Inspiration, Ideas, Tips and Strategies, by Always Healthy Mom

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How big are your plates?

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How big are your dinner plates?

Are Your Plates Platter Size? If so read on!
"Most of us make a habit of filling our plates and finishing what's on them," says Lisa Young, PhD, RD, author of The Portion Teller Plan. But since the 1970s, dinner plates have grown 25%, to 12 inches or more in diameter. Eat off a plate about 2 inches smaller and you'll serve yourself 22% fewer calories per meal, which can mean a 2-pound weight loss in 1 month, says Brian Wansink, PhD, director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab and the author of Mindless Eating.
Rethink your place settings. Use your salad plate to hold higher-calorie meats or pasta, and load your dinner plate with veggies, says Young. If you plan to buy new plates, the best size is 10 inches in diameter, says Wansink. "Any smaller, though, and you'll go back for seconds," he adds.

Use these helpful hints to keep your family eating healthy! Portion control can really help keep your waistline in check!
Stack of ceramic plates

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PARTY Time tutorial!!

Happy Birthday

When you think of hosting a party it can be hard to keep the sweets, cake, and ice cream from taking over the menu. Last weekend we celebrated a Birthday in my family, and I want to give you a sneak peak into my healthy summer party.
My Daughter and I! (so cute)

My beautiful flower pots! I had to have to complete the summer look!

The healthy spread!

Colorful rice, and an assortment of fresh fruit! 

Fatoosh salad! ( my personal favorite)

Fresh veggies for the hummus dip!

Beef kabobs

Delicious grape leaves (have you tried?)

Hummus for the veggies (love!)

A happy little birthday girl enjoying her special day!

Fresh miniature coconut cupcakes ( they were fantastic)

The birthday wish
The big Birthday WISH with a pink princess dress!

I could not resist!
Sorry, I had to! The  last one, I promise!
Bye, Bye

The party went great!
As you can see I like cake and eat it too! I think miniature cupcakes were a perfect match! We all enjoyed the fresh fruit and veggies along with healthy hummus and chicken and beef kabobs. Don't forget the salad and grape leaves to top it off! Pair this all with a cute 2 year old, and great company and you have one unforgettable birthday party!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Looking for fresh ways for your students to get their 4 to 9 servings of fruits and

Healthy Kids Meal Wheel

I found this site and love it! Check it out at

Developed by Chef Ann Cooper and nutritionist Hailey London, RD.
Looking for fresh ways for your students to get their 4 to 9 servings of fruits and
veggies per day? Use our fun AND functional Healthy Kids Meal Wheel to teach
children about healthy eating and positive life-long wellness choices. The Lunch
Box’s Meal Wheel is downloadable in both English and Spanish and includes
serving sizes and the number of recommended portions for various age groups.
Chef Ann's Healthy Kid's Meal Wheel WaterAdded sugars and fatswhole grainsVegetablesFruitsCalciumRed MeatHealthy FatsLean Protein

Whole Grains

  • Children ages 6-9 should aim for 4-7 servings daily
  • Children ages 10-14 should aim for 5-8 servings daily
  • Teens ages 14-18 should aim for 6-9 servings daily
A serving is 1 slice of bread (small slice) or 1/2 bagel the size of a hockey puck. If a regular bagel from a bagel store, 1/2 bagel is two servings of grains.
1/2 cup cooked rice equals a cupcake wrapper.
1/2 cup pasta.
1 cup of whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, bulgar, etc. the size of your fist.
Whole grains include, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread/tortillas/pitas, whole grains like quinoa, millet, bulgur, buckwheat and barely, whole grain cereals (look for fiber higher than 2 grams), whole wheat pasta and other whole grain breads. Refined grains, such as white flour, white pasta and white rice should be limited to 3-4 times a week.


  • 4-9 servings daily
1 cup raw vegetables is a serving size (size of your fist) or 1/2 cup cooked (about the size of a light bulb).
The more the better, just as long as smaller kids save room for protein and fats, as well. When in comes to vegetables, go for a variety of colors on your plate. Eating a variety of colored vegetables, such as green, orange, red, purple/blue, yellow or white, will ensure that children are getting all needed vitamins and minerals and a number of healthy protective factors from the plants coloring, as well. Fresh and in season is always best. Organic is ideal, but the first and most important step is to eat those veggies in any form. Some kids need to see or try a vegetable 8-9 times before they accept it, so don’t give up.
Watch out for the starchy vegetable. While potatoes and corn have some nutrients, they have much less than most vegetables and are more like carbohydrates nutritionally. If potatoes or corn is served, a grain is not needed. Leave skin on potatoes for extra nutrients.


  • 3-5 servings daily
The serving size for fresh fruit is about the size of a tennis ball, if whole. Most apples are a bit over a serving and the serving size for most bananas is 1/2. For cut fruit, the serving size is 1/2 cup. For juice, 1/2 cup is a good size. Make sure juice is 100% juice; otherwise it most likely has a high proportion of sugar.
Again, color, color, color. Fresh is always best over canned and syruped. Aim for a variety of fruits. While fruit is extremely healthy, it still can not be eaten unlimitedly as vegetables, as they do contain significant calories and sugars.


  • 2-3 servings daily
This group replaces what traditionally is the dairy group. There are many sources of calcium that come from plants that are even more absorbable than the calcium in dairy. These food include nuts, such as almonds, broccoli, dark leafy greens (add some lemon to help free up the calcium), tofu, soy milk, sardines, beans, sunflower seeds and molasses.
When getting calcium from dairy, the best source is organic yogurt, the next best is low-fat organic milk and other low fat organic dairy products. One organic switch that is really important to make is to organic milk. Milk carries a lot of toxins and residues of conventionally raised cows, if nothing else in your house is organic, but milk, you are still doing your family a great service. If you must eat dairy, please choose organic.
The serving size of calcium rich foods varies based on the amount of calcium in the food.
For a serving of Calcium, try:
  • 1 cup of beans: soy, white, navy, black, french, refried, winged and great northern have the most calcium.
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried figs
  • 3 oz canned salmon
  • 6 sardines (canned)
  • 1 cup amaranth (ancient grain)
  • 1/2 cup dark leafy green vegetables, cooked (collards, kale, spinach, escarole, beet greens, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup tofu
  • 1 cup lowfat milk or soy milk
  • 1 cup lowfat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 oz low fat cheese.
Note children under 1 year of age should never be given cow's milk. If you chose to feed a child cow's milk (not recommended) after 1 years of age, make sure it is whole or 2% fat.

Lean Protein

  • 2-3 servings daily
Healthy protein sources include nuts, beans, tofu, fish (wild is better than farm raised), eggs, chicken, turkey, lean pork, lamb. Be aware that a portion of protein is quite small. 2-3 ounces for meat and 1/2 cup of cooked beans, 1/3 cup of nuts or one egg counts as one ounce of meat.

Healthy Fats

  • 3-4 servings daily
Fats from plant sources are very important to the growth and development of children's bodies. Limit animal fats, which contain saturated fat and cholesterol. Limit Transfatty acids that come from food that is hydrogenated. Check food labels and avoid food with the word hydrogenated in the ingredients.
Include oils such as olive, safflower, sesame, flax and canola. A serving of these oils is 1 teaspoon. Note. Flax oil should not be used for cooking or heated.
Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and peanuts. A serving of these nuts for healthy fat is a handful, or a bit less than 1/2 cup, 1 Tablespoon peanut, almond or cashew butter.
Legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils, garbanzos, soy beans, tofu and soy products. A serving of these beans for healthy fats is 1 cup cooked.
Note: If consuming beans and nuts for healthy fats, you will also be getting a serving of calcium with these foods, as well.

Red Meat

  • 2-3 servings per week
Red meat was separated out from the proteins, not to encourage you to eat it, but to set it apart from the rest, as it should not be eaten every day. In this category would also be bacon, ham, sausage, salami, bologna and hot dogs (unless 100% beef, turkey or vegetarian and low fat). These meats contain a large proportion of saturated fat and should be eaten in moderation for heart health.

Added Sugars & Fats

  • To be eaten rarely
Much of today’s obesity crisis stems from a lack of exercise and heavy eating of food of minimal nutrition value. Foods with a large amount of added sugars, such as candy, soda, cakes, pies and cookies, should be limited to treats. For very active kids, a daily treat, in moderation can be part of a healthy diet. Kids who are not as physically active should really limit high sugar foods and beverages to a few times per week.
Added fats, especially hydrogenated fats should be reduced significantly. The goal for hydrogenated fats or trans-fatty acids should be to eliminate them all together. This may require reading the ingredients on store bought food and avoiding hydrogenated margarines. Saturated fats, such as butter, should be limited to a few times per week. Added fats from healthy sources, such as olive oil, are an important part of a healthy diet and should be used daily.


The water glass on the plate represents the most important part of the healthy plate. Hydration, especially for growing kids is so important to total body and brain health. 8 glasses a day should be a goal for water drinking skeptics and a minimum for experienced water drinkers. Remember water is best. When drinks are high in sugar, the body can not get enough water from the beverage… so go for the water. Kids often drink more water if they are able to carry a water bottle at school.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Healthy Summer Treats

Healthy Summer Treats
Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks!

  • Frozen mango bites or freeze grapes or blueberries they are a cool snack and sweet like candy!
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  • Frozen banana yogurt pop
Take 1/2 banana cover with Greek yogurt insert Popsicle stick, freeze and enjoy!
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  • Frozen yogurt sandwich
Take 2 gram crackers and place frozen yogurt (any variety) or Free Cool Whip in the middle, freeze and enjoy!

  • Fruit smoothie
2/3 cups frozen fruit, ice, and 1/3 cup low fat yogurt blend and enjoy!
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  • True fruit pops
1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice,cut fruit kiwi,watermelon,pineapple, etc. Place juice and fruit in disposable cup insert Popsicle stick, freeze and enjoy!
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Have a Fun Healthy Summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Time Fun

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Healthy Summer Time Fun
We all know that keeping the kids active and healthy during the summer can be a challenging task! Computers and video games have become too common in our children's world! Traditional outdoor play has been replaced with indoor inactivity. 
It is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of active play everyday. Here are some tips on keeping them healthy and active this summer...

  • Walk at the park
  • Bike ride
  • Swimming
  • Baseball
  • Dance
  • Sports camps
  • Tag
  • Jump Rope
  • Red light Green light game
  • Obstacle course in the yard
  • Sprinkler fun
  • Walk the dog
  • Nature hunt
  • Rollerblade or Rollerskate
  • Build a sand castle
  • Skip Rocks
  • Garden
  • Four Square
  • Marco Polo in the pool
  • Relay Races
  • Waterballon Toss
  • Play at the park
  • Don't forget to involve the whole family in these activities

This summer try to limit screen time and keep the kids hydrated!
Remember to always place safe and have fun!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lemon Dream

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Unfortunately I can't take credit for this one myself! The applause has to go to Jean Modene, an awesome healthy mom and wife. She has a way of taking everyday recipes and making them healthier for her family and they are still so good! Trust me I Have sampled a few. This recipe is perfect for a hot summer day when light, fruity and refreshing are on the menu. I made this over the weekend for my family and it was delightful, everyone loved it. So here it is the much anticipated Lemon Dream Parfaits. Who knew a lemon could taste so good.

Lemon Dream Parfaits

You need...
3-6oz containers light vanilla fat free yogurt
1 pkg. (3 oz.) Jell_o sugar free Lemon flavor Gelatin
1-8 oz container Cool Whip fat free whip topping thawed
2-1/4 cups mixed fresh berries( raspberries,blueberries and strawberries sliced)

Make it...
1. Beat yogurt and dry gelatin mix in large bowl with mixer until well blended. ( the recipe calls for the whole packet of gelatin, but if you desire a lighter flavor use 1/2 the packet) Add Cool Whip and mix well. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Wash berries and set aside. Refrigerate.

2. Make 8 parfaits by layering some of the fruit and lemon mixture in a glass or dessert dish. Repeat, serve and enjoy!

Per serving: 114 calories,22 carbs, 0 fat

* I also have to thank my photographer at Finn Photography for this great image!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Before you bite...The Dirty Dozen???

Before you bite...
The Dirty Dozen 2011
1. Apples
8.Sweet bell peppers
11.Kale/Collard greens

So what does this list mean? Does it mean we should never eat these foods again? NO! Absolutely not! What it means is these foods are higher in pesticide residues. So if you were going to invest in Organic produce  these would be the ones to buy! If not wash them very well, before feeding them to your family!

*Tip on cleaning Fresh produce:


    • 1
      First of all, produce should be washed by holding it under moving tap water and rubbing it vigorously with your hands. Although many people try to clean produce by allowing it to soak in a vat of water, this isn't effective for removing dirt and bacteria and won't give you the clean produce you'll want to serve to your family. Never add any type of detergent, cleaning product, or dish washing detergent to the water you're using to wash your produce. Why? You run the serious risk of the detergent being absorbed into the fruit or vegetable itself.
    • 2
      Should you use a special vegetable wash to wash produce before eating it? Contrary to popular belief these products provide very little additional benefit. If you want to use something other than water, try washing your vegetables and fruits in a dilute solution of white vinegar and water.
    • 3
      Here are some special guidelines to follow when washing various types of produce.
    • 4
      Produce with outer rinds.
      This includes vegetables such as cucumber, potatoes, and squash as well as the melon fruits such as honeydew. Because the outer rinds on these fruits and vegetables have grooves, it's impossible to reach all the debris and bacteria through hand rubbing alone. It's best to use a brush to thoroughly scrub the crevices before cutting the melon. Remember when you cut the fruit or vegetable, you transfer some of the outside debris and bacteria into the inside meaty portion of the produce.
    • 5
      Leafy vegetables.
      Leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage should have the outer layers of leaves removed before washing in water. This will remove the leaves with the potential for carrying the greatest dirt and debris. A recent study showed that the best way to remove bacteria from leafy vegetables is to rinse each leaf piece by piece. Although this won't reduce the risk of food borne illness by 100%, it can make a significant difference.
    • 6
      Produce with wax coverings.
      Dirt, bacteria, and debris can stick to the sticky wax surface on a fruit or vegetable that has a wax coating. For this reason, the produce should be thoroughly scrubbed with a brush to remove any out layer of dirt or organisms.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Always Healthy Mom on 101.5

This was fun! I got to experience Live radio first hand! Today I gave some healthy tips to The River's listeners! Rick even gave me the name " Toledo's Healthy MOM " It has a nice ring! Don't you think?  Wow what a great experience!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011



Enjoy the soft pretzel taste you love in a mini bagel shape. Great for fun easy snack! Pair it with hummus or peanut butter or even make into a lunchtime sandwich! Look for these at your local store!
Thomas' Pretzel Bagel Nutrition Facts

Here is another fun, healthy idea...

Healthy Hummus Bagels

Healthy Hummus Bagels

SERVINGS: Serves 4
  • 2 Thomas'® Whole Wheat Bagels, split and toasted
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Optional: 1 ¼ cups store-bought hummus
  • Suggested Toppers: 1 tablespoon each chopped cucumber, chopped pitted Kalamata olives, quartered cherry tomatoes and 1/2 tablespoon chopped red onion

    Prep time: 10 minutes
Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Transfer hummus to a bowl and stir in parsley. Spread hummus evenly onto split sides of bagel halves and top with suggested toppers if desired. Yield: 1 ¼ cups hummus without toppers
Calories – 210
Total Fat – 9g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 540mg
Total Carbohydrate – 28g
Dietary Fiber – 6g
Protein – 8

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lemon Apple Salad

Lemon Apple Salad
I have had several requests for healthy recipes! Here is one of my favorites. It's a twist on a traditional Waldorf salad but reinvented to be healthy and lite! I have taken this to parties and people love it! The added benefit is it's quick and easy to make! Enjoy!

Serves 6
·         2 large apples cored and sliced
·         2 ribs of celery, sliced
·         1 cup shredded carrots
·         1 cup grapes halved
·         ¼ cup Cranrasins or dried cherries
·         1 container single serve light lemon yogurt
·         2 tablespoon slivered almonds or walnuts

In a bowl combine apples, celery, grapes, carrots, almonds, and Cranrasins. Add yogurt and mix. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Friday, June 3, 2011

So long Pyramid, Hello MyPlate!

MyPlateIt's here! Did you hear about the new arrival of the healthy plate image! It's definitely user friendly, easy to understand and less complex than the old Pyramid concept! Will it help Americans fight the bulge and improve their health? The jury's still out, but I know one thing is for sure, it can't hurt!

I think this is a great concept for younger children and can help anyone put together a healthy plate as easy as 1,2,3! So will millions of people take advantage of the website and the tools for weight loss and weight management? We will have to wait and see!

My challenge for you is to visualize this image in your head and see how your dinner sizes up to this plate tonight! This tool will help many increase fruits and vegetables in their diet! Is this the ANSWER to our obesity rates in America? Probably not but it is a step in the right direction as far as I am concerned!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Always Healthy Mom at

Super Healthy Kids
Check out my guest post
I am so excited to guest blog on this Super Healthy Site!
 Check it out today!

A little ditty about the healthy mom...
06_2010roskelley022  Feeding your kids healthy food can be a challenge, but so rewarding!  My name is Amy, and I am a mother of three kids, a graduate of Health Education, and I love food.  This blog is about putting into practice everything I learned in college and throughout my years working in the community health field to find healthy foods my kids will also enjoy.

Check out some fun stuff she offers...

divided healthy kids platePrintPrint