Keeping Kids Healthy While At Home Learning

By Jamie Miller, Registered Dietician for The Village

As many schools shift to online learning, there are a number of challenges that arise for families with this adjustment. Many parents find that an added headache to at-home schooling is feeding their child healthy meals. How can parents provide nourishing meals and snacks every day while also trying to juggle their children’s schooling on top of their own responsibilities? Village registered dietitian, Jamie Miller, has some insight to share.

 

Keep to a Schedule

Being at home means easy access to the refrigerator, it is easy for families to fall into the habit of “grazing” throughout the day instead of sticking to designated meal and snack times like they would at school. However, this presents a couple of problems. First, snack foods often tend to be more focused on carbohydrates (crackers, fruit snacks, etc.) which digest quickly. So it may seem like your child is always hungry, but it’s most likely because they aren’t filling their stomachs with foods that keep them fueled. The second issue with grazing is that the child never gets hungry enough to have a balanced meal of nutrient-rich foods. If they ate a snack too close to a meal, they are less likely to be open to trying new or less preferred items. At school, children have set times for a snack and lunch. Follow suit and schedule lunch and snack time for when your children know they can pause their schoolwork and take a break to eat.

 

Aim for Fiber, Fats, and Protein at Each Meal and Snack

To keep your children fueled and focused on their schoolwork, there are 3 things you want to center each meal and snack around: fiber, fats, and protein. These nutrients take time to digest to keep their blood sugar stable and stomach satisfied. Make sure their food choices are filled with veggies, fruits, and whole grains for fiber. Offer healthy fats with meals through items like nut butters, guacamole, hummus, pesto, and dressings. Then ensure they get quality protein through things like eggs, chicken, tuna, steamed edamame, and bean-based pastas.

 

Make It Easier

With such high demands on parents now, it’s smart to know where we can save time while still maintaining healthy choices. There are plenty of convenience food items that are full of nutrients but take no preparation or effort. Purchase produce that you don’t need to cut like grape tomatoes, snap peas, mini bell peppers, berries, and grapes. Try out canned green beans, frozen broccoli, unsweetened applesauce, and fruit cups in 100% juice. For fiber-filled carbohydrates, look to low sugar dried cereal, whole grain crackers, bread, and tortillas, canned beans, and frozen peas. Easy protein could be purchased with things like frozen chicken sausage links, canned tuna or chicken, deli meat, rotisserie chicken, and individual yogurts and cottage cheese.

 

Give the Kids Some Responsibility

There is so much responsibility on parent’s plates during at-home schooling, it’s important to find ways to spread out the work. With some guidance, children have the ability to prepare much of their own meals and snacks. Make it easier for them by having designated areas of the refrigerator and pantry with foods they can reach. Have a list of ideas that are easy for them to prepare on their own. For breakfast, they can toast a whole-grain waffle and top with nut butter, then pair with strawberries and a glass of milk. For lunch, they could make a wrap with a whole grain tortilla, hummus, and turkey, with baby carrots on the side. For a snack, they can open a string cheese and peel a clementine. Oftentimes even the most resistant and selective eaters have a more open mind if they prepare the food themselves. Make it fun for them to try out one of these meal ideas below!

 

English Muffin Pizza

Spread Marinara sauce on a WG english muffin (or pita, bread, etc). Top with shredded mozzarella, diced chicken/ham, and optional chopped veggies. Toast/broil to melt cheese.

 

Quesadilla

Fill WW tortilla with cheese, veggies, chicken, beans, etc., and microwave or warm in a skillet until cheese has melted. Dipin salsa, plain greek yogurt, and guacamole.

 

PB Roll-Up or PB Toast

Spread nut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, peel a banana and place down the center. Sprinkle with cinnamon and roll up tortilla into a burrito.

Post Quarantine Nutrition Reset

By Jamie Miller, Registered Dietician for The Village

The summer of social distancing is ending and slowly, but surely, life is seeming to return to a bit of what once was. But as you swap your “life in lockdown” sweats for regular attire, you may be frustrated to find that your old jeans are not as forgiving as your athleisure wear. Or maybe you’re not feeling the same energy level you had in pre-pandemic life. If the last few months of quarantine have left you feeling less than your best, there is a smarter solution than resorting to an extreme diet or expensive programs that promise a “quick fix.” Check out these tips for a post quarantine nutritional reset!

 

Crash diets and cleanses can actually do more harm than good to your metabolism and long-term weight loss success; however, a proper reset of nutritional habits can be helpful to kick start weight loss and get you back on track. Consider committing to a set time where you are focused and intentional on your nutritional choices. This can help end chaotic eating patterns that don’t serve your health by introducing order and repetition back into your lifestyle. Clean eating can also reboot your taste buds to decrease cravings for salty, fatty, and sweet foods. Consider committing the next seven to 30 days to making intentional choices to “reboot” your health. During this time, focus on the following four factors and you will feel even healthier, stronger, and leaner than you did pre-quarantine!

 

Fill Up the Water Bottle

Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces (or more if sweating in excess) of water every day. Our kidneys are one of our body’s natural detoxifiers, but they need ample water to do their job. You can even start your day with a glass of (warm or cold) lemon water. The pectin from lemon aids in digestion and lemon also shows to curb appetite and boost satiety. So drink up!

 

A Smart, Squeaky Clean Diet

Extremely low-calorie, crash diets are not the answer to maintain long-term health and weight loss. However, we can commit to eating clean, quality ingredients to feed our body well. Load up half or more of your plate with veggies; ensure you have a lean protein at every meal (grass-fed beef, poultry, wild-caught fish, eggs, etc.); choose quality carbohydrates (fruits, beans, peas, potatoes, corn, whole grains, etc.); and focus on healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olives, avocado or coconut, oils, etc.). If you feel like you have any sort of sugar addiction, it’s particularly helpful to cut out all added sugar and artificial sweeteners for this time period in order to “retrain” your tastebuds.

 

Sweat it Out

Sweating naturally allows our bodies to “detox” themselves. So hit the gym and try out the sauna. Increasing your heart rate and blood flow through exercise can also help your body to flush out toxins naturally. If taking a brisk walk is about all you can handle right now? There’s no better time to start than now.

 

Support Your Gut

Both stress and a poor diet can disrupt good gut health. If the pandemic left your stomach feeling upset, we can improve digestive health through prebiotic fiber in wholesome foods (such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, etc.) and through supplementing with a probiotic. Incorporating live-culture yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, and other fermented foods can also help keep your gut flora thriving and happy.

 

Creamy Berry Smoothie

  • 1/2 large ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2/3 cup sliced zucchini (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 big handful of greens, such as spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 scoops collagen powder or 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp. flax, hemp, chia seeds, or 1 Tbsp. nut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened nut or coconut milk
  • Ice to desired consistency
  • Optional: stevia or monk fruit to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

 

Niçoise Salad

For the tuna salad:

  • 1 small shallot or 1 Tbsp. red onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 1 6-ounce tin of good quality tuna (like Wild Planet or Safe Catch)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

 

For the dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1  Tbsp.  olive oil
  • ¼  tsp. salt
  • ¼  tsp. black pepper

 

For the salad:

  • 1 cup arugula leaves

1/4  cup green beans, blanched

  • 1/3 small avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. pitted oil-cured black olives (or your favorite olives)

Combine the shallot, capers, and tuna with lemon juice in a bowl and set aside. To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. To assemble, toss the arugula and green beans with half of the tuna mixture. Arrange the avocado, olives, and boiled egg on top and finish with the remaining tuna salad.

 

Apple Nachos

  • 1 apple, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp. natural nut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Optional: shredded unsweetened coconut, hemp seeds, flax, chia seeds, etc.

 

Slice apples into thin, chip-like slices, about a fourth-inch thick and spread onto a large plate. Use a spoon or spatula to drizzle the nut butter over the apple slices. If your nut butter is too thick to drizzle, warm it briefly in the microwave. Sprinkle cinnamon and any additional toppings over the apple slices.

 

Have questions about how to apply these measures to your personal lifestyle and health needs? Village dietitian, Jamie Miller, is here to help create a personalized reboot for you! Reach out to her today! (E: jamiller@dmbclubs.

food

Tips to Help Your Kids Eat Healthier

How can you help your kids eat healthier? A large part of healthy kid nutrition is related to adequate levels of physical activity

 

Kids who are active do a better job making healthier food choices when compared to non-active or less-active kids. This is the same phenomenon observed in adults – active adults tend to weigh less, have less disease and have a healthier diet. So the first step to healthier children is to get them active for one hour, seven days a week. Physical activity is any physical movement that increases heart rate, increases breathing rate, and makes them sweat. Playing games, exercising, horseback riding, sports participation, or anything else that gets them up and moving is acceptable.

 

healthy Food

Your Summertime Reboot: The Healthy Way

We’ve all had to adjust to our new routines lately, while still challenging ourselves to exercise regularly and eat healthy. With summertime right around the corner, many feel the desire to reset and detox going into the new season. Read on to learn some healthy tips!    

Healthy Snacks

Chilled Snacks To Stay Fit 

Rising temperatures can only mean one thing, summertime is coming! With increased heat advisories paired with a disruption in our normal routines, it is especially important that we make sure to reach for healthy, chilled snacks.

Nutritious Frozen Treats

With warm weather approaching it’s time for more relaxed schedules and family fun. These often lead to treating yourself and your family to a special sweet treat every now and then! Especially in the warm weather, we tend to crave something cold and creamy. But the next time the heat makes you want to reach for a high-sugar ice cream cone, try out one of these nutritious, but equally delicious frozen treats instead! You’ll cool off and properly fuel your body to stay energized for all your fun activities.

Your New Year’s Reboot: The Healthy Way

Often times, a new year brings a desire to detox from all our holiday indulgences and drop some unwanted pounds. But we all know that lofty New Year’s resolutions rarely adhere to the long term. So, what’s the key to starting the year off on a healthy foot in 2020? Read on to learn some tips!

 

  • Avoid extreme diets and detoxing. Not only are these unrealistic to stick to long term, but crash diets and detoxes can do more harm than good. The majority of any quick weight loss diet will be water weight. And if you consume too little calories for too long, you actually can slow your metabolism, cause muscle breakdown, fat storage, and possible rebound over-eating.

 

  • Nourish to help your body detox daily as it is made to do. A “detox diet” is kind of a misnomer, because food cannot detox you or “flush your system.” It’s your liver, kidneys, colon, skin, and other organs in your body doing the detoxing— not the food itself. So the key is to provide your body with the right nourishment by eating well to support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

 

  • Consider a “reboot” of focused clean eating. While extreme crash diets aren’t smart, there are times where more intentional eating plans are beneficial. A balanced “reboot” can help you form new eating habits that support your body and help you stay healthy for the long haul. Also, by eating or drinking only clean, whole foods, you can reboot your taste buds and decrease cravings for salty, fatty, or sweet foods.

 

Steps to Reboot Your Health

  • Drink up: Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day (or more, if sweating in excess, etc). You can even start your day with a glass of (warm or cold) lemon water. The pectin from lemon aids in digestion and lemon also has been shown to curb appetite and boost satiety.

 

  • Eat Balanced: Focus on quality of food, and stabilize your blood sugar with plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Load up on veggies (starchy and non-starchy), fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

 

  • Get Sweating: Not only with daily exercise help burn calories, rev your metabolism, but you also get the added benefit of feel-good endorphins and releasing toxins through a daily sweat session. Try these 5 explosive moves to improve your fitness this year. For other ways to sweat, try the sauna or Epsom salt baths.

 

  • Enjoy Some Probiotics: So much of our overall health is rooted in good gut health, and ample probiotics (“good bacteria”) are needed to help our bodies properly absorb nutrients, fight infection, and much more. Live-culture yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, fermented food, and probiotic supplements are all easy ways to keep your fighting flora thriving and happy.

 

Foods to Enjoy

The key to a successful eating plan is to enjoy healthy foods for the long term. Consume a variety of these foods on a daily basis, not just to “detox” following an indulgent holiday season.

  • Vegetables: any and all fresh vegetables
  • Fruit: any and all fresh fruit (limit to 2-3 cups daily)
  • Fish: fresh and canned in water or olive oil
  • Protein such as lean red meat, pork, and chicken without the skin
  • Legumes: dried or canned such as kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Whole grains
  • Eggs
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Green or white tea, white tea
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, unsweetened coconut kefir yogurt, kombucha, kimchi
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, etc

 

 

Recipes

 

 

Ginger Spice Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. stevia
  • 2 cups cold water

 

 

Creamy Berry Smoothie

  • 1/2 large ripe banana (previously peeled, sliced, and frozen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sliced zucchini (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 handful greens
  • 2 scoops collagen powder or protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp. flax, hemp, chia seeds or nut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup nut or coconut milk
  • Ice to desired consistency (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

  • ½  medium sweet potato, cooked
  • ½  Tbsp. grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach or green of choice
  • 2  eggs and 4 egg whites (fried, scrambled, or poached)
  • ½  large avocado, sliced
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Cook sweet potato as desired either steamed in microwave or roasted in the oven. In a large skillet, add the oil and heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped greens and cover the skillet with a lid. Allow greens to cook until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place all elements in a bowl. Serve with freshly cracked pepper, hot sauce, or sesame seeds.

 

Niçoise Salad

For the tuna salad:

  • 1 small shallot or 1 Tbsp. red onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 6-oz. tin of good quality tuna (like Wild Planet or Safe Catch)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

For the dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼  tsp. salt
  • ¼  tsp. black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • ¼  cup green beans, blanched
  • 1/3 small avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. pitted oil-cured black olives (or your favorite olives)

Combine the shallot, capers, parsley, and tuna with lemon juice then set aside. To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. To assemble, toss the arugula and green beans with half of the tuna mixture. Arrange the avocado, olives, and boiled egg on top and finish with the remaining tuna salad.

Immune Boosting Chicken Soup

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups bone broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (no salt added), drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 cups baby kale leaves

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion, celery, and carrots, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the bone broth, bay leaves, turmeric, crushed red pepper, salt and chickpeas; bring to a boil. Mix in shredded chicken, cover and turn down the heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add kale, cover and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Healthy Frozen Treats

Summer equates to a time of more relaxed schedules, vacation getaways, and fun. These often lead to  treating yourself and your family to a special sweet treat every now and then! Especially in the warm weather, we tend crave something cold and creamy. But the next time the summer heat makes you want to reach for a high-sugar ice cream cone, try out one of these nutritious, but equally delicious frozen treats instead! You’ll cool off and properly fuel your body to stay energized for all your fun summertime activities. 

Power Up with Protein

Fitness enthusiasts and people wanting to make a lifestyle change have no doubt heard a lot about protein lately. And for good reason. Protein is a key component in any diet. There are three macronutrients — protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Are all used by our bodies in unique, beneficial ways, but to help you get to your goals of a stronger, trimmer body, protein by far reigns supreme.

Weight Gain the Healthy Way

Often times when we think of eating healthy, we think only of goals for weight loss and tips for cutting back on calories. However, many individuals have goals for weight gain and an increase in muscle mass. When this is the case, proper nutrition is still key. Our priority turns to eating in a calorie surplus instead of calorie deficit. Sure, it sounds like fun to go for second servings and calorie-dense foods. However, to get the physical results we want, we have to be wise in our choices. What are the keys to healthy bulking? Let’s treat eating like training and put thought, time, and energy into fueling your body.