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.

Eat Right: Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

Back-to-school for New Jammies kids means new teachers, new school clothes, new friends and new experiences. It also means brainstorming new healthy lunch ideas for culinary variety to make sure the kids are eating right.

For an easy rotation of sandwiches with snacks, ham or turkey with cheese are easy to assemble the night before school. Peanut, almond or sunflower butter (great for kids with nut allergies) with homemade low-sugar jelly sandwiches are perfect for variety and specific dietary requirements.

Organic pastas such as penne noodles, ravioli and macaroni and cheese, including brands such as Annie’s, can also be made ahead of time to pack a convenient and nutritious lunch. Annie’s also makes organic gummies and fruit snacks, cookies, popcorn and granola bars to include as healthy lunch box snack options.

Bento Boxes, which are BPA- and phthalate-free and 100% recyclable, are extremely popular, especially this colorful divided lunch box, as they can help with portioning and organizing. We love Bentgo Kids, an innovative bento-style lunch box designed exclusively for active kids on the go, because you can put liquid dips in it and they won’t leak into other compartments with special sealed lid.

“What makes Bentgo Kids so much fun is the endless combinations of nutritious foods you can pack in the five convenient compartments,” says the company. “The largest compartment is the perfect size for a half sandwich or salad. Three mid-size compartments are great for fruit, veggies and other snack favorites. The smallest compartment is sized just right for dipping sauces. Bentgo Kids’ removable compartment tray allows you to mix and match the three fun colors to suit your child’s unique preference.”

Bentgo is also a purchase with a purpose, as the company is a proud supporter of Feed the Children. Try this Bentgo Kids All-in-One Lunch Box.

“Your purchase makes a difference in the lives of hungry children in America and around the world,” says Bentgo Kids.

For sustainable lunch packaging, we also love Two + Two re-usable and washable sandwich wraps and snack bags. Don’t waste ziplock bags and throw away plastic! These are made in New Jammies home state of Colorado in Aspen, and are food-safe and eco-friendly.

“This young company is run by two creative moms with a passion for style, sewing, Mother Earth, and doing what’s best (and cutest) for their little ones,” says Two+Two. “Products keep food fresh and uncontaminated with a proprietary lining that is free of lead, BPA, PVC and phthalates. The various sizes of eco-friendly reusable bags accommodate any and all packing organizing and traveling needs.”

Fill the snack bags and lunch boxes mentioned above with fresh-cut veggies, including carrot and celery sticks, cauliflower and broccoli pieces, and cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices from the garden, as healthy options. Dips such as hummus and homemade ranch with Greek yogurt can make veggie eating even more enticing for kids at lunchtime.

Cheese sticks in different varieties, including string cheese and cheddar, can keep things interesting from day-to-day. Fresh fruit that travels well, especially oranges and tangerines, red or green apples and ripe bananas, plus sugar-free applesauce and fruit cups are filling and great for adding important Vitamin C. Frozen yogurt tubes that thaw by lunch are good to include for a fast dose of Vitamin D.

For foodie kids who like to mix it up and try different dishes, black beans and rice sprinkled with Monterey Jack cheese provide a tasty protein-filled option. Add salsa for fun and color. Roasted veggie quesadillas made with whole-wheat tortillas are also easy to make ahead and transport in the lunch box.

This recipe for Chic’ Penne from KidsHealth.com can be made ahead on the weekend and eaten cold throughout the week, or frozen for future lunches, after-school snacks and quick dinners after sports practice or club meetings:

Prep time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

1 box whole-wheat penne pasta (14 ounces)

3 cups of raw broccoli florettes

¾ cup of precooked chicken strips (4 ounces)

½ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (2 ounces)

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 ounces)

3 tablespoons skim milk (1.5 oz)

2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Cook pasta according to directions until crisp-tender. Drain pasta.

3. Place drained pasta in a 13×9 baking dish.

4. Place broccoli in a stockpot of boiling water or a steamer for about 5 minutes.

5. Rinse with cool water.

6. Add the drained broccoli and the precooked chicken strips to the pasta.

7. Sprinkle shredded cheeses over pasta mixture.

8. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

9. Pour milk mixture evenly over the pasta mixture and mix in with a spoon.

10. Cover baking dish with foil.

11. Bake 30 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted.

EatingWell.com offers some fun Bento lunchbox ideas, including this one for a Deconstructed Cobb Salad Lunch for Kids.

Ingredients:

½ ounce slice low- or reduced-sodium deli turkey

½ ounce slice low- or reduced-sodium deli ham

¼ cup chopped romaine lettuce

2 tablespoons chopped tomato

2 tablespoons chopped cucumber

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

½ avocado, cubed

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 hard-boiled egg, thinly sliced crosswise

1 slice crisply cooked bacon

Directions:

1. Stack turkey and ham slices on top of each other.

2. Tightly roll up and slice crosswise into 4 to 6 rounds.

3. Place in a small container.

4. Toss lettuce, tomato and cucumber in a medium container.

5. Place oil and vinegar in a dip-size container and nestle into the salad.

6. Toss avocado with lime juice and place in a medium container along with egg.

7. Place bacon in a small container.

For more recipe and menu ideas, visit the KidsHealth.com Recipes page. Bon appetite!

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.

Eat Right: Tips and Recipes for Kids with Food Allergies

New Jammies LobstersThey’re called the Big-8: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. They’re the most common foods that cause allergies, with more than 3 million U.S. cases a year.

They can also wreak havoc on the once-simple act of shopping for and feeding New Jammies kids.

“Peanuts, nuts, and seafood are the most common causes of severe reactions,” says the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Allergies also occur to other foods such as meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds such as sesame.”

The good news, says the Academy, is food allergies can be outgrown during early childhood.

“Food allergy is more common in children than adults, but many allergies eventually resolve. Among the most common food allergies in children — milk, egg, wheat and soy — often resolve in childhood; peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish allergies can resolve, but are more likely to persist.”

The AAP says an estimated 80-90% of egg, milk, wheat, and soy allergies go away by age 5 years. But some allergies are stubborn.

“For example, 1 in 5 young children will outgrow a peanut allergy and fewer will outgrow allergies to nuts or seafood. Your pediatrician or allergist can perform tests to track your child’s food allergies and watch to see if they are going away.”

The AllergyKids Foundation strives to build community and provide information for people who want to protect the health of their loved ones, especially the 1 in 3 American children with allergies, ADHD, autism and asthma. One goal is to protect families from the additives now found in our food supply.

“We have the solutions to help make your experience easier and a wealth of information about how you and those you love can avoid additives and hidden allergens in many popular foods,” AllergyKids says.

The Foundation wants to restore kids’ health, one bite at a time.

“Take it from us. We have children with allergies, ADHD, autism and asthma, too. Finding safe and healthy solutions by helping to reduce your family’s exposure to food additives is what we’re good at. Let us share our knowledge and ideas.”

One way the AllergyKids Foundation works to build community is through its CARE Training for teachers and staff with food-allergic students. To effectively educate others, parents can partner with their schools by approaching them with a positive, understanding attitude, speaking with them about meals and special events, and packing their lunches and snack packs.

To help schools create a safe environment for food-allergic kids, AllergyKids has developed guidelines for training teachers and staff who supervise students at risk of anaphylaxis (http://www.allergykids.com/what-you-can-do/in-the-school). School nurses are uniquely positioned to implement and/or supervise this training program. Teachers and staff who supervise food-allergic students can receive training on the following topics:

• Comprehending the basics about food allergies.
• Avoidance of the food allergen.
• Recognizing the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
• Emergency Action Plan!

AllergyKids founder, former food anylyst and mother of four Robyn O’Brien, who has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times and Bloomberg, has been instrumental  in publicizing that food addictives and processes have triggered an allergic reaction in the food industry. By asking, “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?” people are listening.

Robyn O'BrienHer podcast, “Take Out with Ashley & Robyn” can be heard worldwide on iTunes, and her in-depth articles can be read here: https://robynobrien.com/articles.

Through her now-famous TEDx talk, she asked, “Do you know what you are eating?” O’Brien tells the story of how she started paying attention to what’s in food. Watch here: https://youtu.be/fWXrRftyOMY.

“The answer may surprise you and it will certainly inspire you to be more deliberate about your food choices,” she says.

Kids With Food Allergies, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, also provides valuable info and recipes to help parents shopping and preparing meals for kids with allergies:

• Always read labels! Product ingredients can change without notice. Do not assume a recipe or product is safe for you. Contact manufacturers to confirm safety for your allergy needs.

• Some recipes can be made “free of” that allergen. You may need to use a substitution or alternative product to make that recipe safe for the allergies you are managing.

• For assistance with a recipe or ingredient substitution, post on Kids With Food Allergies’ Food and Cooking support forums (http://community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/forum/food_and_cooking). Receive personal help to alter a recipe to make it allergy-free for your child’s needs.

• Kids With Food Allergies’ Wonderful Collection of Safe Eats™ provides allergy-friendly recipes online at http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipes-diet.aspx.

This pancake recipe, created by Mark Feblowitz, with an apple cinnamon option that follows, can help solve some food allergy breakfast challenges for New Jammies families:


Pancakes
Egg and Milk-Free Pancakes

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
1/4-1/3 cup oil
1/3-1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions
1. Mix and cook on a well-seasoned, well-heated griddle.

Notes
We double this now that our son is a voracious teenager. His favorite variation of this is Apple Cinnamon Pancakes.

Substitutions
Gluten: Gluten is a protein found in specific grains (wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye). Other grains are naturally gluten-free but may have cross-contact with gluten-containing grains. Look for certified gluten-free products if you need to avoid gluten. Find out more about wheat and gluten substitutions.

Corn Substitutions: Corn is a common ingredient in products. Starch, modified food starch, dextrin and maltodextrin can be from corn. Consult with your physician to find out which corn derivatives you need to avoid. Many corn-free options are available in the US. Find out more about corn substitutions.


Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Ingredients
1 recipe Pancakes, prepared (see above)
Granny Smith Apples, thin-sliced
sugar
cinnamon

Directions
1. On a well-seasoned, pre-heated griddle put a layer of batter, a layer of sliced apples, a layer of sugar and cinnamon and another layer of batter.
2. The griddle needs to be slightly cooler than you would normally use for pancakes so that it will cook through.

Notes
This a variation of Egg and Milk-Free Pancakes, but should work with any safe pancake batter.
Fruity Chicken and Rice Salad

Fruity Chicken and Rice Salad
Courtesy Category: Kristin J

Ingredients
2 cups rice, cooked & cooled
1 medium baked chicken breast, diced
1/3 stalk celery (including leaves), diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup diced red bell peppers (optional)
Zest and juice from one orange
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp dried mustard powder (optional)
to taste salt and pepper

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, combine the canola oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.
2. Add the orange zest and juice, celery and peppers and stir.
3. Add the chicken and rice and mix well.
4. Stir in the cranberries, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes
This makes a really good breakfast, since it’s fruity but still has protein in it. You could also omit the chicken and make it a vegetarian meal.


Grilled Veggie 'Impasta' AlfredoGrilled Veggie ‘Impasta’ Alfredo

Courtesy So Delicious Dairy Free

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups So Delicious® Original Coconut Milk Beverage
2 heaping cups cauliflower florets (can include stems)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp garlic, rough chopped
5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
4 cups carrots, squash, asparagus, peppers (fun variety of color)

Directions
1. Steam (or boil) cauliflower until just fork tender.
2. In a saute pan, over medium heat, add coconut oil, and saute garlic for one minute, then add cauliflower and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring or tossing frequently.
3. Add cauliflower, garlic and remaining ingredients (except for vegetables) to blender or food processor.
4. Blend until smooth sauce consistency is reached, and season to taste. Keep warm over heat in pot.
5. Very lightly oil (whole) vegetables, and grill until just marked, but still snappy.
6. Peel vegetables into long thin (1/2″ max) “pasta” or ribbons.
7. Ladle sauce onto plate or bowl, and place “pasta” on top.

Notes
Can be served with fresh basil chiffonade on top, as well as red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast to finish.

Substitutions
Milk and Soy Substitutions: Alternative dairy-free milk beverages and products will work in most recipes. Find out more about milk substitutions and soy substitutions.

Coconut: Although classified by the FDA as a tree nut, coconut is not a common allergen and is not related to tree nuts. If you have a tree nut allergy, consult your physician to find out if you need to avoid coconut.


Blueberry SorbetBlueberry Sorbet

Courtesy Kathy Przywara

Ingredients
8 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over and dried
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cups fresh lemon juice (optional)
1/2 cups water

Directions
1. In a blender, puree blueberries. Transfer to a medium sized pot. Add sugar, lemon juice and water.

2. Bring to boil, remove from heat.
3. Strain into a bowl and set aside to cool.
4. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Substitutions
Other souring agents can be used in place of lemon juice such as amchoor (green mango) powder or ground pomegranate seeds.