The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “eat healthy”

The Egg is Back!

eggs

Recipe of the Week

I love eggs! Scrambled, hard-boiled, as omelets – I love eggs in all forms.  Some of my fondest memories from childhood are picnics at the beach eating egg salad sandwiches wrapped in wax paper. I think sandwiches just tasted better back in the days when we used wax paper! Not only are eggs delicious, they are one of the least expensive forms of protein.

For the past several years the guidelines for dietary cholesterol  recommended greatly restricting eggs.  Frankly, I ignored that recommendation – I loved eggs too much to give them up. But eggs are back in vogue – new recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reflect recent research showing dietary cholesterol does not necessarily lead to high cholesterol in humans. Eggs are also a major source of choline, which is associated with liver health and women’s health. Choline may also support the brain during aging and help prevent changes in brain chemistry that result in cognitive decline and failure.

In other words, it’s ok to eat eggs again as part of a healthy diet!*  A favorite egg-based dinner  in my house is crustless feta and spinach quiche. Serve with a salad and quiche of any flavor makes an easy, scrumptious meal.

One of the things I love most about eggs is that they have been the first meal I have taught my kids how to cook.  Scrambling or hard boiling eggs is easy and I would rather have my kids scramble eggs for an after school snack than eat something less healthy.  Here’s an easy guide to teaching your kids how to  cook some egg-based  recipes

*Always follow dietary recommendations given by your physician.

Holli-Seabury-2012

CEO and Mother of Seven

Soup for One

soup_jar

This Week’s Recipe

If I am not cooking a full meal for my family of four, I struggle with what to prepare. I am sure many of you can relate. Packing my lunch for work each day is the most difficult. Often I keep crackers and peanut butter or an instant cup of soup in my desk and eat that for lunch. When I see co-workers eating delicious lunches made at home, I wish I could plan and prepare better to do that as well. Not only are my lunches often not very appetizing or filling, but the soup especially, is lacking in nutritional value and has extremely high sodium, with more than half of what an adult is recommended to intake daily in just that one cup of soup.

Now that it is winter time and it has been pretty cold, I have wanted to eat soup more than ever at meal time. Instead of grabbing an instant cup of soup I decided to try some new recipes for homemade soup. One of those is a make your own instant noodle soup and store in a mason jar for freezing or easy transportation to work in a single serving.  I have also tried making a large pot at home and splitting it into several mason jars for freezing and use at a later date.  By making my own soups for lunch I am able to add more vegetables and less sodium for a healthier meal.

BethanyClapper_2012

Bethany Clapper, Director of Development & Marketing and Mother of Two

How Do You Like Them Apples? Five Ways To Enjoy Those Fabulous Fall Fruits

apple_traffic_light

Recipe of the Week

With fall upon us it is time to talk about one of my family’s favorite seasonal fruits, apples. And, there is nothing my kids love more than heading out to our local orchard and picking peck after peck of fresh red, yellow, and green apples. From Granny Smiths to Fujis, this time of year it is not hard to find apples of every variety. It’s like those things grow on trees!

Sometimes with all that is available it can be hard to decide what to do if you happen to get too many of them (besides, of course, just eating them as a quick and easy snack). Here are five quick and easy ideas to help you get your creative apple juices flowing. As a bonus, with the sweetness built into the apples, all of these have little or no added sugar!

  1. Apple Crisp
  2. Applesauce
  3. Apple Butter
  4. Fried Apples
  5. Apple Salad

Scott Nitza

Scott Nitza
Graphic Designer & Marketing Associate and Father of Three

Five Quick Ways to Play with Your Food!

play_with_your_food

Recipe of the Week

I know, I know, I can hear my mom and yours in the background saying, “DON’T play with your food!” But, if you have picky eaters in your family it might take a bit of creative thinking to get them to eat healthy.

Seeing as the summer is quickly coming to an end, apples will soon be in season. You and I know apples make a great tasting healthy snack, but if your kids are not too keen, a little playtime might help. Below are five examples of quick ways to make a boring old apple into something fun and exciting. My kids and I also used grapes and peanut butter to make these, but you and your family can experiment with your own ingredients!

  1. Smile – two apple section lips, white grape teeth, and a little peanut butter to hold it together
    play_with_your_food_01_smile
  2. Race Car – an apple section for the car, grape wheels, a grape headed driver, and again the “magic peanut butter glue” as my kids call it
    play_with_your_food_02_Race_Car
  3. Turtle – a green apple half (with the stem as a tail), grape feet, a grape head, and peanut butter if needed
    play_with_your_food_03_Turtle
  4. Butterfly – thinly cut apple section wings on either side of a grape body
    play_with_your_food_04_Butterfly
  5. UFO (my favorite) – a cross section of an apple with a grape alien in the middle
    play_with_your_food_05_UFO

 

Scott Nitza

Scott Nitza
Graphic Designer & Marketing Associate and Father of Three

What’s in that lunch box? 5 Tips to Make Packed Lunches Healthier

open_lunch_box_with_food

Recipe of the Week

School is starting and parents all over are gearing up to pack school lunches. I have always had the perception that a lunch packed at home is healthier than what’s being served in the school cafeteria. Turns out that’s wrong – very wrong. A recent study from Tufts University  shows that on the average school day 41% of children are bringing a packed lunch from home, and most of those lunches are far less healthy than the cafeteria food being served. In fact, only 27% of the lunches reviewed met the same nutrition standards the cafeterias have to meet. Instead, most lunches packed at home were an assortment of snack foods and desserts.

I have to make a confession: I never pack my kids a school lunch. They actually love the school cafeteria lunches, which may not say too much about my cooking. My 8 year-old daughter sometimes packs her own lunch, but before it goes in her bookbag it has to pass my inspection to ensure it isn’t a lunch made up totally of junk. So from the research article and my own, albeit limited, experience packing school lunches, here are a few tips to make packed lunches healthier:

  1. The study found a big problem was sugary drinks in packed lunches. Pack water or have your child buy milk at school.
  2. Fruits and veggies are also lacking in most homemade lunches. Make a fruit or veggie requirement for each lunch – and work with your child to find fruit and veggies that they will enjoy eating and that won’t end up in the trash at school.
  3. Many homemade lunches lacked a protein-rich entrée item and were mainly carbs and sugar. Even something as simple as a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread is a healthy kid-friendly choice. My kids also love yogurt, hard-boiled eggs and cheese.
  4. Encourage your kids to pack their own lunches. Have a “Healthy Lunch Checklist” they can follow that includes fruits and veggies, a protein, water, etc. I allow one snack or dessert item in the lunch and am clear with my daughter about what I consider a dessert serving – one cookie, not five cookies! Letting kids pack their own lunch makes it more likely that they will eat it and teaches them the valuable skill of how to create a healthy meal for themselves.
  5. Make it a rule that a parent checks the lunch before it goes in the bookbag.

Need ideas for healthy packed lunches? Pinterest comes to the rescue with 100s of healthy school lunch ideas!

Holli-Seabury-2012

Holli Seabury
CEO and Mother of Seven

Tip of the Week: Together, We Eat Better

tobaggon

This Week’s Featured Recipe

Recently, I took my kids and some friends to Pokagon to go tobogganing. While playing outside, I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath. I was surprised to find myself dizzy from carrying/dragging the sled, climbing the hill and then the stairs. I’ve always been comfortable with who I am but that changed this weekend. It’s past time to admit I’m out of shape.  I have made a resolution to start paying a lot more attention to what I’m eating and how much I’m really on the move.

I’ve known I should be doing more for a long time, but I just ignored it. Please don’t worry that I’m about to update you weekly on my progress and diet; I’m not. The Family Table is supposed to be about practical ideas for our families’ health. And, I eat with my family almost every night of the week, and weekends, too. Eating together at the table is hugely beneficial.

No matter if you’re eating together at 9 a.m., noon or 7 p.m., the benefits of better responses to peer pressure, later onset of sexual activity and lower abuse of alcohol and drugs, as well as the obvious nutritional benefits don’t change. But, honestly, what you put on the table matters. We eat fruit and vegetables. We’re about to start eating a whole lot more of them.

The Family Table tagline for this year is Together, We Eat Better. So, as I am making changes to become more aware of my calorie intake and exercise habits, my husband is doing the same. Research says when you make a commitment to work out with a friend and have someone to keep you accountable, you’ll have more success. We’re going to try it.

Below is a list of some free apps, websites and suggestions for ideas that I’ve incorporated into my new plans. If you have some others, please feel free to share them on our Facebook page or Family Table blog.

My Fitness Pal – A calorie and exercise counter. I love that you can scan the UPC code on the package and it will upload the nutritional information for you.

Fitness Blender – YouTube-based videos for every stage of fitness. They also have a great segment on grocery shopping.

Active Healthy Families – A video series on making better nutritional choices, like A Meal in Less Time Than It Takes to Go Through the Drive Thru.

Fort4Fitness – and their 1 Year 1 Change program – numerous tips and local resources to making a healthy commitment.

IN Shape Indiana – Resources to eat better, move more and avoid tobacco.

Frances Brooks Casual 2012

Frances Brooks,Director of Operations & Marketing, wife and mom of 2

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