Eat Right: Healthy Eating in 2018

Every January, millions of Americans make resolutions to improve their health and well being in the new year, including through diet and exercise. The intention is there, but only about 8 percent of people who make resolutions keep them. At New Jammies, we’re here to improve those odds with these tips for healthy eating habits for the whole family in the new year.

The CDC Office of Women’s Health offers Six Tips for 2018, including No. 3, make healthy food choices.

”A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products,” the CDC says. “It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.”

One way the CDC offers advice on Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight is by trying a new twist on an old favorite.

“If your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations using baking or grilling,” the CDC suggests. “Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. Ask around or search the internet and magazines for recipes with fewer calories ― you might be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish.”

This American Heart Association recipe for Kid-Friendly Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs with Brown Rice, from its Simple Cooking with Heart program, “helps you travel to the islands with this recipe. Kids can help make them and because they’ll be in the kitchen where all the action is, they’re probably going to be excited to eat them, too.”

Ingredients

4 Servings

For the Marinade:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (at least 36 pieces), all visible fat discarded, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
20 oz. canned, unsweetened juice from pineapple chunks can
2 clove fresh garlic (minced)
OR
1 tsp. jarred, minced garlic

For the Chicken Kebabs:

Non-stick cooking spray
36 pineapple chunks (packed in their own juice)
2 fresh, chopped bell peppers (chopped into 36 pieces)
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
12-15 wooden skewers
2 cup brown rice (cooked to package instructions)
OR
2 8.8- oz. packaged, cooked brown rice

Directions

For the Marinade:
1. In a plastic bag, add chicken chunks.
2. Have kids add soy sauce, 1 cup pineapple juice, and garlic into the plastic bag. Seal and let chicken marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

For the Chicken Kebabs:

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Take chicken out of marinade and place in a bowl.
2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Have kids wash bell peppers and tomatoes before chopping peppers. For kid-friendly assembly, place the pineapple, chopped peppers, and tomatoes in 3 separate bowls.
3. Let kids add 1 tomato to the bottom of 1 skewer. Top with pineapple, chicken and bell pepper 3 times, letting kids add everything but the raw chicken. Let kids add 1 more tomato to top. Repeat with the rest of skewers.
4. After 12 skewers are made (and all the chicken has been used), have kids make their own skewers with any remaining pieces. Cook kabobs in oven until chicken is cooked, about 15 minutes. Serve with rice.

Quick Tips

Cooking Tip: Pineapples have an enzyme called bromelain that helps to make meat tender, making pineapple juice an excellent quick marinade.
Keep it Healthy: Skewering pieces of meat, vegetables, and fruit for dinner makes it fun for kids to eat, along with a having a meal with a quick cooking time.
Tip: You can also cook these on the grill but first, you would need to soak the wooden skewers in cold water to prevent them from catching on fire.
Tip: Grape tomatoes are smaller than cherry tomatoes, so more will fit in a pint container. If using grape tomatoes, there will be enough tomatoes to add 4 grape tomatoes per skewer. If using cherry tomatoes, just stick with 2 per skewer.

In helping people stay on course for their wellness resolutions, the American Heart Association suggests these tips on How to Eat Healthy without “Dieting”:

• Choose mindfully, even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary a lot.
• Read labels. Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
• Watch your calories. To maintain a healthy weight, eat only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, take in fewer calories or burn more calories.
• Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served, especially when eating out.
• Don’t dismiss entire food groups. Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
• Cook and eat at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients and preparation methods.

Another kid-friendly, healthy recipe to help you and your family eat well throughout the new year is courtesy the We Can! program, a collaboration between the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Cancer Institute.

Find more easy, healthy Fun Family Recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

Lentil Soup

Ingredients

11 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups dry lentils
1 can (14 ½ ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
6 ½ cups water

Directions

1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onions; cook and stir until the onion is tender.
2. Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in lentils and tomatoes, then add the vegetable broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour or until lentils are tender.
4. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. The soup will taste better the next day!

This recipe for a Superfood Smoothie from the American Diabetes Association is great for kids and adults, for breakfast, a snack or dessert on the go.

“Blueberries, spinach, and almond milk make this a Superfood Smoothie and a great way to start your day,” says the ADA. “Superfoods provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet.”

Ingredients

2 Servings

1 cup original almond milk
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 cups baby spinach
1 banana

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and thick.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Confirm all ingredients are gluten-free and this recipe can be made gluten-free.

Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Play Right: Pantone Color of the Year Inspires

At New Jammies, we wait for the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year like little kids anticipant Santa. We can’t wait to see what’s the “in” color for fashion — especially children’s sleepwear — as well as retail, interior/exterior, and graphic designs.

Pantone’s “2018 Color of the Year” also means trends change for toys, which inspire creative play.

Suffice, to say, we were delighted to hear the “complex, magical, and non-conformist” Ultra Violet has been named “2018 Color of the Year” by Pantone.

“The world-renowned authority on color says the blue-based purple ‘[inspires] the desire to pursue a world beyond our own,’” says the Toy Association, which is committed to serving as the industry’s voice on the cognitive, social, emotional, and creative benefits of play, while providing members with programs, events, services, and tools that will help them to deliver safe, fun and developmentally beneficial toys and games to children around the world.

“It’s reflective of our current culture and the collective need to create original content, express individuality, and contemplate the future – and will be seen across every industry in 2018, including fashion, food, interior design – and toys,” adds the Association.

Pantone says Ultra Violet is an evolution of Greenery, 2017 Color of the Year, selected based on it’s longing to reconnect with nature and with one another.

”Through the combination of ‘light-sustaining red and heavenly blue,’ color experts say that Ultra Violet takes the sentiment one step deeper by inspiring us to create a more meaningful connection with the future and providing a calm refuge in an over-stimulated world,” according to Pantone.

The Toy Association says toymakers may apply the rich purple hue in a variety of ways:

• MYSTICAL & INTRIGUING: Thanks to the color’s magical properties, the use of Ultra Violet in toy design helps to heighten make-believe, cosmic, and fantastical worlds.

• DRAMA & GLAMOR: Long-worn by movie stars and style icons – from Elizabeth Taylor to Beyoncé – the purple hue brings an air of drama, glamor, and sophistication to dolls and doll accessories, including shoes, purses, makeup, jewelry, and hair.

• NON-CONFORMIST: The incorporation of Ultra Violet in role play items can create a bold and complex statement. Since the color symbolizes experimentation, it inspires children to push boundaries through creative play.

• HEALTH & WELLNESS: According to Pantone, the color is used in design, lighting, and gathering places to “energize communities […] and inspire connection.” As the toy industry continues to create more toys and games that foster connection within communities, teach kids to be better global citizens, and inspire families to lead healthier lives, the use of Ultra Violet in packaging and marketing will help drive these messages home.

“It’s fascinating how color in product design and packaging can impact everything from the way consumers think and feel to what they purchase,” says Adrienne Appell, trend expert at The Toy Association. “As described by Pantone, Ultra Violet is a powerful and inspiring color that will lend itself well to the world of toys and games. We encourage toymakers to consider how this trending hue can be incorporated into their lines as they plan new product for 2018 and beyond.”

More information about the 2018 Color of the Year is available on Pantone’s website.

The Toy Associqtion and Pantone agree that Pantone’s Color of the Year is a popular topic because “individuals around the world become more fascinated with color and realize its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use color to inspire and influence.”

”The Color of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Color Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands,” says Pantone, through the Toy Association.

Look for Ultra Violet in 2018 … Happy New Year!

 

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.