Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Can Packaging Give Your Food a Health Halo?

We all try our best to eat healthy and buy nutritious food for our families. But the amount of information, misinformation and just plain marketing speak we’re hit with every trip to the grocery store can make goal hard to achieve. “Many foods contain front of package nutrient claims that make you think you are eating a healthy food,” says Alissa Rumsey M.S., R.D., author of Three Steps to a Healthier You. “This so-called ‘health halo’ often causes people to overeat foods they think are healthy.”


A recent study, published in the Journal of Business Research, supports this theory. Researchers presented two different foods (a cookie and a granola bite) in two different packaging options (an unportioned bag or a bag that contained several individually packaged single-serving packs) to a group of 171 students. What they found is that the granola bites had a powerful health halo that that cookies did not — and that affected how much the students ate. So when faced with a full, unportioned bag of granola bites, the students ate substantially more of them than they did of the cookies. “They perceived the granola to be a healthier snack alternative and chose to eat more of it,” explains Myla Bui, associate professor of marketing, Loyola Marymount University, and lead author of the study. “Consumers are paying less attention to nutrition information and serving sizes and relying instead more on preconceived notions regarding a food’s healthfulness.”


Interestingly, the participants said they would eat about the same amount of cookies or granola bites if eating them from the individually portioned packages. So if you are worried about intake of even seemingly healthy (but in the case of the granola, high in calories and fat) snacks, portion-control servings are the way to go. “For foods that are easy to over-consume, never eat them directly out of a large bag,” advises Rumsey. “Make your own portion-controlled packages by putting a single serving into plastic snack bags or reusable containers.”


Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based journalist who writes about nutrition, health and wellness.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

Poke Mon

Sorry, that title is quite the stretch!!

We had these Tuna Poke Bowls from the Cook Smarts recipe collection last night and they were SO GOOD!

I think they are pronounced “poo-key,” right? Or poke as in “poke your eye out”? Someone please confirm because my Google search led me to both pronunciations!

Nevertheless, they were awesome.They have layers of tuna, jasmine rice, avocado, cucumber, edamame, massaged kale, and a sriracha sauce. We ended up searing the tuna in a skillet so it was cooked on the outside and slightly rare on the inside. I was nervous about eating raw fish at home. But it was still 100% delicious. The sauce on top was the best part! And I loved the generous amount of massaged kale involved.

Also – HOLLA to prep day! This meal came together in 10 minutes thanks to my rice cooker and prep!

Plus it was so good I had it again for lunch today :  ) (I added a little Greek yogurt too this time!)

This morning I had another appointment with Dr. Getty at Airrosti for my foot. Shout out to the blog reader who paid him a visit after my first mention! Haaaaay! Dr. G did more painful-yet-progressive things to my foot, and I think we are making progress towards better mobility and hopefully less stiffness and pain in the long run.

After that I went to the gym – strength class – for the first time in …..ohhhh….3 weeks. Chris is actually out injured, so Erin taught the class. She did a different strength move nearly every minute, and we didn’t repeat a thing. I loved the variety!

I have settled in back at home to work for a bit before going to get Mazen and heading to the country for a fun afternoon playdate!

TTYL : )

The post Poke Mon appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

The Definitive Guide to Children’s Nutrition

Young Child Eating VegetablesFeeding infants is quite simple. There’s a ton riding on you getting it right, of course—a developing immune system, the fact that the kid’s growing an inch a week, a permeable blood-brain barrier, synaptic pruning—but the answer is usually always “feed them more breastmilk.” Even if you can’t nurse, you’ve got formula, which, for all its limitations, is a decent proxy for breastmilk and getting better all the time. Feeding children, however, is a different ballgame altogether.

I’ve gotten a lot of requests for a post about children’s nutrition, so it’s long overdue. When it comes down to brass tacks, kids really are just small people. They aren’t a different species. They use the same nutrients their parents do. They need protein, fat, and glucose just like us. So in that sense, feeding kids is simple: Give them all the nutritious foods you already eat and know to be healthy.

But it’s not easy.

Adults have been around the block. We’ve already spent several decades eating, so what we do today won’t have as big an impact. Kids are starting from square one. They can get away with a lot in the sense that they have fast metabolisms, they heal quickly, and they carry less physiological baggage. That makes them appear impervious to damage. A Snickers bar may very well send a diabetic’s blood sugar to the stratosphere or trigger weight gain in a middle-aged man, while the average toddler will channel that candy bar into pure ATP and use it to scale bookshelves, leap from sofas, and sing the feature song from the latest Disney flick twenty times in a row.

But from another perspective, a child’s nutrition is way more crucial and precarious. You have an untouched, uncorrupted member of the most complex, creative, intelligent, courageous mammalian species in the known universe. A being of pure potential. You have the opportunity to realize that potential by nourishing it with the best food—or you can tarnish it.

A prudent position is the middle one: Feed healthy foods, but don’t flip out because they ate Baskin Robbins ice cream cake at their friend’s 5th birthday party. After all, look at your own history. Many of you spent decades eating the standard American/Westernized diet. You ended up fat and unhealthy. And you and thousands more turned it all around just by going Primal.

It’s also the position that promotes sanity in a world full of industrialized food. Candy’s going to slip through the cracks. They’re going to be at a friend’s house and have boxed mac and cheese for dinner. Full-on food intolerances or allergies aside, be a little flexible. Your lives will be less stressful, believe me, and you’ll all be a bit saner.

With this in mind…

What are some nutrients to watch out for?


Growing children are constantly laying down new bone. They need calcium (and collagen, but we’ll get to that later) to do it.

RDA: 1000 mg/day (4-8 years), 1300 mg/day (9-13 years)

Bone-in sardines, hard cheeses, raw milk, full-fat yogurt/kefir, and leafy greens are the best sources of calcium.

Suggested recipe: A hunk of Emmental cheese.


It’s the most common cause of preventable cognitive disability; nearly a third of 6-12 year olds worldwide eat inadequate amounts of iodine.

Growing children need iodine to produce thyroid hormone, an important regulator of the growth factors that determine mental and physical development. Kids with iodine deficiency are less likely to reach their maximum height, and studies show that iodine deficiency can lower IQ scores by up to 12.5 points.

RDA: 90 ug/day (4-8 years), 120 ug/day (9-13 years)

Seaweed, with kombu/kelp being highest and nori being lower but still higher than other foods. Milk (storage vats are disinfected with iodine).

Suggested recipe: Toasted nori snacks. Kelp granules sprinkled on everything.


Iron is another important mineral in children’s nutrition, providing support for growth, neurological development, and blood cell formation. Keep in mind, however, that kids between the ages of 4 and 8 actually need less iron than babies, toddlers, and teens because they grow more slowly.

RDA: 10 mg (4-8 years), 8 mg (9-13 years, prior to menstruation for girls)

Red meat, especially organ meats (including chicken liver), is very high in iron. The heme iron found in animal products is also far more bioavailable than non-heme (plant) iron. If you’re going to eat and attempt to absorb non-heme iron, pair it with a source of vitamin C.

Suggested recipe: Chicken liver paté.


Zinc is really important for children’s physical growth and immune development. In one study, modest zinc supplementation to the tune of 5.7 mg/day helped growth-delayed kids hit their growth targets compared to placebo. Other research has found that correcting zinc deficiencies reduces diarrheal infections and pneumonia in kids under 5.

RDA: 5 mg/day (4-8 years), 8 mg/day (9-13 years)

Red meat (especially lamb), oysters, crab, and lobster are the best sources of zinc.

Suggested recipe: Place a can of smoked oysters (drained), 8 olives (I like Kalamata), and a tablespoon of avocado oil in food processor or mortar and pestle. Turn into paste. Eat with a spoon or spread on crackers. You can also add lemon juice and pecorino romano cheese for some extra calcium.

Vitamin A

Full-blown vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and permanent blindness. Mild deficiency increases the risk of catching an upper respiratory tract infection.

RDA: 400 ug/day (4-8 years), 600 ug/day (9-12 years)

Pre-formed (more bioavailable) retinol: liver, cod liver oil, eggs, full-fat dairy.

Plant vitamin A: Sweet potato, kale, spinach, carrots.

Suggested recipe: Liver pate.

Vitamin B12

Myelin is the protective sheathing around nerve fibers. It insulates the nerves and increases the efficiency of impulse transmission. Vitamin B12 is a vital co-factor in myelination—the laying down of the sheathing—which takes place in infancy and on through early childhood. Without adequate dietary vitamin B12, the myelin will be weak and ineffective.

RDA: 1.2 ug/day (4-8 years), 1.8 ug/day (9-13 years)

Animal products are the best and only sources of vitamin B12.

Suggested recipe: Meat, poultry, fish, or shellfish cooked any way.

Vitamin C

We can’t make vitamin C like most other mammals, so we have to eat it if we want its benefits, which include collagen formation and deposition, tissue healing, and immune response.

RDA: 25 mg/day (4-8 years), 45 mgday (9-13 years)

Vitamin C is present in most fruits and vegetables. If your kid eats plenty of those (what kid doesn’t like fruit?), he or she will be fine.

Suggested recipe: Tall glass of Florida orange juice! Kidding. Some oranges will do.

Vitamin D

If your child is getting unfiltered sunlight on a regular basis, vitamin D probably isn’t a concern. But sometimes the sun’s not out (for months). Sometimes your kid needs to eat some vitamin D.

RDA: 15 ug/day for everyone

Great sources include meat, fish, eggs, and cod liver oil. New research has shown that animal-sourced vitamin D is about 5 times as potent as the vitamin D3 found in supplements (which isn’t too shabby in the first place).

Suggested recipe: Cod liver oil capsules, swallowed whole or pierced and the contents squeezed into smoothies.

Vitamin K2

One way to think of vitamin K2 is that it tells calcium where to go. Low vitamin K2 could mean your calcium ends up in your arteries. High vitamin K2, and it’ll end up in your teeth and your bones. I know where I’d rather have it, especially if I’m an 8-year-old human laying new bone daily.

RDA: Unknown. But it’s quite safe.

Natto is the best source. “Best” as in densest, not “best” as in “tastes great.” The flavor takes some getting used to, but once you do… Other options include goose liver, gouda cheese, and more speculatively, some fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut. Chris Masterjohn did a whole series on vitamin K2 that contains some food sources.

Suggested recipe: Aged gouda (at least 2 years) on rice crackers or eaten Costanza-style.


Choline helps the liver process fat and clear toxins, and it’s a precursor to acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that plays a major role in forming memories and learning new skills.

RDA: 250 mg/day (4-8 years), 375 mg/day (9-13 years)

Egg yolks are pound for pound the best source. Livers of all kinds are runners-up.

Suggested recipe: Scrambled eggs with an extra yolk (creamier).


Preformed long chain omega-3s are very important for brain development. That’s been the case in humans for a very long time.

Suggested recipe: Ikura, or salmon roe. Sockeye salmon with crispy skin (fish bacon always lures them in).

Saturated Fat

A curious thing occurs when a child turns 2, according to the powers-that-be. Saturated fat goes from being an essential, dominant, and healthful component of the breastmilk upon which they rely for sustenance to being a lethal toxin. Parents are urged by many health professionals and public service messages to switch to low-fat dairy at this time, and “When should my toddler switch to skim milk?” is now a common query on children’s health websites.

It’s horrifying.

Our cell membranes are about half saturated fat, which is more stable and less vulnerable to peroxidation. This stability makes our cell membranes more resistant to oxidative stress. Kids certainly need cell membranes.

Our bodies use saturated fats to shuttle proteins between cells, release neurotransmitters, and form memories. Kids certainly need to send proteins around the body, release neurotransmitters, and remember stuff.

Saturated fats often come attached to other nutrients kids inarguably require. The more parents restrict saturated fat in their kids’ diets, for example, the less calcium, vitamin E, and zinc they get. It’s hard to “reduce saturated fat” without also reducing lots of other good foods.


Cholesterol is another one of those weird nutrients that becomes toxic once you stop getting it from breastmilk. I didn’t buy it with saturated fat, and I’m not buying it with cholesterol.

Parents who follow the official advice and “limit cholesterol” deprive their kids of a vital nutrient responsible for production of steroid hormones and vitamin D. Sure, while a kid’s liver will make plenty of cholesterol on its own, limiting cholesterol means limiting some of the most nutrient-dense foods, like egg yolks and shrimp.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Ideally, children will get access to plenty of microbes by interacting with the natural world around them. But food-based probiotics are good, too. They provide unique nutrients, as the fermentation process often creates new forms of the nutrients or makes existing ones more bioavailable, and they offer novel flavors that promote a more sophisticated palate. A kid who learns to love kimchi will probably try anything.

Prebiotics are arguably as important as probiotics. Both work in concert to modulate the immune response and set children up for a healthy immune system. Remember that infectious diseases used to kill a ton of kids. Even though we can usually take care of acute infections with modern medicine, it’s nice to be able to count on your immune system, too.

I suggest everyone punch their children’s meals into a food tracker for a week or so to get an idea of their nutrient intakes. Cronometer and MyFitnessPal are good.

Should You Manage Your Kid’s Macros?

Make sure they’re getting enough protein/fat/carbs?

Not really. I’m a fan of the “unfeeding” approach. Like the unschooler allows the child to make decisions about his education, providing only resources and guidance when requested, the unfeeder provides a meal with all three macronutrients represented and lets the child decide what and how much to eat.

If it’s obvious, and your kid’s eating sweet potato after sweet potato and totally ignoring the beef and broccoli on the plate, make some rules. But for the most part, kids eat as much as they need. This laissez faire approach to feeding kids, however, only seems to cause problems when they have unfettered or regular access to industrial foods and beverages like French fries, pizza, crispy snacks, soda, candy, and other food products designed to trigger the reward system and override natural satiety signaling. It tends to work well when you offer things like this:

  • Eggs (especially the yolks)
  • Bone marrow
  • Bone broth
  • Gelatinous meats (oxtail, cheek, shank, etc)
  • Organ meats
  • Fish eggs (ikura, or salted salmon roe, is a great option at sushi places or Japanese markets)
  • Fish (fresh, canned, bone-in)
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt/kefir
  • Raw milk
  • Berries
  • Starchy tubers
  • Colorful fruits and veggies
  • Beets
  • Seaweed
  • Coconut milk/butter
  • Legumes, properly prepared and tolerated
  • Bananas, slightly green for moderate resistant starch content

As a longtime parent, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve developed a few tricks. I’ve made some observations you may find illuminating. What follows are the tips, tricks, and rules I’ve found very useful in feeding kids well.

Don’t assume your kid is intolerant of everything.

Don’t ignore obvious intolerances or allergies. Just don’t seek them out when they don’t actually exist. Chances are, your kid can enjoy and benefit from full-fat dairy, white potatoes, nightshades, eggs, and even the occasional legume.

“Seven bites.”

7’s a good number, but it could be anything. Make a household rule that you have to take at least 7 bites before deeming a food “yucky.”

Calories count.

But not like you’re thinking. Overall calorie intake is very important for growing children. They’re like CrossFitting endurance athletes training for an MMA fight—they need to eat. Big things are happening constantly in their bodies, and they need plenty of food to support the changes. Don’t consciously limit (or let your kid limit) your kid’s calorie intake unless you have a valid medical reason.

Egg yolks disappear into everything.

Spaghetti sauce? Add a few egg yolks after you’ve turned off the heat.

Mac and cheese? A few egg yolks enrich it without changing the flavor.

Scrambled eggs? Add an extra egg yolk.

There’s nothing wrong with a smoothie.

There’s a lot right. A well-designed smoothie can provide tons of important nutrients. An example:

  • Baby kale (vitamin K, phytonutrients, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium)
  • Frozen green banana (resistant starch, potassium)
  • Kefir (probiotics, fat, folate, vitamin k2)
  • Egg yolk (choline)
  • Whey protein
  • Brazil nut (selenium)
  • Cod liver oil (vitamin A, vitamin D, DHA/EPA)
  • Frozen mango (vitamin C, vitamin A, folate), coconut water (potassium, magnesium)

Kids will eat anything in popsicle form.

Take the leftovers of the nutrient-dense smoothies you make and freeze them in popsicle molds. There, that’s “dessert.”

Rice is an excellent vehicle for nutrition.

Rice is just empty carbs. Right? Not necessarily. Sub bone broth for water, add a dash of Trace Minerals, throw in a few shakes of kelp granules? Suddenly, your rice is a repository of magnesium, collagen, iodine, and other nutrients they may not be getting elsewhere.

Plus, kids are whirlwinds of energy. If they’re doing childhood right, they’re moving constantly. They can actually use those empty glucose molecules.

Crackers are good vehicles for nutrient-dense dips.

Sure, you don’t want your kid killing a box of rice crackers by themselves. As vehicles for things like tuna salad, liver paté, good cheese, hummus, however, they excel.

Fish sauce as a training tool for picky eaters.

Real fish sauce made from fermented salted fish is a potent source of glutamate, a flavor-enhancing amino acid that can teach picky eaters to like novel foods. It also makes food taste good on a subjective level, so you’ll be hitting them from two angles. 

Frozen fruit is dessert.

If it’s cold and sweet, kids assume it’s a popsicle. Mangos, strawberries, blackberries, cherries. Forget ice cream for dessert. Serve up a big cup of frozen blueberries, perhaps with some real whipped cream. (This may work on adults, too)

Toothpicks make everything delicious.

If your ungrateful kid won’t eat your seared scallops, or your perfectly medium rare lamb chops, stick some toothpicks in. For whatever reason, kids just can’t resist toothpicked food.

Bribing works…in the short-term.

On a population level, at least. School children offered small prizes in the lunch line if they chose the “healthier” option were more likely to choose it. Be wary of relying on this. Negotiating with terrorists may work in individual instances, but it sets a bad precedent for future incidents.

Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope you come away with a better grasp of children’s nutrition needs. Let me know how any of those strategies and rules work for you and your family. And please chime in down below with your own tips for feeding kids right. I know we’ve got a ton of parents out there.

Thanks for reading.


The post The Definitive Guide to Children’s Nutrition appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

Key Lime Pie Parfaits – For breakfast or a healthy dessert!

If you’re stuck in a rut eating the same old oatmeal, yogurt, or eggs for breakfast… shake things up with this ridiculously delicious Key Lime Pie Parfait. It’s creamy, tart, and full of fiber and nutrients that will keep you satisfied all morning long. These parfaits make a yummy cool summer treat! 

The secret to this recipe is the avocado!

That’s what gives it a rich and creamy texture that is soooo decadent. If you’re worried about the amount of fat in an an avocado, don’t be! Avocados are packed with healthy fats that have been shown to protect the heart and are also a good source of fiber and fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamin E. You see, you need to eat fat in order to absorb all of the healthy goodness and antioxidants from the avocado, so it’s all good! 

To get started, you’ll just need a blender and a few simple ingredients… 

Add one peeled and pitted avocado, ¼ cup of culinary coconut milk, a couple tablespoons raw honey, a pinch of salt, and the juice and zest of one lime to your blender. Whip the ingredients until well blended and creamy…

I like to serve this key lime pie mousse with crunchy granola… but, I don’t bother with buying those pre-made boxes of granola at the store, because they are usually full of GMOs, refined sugar and inflammatory oils. Instead I make my own delicious granola that only takes about 5 minutes to prep for the oven! Get my homemade granola recipe here.

To assemble your parfait, scoop about a quarter cup of granola into a cup and top it with a quarter cup key lime pie mousse. Repeat the granola and mousse layers once more. Enjoy! Mmmm….crunch, crunch, crunch….

Food Babe's Key Lime Pie Parfaits



  • 1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
  • ¼ cup culinary coconut milk, more as needed
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw honey
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup granola of choice


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender except the granola and blend until smooth.
  2. To serve, place ¼ cup granola in a cup and top with ¼ cup key lime pie mousse. Repeat the granola and mousse layers once more. Enjoy!


**Please use all organic ingredients if possible.**



Want to make sure you never get stuck in a food rut? Check out the Food Babe Eating Guide.

When you sign up, you’ll get new healthy recipes every month along meal plans and an exclusive Starter Guide that includes the “Terrible 20” ingredients that keep you from losing weight, where to spot them and what to eat instead, along with my tried-and-true tips and techniques for life’s many eating situations. This is an all-in-one roadmap to organic, healthy living! I go through everything that comes with the program in this short video here.

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from Food Babe

A Breath Of Fresh Air


Good morning! We had banana pancakes with a drizzle of hickory maple syrup for breakfast today. And, as always, some good freshly roasted local coffee! Thomas has turned me into such a coffee lover. One cup is all I am allowed though if I start to dip just one sip above that I get the caffeine jitters!


Isn’t it amazing what fresh air can do? Sometimes I will be going a little crazy at my desk, unable to focus, and I’ll take Gus for a walk. I have never once regretted this walk! I used to walk every day on my lunch break when I worked in an office, and I needed that outdoor time to balance the stale office air. I feel better from top to bottom and feel my worries melt away when I breathe in fresh air, even if just for a short time.


Speaking of ways to de-stress, I recently had the chance to do a virtual consultation with Harvey, a holistic and integrative medicine company that offers web and phone-based consultations with Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). Lab testing is done in-home, and the doctors aim to use principles of prevention, holistic health and integrative medicine to treat any concerns.


I met with Dr. Amanda Frick, ND, and had a wonderful experience. Because this was a review for the blog, I didn’t have a particular ailment that I had scheduled an appointment for, but we went over all of my lifestyle and health history to determine if there was anything I had overlooked that could be off. I mentioned occasional night sweats and low energy from 3-5pm, and so I ended up taking the Adrenals Test, which was a saliva test I did at home. The test had me spit into tubes at four specific times throughout the day. The packaging was all very lovely too.


My results came back and it turns out that my cortisol levels were just a bit low! I was surprised but also not surprised at the same time, as I had a more-stress-than-usual month preceding the test. Dr. Frick was the most “people person” doctor I have ever used in terms of explaining the complicated role of cortisol in a clear way. She prescribed HPA Adapt, an adrenal supporting blend of five adaptogenic herbs, which I am giving a try for a month or two.

If you’ve wanted to see an integrative health doctor and haven’t been able to connect with one in your area, Harvey is a great way to gain access. They work with patients on a wide range of small and complex health issues, from digestive to immune to hormones and more. You can use the code KATH to get $25 off of your first visit.

Thanks to Harvey for sponsoring this post segment.

The post A Breath Of Fresh Air appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Mushrooms And Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe

When I have a cheat meal, I generally like to keep it clean, meaning no processed stuff. My cheat meals usually consist of extra calories and extra good fats. For me, it’s more about quantity than… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry

Photos from Quinn’s Camera III

Good morning!

Our little photographer is still snapping away on his camera! And my first couple of blog posts featuring Quinn’s photos were such a big hit with you guys, I decided to share another batch. Qman regularly uses my old point-and-shoot camera to take photos, so here are the in-focus ones that give a little insight into his life as a 3 year old. I hope you enjoy them!

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Mal took the last photo, but I figured I’d include it since it was on Qman’s camera! 🙂

The post Photos from Quinn’s Camera III appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake