Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad With Apples, Pecorino and Pine Nuts

Brusselssproutssalad

This month has been so much fun with all the holiday parties, brunches, school events and gatherings with friends of family. Lots of comfort food too and unfortunately a little bit too much sugar, alcohol and treats.

This salad was made out of a craving. A craving for crunch. A craving for raw vegetables. A craving for a simple lunch. A craving for something nutritious and easy in the middle of dark December.

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10 Toddler Approved Snack Ideas

blueberriesIf you’re the parent of a toddler, you know how much snacking goes on during the day. Many toddlers nowadays don’t even sit down to full meals so snack time plays a huge role in getting key nutrients into their little bodies. By buying or making healthy snacks, you are creating healthy palates and setting up great healthy eating habits for life. Toddlers love to help out in the kitchen too, so get them involved with preparing healthy snacks and there is a greater chance that they will eat anything they make.

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Breakfast of Mini Champions

Is breakfast time always a little bit crazy in your house? It is here. On an average school morning, you’ll find me cajoling my 6 year old into getting out of bed on time to get dressed and eat a bit of breakfast before running out the door to school. It can be stressful for everyone. As a nutrition and health coach, I know that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and a time when we can pack in some healthy food and set up good habits for the rest of the day for our kids. So over the past year, I’ve tried something new. I’ve made breakfast a priority and have tried to prep as much in advance for the big occasion. Our mornings have transitioned from cereal and milk to smoothies, egg muffins or sprouted grain bread and almond butter and I can see the difference it makes in my kids’ energy levels and mood. Even though we don’t have much time in the morning to sit down and eat breakfast before dashing out the door, I try to make sure that they have some good quality protein and nutrients in them before they start their busy days.

Here are some ideas to keep breakfasts healthy everyday:

Scrambled egg & veggie muffins

Scrambled egg & veggie muffins

Scrambled Egg & Veggie Breakfast Muffins

These scrambled egg muffins make the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack and are a great way to add extra veggies into your kids’ diet. The vegetables in the recipe are just a suggestion. You could also add cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and kale.
½ medium onion, chopped
½ medium bell pepper (green or red), chopped
2 handfuls spinach, washed
12 organic eggs, beaten
2 oz grated cheese (gruyere or cheddar)
pinch of sea salt and pepper
olive or coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onions, peppers and spinach in olive or coconut oil until soft.
  3. Combine onion, bell peppers, spinach, cheese and eggs in a bowl, mixing well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin liners. Fill each muffin cup approximately ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden on top.
Superhero Smoothie

Superhero Smoothie

Superhero Smoothies

I’ve become know as the Smoothie Queen in our neighborhood! We just love smoothies in our house. I mix high quality protein powder with an assortment of veggies and fruit for breakfast to set up the day properly. These smoothies are low glycemic and will give your little ones lots of energy for the whole day.

1 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2 frozen banana
handful blueberries (fresh or frozen)
handful spinach
1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Blend and enjoy. Top with extra blueberries for decoration.

Sprouted grain bread or gluten free bread with almond or sesame nut butter.

We love the sprouted Ezekiel breads or Rudy’s gluten free. My kids have been raised on these breads and love the taste. Make sure you buy sugar free raw nut butters too.

Hopefully these have given you some different ideas for breakfast for your family. What’s your favorite healthy breakfast?

Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

Back to School Lunch

Back to School Lunch

Well, hello September and back to school season!

We all know that it’s important to give our kids the best nutrition for the best start in life and school. However, when it comes down to it, many of us are faced with a stressful household in the morning – trying to get everyone ready and out the door on time. Under pressure and not having any other ideas, many of us resort to making a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich and throwing in a few snacks and a juice box into the lunchbox.

Here are some different ideas beyond the PB&J sandwich for healthy lunch boxes that will help you get the best nutrition for your kids. Children need a healthy balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates as well as key vitamins and minerals in their lunch in order to sustain their energy and blood sugar levels for several hours. Try putting combinations of these meals in your kids’ lunches. They are all simple, easy to prepare and many of them can be made ahead or in larger quantities to last over several days. The lunch kebabs are my favorite!

  • Lunch kebabs: add grapes, cooked turkey or chicken cubes, cheese, cherry tomatoes, melon, apple or red pepper onto a short kebab stick. You can even make different shapes if you have the time. Mix up different flavors every day. You can even add in a little bread to make a “sandwich on a stick”!
  • Kale chips: you’d be surprised by how much kids love the crunchiness!
  • Veggies sticks and hummus try red pepper, carrot, cucumber, celery
  • Wraps: kids love to eat turkey, cheese, hummus or nut butter wraps. Add in sticks of cucumber or red pepper for extra crunch and nutrients. After you roll it up, cut up the wrap on an angle into 2 inch long pieces.
  • Pasta salad: whole grain pasta (try a fun shape) with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. You can also add in some tuna, pesto or cooked chicken into the pasta
  • Muffin frittatas with vegetables and cheese
  • Whole grain bread with different nut butters such as almond or sunflower nut butters. If you have the time, you can be creative with different shapes such as butterflies or dinosaurs
  • Rice lunch bowl: brown rice topped with cooked chicken and veggies such as peas, peppers, tomatoes
  • Fruit cup: mix up seasonal fruit such as grapes, blueberries, kiwi, melon, strawberries, apples, bananas, peaches and plums together
  • Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey and fresh fruit
  • Soup (stored in a thermos) such as chicken, lentil, bean or vegetable soup
  • Hard boiled eggs

Tip: Remember to keep your child’s lunchbox clean. Don’t forget to wash all fruits and vegetables before serving. If your child doesn’t have access to a fridge at school, pack the lunch in an insulated lunch bag and use freezable gel packs to keep food cool until lunch time.

What are your kids’ favorite lunches? Do you make anything unusual or interesting for your kids?

Top 3 Cooling Foods for Summer

Cool as a cucumber!

Cool as a cucumber!

Temperatures are reaching the 90s and everyone is heading to the beach. Who wants to turn the oven on in this sticky heat? Summer is all about simple salads made with the freshest, seasonal ingredients.

Here are my top three recommendations for foods to keep you cool during the long summer months:

Watermelon

What would summer be without watermelon? This fruit has a high water content, is low in sugar but high in vitamins A and C. It’s slimming, refreshing and makes a low-calorie snack. It’s also delicious combined in a summer watermelon and tomato salad.

Cucumber

Stay cool as a cucumber by adding this water packed vegetable to any chopped salad or making cucumber sticks to go with your favorite dips or combining diced cucumber with plain yogurt to make Greek tzatziki.

Mint

Mint is very cooling and refreshing and is perfect in any salad or summer cocktail. Why not combine it with watermelon and cucumber to make the ultimate cooling salad?

Fill your summer with refreshing summer ingredients to help you stay cool all season long! Don’t forget to also stay hydrated with lots of filtered water or green juices.

Mouthwatering Tomato, Watermelon, Mint & Feta Salad

Here’s a little something for the weekend and all your summer BBQs. One of my absolute favorite salads for the summer and one that is bound to impress is this simple watermelon and tomato salad. Who knew that this combination of ingredients could be so refreshingly delicious? I first discovered this at Snack in the West Village in NYC where I used to scoff their lamb sandwiches at lunch before I gave those up and discovered their beautiful salads instead. Bon appetit and enjoy the BBQ season!

Something for your Summer BBQ

Something for your Summer BBQ

Summery Watermelon, Tomato, Mint & Feta Salad

4 cups seedless watermelon cut into 1 inch cubes
Tub cherry tomatoes (organic) cut in halves
1 cup firm feta cheese cut into small cubes
1 sprig mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 cup arugula
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Combine melon, tomatoes, feta, mint and toasted almonds in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and a vinaigrette of olive oil and vinegar. Chill in the fridge for a good hour before serving on a bed of arugula.

Three Free Things You Can Do For Your Health

Refreshing lemon waterMany people think that being healthy has to be expensive. That you have to go to an expensive grocery store to purchase special ingredients or go online to track down some mysterious powder that promises to give you better health. Really? I’d like to debunk that urban myth and bring us back to reality. Here are three things you can do for your health – starting today. For free! Really!

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