BYTES of Informationon Motherhood, Food, Fitness & Real Life

Happy Earth Day!

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Today marks the day we celebrate the incredible blessing of our Earth! With so many ways to commemorate this day, I decided to turn to my amazing intern Kelly and ask her how she plans to spend the day:

Celebrate Earth Day!

From Kelly: Many children don’t know where their food comes from. Earth Day (which is today!) is the perfect springboard to teach them the basics of how to grow food. Start small and go to your local grocery store to buy herb plants that can be found in the produce section. I like to add fresh herbs to my meals for more color and flavor; for example, you can add basil leaves to pasta dishes or buy mint for fresh watermelon salad. Carefully cultivated, these plants can live for months and can give you the opportunity to talk about sustainability.

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Kelly’s Earth Day Fresh Fruit & Mint Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. strawberries, cut in half
  • 6 oz. red raspberries, rinsed
  • 6 oz. blueberries, rinsed
  • 3 pears, rinsed and cut into cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and serve cool. 

5 Kid Friendly Meal Makeovers Every Mom Will Love!

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April 17th marks the celebration of Healthy Kids Day, a day focused on improving the fitness and nutrient habits of our children. Proper nutrition throughout childhood and adolescence helps to promote optimal growth and development while fighting against future disease. A well balanced diet can do everything from boost your child’s energy level and mood to even improve academic performance. However, many of our children are falling short of their nutrition goals each and every day.

 

The average youth in the United States fails to meet the recommendations to consume 2 ½ to 6 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day. In addition, they fall short of reaching the recommendation to consume a minimum of 2-3 ounces of whole grains daily. Unfortunately, empty calories from added sugars and fats contribute 40% of daily calories for those from 2-18 years old. The majority of these empty calories come from source such as sweetened beverages, pizza, and desserts. If your child is a bit of a junk food junkie, it may seem like a never-ending struggle to improve their overall nutrition, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. With a few tweaks, your child can still enjoy their favorite foods with a healthy twist to help them meet their daily nutrient goals. To celebrate Healthy Kids Day, we took five kid-friendly classics and gave them a makeover that will leave parents rejoicing while little taste buds stay satisfied.

 

Stuffed Grilled Cheese

Kale Stuffed Grilled Cheese

A childhood classic, the traditional grilled cheese sandwich contains a large amount of refined carbohydrates from the white bread and lacks beneficial nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants. To ramp up the health benefits while still providing a sandwich your kids will love, swap the white bread for a Flatout 5 Grain Flax Foldit which provides 7 grams of fiber as well as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Then, mix in your vegetable with the cheese for a nutrient-powered sandwich you can feel good serving!

 

Ingredients:

1 Flatout 5 Grain Flax Foldit

1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup frozen kale, chopped and thawed

cooking spray

 

Directions:

Bring a skillet over medium heat and grease lightly with cooking spray. Place Flatout 5 Grain Flax Foldit into the pan and top with kale and cheese. Fold over and cook until cheese has melted. Flip the sandwich to ensure the bread is toasted on both sides. Serve warm. Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 250 Carbohydrates: 17gm Fiber: 8gm Sugar: 1gm Protein: 17gm Fat: 14.5gm Saturated Fat: 8gm                             Trans Fat: 0gm Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 597mg

 

Whole Grain PB&J Pinwheels

Whole grain PB&J Pinwheels with no added sugars

Whole grain PB&J Pinwheels with no added sugars

A staple in the childhood lunchbox, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich appeals to tastebuds, but the added sugar in the jelly and peanut butter along with the refined carbohydrates in the bread provide less than ideal nutrition. Instead, put a new spin on the old favorite by creating an incredibly fun, tasty, and nutrition-packed pinwheel.

Ingredients:

1 Flatout Healthy Grains Soft 100% Whole Wheat Flatbread

4 teaspoons natural peanut butter

1 Tbs no sugar added jelly

 

Directions:

Using a pizza cutter, slice the flatbread into six long, even strips. Spread the peanut butter evenly over three of the long strips and then spread the jelly over the remaining strips. Place one jelly covered strip on top of a peanut butter covered strip (jelly side facing up). Slowly roll the strips into pinwheels and secure the end with a small smear of peanut butter to prevent the pinwheel from unraveling. Repeat with the remaining strips to create three pinwheels. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 263 Carbohydrates: 32gm Fiber: 9gm Sugar: 9gm Protein: 16gm Fat: 12gm Saturated Fat: 3gm                                Trans Fat: 0gm Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 279mg

 

Family Friendly Chips & Dip

Whole Grain Flatout Chips

Chips and dips are often a snack time favorite, but depending on your chip choice, they can be high in saturated fat, sodium, and refined flours. So why not make your chips healthier while getting your children in on the action? You can create your own delicious chips as a family that are not only fun to make, but are good for you as well.

 

Ingredients:

2 Flatout ProteinUp Flatbreads

Olive oil spray

A pinch of pepper

A pinch of salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 F. Using a pizza cutter, slice the flatbread into chip-sized pieces. Place chips onto a lined baked sheet (you can line with parchment paper or foil). Spray evenly with olive oil spray. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of fresh salsa. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 144 Carbohydrates: 18gm Fiber: 10gm Sugar: 0gm Protein: 12gm Fat: 3gm Saturated Fat: 0gm

Trans Fat: 0gm Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 373mg

 

 

Whole-y Cannoli

A low calorie, whole grain cannoli!

A low calorie, whole grain cannoli!

Who doesn’t love a sweet and creamy cannoli? Sure they taste great, but the traditional version is packed full of added sugars and saturated fat. This delicious alternative substitutes pastry dough for a whole grain Flatbread Foldit and replaced the sugar packed filling with a Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese mixture that tastes just like the real thing. This dessert is so delicious you are sure to want seconds and since it’s so nutritious, that isn’t a bad thing!

 

Ingredients:

4 – Flatout 5 Grain Flax Foldit

½ cup lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt

½ cup part skim ricotta cheese

¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips

1 Tbs sugar

cooking spray

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 F. Slice Flatout Foldits in half at the narrowest part to make two even, circular pieces. Roll each piece to create a cannoli shell. Place the rolled pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray each shell with cooking spray, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 10 minutes. As shells are baking, mix together ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, and 1/8 cup mini chocolate chips. Place mixture into a pastry bag or a small plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Melt the remaining chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. Once shells have finished baking, dip the ends of each shell into the melted chocolate and place back onto parchment paper to allow chocolate to harden. Once chocolate has hardened, pipe the yogurt/cheese mixture into each shell. Chill and enjoy! Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 94 Carbohydrates: 13gm Fiber: 3.5gm Sugar: 5gm Protein: 8gm Fat: 3.5 gm Saturated Fat: 1gm Trans Fat: 0gm Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 206mg

 

 

We All Scream for ‘Nutritious’ Ice Cream!

A nutritious ice cream sandwich the whole family can enjoy!

A nutritious ice cream sandwich the whole family can enjoy!

Ice cream sandwiches tend to be staples of childhood, but enjoying these sugar packed desserts too often can be damaging to long term health. Instead, let your child get in on the action by creating this delicious and nutritious alternative that is sure to become a summertime favorite!

 

Ingredients:

1 Flatout 5 Grain Flax Foldit

2 Tbs + 1 teaspoon mini dark chocolate chips

½ cup low fat vanilla Greek yogurt

Directions:

Cut the Flatout Foldit as it’s most narrow part to make two even pieces and place onto a sheet of wax paper. Place two tablespoons of the mini dark chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until melted. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over each Flatout Foldit piece until the surface has been covered. Place the pieces in the refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden. Once the chocolate has hardened, remove from the refrigerator. Spread ½ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt evenly over the top of one chocolate covered piece. Sprinkle the remaining one teaspoon of mini chocolate chips on top of the yogurt. Place the remaining chocolate covered Flatout Foldit on top of the yogurt, with the chocolate side facing up. Place sandwich into freezer and allow yogurt to harden. Once yogurt has frozen, slice the sandwich in half and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 159 Carbohydrates: 22gm Fiber: 3.5gm Sugar: 12gm Protein: 9gm Fat: 6 gm Saturated Fat: 2.5gm                           Trans Fat: 0gm Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 197mg

 

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Flatout Flatbread.

Dark Chocolate Superfood Pretzel Pops

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IMG_3021Sometimes you just want dessert. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it! After all of the leftover Easter candy that has been tempting me seems to have finally worked it’s way out of our house (or into our tummies), I have found myself craving chocolate on a regular basis. And sure, dark chocolate is packed full of health benefits, but you still have to demonstrate some level of portion control when it comes to eating it. And let’s face it chocolate + portion control is a concept I struggle with (who doesn’t?).

So I decided instead of feeling slightly guilty about downing an entire bag of dark chocolate chips, I could throw together a few of my favorite ingredients and create a ‘dessert’ that was actually packed full of nutrients. This way I could eat it with every meal if I wanted to (and so could my chocoholic family) and actually feel good about.

My taste-tester approves!

My taste-tester approves!

So I whipped a few things together, enlisted my favorite taste-testing toddler to help, and out came my newest creation: Dark Chocolate Superfood Pretzel Pops. It’s a dessert, it’s a superfood, it’s a family favorite!

 

Dark Chocolate Superfood Pretzel Pops Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted (use at least 70% cacao)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds ¼ cup freeze dried raspberries
  • ¼ cup freeze dried mandarin oranges
  • ¼ cup freeze dried pineapple
  • 18 100% whole grain pretzel rods

DIRECTIONS

Melt chocolate and mix in chia seeds. Stir thoroughly. Dip pretzel rods into chocolate and coat evenly. In a small bowl, gently crush freeze dried fruit to create tiny ‘sprinkle-sized’ pieces. Roll chocolate covered pretzels into the fruit then place on parchment paper. Allow chocolate to harden and enjoy! Makes 18 servings

 

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving)

75 calories Carbs: 12gm Fiber: 2gm Protein: 2gm Fat: 3gm

Celebrate National Water Day with These Refreshing Combinations!

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Photo Credit: Kelly Sloan

Is your water boring? Today is National Water Day so we are celebrating it with a few ways to change up your water because hydration is important! Drinking water replenishes the skin and assists in proper body functions in the body. It is especially important for those who work out, sweat or are out in hot weather for long periods of time, to drink water throughout the day due to the increased loss of water from the body. We all grew up knowing that the recommended amount of water an individual should drink each day is 8 cups, however, staying hydrated can depend on the individual and their body. Many people may ask if one can stay hydrated by consuming foods or other beverages then water. And the answer is YES! You can stay hydrated by drinking a variety of beverages such as tea, lemonade or coffee—the only difference between those beverages and water is the nutrition facts! So if you decide to hydrate with water, change it up and add some spices, fruits or herbs to your next glass and hydrate frequently.

Get creative with fun and vibrant combos such as 

Orange, Lime and Lemon

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Strawberry, Blueberries and Cucumber

Fresh infused water made with organic ccitruses and berries.

Watermelon, Lime and Mint

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Cinnamon Sticks and Pears

Fall and winter  drink with apples,pears and cinnamon in glasses on the vintage tray

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