choice. If you don’t have some at hand and would like to make a sports drink at home, I have this quick and easy one that you can use as well:

In 8oz of ice cold water mix in 1 squeezed lemon, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp baking soda and 1 tsp maple syrup.

It’s a simple one to make, but I have to say I still prefer the coconut water taste.

Get all the details and tips for feeding your athletes here on our podcast: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betterfoodchoices/2014/03/12/how-to-fuel-your-child-athlete-for-success-tips-and-more

And don't forget to visit our Fuel Your Dreams page for recipes that link up each body part you need to fuel specific to your own child's dreams!

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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It’s time to think Summer Camps already!

It's only March, but if you have school age kids you are already thinking about Summer plans! Most camps start their registration around this time of year. My kids are just now old enough to start participating in some of the camps at our local YMCA. We are super excited since they usually get so bored staying at home all summer. When visiting with the camp coordinator my first question, to their surprise, was not about their activities, number of kids, sports, art or even qualification of their counselours, (don't get me wrong, I did want to know those things too!) my first question was about their lunch and snacks. 

Fortunately my children do not have food allergies or intolerances, but we do avoid several foods because of their artificial added sugars, food colorings and sometimes their packaging as well. Therefore, choosing a camp that will allow us to pack a lunch, or has a food program that aligns with our belief in healthier eating and avoiding junk foods is very important. 

Packing our lunches for camp is just like packing for school, so I'm pretty used to that! But when I heard of a few camps that accomodate food allergies and intolerances while promoting healthy eating I was so excited. I will for sure be searching for those around my area. What a great way to combine the fun of camp while not having to compromise their health in the process. Have your children participated in camps with healthier lunches, no junk foods or modified menu selections? Share with us the camps you recommend!

Our friends at Rudi's Bakery love summer camp too! And this year are helping 20 kids go to camp, all you have to do is enter here and you are in to win one of their sponsorships for a gluten-free camp: Desktop: http://shout.lt/q1v2 Mobile: http://shout.lt/q1v3

And don't forget to enter this weeks sweepstakes for a whole case of Zatar Chips from Flamous Brands here: http://bit.ly/YSfW9E  They are a great snack to add to your camper's lunch box!

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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The truth about dairy! Myths busted.

milkWe recently talked with Kelly Schriver, RD from Cabot Creamery to clarify some of the most common myths and rummors about dairy. Dairy has been a topic of discussion for many years! Many question it's adequacy for humans at all. But when it comes down to it, milk still is one of the best sources of Calcium, Vitamin D and vitamin A. We answered some of the questions like: does milk really increase mucus production? Should you avoid milk when managing weight gain? Isn't spinach or other vegetables just as good a source for calcium as milk?

Listen to our podcast to find the answer to these and more! And don't forget, you can subscribe to our iTunes podcast here to listen to our episodes anytime you'd like! We are live on www.healthcafelive.com at 1pm ET on Wednesday, and also available on iHeart Radio Talk (here).

Listen here to: Dairy Myths from Better Food Choices.

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

Carolina Jantac, MS,RD,LD

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“I don’t know the answer, my brain is not working!”

brain blogWhen I heard my 6 year old say that in response to a homework question I decided to see the “upside” in the situation. I had the perfect “in” to get her to eat more fish!

I redirected her thinking skills towards answering the question: “What foods do you think fuel your brain so you can think better and learn more efficiently?” She quickly recalled our recent conversation about how different nutrients feed different parts of the body, and our brain specially needs fats. The “good fats”, mono and polyunsaturated, full of omega fatty acids, those are the ones that will benefit our brain the most. And you can find a lot of them in fish! Connect the dots, and there you go. She was really excited about having fish for dinner. She had been eating tilapia and salmon since the age of 12months, but sometimes tuna and other fish she is a little resistant to trying it. Making the connection to how it can help them achieve her goals is all the incentive most kids needs to take the first bite.

When discussing the brain I can’t forget to also mention the foods we should avoid: those full of artificial coloring and over-processed foods with trans fats and overwhelming amounts of sugar and salt. Ends up those toxins make their way easily to the brain, which is a fast oxidizing mass. Therefore protecting it from wasting away is just as important as feeding it to grow! Other ways to protect is enriching our diets with lots of antioxidants. The more common ones are Vitamin A and carotenoids found in carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, Vitamin C found in citrus, green peppers, green veggies, Vitamin E found in nuts and seeds, Selenium found in fish, eggs and garlic! Others include flavonoids, lycopene, lutein and lignin.

We have lots of recipes that will include plenty of those brain feeding foods! Just search our tab for brain recipes here: Recipe Tab

You can also learn more about feeding your children’s brain by listening to this podcast: Better Food Choices – Feeding your children's brain

Subscribe to our podcast here to listen to all past shows!

 

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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Holidays! A time to eat…

Cookies, hot cocoa, cakes, peppermint barks, casseroles, chocolates and treats galore! There isn’t one place you turn without some sort of temptation or distractions. I feel completely overwhelmed as a parent during this time of year. How do I keep my family to the rules while everyone else seems to be living on the edge and enjoying their “sugar-highs”?

This year I adopted a different strategy, and so far it has been going well. I suppose a full report at the end of the season will give us more reliable results. What have I done you ask? I filled our own house full of snacks and treats! Yep, you heard me right. I figured if I was in control of the treats I could at least make them with the best ingredients, taking out the most amount of white sugars and adding fruits and fiber whenever possible. I pack them in tins and we take them to parties with us, to school, to gatherings at the park. The only trick is that we usually have to bring extras! Inevitably someone wants to try and we are very good at sharing.

Here are a few recipes I’ve been making and would like to share with you! I should say we do of course still keep to portions that are appropriate and keep snacks and treats only after meals so they are still getting all their nutrition from veggies and wholesome foods as well.

chocolate granola bites by elizabeth1 creme brulee maple cinnamon dip

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Pumpkin-Pie-Smoothie/198

Cashew Oatmeal Drops – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Cashew-Oatmeal-Drops/345

No Bake Nut and Honey Chocolate Cookies -http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/No-Bake-Nut-and-Honey-Chocolate-Cookies-by-Sharon/203

Popcorn Balls – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Popcorn-Balls/418

Crème Brulee – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Creme-Brulee/339

Peanut Butter chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Dough-Bites/422

Triple Berry Scone – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Triple-Berry-Scones-by-Karen/79

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake Shots – http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Apple-Cinnamon-Cheesecake-Shots/400

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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DISCLOSURE: Once a product passes ingredient standards evaluation followed by a blind Kid Kritics taste test, a company can opt-in to the Kid Kritics Approved marketing program. Though monetary compensation for marketing is involved, this does not affect the nutrition evaluation or taste test results.