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"Let food be thy medicine
and medicine be thy food"

Nutrition

Foundations of Healthy Eating

  • Eat together as a family as often as possible, starting when your children are babies

  • Eat as many whole foods (in their original form) and as little processed food as possible

  • If you eat meat, eat less of it, and don't make it the center of the meal

  • Eat a balanced diet - meaning you NEED carbohydrates and fats, they just should be healthy ones

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and don't shop (or bring your kids shopping) when you or they are hungry

  • Plan ahead - come up with at least a rough template for meals for your week and meal prep as much as possible

  • Never pressure your child to eat

  • Don't offer food as a reward

  • Limit sugar

  • Expose your children to as many different foods as possible

  • Make your snacks as healthy as your meals

  • Drink mostly water

The Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

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Children do not have to consume animal products to have a healthy, balanced diet. There are many wonderful plant-based protein sources. We may recommend certain supplements for completely vegan diets.

We don't recommend caffeinated tea for children and even recommend limiting to a minimal amount in the teen years

Beans and legumes are so versatile and also excellent sources of protein (above). Pastas made from lentils and beans provide a lot of extra nutrients.

Yes, soy is safe and healthy for children to eat. Avoid processed soy foods - watch for these in meat substitutes.

Limit refined "white" grains, instead opt for brown or wild rice, oatmeal, quinoa, farro, amaranth, barley, and whole wheat/grain bread and pasta

For plant-based or non-fish eaters, this can be replaced with an Omega 3 supplement

Making Fruit Salad

Healthy Snacks

  • Fruit - simply cut or on skewers for extra fun

  • Raw veggies with hummus or Greek yogurt dip

  • Popcorn with nutritional yeast

  • Nuts/Seeds

  • Homemade trail mix

  • Freeze dried fruit

  • Nut/seed butter with apples, bananas, or celery

  • Tortilla or plantain chips with guacamole or salsa

  • Roasted chickpeas

  • Edamame

  • Bean dip with pita chips, crackers, or veggies

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Plain Greek yogurt mixed with fruit

  • Fruit and greens smoothie with chia/hemp

  • Chocolate banana "shake" made w/frozen banana

  • Homemade or low-sugar granola

  • Kale chips

  • Energy/protein balls

  • Brown rice stackers with nut butter/fruit, avocado, hummus and veggies or olives, cottage cheese 

  • Frozen healthy muffins or breakfast cookies

  • Frozen chocolate banana pops

  • Frozen smoothie pops

Fresh Guacamole

Food and Inflammation

The following foods have been found to cause inflammation in the body and should be avoided as much as possible. Over time and especially in combination with unhealthy lifestyle, this inflammation can become chronic and cause disease.

  • Trans fats - these will show up in processed/packaged foods (esp. cookies, crackers, cakes, margarine, shortening) and fried foods. Look for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, seed oils and hydrogenated soybean oil

  •  Sugar  and high fructose corn syrup - these 2 are EVERYWHERE! Candy, cookies, and soda are obvious but they can also be loaded in many packaged foods yogurt, bottled drinks (smoothies, Gatorade, even tea and kombucha), granola/protein bars, cereal, plant milk, salad dressing, pasta sauce

  • Refined carbohydrates - white bread, pasta, candy, soda, packaged cookies/cakes/crackers

  • Processed meat and red meat - hot dogs, bacon, sausage, lunch meat, steak, hamburger

   On the other hand, these foods have been found to reduce inflammation:

  • Fruits and veggies -these fight inflammation in 2 ways - fiber and antioxidants/polyphenols which are especially high in dark colored plants like berries, grapes, and leafy greens

  • Herbs - turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, basil, cayanne, oregano

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids - walnuts, seeds (flax, chia, and hemp) and fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

  • Granola with milk or yogurt and fruit

  • Oatmeal (regular or steel cut) - Try baked or overnight oats if your kids don't like it the standard way

  • Nut butter and banana (or apple) on whole grain toast or tortilla

  • Superhero muffins or other healthy muffins (make ahead/freeze)

  • Avocado toast +/- egg*

  • Roasted potatoes and onions /shallots with kale and eggs*

  • Whole wheat pancakes (try with nut/seed butter instead of syrup)

  • Healthy frozen waffles with nut/seed butter

  • Snoothie or smoothie bowl with protein (Greek yogurt, nut butter, soy milk, hemp/chia seeds)

  • Breakfast burrito with beans, eggs*, salsa, can also add leftover potatoes, +/- cheese

  • Egg McMuffin (whole wheat muffin with egg* +/- cheese, great with avocado smeared on instead of mayo

  • Mini egg souffles (in muffin tin or Instant Pot) with toast

  • Whole grain bagel with nut butter

  • French toast on sourdough or whole grain bread

  • Leftovers - dinner can be breakfast!

  • There are a few cereals that are truly healthy - see my blog

*Substitute tofu or JUST Egg for plant-based option*

Fruit and Granola

Tips for Picky Eaters

  • NEVER GIVE UP!!!

  • Kids are afraid of change - honor that, get creative, set SMALL goals, and go SLOW

  • Be a good role model

  • Kids need to feed themselves - NO PRESSURE

  • Discuss nutrition away from the table

  • Make sure your kids are hungry when trying new things (and not filling up on milk)

  • Use the familiar to introduce the new

  • Cut back on sugar

  • Grow your own food (even just in a pot in your kitchen)

Cooking Ingredients

Tips to Simplify Cooking *Meal Prep*

  • Wash and cut up veggies when you get home from store so they are ready to eat

  • Wash and dry greens right away - store upside down in glass container lined with paper towel

  • Bake, saute, or air fry tofu and store for up to 4 days in fridge so it is ready to throw in a recipe or as is on top of a salad or bowl

  • Grill extra meat, slice and freeze. When ready to use on top of a salad, bowl or in a burrito/wrap, just quickly saute until warm

  • Use Instant pot to make shredded meat ahead to add to recipes

  • Roast veggies or potatoes (sweet or regular) ahead of time so they're ready to throw in sauce or bowl or eat for breakfast

  • Cook whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, farro) ahead in your Instant Pot. If not using within 3-4 days, freeze in meal-sized portions for later use.

  • Make oatmeal ahead in Instant Pot or regular method or make the night before as overnight oats

  • Double or triple recipes and freeze entire meal size portions for busy weeknight meals