Eat Right: Celebrate American Heart Month with Heart-Healthy Recipes

New JammiesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates February as American Heart Month. And all month long New Jammies has been focusing on a lifestyle committed to heart health.

One way the CDC suggests focusing on heart health is making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of healthy choices. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

The CDC encourages these simple changes to make a big difference. Try these ideas for getting started:
• Talk to your doctor about ways to control high blood pressure.
• Add physical activity to your daily routine.
• Quit smoking.
• Make heathy eating swaps, such as using fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.
• Serve food lower in salt and fat content, provide more fruits and vegetables, and make less sugary sweets.

New Jammies is a big supporter of healthy eating practices for parents and their kids, and we love any recipe that makes family meal planning easier. These recipes from the CDC and the American Heart Association are heart-healthy and delicious. Give them a try this month and all year long!

Oatmeal WafflesOatmeal Pecan Waffles (or Pancakes)
Source: National Institutes of Health, “Deliciously Healthy Family Meals”
Serving Size: 3 small (2-inch) or 1 large (6-inch) waffle (depending on waffle iron size) or pancakes

Ingredients
For waffles
1 C whole-wheat flour
½ C quick-cooking oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
¼ C unsalted pecans, chopped
2 large eggs, separated (for pancakes, see note)
1½ C fat-free (skim) milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

For fruit topping
2 C fresh strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half (or substitute frozen strawberries, thawed)
1 C fresh blackberries, rinsed (or substitute frozen blackberries, thawed)
1 C fresh blueberries, rinsed (or substitute frozen blueberries, thawed)
1 tsp powdered sugar

Directions
1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and pecans in a large bowl.
3. Combine egg yolks, milk, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl, and mix well.
4. Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir together. Do not overmix; mixture should be a bit lumpy.
5. Whip egg whites to medium peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter (for pancakes, see note below).
6. Pour batter into preheated waffle iron, and cook until the waffle iron light signals it’s done or steam stops coming out of the iron. (A waffle is perfect when it is crisp and well-browned on the outside with a moist, light, airy and fluffy inside.) (Or make pancakes.)
7. Add fresh fruit and a light dusting of powdered sugar to each waffle, and serve.
Tip: For pancakes, do not separate eggs. Mix whole eggs with milk and oil, and eliminate steps 4 and 5.

Lettuce Wraps
Asian-Style Chicken Wraps
Source: National Institutes of Health, “Deliciously Healthy Dinners and Deliciously Healthy” Family Meals
Serving Size: 2 wraps, ¼ C sauce

Ingredients
For sauce
1 small Jalapeno chili pepper, rinsed and split lengthwise—remove seeds and white membrane, and mince (about 1 Tbsp); for less spice, use green bell pepper
1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
½ C water
½ Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice (or about 2 limes)

For chicken
1 Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp lite soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil (optional)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

For wrap
1 (small) head red leaf lettuce, rinsed, dried, and separated into single leaves large enough to create wrap
8 fresh basil leaves, whole, rinsed and dried
2 cups bok choy or Asian cabbage, rinsed and shredded

Directions
1. To prepare the sauce, add all ingredients to a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, and let sit in hot saucepan for 3–5 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until cold.
2. Prepare the chicken by heating oil in a large wok or sauté pan. Add ginger and garlic, and stir fry briefly until cooked but not brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Add chicken, and continue to stir fry for 5–8 minutes.
4. Add soy sauce, sesame oil (optional), and sesame seeds (optional), and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, and cover with lid to hold warm in hot sauté pan.
5. Assemble each wrap: Place one large red lettuce leaf on a plate, then add ½ cup chicken stir-fry, 1 basil leaf, and ¼ cup shredded cabbage and fold together. Serve two wraps with ¼ cup sauce.

Green Chile Stew

Green Chile Stew
Source: American Heart Association
Serving Size: 4

Ingredients
1 Tbsp. corn or canola oil
1 lb. beef sirloin, beef round or flank steak (whatever is on sale), cut into 1/2-inch cubes, all visible fat discarded
1 small onion (yellow or white), chopped
2 clove minced, fresh garlic OR
2 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
2 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped OR
14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, chopped tomatoes
6 Hatch chilies, roasted, skinned OR
2-3 oz. no-salt-added, canned green chilies
1 jalapeño or Serrano pepper (skip this if you don’t like spicy food), chopped, (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

Directions
1. In a stew pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add beef. Stir occasionally, until browned ? about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in onion and garlic, cooking 2-3 minutes until onions begin to be translucent.
3. Add flour, stirring until well mixed.
4. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Banana Split Yogurt ParfaitBanana Split Berry Yogurt Parfaits
Source: American Heart Association
Serving Size: 4

Ingredients
2 6 – oz. packaged, fat-free pineapple yogurt
1 cup sliced strawberries OR
1 cup mixed berries
1 large banana (about 1 cup sliced)
1/4 cup low-fat granola (4 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp. cocoa, unsweetened
1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. hot water

Directions
1. To assemble parfaits, in small dish, layer about 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup sliced strawberries, 1/4 cup sliced bananas and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granola.
2. In small cup, stir together cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and hot water until smooth. Drizzle 1 teaspoon over each parfait.

Tips
Instead of fresh berries you can substitute 1 cup frozen mixed berries, thawed.
Substitute any flavor of nonfat yogurt you enjoy.

Eat Right: Soup’s On for a Healthy New Year

With every new year, eating better is something New Jammies can really get behind as a resolution. One easy way to eat healthier without the pressure of a resolution commitment is to make a warm batch of soup for the family using fresh, vitamin-packed vegetables and nutritious, low-fat ingredients. Light a fire, stay warm, dress the kids in comfy New Jammies, and enjoy these soup recipes to feel great in the new year:

Hearty Greens SoupHearty Greens Soup with Bowtie Pasta and Tomatoes
wholefoodsmarket.com

With only 200 calories, 5 grams total fat and 7 grams of protein, this vegetarian soup recipe from Whole Foods incorporates hearty greens such as Swiss chard or kale, escarole, garlic and fresh tomatoes for a low-sugar protein punch for an easy dinner with leftovers for a quick lunch. Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped (and/or kale)
1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 pound), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 pound dried bowtie (farfalle) pasta
1 (3-inch) Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
1/4 pound baby spinach

Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more.
3. Add carrots and 8 cups water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
4. Stir in chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind.
5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.
7. Remove and discard bay leaf and cheese rind from soup then ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.

Rustic Italian Tomato SoupRustic Italian Tomato Soup
goredforwomen.org

As part of its Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association offers this low-calorie, low-sodium soup to help beat heart disease. It’s often called the Silent Killer because heart disease victims often don’t even know they have it, so they aren’t treated or make healthy lifestyle changes. The AHA reports that 80% of heart disease in women is preventable, and more women are beating heart disease than ever before. So fix this heart-healthy soup for the women you love in your life. Serves 4; 1 cup.

Ingredients:
16 ounces frozen mixed bell pepper strips (may be labeled stir-fry mix)
1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added navy beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
1. In a food processor or blender, process the bell pepper strips, tomatoes with liquid, broth, beans, basil, parsley, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes until slightly chunky or smooth.
2. Pour into a large saucepan.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the flavors are blended.
5. Remove from the heat.
6. Stir in the oil and salt.

California Avocado Spiked Corn SoupCalifornia Avocado Spiked Corn Soup
californiaavocado.com

Using fresh California avocados, and a kick from white and cayenne peppers, this corn soup from the California Avocado Commission is low in sodium and a great source of potassium, fiber, protein, Vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1 Tbsp. canola oil
8 oz. yellow corn kernels
3/4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 cups water
As needed Salt, to taste
As needed Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
As needed Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, peeled and seeded
As needed Carrot threads*, as needed for garnish

Instructions:
1. Sauté onion, celery and carrot in oil until soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, thyme, water and a little salt; simmer 20 minutes.
3. Coarsely puree mixture; return to pot.
4. Stir in salt, white pepper and cayenne to taste.
5. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
6. Dice half of the avocados and stir into soup. Slice remaining avocado.
7. Divide soup among warmed soup bowls. Garnish with avocado slices and carrot threads.

Serving Suggestions:
Stir in diced roast chicken or turkey for a main-meal entrée. To make carrot threads, pull a zester down a large carrot. Try with a glass of Pinot Noir.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Sweet Coconut Tapioca Soup with Bananas Sweet Coconut Tapioca Soup with Bananas (Che Chuoi)
Cooking Light, myrecipes.com
Photo by Karry Hosford

This traditional dessert soup called Che Chuoi, made healthy with low sugar, tapioca, light coconut milk and fresh bananas, is a favorite for kids of all ages as a feel-good soup after dinner or a tasty after-school snack. According to myrecipes.com, it can be eaten hot, at room temperature, or chilled, and the cooler it gets, the thicker it becomes. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 cup uncooked granulated tapioca
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large ripe bananas, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Instructions:
1. Bring water and coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir in sugar, tapioca, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in bananas. Remove from heat; cover, and let stand 15 minutes.
4. Serve warm, or chill 3 hours. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired

Sleep Tight: Family Sleep Goals for the New Year

New Jammies Sleep SackAs New Jammies winds down after the holidays, we welcome a new year of learning, adventure, discovery and fun.

Not to mention plenty of sleep to get us through our busy days.

As the calendar advances to 2016, we’ve set some goals we think might be easier to achieve if our New Jammies friends are joining in the challenge. From infants to adults, we all appreciate a good night’s sleep. These New Year’s resolutions will help sleep dream’s come true in 2016, friends!

Tune Out to Zone Out at Night

Young and old, beware of the effects of electronics use at nighttime. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), robust scientific data documenting the role of light in promoting wakefulness is stressing the point that electronics and sleep really don’t mix.

“Signaling of light and dark helps us to be alert in the morning and be able to fall asleep at the appropriate time at night,” reports the NSF. “Careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. As adults we are subject to these influences and our children are particularly susceptible.”

The Foundation suggests that many children are not fulfilling basic sleep requirements and adequate sleep is essential for growth, learning, mood, creativity and weight control. Solutions, and in this case new year’s resolutions, include less TV in the bedroom and electronic media, including watching Internet videos and using social media, before bedtime.

“Understanding the influence of light and evening engagement on sleep is the first step in helping parents address the dilemma of electronics in the bedroom,” according to the NSF.

Eat Right to Sleep Tight

Studies consistently prove that better nutrition equals better overall health. Including how well we sleep. So it only makes sense to eat foods that help us get some proper ZZZs. The website health.com suggests including these nutrients in your diet for better sleep each night:

GrapefruitLycopene, found in grapefruit, tomatoes, papaya and watermelon.

Selenium, in fish such as halibut, tuna and cod, as well as shellfish, barley, turkey and nuts.

Vitamin C, from fruits such as pineapple, strawberries, papaya, and citrus, and veggies such as bell peppers, broccoli, and kale.

Carbohydrates, in cereal, rice, potatoes or white bread. Health.com reports that a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said eating easily digested carbs four hours before bedtime led people to fall asleep faster.

Quit Bad Habits to Improve Sleep Hygiene

Losing weight. Eating better. Quitting smoking. New Year’s resolutions can sound like a broken record, but for many adults who can’t shake their bad habits, and even kids battling childhood obesity, the struggle is real. And many bad habits lead to poor sleep hygiene, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines as the promotion of good sleep habits and regular sleep. We encourage kids and adults to get outside and play for a healthy exercise regimen that encourages best sleep practices. Both the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation agree that the following sleep hygiene tips can be used to improve sleep:

New Jammies Football• Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.

• Avoid large meals before bedtime.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

• Avoid nicotine.

These all sound like achievable New Year’s resolutions that can lead to better sleep and a healthy 2016.

Happy New Year from New Jammies!

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New Jammies Butterfly Magic Sleep SackSleep sacks are where it’s at!

Keep your little ones crib safe while they snooze with our study and comfortable New Jammies double-layered sleep sacks. They’re great over footies in the winter months and onesies in warmer weather. New Jammies sleep sacks promote safety while encouraging infants to sleep on their backs and keep babies warm without loose blankets in the crib for the prevention of SIDS. Offered in a plethora of colors and age-appropriate sizes, our 100% organic cotton sleep sacks are breathable to prevent overheating. A great way to start off the new year in comfort and safety!

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