FAMILY-FRIENDLY MEAL PLAN
By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
Getting back into the swing of things when school picks back up is difficult; this year, it's a whole different challenge. We thought we would lend a hand by giving you a complete 7-day meal plan, complete with a printable shopping list for every ingredient you'll need to make each recipe. Below the blog post, you will find the printable meal plan, recipes, and grocery list. "Grocery List Tips" is a full grocery list that outlines the ingredients you will need to follow this meal plan. Before you head out to do your shopping, take some time to go through the list and check off any items you already have. This step will save you time and money! Please note that any recipe that indicates organic, organic or conventional works.
The grocery list is broken down into categories based on how a typical grocery store is laid out. Having a plan will allow you to do your grocery shopping in an organized order starting with fruits, then vegetables, etc. Doing your shopping this way will save you time. The recipes that list Organic in the ingredients, it is perfectly acceptable to use conventional instead as both provide the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
Every recipe states the total number of servings and the total prep time to know how many servings the recipe creates, and how long it will take you to make it. Before you start cooking, assemble all ingredients, and prep them according to the ingredients list. Unless otherwise indicated, you will be eating one serving of each meal. So if a recipe serves four, prepare it, divide it into four even portions, and enjoy one portion. To adjust the calories to fit your family's individual needs, you can reduce portion sizes overall or explore different substitutes. For example, substituting lean ground turkey for the ground beef in the bolognese would reduce the over fat and calories in the meal.
You'll notice that some meals on the plan are shaded out. This means that the meal has been marked as a leftover. You've already prepared it, so you do not need to make it again. Cook once, eat multiple times. Leftovers are a great way to save you money and time in the kitchen!
STOCKING A HEALTHY KITCHEN
STOCKING A HEALTHY KITCHEN
By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
With schools closed and mandated social distancing guidelines in place, many are trying to ensure that they have enough food on hand. The recommendation is to store up enough food for your family for two weeks. Does that mean that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on food? No. Remember, there are some that may not have the means to buy in bulk and by leaving items for others, we have the chance to allow everyone in our local communities access to food. Buying a few extra supplies may help reduce the stress and worry of not having enough. We here at the Y want to help make the whole process less overwhelming by giving you some ideas for your next trip to the grocery store. Below is a step by step guide to help you stock a healthy kitchen.
1. TAKE INVENTORY
Do a quick scan of your pantry and fridge. Throw out any expired or freezer-burned food to make room for new items.
2. MEAL PLAN
If possible, start your grocery list by meal planning. Based on your inventory, think about what favorite recipes you can make with items on hand and what you need from the store to complete the meal. That can include some food that you can prep ahead of time and freeze. Some examples are chili, soup, meatballs, pasta, sauce, etc.
3. MAKE A GROCERY LIST
Your list should include all major food groups and macronutrients: protein sources like beans, eggs, canned or lean meats, and fish that you can freeze. Carbohydrates, such as canned or frozen fruit(in 100% fruit juice) and vegetables(no salt added or rinse them to reduce sodium). Whole grains, including brown rice, quinoa, and 100% whole wheat or vegetable/legume-based pasta. Don't forget healthy fats like nut butter, nuts, and olive oil. Of course, your list should include fresh food as well; you will just want to plan to use those items first and save the freezer and other shelf-stable items for later. You can get the most out of your fresh food like cheese and produce by strategically planning when and how to use it. Another good idea is to purchase fresh foods with the best longevity, including root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions, and also citrus fruits like lemons and limes, oranges.
Buying shelf-stable and frozen foods can sometimes mean higher sodium. Focus on purchasing flash-frozen items that are not in sauces or syrups. When it comes to canned vegetables, buy those that have reduced or no salt added. If you do purchase those with added salt, you can rinse them off to reduce the sodium content. An additional tip for cooking at home to control the total amount of daily sodium would be to use sodium-free spices and herbs.
Whether you use tap, bottled, or filtered water, make sure you have a source of safe water available to drink. If your family drinks milk and you want to buy more than what you have in your fridge, you can freeze it for about a month. Some separation may occur. Be sure to store in another container before freezing, leaving some room for it to expand. You can also purchase shelf-stable milk, such as Horizon Organic milk. You may want to have on hand Pedialyte and Gatorade in the instance that someone ends up having any type of illness at home.
Lastly, all the mom and dads out there of little ones and teenagers, make sure you have lots of snacks, snacks, and more snacks! Some healthier choices are fruits and veggies, baked chips, fishies, cheerios, raisins, graham crackers, yogurt, etc.
I hope you all found something in this post that makes stocking up a little easier. Here are some additional links for extra resources to help keep your family fed and healthy.
HEALTHY BANANA BREAD RECIPE
HEALTHY BANANA BREAD RECIPE
Recipe adapted from ALLRECIPES almost no fat added banana bread
I put on my thinking cap to try to come up with a recipe that most people would have all the ingredients and wouldn't have to travel outside of the comfort and safety of your own home to make. So get your family off the couch and into the kitchen by whipping up this healthy and delicious banana bread. In addition to spending time with loved ones, this is also an excellent opportunity to teach our children and maybe even some adults life skills, like preparing healthy recipes. Enjoy!
· ¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¾ whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
· 3/4 cup white sugar
· 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 2 egg whites
· 1 cup banana, mashed
· 1/4 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add egg whites, bananas, and applesauce; stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool before slicing.
*Using all-purpose flour is fine if that is what you have on hand.
*To add a healthy source of fats you can add some walnuts
*Just for fun you can throw in some chocolate chips!
*Use this for a breakfast option by serving it with your choice of Greek yogurt or another low/no sugar added variety. My favorite is Vanilla OIKOS Greek Yogurt.
*I've used Greek Yogurt in place of the applesauce.
HEALTHY HABITS CALENDAR
HEALTHY HABITS CALENDAR By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
Small changes can make a big difference - every little thing you do adds up. In efforts to be a continued source of encouragement for you to stay positive, maintain focus on your health, and add some variety to your everyday life, we came up with a HEALTHY HABITS CALENDAR. It includes everything from increasing your veggie intake to self-care Sunday! You don't have to do them in any particular order, shoot to complete one block daily. Print it out and hang on your fridge to get the whole family involved.
COVID-19 AND FOOD SAFETY
COVID-19 AND FOOD SAFETY By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
*UPDATE: Since this blog post was published, there has been an additional recommendation made from the CDC that everyone should be wearing a cloth face-covering in public. Let's save those surgical masks and N95s respirators for those who truly need them.
Food safety is always a concern, and COVID-19 has many wondering what chance there is that you can become infected through food. The good news is that currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging associated with the transmission of the virus. Though not thought to be the primary way the illness spreads, there is a chance of contracting it by touching surfaces or items handled by someone who has COVID-19 and then touching their mouth, nose, and possibly eyes. This type of transmission can occur at the grocery store by touching unsanitized carts as well as touching items others have handled. The most important thing when you are making a trip to the grocery store is to keep social distancing in mind, avoid touching your face and practice proper handwashing techniques, before and after the visit.
Some businesses are already doing their part to flatten the curve by doing the following:
- Using tape to mark off 6 feet between customers in the deli area, checkout aisle, and pharmacy.
- Opening earlier or reserving the first hour of the business day for the elderly and other at-risk populations.
- Stores are offering grocery pick-up and delivery. Though there may be a long waitlist for this service, it eliminates the need to enter the store.
- Outside of grocery stores, there are businesses like Soergels offering a pick-up of essential items such as eggs, bread, milk, produce, toilet papers, and paper towels. Selection and availability differ. For more info: https://www.soergels.com/soergels-essentials/
- Many restaurants are offering takeout only options. Ordering from these establishments is a great way to support local businesses that are no longer able to provide eat-in dining.
For most of the population, it is likely we will find ourselves at the store and ordering takeout from somewhere. For that reason, we created an infographic to help you navigate both.
Sources for the Blog post:
FDA.gov website: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
WTAE News report: https://www.wtae.com/article/is-it-safe-to-eat-food-thats-been-delivered-can-a-microwave-kill-coronavirus/31793742
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: https://www.eatright.org/coronavirus
By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
Everyone is doing their best to try to reduce trips to the grocery stores; we are meal planning more and putting the plan into a shopping list. While a list is a great tool to minimize the time you spend in the store, it can become challenging to find all the things on it. I think most of us are familiar with choosing a different brand of an item, but what if they don't have the product at all? Forgoing the recipe is one option; this is much harder to do if it's a staple item like milk, butter, or eggs. The other option is to find a substitution to use. Knowing how to swap ingredients is not only helpful when you are grocery shopping but also in your kitchen. Several times throughout this pandemic, I have decided to make something and found myself being out a spice, oil, or other items I assumed I had. Luckily if you are reading this, you have access to the internet where you can quickly lookup how to swap one ingredient for another without disastrous results. To make it even easier for you, I have created a list(see PDF to print) of common substitutions. Below the chart, please check out the numerous links to other substitution lists that cover a wider variety of ingredients. While I encourage you to go for the healthier swap, with limited resources and tight budgets, do the best you can with what you have. Keeping your family fed is the most important thing.
Additional substition links:
Mayo Clinic healthy ingredient subsitutions: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/healthy-recipes/art-20047195
All recipes comphrehensive list of common ingredient substitutions: https://www.allrecipes.com/article/common-ingredient-substitutions/
Food Network baking substitutions: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/baking-guide/baking-ingredient-guide
KEEP ON TRACK WITH HEALTHY SNACKS
KEEP ON TRACK WITH HEALTHY SNACKS
By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
Let's face it; most EVERYONE loves to snack. When I work with our members on nutrition, snacking is at the top of the list of things they want to address. Often when we think of a snack, we think of those delectable treats like cookies, candies, chips, and cheesy appetizers galore. There are numerous reasons why we snack; it can be hunger, emotion, appetite, boredom, or even just a habit we have formed during a particular time of day. Maybe you snack on mini-meals to fuel your body throughout the day, find yourself stress snacking while at work, or perhaps you are a parent who relishes that time between 9-10 p.m. with your favorite Netflix series and queso (guilty!). Regardless of why you snack, it can and should be a part of your daily routine, and here's why:
WHY SHOULD WE SNACK?
- Simply put, the human body continually burns calories.
- Your body requires a regular intake of fuel in the form of food.
- Waiting too long to eat can cause you to over-eat at the next meal.
- It helps you keep your energy up throughout the day.
- Allows the opportunity to meet nutritional needs.
- Eating food every 3-4 waking hours can help regulate blood sugar and keep hunger and cravings at bay.
Now that we know why snacking is important let's discuss what is considered a snack and how to make them nutritious.
WHAT IS A SNACK?
Between 150-300 calories. Balance your total calories throughout the day.
Choose a balance of both carbohydrates (grains, fruits, veggies, yogurt) and protein (eggs, lean meats, nuts, peanut butter, cheese), with a little fat.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACKING:
- Choose healthy snacks and try to limit unnutritious foods that are high in fat, sodium, or added sugar such as chips or baked goods.
- Try to keep snack times the same from day to day but also listen to your body for hunger cues.
- Keep a stash of healthy snacks nearby.
- Choose a variety of snacks. (great time to eat the rainbow..fruit and veggies)
- Choose snacks that are small but are filling.
- Avoid distractions like your phone, tv or computer while you eat.
- When purchasing packaged snacks, let the nutrition facts label be your guide.
- Portion-size and portion control are the keys to healthy snacking. Refresh your memory here for portion sizes https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate
WHAT ABOUT LATE NIGHT SNACKING?
Eating at night does not cause weight gain. Making poor food decisions late at night is what can contribute to excess calories and weight gain. Think cottage cheese and peaches vs. pizza and wings.
Keeping snacks fun can be challenging, and let's be honest while we know the importance of a nutritious diet; we also want to enjoy the food we eat. For that reason, I have put together a list of 50 tastefully healthy and easy to prepare snacks. Look below the list for links to recipes and a printable copy of the snack list.
50 HEALTHY SNACKS:
- Veggies and guacamole or hummus, light ranch dressing
- Greek yogurt and mixed berries Apple slices with peanut butter
- Cottage cheese with flax seeds and cinnamon
- Celery sticks with peanut butter, reduced-fat cream cheese
- Kale chips.
- Dark chocolate and almonds
- Banana and peanut butter
- Fruit and nuts
- Fruit Salad w/Greek Yogurt dip
- Avocado & salsa on Ezekiel or WW bread
- Small veggie quesadilla
- Superhero muffins(r)
- Baked apple chips and peanut butter
- Banana and peanut butter roll-up on a whole wheat tortilla
- Cottage cheese and cantaloupe or other fruit
- Cucumber & tomato salad with a light dressing
- Banana "ice-cream" (r)
- Popcorn w/vegan cheese (r)
- Cottage cheese with tomato & cucumber
- Whole wheat cracker(Triscuits), red fat cheese w/ apple slices
- Sugar snap peas and hummus
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Plain Greek yogurt ranch dip and fresh veggies
- 1/2 sweet baked potato w/vanilla Greek yogurt, cinnamon and chopped walnuts
- Protein balls (r)
- Trail Mix(watch sugar & sodium)
- Breakfast bars (r)
- Trail Mix store or homemade (watch added sugar and sodium)
- Turkey & bell pepper roll-ups
- 1/2 tuna salad sandwich on 100% whole wheat/grain bread
- Bean dip w/low-fat cheese rolled in a whole wheat tortilla.
- Chicken, tuna salad or light buff chicken dip stuffed mini peppers or celery
- Egg muffins
- 1/2-1 cup broth-based low sodium soup w/whole-grain crackers
- Mini vegetable pizza(used whole wheat English muffin)
- Strawberry and spinach smoothie with graham crackers
- Baked tortillas chips w/salsa or bean dip
- Natural fruit & nut bar (Lara Bar)
- Dark chocolate w/crushed graham cracker and Oikos Triple Zero vanilla yogurt
- Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella or a mini Caprese salad
- Asian cucumber salad(r)
- Low sodium beef/turkey jerky
- Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto (higher in sodium)
- 1/2 Small baked potato with broccoli and red. fat cheese
- Hummus or avocado-based deviled eggs
- Cucumber tea sandwiches (r)
- Java Jolt Smoothie (r)
- Low added sugar cereal & milk
- Homemade frozen fruit pops(use 100% fruit juice)
- Dark chocolate covered frozen banana
- Links to recipes:
- Superhero Muffins-Run Fast, East Slow: https://runfasteatslow.com/blogs/news/superhero-muffins
- Banana "Ice cream" -The New York Times: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3038-one-ingredient-banana-ice-cream
- Popcorn with vegan "cheese" -FOOD.com: https://www.food.com/recipe/cheezy-popcorn-vegan-320344
- Protein balls (lots of ways to modify to taste)- https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/
- Breakfast bars: https://minimalistbaker.com/healthy-5-ingredient-granola-bars/
- Asian cucumber salad- Joyful healthy eats: https://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/asian-cucumber-salad/
- Cucumber tea sandwiches-Woman's Day: https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g92/10-healthiest-snacks-104257/?slide=36
- Java Jolt Smoothie-Woman's Day: https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g92/10-healthiest-snacks-104257/?slide=37
GREEK QUINOA SALAD
Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe & Other Summer Salads
By: Laura Haddox, NDTR
My absolute favorite thing about the summer when it comes to food is the abundance of beautiful and nutritious produce that is available. Though there are several ways to prepare these delectable fruits and vegetables, one of the best ways to enjoy them is in a salad. This greek quinoa salad is full of flavor and packed with healthy ingredients. The best thing about this recipe is that it tastes even better the next day. Leftovers, anyone?
- 1 cup Quinoa (dry, uncooked)
- 1 3/4 cups Water
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Basil Leaves
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 cups Arugula
- 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
- 1 cup Cucumber
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Combine the quinoa and water together in a pot. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let it simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Mix in 2 tbsp. Olive oil
- While quinoa is cooking halve the cherry tomatoes, chop arugula and basil.
- Combine olive oil and balsamic together and mix into quinoa, then add all remaining ingredients.
- Divide into portions and ENJOY!
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days. Freeze for up to one month.
- One serving equals approximately one cup.
- More Flavor Cook the quinoa using chicken broth. If you prefer to use your own dressing you can substitute it instead of the balsamic and oil.
- Additional Toppings: Olives, bell pepper, use chopped spinach instead of arugula
If this salad doesn't appeal to you, check the list below for more yummy recipes you can try out. Salads are a great way to up your fiber and fruit/vegetable intake, so find the one that works for your tastebuds and enjoy!
- Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad-Averie Cooks= https://www.averiecooks.com/wp-json/mv-create/v1/creations/1218/print
- Grilled Romaine with Balsamic Dressing-The FoodNetwork: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/valerie-bertinelli/grilled-romaine-with-balsamic-dressing-3059070
- Summer Pasta Salad-Yummly: https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Summer-Pasta-Salad-2068960
- Herbed Potato Salad-Cookie and Kate: https://cookieandkate.com/herbed-potato-salad-recipe/print/23887/
- Asian Slaw Recipe-Love and Lemons: https://www.loveandlemons.com/easyrecipe-print/31393-0/
- Tomato Basil Zoodle Salad- Eating Well: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/257779/tomato-basil-zoodle-salad/
- Refreshing Watermelon Salad -Allrecipes: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/111853/refreshing-watermelon-salad/?internalSource=streams&referringId2775&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub&clickId=st_trending_s
- Insalata Caprese II-allrecipes: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16526/insalata-caprese-ii/?internalSource=staff%20pick&referringId=2775&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub&clickId=cardslot%201
- Summer Corn Salad-allrecipes: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/25160/summer-corn-salad/?internalSource=staff%20pick&referringId=2775&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub&clickId=cardslot%202
- Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad-The Kitchn: https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-spicy-korean-cucumber-salad-oi-muchim-recipes-from-the-kitchn-173293
- Tomato Chickpea Salad-The Kitchn: https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-tomato-chickpea-salad-233044
- Baby Kale and Strawberry Breakfast Salad-Eating Well: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251410/baby-kale-breakfast-salad-with-quinoa-strawberries/
- Fresh Fruit Salad-Eating Well: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/258256/fresh-fruit-salad/
Virtual(or in person) Nutrition Counseling
EAT WELL. LIVE WELL. BE WELL.
Your nutrition habits play a significant role in your overall health. Consuming a healthy diet can help you feel your best, prevent and control many chronic diseases, and aid in weight loss and weight maintenance.
YMCA NUTRITION COUNSELING
Meet one-on-one virtually or in-person with our in house Nutritionist to discuss your individual nutrition needs and create a personalized plan for a healthier diet. You will receive on-going support, amazing recipes, motivation, sample grocery lists, and objective feedback.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Foundations of a healthy diet
- Life stage nutrition
- Heart-healthy diet
- Meal planning
- Supermarket savvy
- Chronic disease prevention
- Behavior modification for long-term weight management
MEMBERS ONLY: 1-hour session $45
For questions or to book a session contact Laura Haddox, NDTR at firstname.lastname@example.org