Simply Gluten Free: Podcast!

simply gluten free magazine Gluten free products have found their own place in grocery stores now. They are much easier to find and their quality has come a long way. You can bake cakes, cookies, make pies and even pasta that is completely gluten free and taste delicious. Rather you are avoiding gluten due to Celiac disease or due to an intolerance you can count on some amazing recipes and tips from Carol Kicinski to make your life easier and better! Carol is the founder and editor in chief of Simply Gluten Free Magazine, she is a recipe developer, TV chef and cookbook author. And she joined us for this podcast episode to talk about how and why she herself transitioned to a gluten free diet.

She shared her struggles with migraines since a young age, which medication and treatments were never quite enough to eventually finding the answer in the simple step of eliminating gluten from her diet. 

Listen to our chat with her and get some delicious recipes and tips! Here is a link to our podcast:

… for the health of your family,



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Newly Kid Kritics Approved RW Garcia Chips!

Everyone loves a salty snack now and then, right?  Kids like to find that crunchy snack in their lunch boxes.  Adults enjoy munching on something salty during the big game or at parties.  I know our family does!  The problem is, so many popular salty snacks are filled with junk – MSG, artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, and other additives.  Plus, they can contain upwards of 200 mg sodium per serving.  And who knows if they are made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.  I don’t want to serve that kind of snack to my family or guests. 

rw-garcia-mixtbag-chipsIn steps RW Garcia.  Their philosophy?  “Great tasting can be good for you.”  And they mean it.  RW Garcia makes organic and 100% natural snack foods.  As a Registered Dietitian, I like that this company is committed to sourcing top quality ingredients.  Their MixtBag Tortilla Chips are Non GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten Free, and made with simple, all-natural ingredients.  And the sodium content is much lower than most with 50-80 mg per serving.  The Kid Kritics team approved of the MixtBag ingredients and the Kid Kritics themselves loved the taste and crunchy texture. 

Intrigued about the name MixtBag?  In each Mixtbag you get not just one, but two varieties of tortilla chip!  There are three different Mixtbags.  First is the Yellow & Blue Corn MixtBag made with, you guessed it, stone ground yellow and blue corn!  Next comes their Red & Yellow Mixtbag made with yellow and white corn.  Beet powder gives the red chips their color (and some added phytonutrients).  Finally, the Sweet & Spicy Salsa MixtBag is bursting with flavor and spices. 

The Kid Kritics raved about all 3 in the blind taste test.  Here are a few of their commentes, “Yummy in my tummy … Extraordinary … Tastes like chips you eat with Nachos … I would take these on a vacation … I will take them to the movies … They were superb … scrumptious!”  It’s true, they do taste great on their own, but you can also pair them up with veggies and a healthy dip such as salsa, guacamole, hummus, black bean dip, spinach dip, or even lima bean dip!  Find these recipes and more on! (click here for recipes)

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

… for the health of your family,

Jaimie Proctor, MS, RD

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 marketing program.  Though monetary compensation for marketing is involved, this does not affect the nutrition evaluation or taste test results.  The taste tests were done by children at the YMCA/Boys and Girls Club and products only receive the Kid Kritcs Seal of Approval with 70% or more approval.  The company donated samples of this product for the creation of recipes.  I was compensated for my time.  All opinions stated are my own.

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Gluten Free: So Many New Choices!

Have you noticed how the gluten-free food section in your grocery store has expanded over the last couple of years? That is primarily due to an increased demand for them.  A gluten-free diet is medically prescribed to people with celiac disease; 1 in 100 Americans suffer with the diagnosis. But those are not the only ones demanding a larger variety of tasty gluten free products.


Many people have found that although they do not have celiac disease they greatly benefit from eating less or no gluten which is primarily found in wheat, barley and rye.  They noticed their skin is healthier, they experience less gastrointestinal distress such as bloating, and some even claim better mental health. Even with increased focus by the science community on studying the digestive tract, no conclusive research warrants warning everyone to avoid gluten, though some trials suggest this is a good idea.  Many people dealing with various digestive related issues have voluntarily adopted a low gluten or gluten free diet.  

Mothers, determined to alleviate some of those same symptoms for their children, have invested time and money to find products and recipes that are gluten free, ones their children will like.  We have searched and found several family-friendly gluten free brands and products Kid Kritics have approved.  These include Crunchmaster Cheddar Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps which make great snack alternatives to wheat-filled versions.  Lisanatti Foods, Pamela’s Products and Barbara’s Bakery also have several gluten-free products that have been awarded the kids’ seal of approval. To make your life really easy, we have posted many gluten free recipes on our website! For our full list of Kid Kritics Approved Gluten free products simply click on this link: Gluten Free Grocery List. It is wise, so please do discuss gluten free conditions with your doctor and/or dietitian to make sure low or no gluten foods are right for your family and you!

… for the health of your family,


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New products coming soon to join our Kid Kritics Approved List!

A couple of weeks ago I went for the first time to Natural Food Expo West and it was AMAZING! Imagine one gigantic 3 floors the size of football fields conference hall filled with over 2,500 booths featuring brands dedicated to making the best all natural foods. They were presenting all their new products to try it and learn about it. Needless to say I ate well! We met up with some of our Kid Kritics Approved Brands to find out what new products they are coming out with that we can taste test and potentially award Kid Kritics Approved Seals.

It was easy to spot all the new trends! Popcorn was everywhere, flavored from sweet, salty all the way to spicy. Hemp hearts, oils and seeds as well as chia seeds are being added to several products to make it easier to integrate into our diets. Gluten free products are in full swing! It is no longer a huge challenge to go on a gluten-free diet, with so many brands and products dedicating full lines to the gluten free market you can eat pancakes, cakes, cookies, pasta, tortilla and even pizza. I also enjoyed the variety of new drinks incorporating teas, coconut water, natural juices without the addition of any sweetener at all! Letting the taste of the fruit, vegetable and natural ingredients be the star. We found many products that we are super excited to taste test and bring them to you to try! So stay tuned to our Facebook page, twitter and webpage as we announce products we award Kid Kritics Approved Seal.

… for the health of your family,


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We are here for you!

I recently read an article reporting the dangers of eating soy. I became extremely overwhelmed as a parent! How do we know what to feed our family when advice and warnings are issued daily against different types of food? Recommendations seem to change constantly when it comes to sugar, fat, vitamins, minerals, and so much more – now soy.  It is confusing and frustrating even for me as a registered dietitian. I am often conflicted on how to handle the new health information so I can’t imagine how tough it would be to decipher without nutrition training.

My advice is to approach it like you do most things in life. Build a relationship with experts you trust and have similar ideas, morals and beliefs. To this day when I am not sure what to wear for an important event, I call my mother! After all, for me she is my “fashion expert” and I trust her. Just filter out all the over dramatic news and hidden agenda advices and go straight to the source you can trust.

We hope you will find that we are here for you as your Family Food Experts! Kid Kritics Approved are a part of this dedicated group who works diligently to make sure all the advice we give has your family’s best interest at heart. The Kid Kritics Approved seal is there to help you when you shop (Grocery List link), and our recipes (Recipes link) are available to facilitate your menu planning. We also have our newsletter that we share two to three times monthly with a lunchbox menu, recipes and other nutrition tips. Our blog posts offer a little insight into my own experiences as a mother and nutrition expert. Our Pinterest Page is great for finding recipes by specific categories as well.

I invite you all to sign up for our newsletter today! (Click here to sign up) You will receive a free Breakfast Recipe e-Book with a collection of Kid Kritics approved recipes including many of our Kid Kritics Approved products. You can reach me on our Facebook page whenever you are looking for advice on something you heard, read, or about a specific topic you are interested in. I am here for you!

… for the health of your family,


(In case you are wondering, yep, that’s my picture)

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What Kid Kritics Approved Seal means to Moms

We asked moms what the Kid Kritics Approved seal means to them.  Here is a sample representing hundreds of their responses:

Means I can relax and not have to do the research myself
Brands that have been tested and are honest with consumers
Healthy choices for kids
Healthy and nutritious food
It means that the product is safe and healthy for my children. :)
It means there's a great chance that kids will like the product.
I know that my kids will love the products!!
Nutrition that kids will enjoy!
Good stuff kids will actually eat!

It's a healthier choice to select from.
It means I can feel good about giving that food to my children to eat.
Healthy and edible!
I know when ever its kid approved, it's good food.
My kids will love it!

You too can relax and know when you choose a Kid Kritics Approved healthier product and recipe, odds are you kids will be asking for seconds, just like the Kid Kritics do!

Try this week's Kid Kritics Approved product and recipe found on the home page:.

… for the health of families,






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Holiday Meal Makeovers

Can you believe there is a recipes using butterscotch that is healthier so you enjoy some without feeling a heavy sugar guilt trip?  Apple Butternut Squares was shared by Liz Weiss, one of the Meal Makeover Moms. That's not all.  From garlic shrimp to meatloaf to veggie lasagna, both Liz and Kathy Siegel (Nutritiion Babes) made over lots of recipes you will want to serve your family and friends while entertaining, or just dining at home!  LISTEN  for more!

… for the health of your family,

P.S. In case you missed it, here's the recipe link for Apple Butternut Squares: 

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Get the Most for your Food Money. This List Is for You.



We wanted to make a list of foods that give you "the most bang for your buck" food money well spent on
nutrient-rich foods. Those listed below are recommended staples for your kitchen. The cost of food keeps rising.  Use this list to manage your budget.  
Fresh produce is more cost efficient that you think. Its fiber is filling. Produce is nutrient dense with nature's   
vitamins, minerals and trace minerals. Raw produce is best. Try to expand your salad contents past the traditional   
lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes.  Add raw nuts, seeds, grated cheese, dark leafy lettuces (baby spinach!), dried   
berries, and apple chunks.  Change the combination from day to day. Use organic when possible. 

Enjoy the fruits of nature!   … for the health of your family, ellen

Healthy Cost Efficient Foods


FOOD Blood Bones Brain Ears Eyes Hair Heart Joints Lungs Teeth Muscles Nails Nerves Nose Skin Points
Banana   x x   x x x x x x       x x 10
Beef, Ground, lean x   x     x x       x   x     6
Black Beans x   x                       x 2
Blueberries (frozen) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 15
Broccoli x x x x x x x     x   x x   x 11
Carrots     x x x x x x x x   x   x x 11
Cheese, Mozzarella x x x     x       x x x x   x 9
Eggs* x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 15
Fish, Tongol Tuna x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 15
Garlic x   x     x x   x   x x x   x 9
Oats     x       x       x x x   x 6
Olive Oil x x x x x x x x   x x x x x x 14
Onions x   x x x   x x x x x x x   x 12
Parsley x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 15
Peanut Butter* x   x     x x   x   x x x   x 9
Pineapple   x x x x         x   x x x   8
Rice, Brown     x x   x   x     x   x     6
Sweet Potatoes     x x x   x   x       x   x 7
Tomatoes     x x x x x   x x x   x     9
Turkey     x x   x x x x x   x x x x 12
Watermelon x   x       x x             x 5
Yogurt, plain x x x     x       x x x x   x 9
* Except for those with allergies, Family Food Experts Kitchen Radio,  561-417-3645      



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Free Membership to The Green Polka Dot Box, Natural Foods at Low Prices OnLine

Green PolkaDot Box
Exclusive offer from Kid Kritics
$50 Credit on your first purchase!
The Green PolkaDot Box
Green PolkaDot box  

There is a direct link between eating right and feeling your best. That's why it is so important to eat healthier foods, but we know that those choices are often more expensive. The Green PolkaDot Box is your virtual grocery store!  They sell natural and organic, non-GMO foods at wholesale prices, and deliver them directly to your doorstep.  Their vision is to make organic food affordable for everyone. They have over 170 brands, including many Kid Kritics Approved products that we know your family will love.  They even ship fresh produce harvested directly from organic farms. 


Green PolkaDot Box has the lowest prices–guaranteed–on organic and natural foods because it's a "buying collective" or food club like COSTCO. It cuts out the middlemen so you end up paying prices direct from the manufacturer and saving from 20% to 60% off regular price.



Sign up now using this link:  Green PolkaDot Box

(or copy and paste:



Use this coupon code during checkout: KKA50

Annual membership is $50 so the code essentially gives you a free year membership when you make your first purchase.

Act fast!  Offer only valid until Dec 31st, 2012


Can't get any better than this! You shop for groceries online and when you spend $75 or more you get free shipping to your house. And you know you are getting healthier foods for the best prices!


Do you need more reasons to check out Green PolkaDot Box?

  • Their group buying power delivers the lowest prices direct from manufacturers and growers–guaranteed!
  • You can help insure the survival of safe, clean, NON-GMO, organic farmers and food manufacturers.
  • You will simplify your life…and save countless hours by shopping online for your essential groceries.
  • You can save potentially thousands of dollars every year on brands and foods you know and trust.
  • AND this exclusive offer through KID KRITICS will get your full membership price back in credit towards your first purchase!
  • HUGE Selection of Clean, Non-GMO Organic and Natural Foods
  • Harvest Fresh Organic Produce (available in the western U.S.)
  • Bulk Foods, Grains, Legumes, Nuts & Seeds
  • Personal Care Products
  • Whole Food Nutritional Supplements

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Super Hero Veggies. Their Super Powers work for Your Kids.





This is an excerpt from our recent Veggie Tales "The League of Incredible Vegetables" radio show.  Jaimie Proctor, R.D., our Nutrition and Education Manager wrote it. Thought is was so good, decided to share her words of wisdom with you. If you want to listen to the whole interview with Larry the Cucumber (hilarious!) and Veggie Tales founder, Mike Nawrocki, please listen Tuesday 9am EST on W4WN radio. Or, look for Family Food Experts radio on iTunes.

CUCUMBER: (Larryboy aka Larry the Cucumber)

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘cool as a cucumber’ Well, cucumbers could have the super hero ability to stay cool under pressure.  They truly have a cool and refreshing taste – try adding a few slices to your drinking water or blending some with honeydew melon and you’ll see what I mean.  Their high water content plus the electrolytes they contain, make them great for hydration and also for your heart and muscles. Cucumbers also provide vitamin C and silicon important for healthy skin and strong nails and bones.

TOMATOES: (Thingamabob aka Bob the Tomato)

Next are lightning fast tomatoes!  Their speed comes from potassium, a mineral needed for muscle contraction.  Of course, when you move really fast your heart rate and breathing rate also increase.  The lycopene in tomatoes acts as an antioxidant to protect your heart and lungs.  And in case you didn’t know, the lycopene content of tomatoes actually increases when tomatoes are cooked!

ASPARAGUS: (Ricochet aka Junior Asparagus)

The next Super Hero veggie is asparagus, which has the power to create a protective shield like a force field.  This shield is made of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, which protect the body from free-radical damage.  And asparagus also contains glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidant defenders.  In fact, glutathione can help get rid of toxins that may have slipped through that protective shield.

RHUBARB: (Vogue aka Petunia Rhubarb)

Rhubarb has the power of disguise.  If you have ever tasted raw rhubarb then you know it is quite tart!  That’s why it is often combined with fruit such as strawberries and cooked into sauces or pies.  With a little sweetness from fruit and some added fruit juice or sugar, you may just think rhubarb is a fruit!

SQUASH: (S-CAPE aka Mister Lunt, a guord)

There are so many kinds of squash.  Winter squash varieties such as butternut or acorn squash are very popular this time of year.  And you may not know this, but they have super night vision (without any special goggles!) You can tell by their deep yellow and orange colors that they are some of the best sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into active vitamin A.  Vitamin A is very important for vision, especially at night or in low light situations.  And winter squash are also a good source of protective vitamin C.

BROCCOLI:  Super power: Bones of steel.  Broccoli ounce for ounce has as much calcium as milk!  Plus broccoli supplies a number of minerals important for bone health such as magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.  The vitamin C in broccoli is needed to form collagen, a component of bone (and connective tissue).

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Super power: they are smart and have super fast reflexes.  They contain choline and folate important for development of the brain and nervous system.  And they are also a good source of B vitamins, copper, manganese, and potassium needed for nerve signaling.

PEAS: Super power: super strength.  They supply iron and B vitamins for blood supply and delivering oxygen to muscles.  And they also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium needed for muscle contraction.

SPINACH & Dark leafy greens: Dark leafy greens are packed FULL of nutrients and could probably have all of the super powers listed above.  But they could also have x-ray vision and a heightened sense of smell and hearing.  Their high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes, especially the retina, by absorbing certain types of light. These carotenoids are also associated with a lower risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.  Dark leafy greens are also a great source of B vitamins, manganese, and copper for a healthy nervous system – to send signals from the eyes, ears, and nose to the brain.  And all of the antioxidants in dark leafy greens protect the ears, nose, and nerves from damage due to free radicals.

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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.