We Have A Better Rainbow For You To Taste!

fruits-and-veggiesI know you may have heard that expression before on some candy commercial, but really? Their rainbow is chock full of sugar and artificial colors & ingredients.

The rainbow I am talking about is one that not only gets its color from Mother Nature, but is so wonderfully tasty and good for your insides and out. It’s natural, nutritious and ever so sweet!

So we all know that fruits and veggies are better for us, but which ones are best? Here is a short list of my own personal favorites:

APPLES

Apple’s antioxidant properties prevent cell and tissue damage. Studies by nutritionists have shown that apples contain abundant amounts of elastin and collagen that help keep the skin young. Applying a mixture of mashed apple, honey, rose water and oatmeal can act as a great exfoliating mask on your skin.

CARROTS

Carrots are brimming with tiny orange pigments called beta-carotene. When you eat foods with those pigments, you are not only giving your insides a healthy boost, but your skin a healthy glow. And what’s more, research shows that this can actually help prevent premature aging from sun damage.

AVOCADO

Recent studies have shown that people with higher intakes of monounsaturated fats, the essential fats that make up more than 50% of the calories in an avocado, have fewer wrinkles. Avocados are also rich in B vitamins, which help to keep your skin looking vibrant and smooth. Other monounsaturated-fat foods: olive oil, almonds, and peanut butter.

GRAPES

Besides providing protection from heart attack and stroke, antioxidants called polyphenols found in grapes can also help keep middle-aged skin from sagging. That’s because polyphenols improve skin’s elasticity by strengthening collagen, the primary protein in skin’s innermost layer. Blueberries are another great choice!

BEANS

Or legumes, to be exact. These include black beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. And how do these puny pods protect your face? By smoothing out wrinkles. Australian researchers analyzed the diets of more than 400 elderly men and women and found that high intakes of legumes—alongside vegetables and healthy fats—resulted in 20% fewer wrinkles over time. The effect is likely a result of isoflavones—potent antioxidants—concentrated in the beans.

TOMATOES or WATERMELON

Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. Cooking tomatoes helps concentrate its lycopene levels, so tomato sauce, tomato paste, and even ketchup pack on the protection. So does a hunk of lycopene-rich watermelon, which gives you hydrating benefits as well.

We suggest you skip the candy rainbow, even if the commercials are funny, and instead opt for the healthy one. Not only will you look better, but you’ll feel a whole lot better overall, too. So, what’s your favorite food color?

P.S. My favorite of the above group is watermelon! I’ve been eating it, but also cutting a hole in a seedless melon (the hole should be big enough for a blender attachment) and whipping it right in the melon. It makes the best, freshest watermelon juice ever!

Written by: Roberta Perry, President of Scrubz Body Scrub, Inc.

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About the Author

After years of being totally selfless and taking care of everyone else’s needs, Roberta’s skin was peeling, dry, itchy and irritated. In 2005, she decided to create her own skin care product and headed for the kitchen. She played the “mad chemist” role, mixing different combinations of botanical oils and came up with a formula she loved. However, it was not until she did extensive research, that she realized how lucky she was with the recipe she had created. Natures oils are incredible for skin. She brought in her sister and together they started Scrubz™ in 2006. She has been published and quoted in blogs, beauty magazines and articles. She is a proud member of Indie Beauty/Indie Business, American Made Matters, Independent We Stand, Bethpage Chamber of Commerce, and the Bethpage Kiwanis Club.

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Stumped On School Lunch? Your Child Won’t Be Trading In These!

Healthy-Snacks-List-1It’s that time again. Don’t add to the stress of this ho-hum conundrum of what to make for lunch. Use this meal as an opportunity to get in extra servings of fruits and veggies.

1. Have Your Child Take Part In Packing Their Lunch

Kids are more likely to eat foods that they have helped choose and prepare. This can be as simple as cutting up some fruit and cheese into cubes, or assembling kabobs on skewers or sturdy straws. Place them in a container in a lunch bag, along with a handful of whole grain crackers, and a yogurt.

2. Food Is For Dipping

Kids enjoy dipping foods. Take a leftover dinner protein item like grilled chicken, cut it into strips, add sugar snap peas, baby carrots, whole grain pretzels, and hummus or ranch dressing for dipping.

3. Time Crunch Creations

California rolls made with brown rice are a portable and convenient finger food available at many supermarkets. Pack with some sliced star fruit, or your child’s favorite fruit for a healthy dessert.

4. Go Ethnic To Get Veggies In

  • Mediterranean – Whole grain Pita wedges, hummus, Greek yogurt, tabouli, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, green beans
  • Mexican – Guacamole, black bean dip, whole grain chips, low fat cheese cubes, red and yellow pepper strips
  • Italian – Prosciutto or ham wrapped around a sesame breadstick, mozzarella balls, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts

5. Other Quick Fixes

  • Roll up deli meats and low fat cheese slices in a whole grain wrap and cut into pinwheels for a twist on the same old boring sandwich. Pack with 1/2 cup trail mix instead of chips to add fiber, healthy fats, and calcium.
  • Soups and pasta salads hold over well in a good thermos.

Don’t make lunch prep a major homework assignment. These nuevo ideas will put the classic PB&J on the back burner. Bon Appétit!

Written by: Tina Marinaccio, Owner of Health Dynamics LLC

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About the Author

Tina Marinaccio, owner of Health Dynamics LLC in Morristown, NJ, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer. With 20 years experience as a motivational wellness speaker, expert in fitness and nutrition, and gourmand foodie, she provides corporate wellness workshops, individual and group counseling, personal training, and nourishing and distinctive cooking enlightenment. She is an adjunct professor in clinical nutrition and food sciences at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and mentors students from around the country.

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Healthy School Lunches For Your Kids Oral Health

biggersandAs the mother of a picky 8 year old boy who loves to take his lunch to school each day, it’s my job to make sure I provide him with healthy lunch options. One of his favorite foods is Chef Boyardee. Unfortunately this is a highly acidic food, and foods high in acid (i.e. fruits and their juices) can harm your tooth’s enamel if you don’t reduce the effects quickly. Enamel, the protective layer that fights against decay, cannot be replaced.

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Seven Stellar Ways To Sneak Nutrition Into Picky Eaters

Little asian girl with expression of disgust against broccoliIf I had a dollar for every parent who emailed me on City Kids Nutrition (my Facebook page) that their child was a great eater as an infant and became picky as a toddler, I could retire in Bali. A child’s independence emerges during the toddler years, and food preference is no exception.

Following these age-appropriate tips will prevent stressful food fights and cultivate a peaceful, functional mealtime environment. Here are SEVEN stellar ways to win the food war!

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Health Versus Healthy Body Image

healthy-kidsLeading a healthy lifestyle impacts every aspect of a child’s life from body image, mood, energy, and school performance. It’s important to not obsess over your child’s weight and talk negatively, as this could affect your children by making them feel insecure about themselves. There are five main ways to help your children develop body-positive attitudes and healthy behaviors:

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8 Tips For Serving Healthier Party Treats

Watermelon-and-Tomato-Salad-150x150Kids go to a lot of parties and most of the time the most common treats that are served are not as healthy as they should be. Are you planning a party for your child? Here are some great tips we found on www.eatright.org that will help you serve some healthier snacks.

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How To Get Your Kids To Eat A Healthy Breakfast

breakfast4006019a853fb015427554368Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone, especially children and adolescents. It gives you energy to get through the longest part of the day after the body has been at rest (sleep) for 8-10 hours overnight.

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4 Ways To Keep Our Kid’s Hearts Healthy

heart-beat-docsMany of us think that heart health is something only adults need to worry about, but according to kidshealth.org, starting heart healthy habits early on can reduce the chance of heart disease as a child moves into adulthood.

There are several obvious habits like not smoking, healthy eating, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising that can encourage our kid’s to have healthy hearts.

1) Don’t Smoke

The first, not smoking, is one that is important to not only say but to model. A child is much more inclined to do what we do rather than what we say, so if we smoke that’s the example we’re setting. We’re also exposing our children to second hand smoke, which we know can lead to other health issues. So as a parent who’s concerned about the health of your child’s heart, if you smoke, quit. I know that it’s easier said than done, but you’ll be doing not only yourself but your child a big favor if you do.

2) Eating Healthy

The second, healthy eating, is not the same as dieting. Too often today we hear children talking about being fat and being on a diet. Eating a healthy diet consists of eating heart healthy foods, limiting the intake of other foods, and eliminating foods that are known to cause weight gain. Kidshealth.org breaks it down into 3 groups: Go, Slow, and Whoa. Good foods like fruits and veggies are a GO, others such as oven baked fries, waffles & pancakes, and processed cheese spreads are a Slow (ok to eat sometimes), and things like anything fried, or canned in heavy sugar syrups, are a Whoa (should only be eaten once in a while). For more information on their Go, Slow, Whoa foods see the list on their website.

3) Keep a Healthy Weight

The third suggestion, keeping a healthy weight, is a byproduct of both the healthy eating and the exercise aspects of the healthy heart plan. As with adults, exercises that get the heart working hard are good. Things like running, swimming, biking, and dancing are all good ways to do this. The website www.philly.com recommends 60 minutes a day.

4) Cholesterol Check

Lastly, philly.com also recommends that all children get a baseline lipid panel or get their cholesterol level checked by the age of 10. And if there’s a family history of such things as high blood pressure or cholesterol, or if the child has diabetes or has (or has had) cancer it should be done sooner.

Keeping our kid’s hearts healthy is something we can do from a very young age, and instilling good health habits can keep those hearts beating for a good long time.

Written by: Sharan Kaur, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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Super Food: Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Grocery store - smiling woman shopping with trolley in supermarket, holding orange

Shop For Super Foods!

Blueberries are an AMAZING super food. Known for their properties to improve your immune system and fight heart disease, blueberries’ ability to improve physical appearance is not as frequently acknowledged. However, the antioxidants in blueberries have also been shown to combat wrinkles and other signs of aging, helping you look AND feel better!

This recipe for Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes will help you have a delicious, healthy breakfast that the whole family can enjoy, while getting a morning boost of antioxidants!

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 2 tablespoons honey, preferably buckwheat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the two kinds of flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and let it cool slightly. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, honey, egg, and melted butter. Add this to the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  4. In a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Drop approximately ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle to make each pancake. When the thick bubbles pop on the non-griddle side and the pancake is browned, flip and brown the other side. Serve with maple syrup.

Thanks to Melissa Graham, Purple Asparagus, Chicago, IL for this recipe and information on the health benefits of blueberries! Check out Melissa’s recipe and more in “A White House Garden Cookbook” by Clara Silverstein.

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Kids & Calcium: Easy (& Tasty) Alternatives To Milk

Little girl drinks orange juiceCalcium is a vital nutrient responsible for strong, healthy bones. Bone growth mostly occurs in childhood, which is why it is important for children to have adequate calcium – an average of 800mg per day – in their diet. Adolescents need even more: 1200-1500mg per day.

Kids who don’t like or are allergic to milk can find it challenging to incorporate their daily requirement. For those children, there are other options to ensure adequate calcium intake, such as the following:

PLANT BASED MILK PRODUCTS

There are numerous plant based milk products on the market. These include rice, soy, coconut, and almond milks. All of these products are fortified with calcium. Typically these alternatives contain 100-300mg of calcium per 8 ounce serving.

ORANGE JUICE

Orange juice is also fortified with calcium, delivering about 300mg per cup. Cereals, like multigrain cheerios, are also now fortified with calcium.

GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES

Green leafy vegetables, including kale, mustard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, and collard greens contain a large amount of calcium. However, they can be tricky to get into a child’s diet. A great option to incorporate some of these would be a berry smoothie with kale. Spinach is another leafy green that contains calcium, but is poorly absorbed due to high levels of oxalates.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli is another green vegetable that contains a good amount of calcium and it is more absorbable than the calcium in regular milk.

BEANS & LEGUMES

Beans and legumes are an excellent alternative to milk. Navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, lentils and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are all loaded with calcium. Chickpeas are a main ingredient in hummus, which is a fun dip that many kids love. Soy based products, including tofu and soybeans, like edamame, also contain a high amount of calcium.

NUTS & SEEDS

Nuts and seeds are another great option for calcium. One cup of almonds contains 243mg of calcium. Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds all contain the same or more calcium per 1 cup serving than regular milk!

Combining a variety of these foods can ensure children are getting enough calcium each day. If eating these foods is a challenge, supplementation is the best option. Calcium supplements are available in liquid, chewable tablet and capsule forms.

Medical Disclaimer: Always consult your child’s doctor if you have concerns/questions regarding their overall health and diet.

Written by: Kiera Smialek is a Naturopathic Physician at “Arizona Natural Health Center”

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About The Author

As a naturopathic pediatric physician, Dr. Smialek focuses her practice on patients between birth and 18 years of age. In addition to well checks, Dr. Smialek treats many common childhood conditions including asthma, ear infections, colds/flu, colic and food allergies. She also advises parents on alternative vaccination schedules.

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