Butterfly Snacks

  • Fill a re-sealable snack bag with two healthy treats (one on each side).
  • Pinch the middle with a clothespin.
  • You can decorate the clothespin to look like a butterfly with markers and twist ties.
  • Try grapes, cheese cubes, baby carrots, celery, pretzels, oat cereal, dried cranberries, almonds and more!

Go Nuts!!

Nuts are my favorite snack to munch in between meal times. They are bite-size nutritional powerhouses, packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. When I choose this vitality-boosting snack, I stick to a handful mix of unsalted nuts to get the best valuable vitamins and minerals in my diet.

All nuts have different nutrition credentials and will offer various health benefits. Here are our top 5 nuts and with their benefits.

1) Almonds – Almonds are the best choice if you are avoiding dairy from your diet. They are calcium-rich and high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. For some extra heart help, swap flaked almonds for the whole nut with the skin intact because the almond’s skin is full of heart-protecting compounds called flavonoids.

2) Cashews- They are your go-to if you’re in need of minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, biotin and copper. The nutrients in cashews are thought to improve recall delays and age-related memory loss. It is also a great meat substitution if you are following a vegetarian diet. Just add a handful to your stir-fry or use as a nut butter on crackers or bread.

3) Pecans- Pecans are heart-friendly and packed with plant sterols, that are effective at lowering cholesterol levels. They’re rich in oleic acid, the healthy fat found in olives and avocados. As a good source of vitamin B3, pecans are the perfect option if you’re fighting fatigue and stress.

4) Walnuts- Walnuts are a cancer-fighting agent due to the extremely high number of antioxidants. They are good for your brain and heart and helps in lowering bad cholesterol.

5) Pistachios- They are high in calcium, potassium, fiber, and B vitamins. A handful of these little seeds provides you with one fifth of your recommended daily fiber.



Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-nuts-linked-to-healthier-longer-life-201311206893


National Osteoporosis Month

May is National Osteoporosis month. Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones. Risk factors include smoking, age, being a female, early menopause, and not getting enough calcium or Vitamin D. To make sure that you are getting enough of these nutrients, consume a well-balanced diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein and dairy products such as low-fat yogurt and low-fat or non-fat milk.

buying milk

Aim for getting some sunlight in your day because sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Also, getting active or doing weight-bearing activities or even walking is a great way to help build and maintain bone strength. Personally, I like to get out and walk around the park and use park benches for exercises. This helps me get both the activity and the sunlight.

Read here for more information and recipes.

Here’s one of the recipes that is a great source of calcium and tastes delicous with just about anything you can dip into it!

Spinach Dill Dip

¾ c strained yogurt
¾ c cottage cheese
½ pkg frozen spinach, thawed &  drained
4 cloves garlic
½ c fresh dill
Black pepper

Blend yogurt and cottage cheese.  Add remaining ingredients and mix.  Chill thoroughly.

Nutritional Information: Servings: 8, Amount/Serving: Calories 53, Total Fat 2g, Sat. Fat 1g, Cholesterol 9mg, Sodium 105mg, Total carbohydrates 3g, Sugars 2g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 5g, Calcium 104mg, Vitamin D <0.8 IU.

Dunk ’em, Dip ’em, Enjoy those veggies

Did you know that eating vegetables with dip could help your kids eat more vegetables? A recent study from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that kids ate 80% more broccoli when it was served with ranch dressing as a dip.

Other healthy dips you can try with your child include salsa, yogurt, hummus or peanut butter.  You can also try the unique and tasty dip recipes below with your child:

Creamy Pesto Dip



Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor, blend until smooth and creamy.


Serve chilled alongside your favorite vegetables.


Honey Mustard Hummus


  • 1-15oz can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Directions:  Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor, blend until smooth and creamy.


Serve chilled alongside your favorite vegetables!



*Store pesto sauce in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week. Pesto freezes well. Freeze in ice cube trays, and then store frozen pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags in freezer for up to 6 months. Pesto may also be frozen in small jars or plastic containers for up to 9-12 months.

Recipes from Super Healthy Kids www.superhealthykids.com

Submitted by Amber Porter, graduate student with EFNEP, located at NC A&T State University.

Small, healthy snacks a good idea between meals

I take after my Father’s side of the family.  We are all good-sized people, not lazy people, but “big boned” like my Granny use to say. I guess I need to rephrase that.  We are/were all overweight, some of us would even be considered obese. I honestly cannot think of anyone on my Dad’s side of the family that is/was normal size. Now, we ate healthy foods.   We ate lots of fresh eggs, vegetables and always had apples to eat. They were readily available. How they were prepared is another blog.

So why then, have I battled with my weight my entire life? I must admit that portion control was never top priority for me. I don’t know if this was because of the way that I was raised. My Mother and  Granny use to tell me, no snacking before dinner. Wait until dinner. You’ll spoil your dinner.  When dinner was finally served, I felt like I could eat a cow and probably did!  Now that I am grown, I have my own theory on no snacking before dinner.  I say, go ahead, “spoil your dinner”.  If you feel hungry between meals, eat a healthy snack, like a piece of fruit or small salad.  This helps me to avoid overeating during my next meal.

For more ideas on healthy snacking: http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/SnacksNDrinks/Texts/ES_snacksdrinks.pdf.  Happy Healthy Snacking!Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.51.05 PM