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Why we should all eat like a baby

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I’m sure you have heard the expression “sleep like a baby.” Well, if I was sleeping like Joey does, I would never sleep (oh wait, I don’t ever sleep since my child doesn’t sleep), but anyway- back to the point of this blog J When it comes to developing a healthy relationship with food and achieving an optimal body weight, aiming to eat like a baby can show you just how we were really meant to eat.

 

When feeding a baby, the parent or caretaker’s role is to provide nutritious options. It’s the child’s responsibility to determine how much he will eat. This allows your baby to understand his own internal hunger and satiety cues. Now, think about how we as adults eat. If I walk past a bowl of candy, I’m not hungry, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from grabbing a handful and chowing down. Or at dinner, if there’s a few bites left on my plate, I may just gobble them up without thinking instead of asking myself if I am still truly hunger. These are the almost unconscious behaviors that lead to us as adults consuming far more calories than we actually need.

 

Look at how a baby eats on the other hand. He uses all his senses to really focus on the food he is eating. He eats slowly and pushes the food away as soon as he is no longer hungry for it. As a baby eats, his only focus is the food offered to him. He’s not eating with distractions such as a TV, computer, or phone pulling his focus away from the food experience. This is what we call “mindful” eating- the practice of involving all of your senses in the eating experience with minimal distractions to allow yourself to get back in touch with your hunger and satiety cues while feeling truly satisfied from the food you are eating.

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The next time you sit down to eat, try to think about eating a bit more like a baby. Now, there’s no need to eat exactly like a baby- for instance, I don’t plan to smash sweet potatoes in my hair or throw eggs across the room like Joey enjoys doing, but the goal is to just try to really focus on the food in front of you. What does it taste like, smell like, what’s the texture? The more you can slow down, involve all of your senses, and take your time with your meal, the less likely you are to overindulge.

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Cinnamon Oat Mango Bites

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I really enjoy mango and just found a large bag of frozen mango in the back of my freezer. Instead of making yet another smoothie or throwing it into yogurt, I was trying to think about other ways to enjoy mango. So I came up with this. It’s similar to a healthy apple crisp, but with mango instead. And since they are bite-sized, it’s perfect for the whole family!

 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup low fat milk
  • ¾ cup mago, cubed

Directions:

Mix together oats, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder and grind together in food processor to create a fine flour. Add in egg and milk and mix to create a batter. Bring a lightly greased skillet over medium heat. Dip mango cubes into batter and place on skillet. Allow to brown evenly on both sides. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

Tip: This batter can be used with any fruit, so try out banana slices, apple slices, or even pineapples!

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What’s Better than PB&J? Peanut Butter & Jelly Pancakes!

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My Recipe for the Welch’s Recipe Contest

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in Welch’s Recipe Contest looking for family-friendly recipes by RDs. I love Welch’s 100% Grape Juice and was brainstorming ways to incorporate it into recipes other than the typical smoothie or popsicle. And then it hit me- PB&J in a new way! Well to be honest, my first idea was a banana grape muffin. I loved how they came out, but my family wasn’t as thrilled. So, I scratched that idea. Then my husband actually came up with the PB&J idea and it hit me- Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes with Grape Syrup! How could you not love that? And, thankfully, this time the recipe was a hit!

Not only are these pancakes simple to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, but they are also packed full of protein (thanks to the extra boost from the egg and Greek yogurt) and are even gluten free!

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Pancake Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup 100% Welch’s Grape Juice
  • 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1 cup 100% Welch’s Grape Juice
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch

Directions:

In a food processor or blender, quickly grind rolled oats for 30 seconds. In a large bowl whisk egg and add in yogurt. Stir together and add in melted peanut butter, juice, and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients until smooth. Add dry ingredients into liquid, stirring consistently, to create pancake batter. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Pour ¼ cupfuls of batter onto skillet and cook until bubbles form on the surface. Flip with a spatula and cook until browned on the other side.

While batter is cooking, pour 1 cup grape cup into a small pot over medium heat. Add in cornstarch and stir frequently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool, stir every 30 seconds until mixture thickens into a syrup consistency.

Pour the grape juice syrup on top of the pancakes and serve warm. Enjoy!

Disclosure: I received coupons from Welch’s for a complimentary purchase of their 100% grape juice products for this contest.

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Slim Down with Smoothies

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(Photo Credit: Kelly Sloan)

Now that it’s getting hot outside, you may be tempted to head out for ice cream. Instead, give a delicious homemade smoothie a try. Packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and protein, but much lower in added sugar and calories; it’s a great way to fill up while you slim down for bathing suit season.

Here’s a great recipe created by my fantastic intern Kelly Sloan 

Refreshing Green Drink

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup kale
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups water or coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid for a thin consistency. Enjoy! Makes 2-3 servings.

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