Processed Foods = Sugar

How much sugar is there in processed foods?466793_marco_bump.jpg

Turns out a lot!

We tend to overlook added sugars in processed foods. But, sugar is a primary ingredient in most of our processed foods and breakfast foods are the worst. Sugar is an early riser, who loves to ambush your child first thing in the morning. He lays await in most breakfast foods. Additionally, sugar can always also be found lurking in baked goods.

1) Carnation Instant Breakfast has 20 grams or 4¼ teaspoons of sugar in one serving!

2) Cereals usually give one cup as a serving size. Children’s cereals like Lucky Charms, Trix or Fruit Loops have the same amount of added sugars: 13-15 grams or 3 teaspoons of sugar at one sitting! MultiGrain Cheerios is a little better at 6 grams or 1½ teaspoons of sugar. A warm breakfast sound nutritious, doesn’t it?

But what about…
3) Instant Oatmeal: All flavors have between 12 -13 grams or 3 teaspoons of sugar, not any better than the cereals.

4) The last item in our list is Nutella. This has taken the place of wholesome peanut or almond butter in many homes. Can you guess what’s the first ingredient? Yes, Sugar! 2 tablespoons of Nutella, has a whooping 20 grams of sugar or over 4 teaspoons. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.

Sugar Is Addictive

Reduce Sugars In Your Kid’s Diet

Today, people eat one hundred and fifty pounds of sugar in a year. That’s two-and-a-half pounds of sugar each week! Eliminating (or at least drastically reducing) sugars from your picky child’s diet is essential. For the child who’s not eating a healthy variety of foods, this one adjustment will open the door to appreciating whole foods.

Sugar is produced from sugar cane or sugar beets. In the refining process all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, and other beneficial nutrients have been stripped away. Simple sugars cause a drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria, resulting in the suppression of the immune system.

768264_gum_drops.jpgPeople develop a craving for sweet tasting foods, especially little picky eaters. Skinny picky eaters may grow up to be overweight, as their favorite foods often have added sugars.

Several studies have shown an increase in the number of children diagnosed with type two diabetes. Until recently, only 1 to 2 percent to of children with diabetes had type two. Reports indicate up to 45 percent of children with newly diagnosed diabetes do NOT have type one. Type two diabetes is directly connected to the processed sugary foods people eat and is avoidable.

The average American consumes approximately 2½ pounds of sugar a week.
Kids eat more sugar then their parents.

Sugar is seductive as it may take years before sugar makes you overweight, ruins your pancreas, your adrenal glands, and throws your endocrine system out of whack. Sugar is included in most processed foods. It’s in everything from soup, to cereals, to ketchup, to lunch-meat.

In my book, Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater,” there are practical solutions on how to avoid sugar. First, you must become familiar with all it’s aliases.

Sugar is listed on the nutrition label under 40 different names!

Various Names For Sugar Commonly Found in Processed Foods:

  • Amaske (brown rice)
  • Barley malt (grain)
  • Beet sugar (root)
  • Brown rice syrup (grain)
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Corn sweetener (grain)
  • Corn syrup (grain)
  • Date sugar (fruit)
  • Dextrose
  • Fructooliosaccharides (fruit)
  • Fructose (fruit)
  • Fruit juice concentrate (fruit)
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Granulated sugar
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) — If you were to avoid only one sugar, HFCS would be the one! According to physicians Mehmet Oz and Michael Roisen, high-fructose corn syrup is the worst sweetener added to our food supply. In their book, “You: The Owner’s Manual…,” they state: “One of the biggest evil influences on our diet is the presence of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sugar substitute that itself is a sugar found in soft drinks and many other sweet, processed foods. The problem is that HCFS inhibits leptin secretion, so you never get the message that you’re full. And it never shuts off gherin, so, even though you have food in your stomach, you constantly get the message that you’re hungry.”
  • Honey (natural)
  • Juice concentrate
  • Lactose
  • Licorice Root
  • Maltodextrin (corn syrup solids)
  • Malted barley (grain)
  • Maltose
  • Maple sugar (natural sweetener)
  • Molasses (natural sweetener)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Rice Syrup & Yinni Syrup
  • Raisin juice (fruit)
  • Raisin syrup (fruit)
  • Raw sugar
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Stevia—Stevia is really a healthy sweetener. It’s a herbal sweetener that’s two to three hundred times sweeter than sugar and no calories. It’s presently sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement, although it has been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years in Latin America, Japan, and Asia and now in Europe.
  • Sucanat
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar cane
  • Turbinado sugar
  • White sugar

Update on Sugar Alcohols and Polyols

Polyols include: Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates (HSH), Isomalt, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, and Xylitol.

Polyols are slightly better than artificial sweeteners, but in light of the following information, I would strongly caution parents in purchasing foods for your children with Polyols listed in the ingredients.

Polyols are made from sugar. Polyols average 50 percent fewer calories than sugar. Although, they can have adverse side effects: dehydration, equilibrium loss, vitamin and mineral depletion, and malnutrition. Polyols can adversely effect the digestive system with bloating, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and anal leakage at 1 1/2 teaspoons a day. Although in some individuals (possibly more so in children) these side effects may occur at a lower level.

Children have immature digestive systems it’s best to avoid Polyols as well as artificial sweeteners. I would NOT recommend Polyols for children, even though you’ll find them in candy, chewing gum, chocolate, baked goods, cough drops, cold medicines, mouthwashes, and ice cream.

Want Kids to Eat More Veggies?

Don’t Count on Help from Professionals

phoebe-june-han.jpgI like to read the new studies about health, especially when they focus on children. Several new studies on children’s eating habits were presented at the recent Obesity Society meeting. What surprises me most is that they really don’t offer any new insight or suggestions.

What Exactly Did the Researchers Find?

Children from 4 to 9 are supposed to eat 1½ cups of fruit and 2 cups of veggies a day. We know most kids don’t even come close to eating the recommended amount of produce. These studies confirmed this, especially for obese children, who eat an average of 6 snack foods a day.

They found children ate more steamed broccoli with butter, raw carrot sticks, tomato soup, diced peaches and applesauce when they were offered more. Their conclusion: offer kids more of what they already eat. No rocket science here.

Kids who didn’t like broccoli or peaches still didn’t eat any, even after they were offered more. Duh. It took a study to confirm that kids won’t eat foods they have predetermined to be yucky!

Phoebe is laughing at the recommendation… kids should eat more of what they already like.

The big take-away is to increase the amount of fruit and veggies in your child’s diet is to offer more fruit and veggies that your child already eats. No help for the parent whose child refuses to eat any vegetable. Believe me, there are lots of kids who don’t eat any veggies. One wonders why any of this is newsworthy.

What’s a parent to do, when the professionals don’t offer any practical advice?

Nonna to the Rescue

This is exactly why Baby BitesTM: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater was written. If you want to increase the amount of produce your children eat, not only do you need to offer it more often, but you should also include multi-sensory learning. Taste is not the first sense which should be employed when introducing new foods to your children. In fact, it’s the last. Baby BitesTM is all about improving shopping habits and changing table dynamics. Children will eat more veggies, when they are offered more AND they are taught how to appreciate them.

Now, my new storybook, The Forest Feast, reinforces the concepts outlined in the parenting book for children. When you read The Forest Feast to your kids, they will hear “Green food is yummy!” from Try Rannosaurs®. They will see Betty Baby BitesTM preparing a scrumptious spinach and strawberry salad. The recipe for the salad Betty makes is included in the book, so your children can help make it. All of the characters in The Forest Feast love whole foods, encouraging your child to do the same.

Forest Feast Cover 240You’ll save shipping and handling when you order The Forest Feast. When The Forest Feast and Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater are purchased together you’ll save even more! Click Here for ordering information.

When Life Gives You Lemons

…Make Lemonadeben-lemon2.JPG

Besides being summer’s most refreshing drink, lemons have an interesting history. Sailors on long sea journeys often developed scurvy, which results from a vitamin C deficiency. When the sailors consumed lemons and limes they’d stay healthy. English sailors earned the nickname “limey” from eating citrus on the high sea. Not only are lemons high in C, but potassium and vitamin B1 as well.

Lemons Purify
Lemons act as a blood purifier and improve the body’s ability to get rid of toxins. Because of its alkaline ash, lemons help with digestion and help prevent undigested food from entering the blood stream, as in acid reflux. Lemon water will help prevent bloating, belching, and heartburn. Lemon water also neutralizes an acid stomach and is a remedy for morning sickness.

Ben never heard about the benefits of lemons.

Lemons Detoxify
Lemons help detoxify your liver and are a liver stimulant. Lemon is excellent in fighting disease that’s related to infection. Lemons help eliminate toxins through the skin, this makes the lemon helpful in reducing a fever. Lemon juice is also an effective germicide and is helpful in fighting the flu. A flu remedy can be made by mixing lemon with herbal tea. The use of lemon juice alone said to be capable of defeating at least twenty different types of germs in the human body. Lemons are also good for the skin.

Lemon’s Tangy Flavor
Lemon juice is often used to give food flavor; it’s poured over fruit to prevent discoloration. Lemons tangy flavor make it the perfect summer drink. Make your own lemonade with fresh lemons and replace the white sugar with honey, agave nectar, or Stevia.

Lemons in the Kitchen
When purchasing lemons look for lemons with a bright yellow color and with no blemishes. A sweet lemon will be heavy for its size. Lemons may be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks and in the refrigerator for up to six weeks. One lemon contains about 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 teaspoons of grated peel. To squeeze the most juice from a lemon, use at room temperature. Roll the lemon on the counter-top with the palm of your hand before squeezing this will help release its juices.

Use the Whole Lemon
You can get more nutrients out of your food! Use ALL of the lemon. Wash and then freeze an ORGANIC lemon. If it’s organic, then there won’t be any pesticides on the lemon peel. Once the lemon is frozen, grated the entire lemon: peel and all. Sprinkle it on salads (add it to salad dressings), vegetables, fish dishes and noodles, into soups, rice and casseroles.  The lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the juice!

Treating Tiny Tummies

Tiny Tummies Can Have Big Aches
jada-jamie.jpgKids are experiencing stomach issues more often. In fact, the occurrence of children developing adult-type illnesses and diseases is growing at an alarming rate.

A mom from San Francisco asks for advicefor her 5-year-old daughter, who often complains of a tummy ache. The doctor doesn’t find anything wrong and suggests she keep a food diary.

Even when we attempt to eat a healthy diet, illness, and chemicals in our food and water can easily tip our systems out of a healthy balance. Often stomach aches are the first sign that things aren’t right in the digestive track.

Jada and Jamie know happy tummies make for happy children.

The child’s pediatrician has done his due diligence. Food allergies, celiac disease, constipation, stress, and even worms have all been ruled out. So what now?

Children can have a difficult time describing their pains. This little girl often says she says she has a tummy ache. Other times she tells her mom she’s hungry, even shortly after a meal. Perhaps she’s experiencing a light pressure or burning in her stomach after eating. That might feel like hunger pains to a child. These symptoms may indicate an acid/alkali imbalance or acid stomach. Antacids are usually prescribed, but they don’t always work and you certainly wouldn’t want a child to take antacids for the rest of her life.

Acidosis is when the body chemistry becomes imbalanced and acidic. The easiest way to test this is to purchase pH strips at a whole foods store. First thing in the morning snip a piece from the roll and hold it in the urine stream. You can also test pH levels with saliva, before eating breakfast. The ideal pH range is 6.4 to 6.8. For the body, values below pH 6.3 are considered acidic and above pH 6.8 alkaline. You’ll find a code on the strip container.

Good News
Not only will food remedies get to the root cause of your child’s discomfort, but they are easy on your pocketbook. Your body’s pH level is directly related to what you eat. And there are foods which will reverse an acid stomach. A healthy diet is vital to maintain pH balance.

If your child’s pH is off and has frequent tummy aches, forget about the food pyramid, at least until her pH is normalized. She should eat 50 percent raw foods, although, ALL vegetables and particularly citrus fruits are beneficial. You’ll want her to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. Grains, meat, and dairy all produce acid, so for the time being, these should be limited. Obviously, she must avoid ALL processed foods, especially sugar.

Goodbye Tummy Aches—Hello Veggies
Fresh vegetables and fruit are essential for proper pH balance. In addition, you’ll want to include as many Alkaline-forming foods in her diet each day as you can: apples, avocados, broccoli, corn, coconut, lemons, oranges, raisins, peppermint, and sprouts. Citrus fruits and vegetables reduce acidosis. Small amounts of organic apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water can help with heartburn and indigestion.

If you have a high performance juicer or a food processor, juice an organic apple, a squeeze of lemon juice and a little fresh ginger. This drink will soothe an acidic stomach. Green drinks are also beneficial for balancing an acidic tummy. Blend parsley, green beans, cucumber, celery and the like. Add half a apple and a squeeze of lemon juice and you have a tummy tonic.

The Picky Eater & Veggies
While getting kids to eat a healthy diet may be challenging, a mom with a picky eater has a greater challenge. Picky eaters love the very foods which are making them ill. Fast food, junk food, and processed food all contribute to the problem.

If you have a picky eater experiencing stomach pains, the first thing you must do is rid the house of junk foods and as many processed foods as you can. Now, how do you get her to eat those dreaded veggies? It may seem counter-intuitive, before you child will accept veggies, she must become familiar and comfortable with them using all her senses. Multi-sensory learning, the bases for Baby Bites, is vital for transforming a picky eater into a healthy eater.

Kids Mealtime Manners

Manners Make Family Mealtimes Enjoyable

Mealtime manners area taught as soon as baby is sitting in a highchair. Table manners begin before the food is even placed on the plates.

Children should wait until the family is seated together before beginning to chow down. One way to accomplish this is to serve your meals family-style. The food is served from platters on the table after family members have assembled. (Children under two should not be expected to wait more than a minute or two once seated in the highchair.) Serving family-style, the food at the table isn’t placed on individual plates until after everyone is seated.

Another positive routine to incorporate at the table is to take a moment to thank God for the food. The family praying together models thankfulness and appreciation as well as patience.

Giving children an opportunity to thank God for their family and food not only makes them a part of the process, but encourages thankfulness. The signal that it’s now time to begin eating the meal comes when grace has been said.

It’s a pleasure to share a meal with a child who is polite, like Ethan.

If you’re not already thanking God for your blessings before you eat, it’s a good habit to begin. Saying grace will focus everyone’s attention on thankfulness. We found that the gesture of holding hands during grace helped to still our fidgety pre-schoolers during the few moments of prayer.

Attitude Is Everything
You know when your child is being childish and when your child is testing you. Toddlers are naturally messy when they eat. Accidentally spilling milk shouldn’t come with a consequence. But, it’s obvious when your toddler is defiantly throwing food on the floor because he/she doesn’t want to eat it.

That’s when positive-discipline comes into play. Time out is an effective positive-discipline method to enforce mealtime rules. When your little one’s naughty behavior disrupts dinner, remove her from the table. Gently deposit her on a child-size chair facing a wall. The place you decide on for your child’s time out should be devoid of activity.

An appropriate time out is one minute for every year of age. Although, time spent crying doesn’t apply to the time-out minutes. Of course older, grade school children may be excused from dinner altogether, when naughty behavior becomes an issue. Once a child has been removed from the table because of naughty behavior, the unintended consequence is they won’t be  enjoying any anticipated dessert.

Manners Are Learned
Eating with your mouth closed is a learned behavior. If your child chews with his mouth open, kindly remind him to close his mouth when chewing. If your child speaks with food in her mouth, ask that she/he, “Please finish swallowing before talking.” Not only is it impolite to talk with a mouth full of food, it could be a choking hazard.

“That’s yucky! It’s disgusting. Or I don’t like that!” are comments that should never be tolerated. Not only is it impolite for children to make rude remarks about the food prepared, it cements the idea that some food is yucky. Look for positive attributes for your child’s less favorite items. What color is it? Who especially likes to eat this food? What is the texture like?

Burping at the table is distracting and unappetizing. Sometimes a child can’t control a burp. Instruct your child to close his mouth before he burps and to say, “excuse me”, afterward. Never encourage inappropriate behavior by laughing. Purposely belching isn’t to be tolerated and your child should be removed from the table if he does.

Kids often grab things from across the table. All that is needed is a reminder that you’d be happy to pass the item, if only they’d ask. Playing with food is often considered impolite. But, it depends on the age of your child and if the “play” is constructive. If an older child is being obnoxious and distracting, he’s obviously testing you, a toddler needs to experience all the attributes of a food, before appreciating it’s taste.

Interrupting others is also impolite. Teach your children to say, “excuse me” when they want your attention. If they continually interrupt you while you’re talking, remind her/him to be patient, “Please wait one minute, then I’ll listen.” When children take part in the family discussion at the table, the temptation to interrupt will be less. An interactive dinner conversation booster is for family members, including children, to tell about something memorable that happened during their day.

forest_feast_final-coverCLICK HERE


Have a Natural Thanksgiving

savannahash.jpgThanksgiving is only days away. If you want to have a “Natural Thanksgiving” now is the time to think about it. A natural Thanksgiving sounds easy enough, but it takes some forethought.

For the last 30 years, our Thanksgivings have been as natural (chemical free) as possible. Most Thanksgiving dinners are loaded with ingredients the Pilgrims never heard of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, artificial colors and flavors, polysorbate 60, sodium caseinate, and transfat. These ingredients are so commonplace today, that for many Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving with them.

I was motivated all those years ago to eliminate chemicals from our Thanksgiving feast, because our four-year-old daughter, Jenny, reacted to the additives and sugars in processed foods. Today, there are over 3,000 additives in our food supply, we have Genetically Modified Foods (GMO), and sugar is paramount. In fact, we now have a new sugar: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Savannah and Ashlyn are determined to help their mom make their Thanksgiving healthy and yummy.

According to a USDA’ report, about one-quarter of the calories consumed by the average American is in the form of added sugars; the majority comes from high fructose corn syrup. Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar.

Making your Thanksgiving healthier really isn’t as difficult as you might first think. Purchase a turkey with the nutrition label listing only one ingredient: turkey. Save money and make your own stuffing with leftover whole wheat bread. Instead of soda pop, containing HFCS, for the kids, offer sparkling apple juice. Don’t use box mixes or canned vegetables, like sweet potatoes.

I’d like to know who came up with “candied sweet potatoes.” Aren’t sweet potatoes, well, sweet, without marshmallows? Did you know that marshmallows are really sugar-mallows, because they no longer contain any marshmallow root. Marshmallows are made from sugar, primarily corn syrup, water and gelatin.

I suggest regulating sugar in all its forms to dessert. Delete it from the main course. And, totally eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from your Thanksgiving meal altogether.

Many of the dishes we serve during the Thanksgiving meal are loaded with sugar. Why aren’t they considered dessert? This is beyond me! Jello “salad” is one that stands out. Jello is made with only five ingredients: water, gelatin, sugar, and artificial colors and flavors. This doesn’t sound much like a “salad” to me.

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving perennial. They say there is always an exception to the rule. This is my exception for sugar during Thanksgiving dinner. Cranberries by their very nature are tart. I always purchase cranberries in the produce department and cook them with less sugar than is suggested in the directions. Some make their cranberry sauce with apple juice instead of sugar, but I haven’t been able to find the right combination that suits our family.

Pre-made, whipped toppings, like Cool Whip, are primarily air, sugar and transfat. Make your own whipped topping with real whipping cream. Not only will it taste better, it’s better for you. Cool Whip is made of water, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut (this is the transfat) and palm kernel oil (CPKO), sodium caseinate, vanilla extract, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60 (glycosperse), and beta carotene.

A natural Thanksgiving begins with having yummy, healthy recipes and then purchasing whole foods. Now’s the time to do a little planning. Read labels and find products free from sugar and artificial ingredients. Take a close look at the ingredients in your favorite recipes and make healthy substitutions. Finally, keep sugar regulated to dessert.

For my alternative to the jello fruit mold, CLICK HERE.

For more information about Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, CLICK HERE.


Meal Prep Is Fun For Kids

wyatt2.JPGThe days are warm and long. The kids are home and need something to keep them busy. It’s the perfect time to include your kids in meal preparation. Meal preparation is an opportunity for your youngster to have hands-on experiences with various foods.

“Multi-sensory learning” is involving all the senses in the process. When kids have chores in the kitchen, touch, sight, smell, and sound are part of their learning experience. Kids used to help plant, water, weed, and then harvest a summer garden. Kids would help prepare the food for storage, then in the making of meals, and the eventual clean-up. Before every home had a dishwasher, kids not only set the table, but did all the dishes.

When I was growing up I had two best friends, who lived in my neighborhood, Kathy and Debbie. Kathy’s mom was extremely fastidious and her home was always immaculate. We seldom ventured inside Kathy’s house and then it was only with trepidation.

On the other hand, Debbie was the oldest girl of five children. There was always something going on at her house. I was often invited over for dinner.

Wyatt loves to help his dad bring in the groceries and this melon smells so yummy!

Debbie and her brothers took turns helping their mom with the meals. Looking back, I’m amazed at how much time I spent at her house. Because I was there so much, I’d be helping right along with them.

Multi-Sensory Learning Vital for the Picky Eater
Families are divorced from the land where food is grown. We no longer appreciate the work it takes to grow, harvest, and then prepare the food. Often mom doesn’t really cook. So why should kids be expected to help with preparing meals? Cooking is an excellent activity, which will help your picky eater appreciate once-refused foods. Each food has unique colors, textures, smells, and tastes. Each food is different and different is fun! Cooking is a hands-on experience.

There is a great sense of accomplishment with meal preparation. Most parents will occasionally bake sweets with their children. This is a helpful task to learn how to measure, but most kids don’t need any encouragement to eat cookies or cupcakes. Parents will often allow their kids to make boxed foods, like macaroni and cheese. This, again, only promotes the consumption of highly processed foods.

Meal prep in your kitchen is the perfect setting to talk about various healthful ingredients. What’s the texture? What color is it? Who likes to eat this? What does it taste like? What’s the food smell like? How does it benefit your body (carrots help our eyes, broccoli prevents cancer, etc.)

A Picky Eater Is Never Too Young
Helping in the kitchen is a natural method to include multi-sensory learning, no matter how old your child is. Children experience a great sense of accomplishment when they master simple cooking skills. There’s a greater desire to taste a new food or to eat a once-refused food, if your child has helped in its preparation.

1) A toddler can help carry unbreakable items to the table. They can help to wash fruit and veggies with a soft veggie brush. They can spread cream cheese, nut butters, and jelly on sandwiches with plastic-ware. Mix ingredients. Peel bananas. Shuck corn. Tear lettuce.

2) A preschooler can help set and clear the table. Toss things in the trash. Identify and bring items within reach from the pantry. Help measure ingredients. Break eggs into a bowl with assistance. Make sandwiches. Toss salads (Not just lettuce, either. Try cauliflower and broccoli salad.). Serve herself/himself.

3) Grade school children can set and clear the table by themselves. Wash and dry the dishes. Help make a grocery list and help you shop. They can read the nutrition label and identify ingredients on it. Use the blender. Make simple recipes with assistance. Make salads. Peel potatoes. Make a fruit smoothie in a blender.

Salad Days

Too Hot To Cook?

tiino-veg2.JPGDuring the hot sultry days of summer, cooking can be the last thing on your mind. In warm weather our appetites decrease, but it’s important to get your five servings of fruit and vegetables.

Salads are not only simple to prepare, but refreshing as well. Salad recipes are an easy way to combine grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats in one easy dish.

7 Tips for Yummy Salads

1) Look for produce on sale. Then find a recipe that calls for those ingredients. Or try a vegetable you normally might not use and feature in a salad, like beets or jicama.

2) To make your salad extra special, add a garnish. Sprinkle paprika; add chopped parsley, chervil, chives or basil. Add hard-boiled egg slices, pepper rings, red onions, or pickles.

3) Add some crunch with sesame or sunflower seeds; chopped walnuts or sliced almonds.

4) When making potato or pasta salad ahead of time, add extra liquid. These tend to soak up the dressing and dry out.

Tino munches on fresh produce.

5) Whole grains, like corn and barley, are great cooled and mixed for a whole grain salad.

6) Serve salad on a slice of melon or halved cucumber.

7) When picnicking, nestle the salad bowl in a larger bowl with ice. This will keep the salad cooler longer and keep it from growing bacteria.

Check out the Salad & Sandwiches section to the right of this page. You’ll find yummy recipes like the Tomato Cucumber Salad recipe: Click Here.


For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

Healthy Eating Is Fun!

The Forest Feast Encourages Healthy Eating

Lifestyles and behaviors are established in early childhood. This is especially true for eating habits and food preferences. Unfortunately, many foods that children consume are lacking in essential nutrients.

Our national taste buds have become accustomed to junk foods, loaded with added sugars, artificial ingredients, and synthetic flavors. This has made it much more difficult for kids to enjoy the unique tastes and textures of whole foods, especially veggies. Parents, caregivers, and teachers can promote healthy nutrition in children by limiting processed foods. But that alone isn’t enough. Children need to be taught how to appreciate nutritious foods.

The children’s storybook, The Forest Feast: Baby Bites® Mealtime Adventures, is designed to help develop healthy eating habits. The Forest Feast integrates fun with whole foods. Best friends, Betty Baby Bites®, a tiny Italian mouse, and Try Rannosaurus®, a gigantic T-Rex, eat their way through a prehistoric forest.

Try, a growing dinosaur, has only one thing on his mind—FOOD. In fact, he’s eager to try any new food (that’s why he’s named Try), but his favorite is the green variety (after all he’s green). Try’s searching for a special veggie to bring to the weekly feast. At day’s end, everyone is surprised by his contribution.

Betty Baby Bites® is Try’s best buddy and she’s the brains behind the dinosaur. She’s a foodie, loving the culinary arts. Betty can often be found supervising meals and interjecting her favorite Italian words of support, fantastico (wonderful) and bravo (well done).

The Forest Feast is divided into three whimsical adventures. Each escapade ends with the recipe Try and Betty devour. When a child helps to prepare the same meal that Try and Betty eat, they begin to appreciate Try’s conviction, “Green food is yummy!”

“Green food is yummy!”
Aidan likes to pretend he’s Try Rannosaurus.

The Forest Feast stands alone as a charming tale for children. Although, it’s intended as a companion for the parenting book, Baby Bites®: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater. The reading and visual input aspects of multi-sensory learning are engaged when The Forest Feast is read to children. Betty Baby Bites® and Try Rannosaurus’® antics are sure to win over even the most vegetable-resistant child.

Read more about The Forest Feast, CLICK HERE.

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