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When it comes to good nutrition, all forms of fruits and vegetables matter—fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice. With 200+ options and a variety of convenient packaging to make fruits and vegetables easy to store and easy to serve, there’s bound to be something to please everyone!
 
Fresh, Frozen, Canned, Dried, 100% Juice - All forms of fruits and vegetables matter
  • Most frozen and canned foods are processed within hours of harvest, so their flavor and nutritional value are preserved. 5 Facts about Canned Foods
  • Studies show that recipes prepared with canned foods had similar nutritional values to those prepared with fresh or frozen ingredients.
  • Canned foods are "cooked" prior to packaging, so they
    are recipe-ready.
  • Frozen foods also require little preparation—washing
    and slicing, for instance, is already done.

 

All forms of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily recommendation.
See Frozen Fruit & Veggie Recipes

 
 

Videos

 

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Canning Videos > From home canning to the canning process to sustainability, these videos will help you understand the entire canning process. See Videos

 
 
 
 

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Eat a Colorful Variety of Fruits & Vegetables
Key Nutrients in Fruits & Vegetables
Fruit & Vegetable Recipe Search
Fruit & Vegetable Storage 101
Let the Champions Teach the Kids About Fruits and Vegetables

 
 

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My kids hate fruit

Can't get them to eat anything but junk food...   



Baby food to table food transition

My 14 month old son will eat any vegetable out of a baby food jar, but I am having trouble getting him used to the taste and texture of 'table food' - he spits out those greenbeans and carrots faster than I can clean them up off the floor. Any suggestions on how to get the...   



My baby loves veggies!

She's 10 months old, and as long as it goes in my mouth, she's fine with it going in hers. Lead by example....   



Fruit choices

I have gone through almost every kind of fruit with my daughter and she doesn't seem to like anything! Any ideas?...   



Unsupportive Spouse

My husband just isn't a big fan of fruits and vegetables, so he doesn't set a good example. "If Dad doesn't have to eat his vegetables, why should I?" Now what?...   



picky eater

my 2 yr old daughter is such a picky eater, she won't even touch her veggies. we are very healthy eaters but she just pushes it away and screams when i try to present it again? help!!...   



Presentation of Fruits and Veggies

I have found that the prettier I make the food look, the more my kids will eat. I often do fruit kebobs, use small cookie cutters and melon ballers to cut fruit into fun shapes. Also, I find frozen fruit can top cereal, yogurt etc (maine wild blueberries etc)....   



unsupportive Spouse

Our family started drinking Monavie. It contains the recommended daily servings of fruits in just two daily two oz servings. My three kids even love it....   



veggie milkshake

I make "milkshakes" for my 4 year old almost every day and he loves them. It's made of frozen berries, frozen bananas, frozen rice milk, Naked brand green juice (broccoli/wheat grass/algae), a large handful of fresh spinach, flax oil, carrot juice, frozen cubes o...   



Invisible Veggies

I fine chop and shred carrots, broccoli, zucchini, peppers and onions, then I saut� them in a little olive oil to soften them a little. Then I add them in ground turkey for meat balls, turkey burgers, meatloaf, etc... And salmon or crab cakes for filler instead of jus...   



Holladay Treats

When growing up the Easter bunny at my house would leave us delicious and out of the ordinary fruits like; kumquats, pineapple, starfruit, mangos. We never missed the chocolate eggs and jelly beans, the fruit is what we loved and to this day I associate my love of fruits t...   



School Nutrition

As many forum participants know, our schools need some help when it comes to providing healthy meals for kids. Congress is considering School Nutrition promotion legislation (H.R. 1363 and S. 771), which you can learn more about at www.opencongress.org. If you want to send...   



Hide your carrots in grilled cheese

When making grilled cheese for my 3 kids, I grate fresh carrot between 2 slices of cheese - about 1/2 a carrot per sandwich. The kids have no idea because the color of the carrot and cheese all blends together....   



pre-dinner snacking

When my kids are pestering me 'what's for dinner?' and I'm not done preparing dinner, I give them carrot or celery sticks, or dried fruit to hold them over. I find that when the kids are so hungry that they are asking when dinner is, they'll eat just about anything....   



3 Year old Non-Eater

My son just turned 3 and to this day eats no veggies, no meats, no starches except bread and only a banana for fruit...he has been this way for 2 years now and nothing seems to help....   



Frogs on a Log

When I was young, one of my Mom's famous fruit and veggie creations was "Bugs on a Log," celery sticks filled with peanut butter topped with "bugs" in the form of raisins. I add my own twist when preparing this tasty snack for my nieces and nephews... a...   



Dried Fruit and Nuts

Mix up walnuts, almonds and dried cranberries for a great snack for your kids. chock full of omega 3 and sweet enough for your kids to love. buy the ingredients and mix exactly what you want. that way you can save money on prepacked mixtures....   



Healthy Snacks at Kid Eye-Level

My kids seem to be in the refrigerator or cupboard every 10 minutes when they are home from school. To encourage healthy snacking, I place cut up fruits and veggies in zip top containers at eye-level in the refrigerator and dried fruits and 100% juice boxes at eye-level in...   



Kids LOVE these snacks!

Try the all-natural, freeze-dried fruits and veggies from Just Tomatoes... guaranteed to be a hit with your kids. Especially the strawberries, bananas and corn. Easy way to get kids to eat fruits and veggies everyday. Nothing added.. no sugar, color, etc....   



menu planner

I'm looking for a good form to make weekly menu planning easier. Anyone seen one? ...   



helpful books

Great site. Reading some of the posts reminded me of books I used a lot when my kids were little: Watson's Sugar Free Toddlers and Katzen's Pretend Soup. Now I need something like those for 12 & 15 year olds who eat too much junk food! Ideas?...   



a treat for all ages

I am a diabetic and know that fruits are not sugar free , but i still love sweets. I take a 650 wattt blender and fill it wit the mixed frozen fruit of 5aday and add some frozen strawberries and/or blueberries or any oyher frozen fruit & to this i add approx 5 ouncesof...   



kid snacks

im 12 but my mom and dad work alot so i normally make dinner so they dont have toget home late and cook but an easy snack is just frozen grapes and bananas...   



meatless meals

Black bean tacos are one of my children's favorite meals. I use canned black beans and grind up carrots, celery and onions to cook with them. I flavor them with taco seasoning and we're good to go....   



How to make fruit popsicles

These are great for summer parties! 2 c. plain yogurt 1 c. bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc. 1/2 c. orange or apple juice Blend fruit or berries; add yogurt and juice; mix. Pour into popsicle molds or small paper cups. Freeze. If using cups, insert popsicle stick wh...   



Broccoli Forever

My son loves, i mean LOVES brocolli (he's 6) but he won't eat any other vegetable. Should i worry that he's not getting enough variety?...   



fruit

My kids love to eat strawberries dipped in melted chocolate for dessert. I don%u2019t mind because they are getting more fruit then sweets. They each get a small bowl of chocolate and a big bowl of strawberries! Love your website, thanks G. Targoni ...   



Low Calorie Meals

ive been trying to cut calories i need low calorie foods or meals that fill me up quickly so i will stop eating as much and hopefull can lose some weight near my stomach...   



watermelon rinds recipes

Does anyone have any watermelon rinds recipes they want to share with me. I just did an e-mail but put the wrong e-mail address. This is the correct address. Thanks Rosa...   



School Lunch Idea

Instead of potato chips, I pack dried banana chips in my daughter's lunch. She enjoys the crunch and I like that they're not fried. Little grape tomatoes work well too and they taste fine without having to be refrigerated....   



Teething Toddler

How do you keep your toddlers eating healthy?...   



Success Story

I lost 30lbs. by changing my eating habbits. I eat more fruits and vegetables than ever! and Drink more water than ever....   



apples

hi everyone i was wondering if anyone has any good receipes ideas for apples i have a whole bunch i need to use right away i was thinking pancakes i just don't know what ing to use to steam them never really been betty crocker can anyone help...   



Fruit/Veggie Smoothie Recipe?

Does anyone have a yummy recipe for "hiding" veggies in my kids fruits smoothies? I heard flax seed was also good? thank you...   



Toddler Eating Veggies

How can I get my 2Yr old to eat Veggies?  What he does eat I hide it in his potatoes....   



toddler eating veggies/fruit

My kids use to love frozen peas..and i would freeze seedless grapes..and loved also by grandkids......   



Children vegaterians

My daughter is 6 and says she wants to be a vegitarian. I will always offer her the meat we are having, but she mostly turns it down. she will eat vegatalbes, salads and pasta. She isn't good about taking her vitamins, and wont eat beans. I want to make sure she is getting...   



sunflower seeds

I have sunflower seeds from my garden and want to know how to make or bake them or eat as is...   



healthy eating

how do i get my child to eat healthy food...   



Kids Garden

In order to promote vegies to our little ones, we grow a vegetable garden and have them help.  We teach them by having them work side-by-side with us in the garden.  We explain how to fix the soil, how to plant the seeds, watering, feeding and sunshine.  The...   



Fruit First

My inability to get every part of the meal on the table at the same time(a task my farm-raised mother accomplished with ease) has surprisingly resulted in my children (ages 5 and 7) eating more than the required servings of fruits and vegetables. I always put out the fruit...   



Puree It!

I have found that pureed vegetables are great as a soup and also as an addition to anything that you bake that might need liquid such as meat loaf or even quiche. Our favourite soup this winter was pureed broccoli and potato. We'd dress it up sometimes with some cheese, bu...   



Take it to Work

To get more veggies in my diet, I pack a frozen "steam in the pack" veggie pack, like snap peas or brussel sprouts, inmy lunch bag and cook them in the microwave at work to use as a main dish.  Then for dessert, I have a luscious piece of fresh fruit like a ...   



Smoothies Rock

We make smoothies most nights of the week.  We usually include a few different fruits in these, yogurt, juice, soy milk, flax seeds or wheat germ almost everything.  This is a good way for us to have a healthy treat in the evening befoer bed and we get a few extr...   



Roast the Veggies

I now roast all of my vegetables in the oven with a small amount of citrus-flavored olive oil. Cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, beets, parsnips, tomatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, and broccoli to name a few.  Roasting vegetables brings out a nu...   



Pulverize & Disguise

Al Gore says global warming is no longer a political, cultural or economic imperativeIt has become a moral imperative.  It is the same with childrens health which is a very inconvenient truth.   Dr. David Katz says, Children are more harmed by poor diet than...   



Try Something New

I take my two daughters to the grocery store about once a month and let them pick an  exotic (unkown to us) fruit or vegetable.  At  home we find a recipe on how to wash, cook, peel or prepare the fruit or vegetable.  The girls have a good time, they le...   



Serving at School

I stress fresh fruits and veggies on my line all the time.  There is always 7 fresh fruits plus carrots with dressing, broccoli too.  Once a month I either carve a veggie into a creative master piece or use apples to look like birds and carrots and bell peppers t...   



Shred it

Shred carrots into potatoes when making mashed potatoes; shred carrots and celery into coleslaw. Shredded zucchini and carrots are great in meatloaf. Quiche is easy to bulk up with any vegetable.  puree cooked broccoli in the food processor, stand up some cooked brocc...   



juice lite

Make ice cubes out of juice and use them in water. Your child gets the benefits of the fruit from the "flavored" water, but not all the sugar the goes along with a full glass of juice....   



pack your lunch

Instead of going to a restaurant for lunch, I go to a grocery store.  I buy a pre-made salad or use the salad bar.  I pick up packages of veggies like grape tomatoes, baby carrots, or sugar snap peas to munch on for a snack.  I might also get an apple or ora...   



Plan for Fruits & Veggies

Tip for makeing sure that you are getting your fruis and vegetables daily. Put together a color coded meal planner for the week.As you plan your meals color in your servings as you get them....   



Hide the Veggies

Rather than turning our supper table into a battle ground, I would simply "hide" the unwanted vegetables.  I buy frozen mixed vegetables, put 1-2 cups in the blender, add 2-3 tbls. of water and blend to create a gray-green, smooth, semi liquid substance whic...   



Tell them they like them

I started my kids on fruits and veggies from the time they started eating whole foods, always offering a colorful selection.  Whenever we sit down to eat and my children ask me if they like a particular fruit or vegetalbe, I always tell them you loved it the last time...   



keep it convenient

For my kids, if it is quick to get in their mouths...they will eat it.  So I buy fruits and veggies and clean and cut them right away. When I  store them in easy open containers in the fridge, the kids just grab and go.  I have noticed that my sons have lots...   



Containers Help

Fresh fruit is happily consumed from the lunch box consumed so long as it is hasn't turned brown (ie, sliced apples), so I focus on fruits in their native skin like grapes and clementines. I save the sliced apples and mangos and such for in-home meals. For vegetables, I re...   



Stock your Pantry

I keep basic fruit and veggies on hand in the fridge and freezer.  I keep baby carrots, a variety of apples, pears, grapes and bananas on hand.  As the grapes and bananas start to ripen too much, I put them in zip lock bags in the freezer.  My children love ...   



let kids choose

I let my grandkids pick out what fruits they want in their breakfast and in their smoothies and I allow them to make them.  We also have a weekly kid's day in the kitchen where they plan the menu for the day and get to go to the grocery store and buy the items if we d...   



prepare ahead of time

I wash fruit and vegestables as soon as I can after shopping.  I separate the fruit and vegestables into plastic sandwich bags by serving size and store in the refrigerator.  This way it's very convenient to take good nutritious snacks to work for lunch or to sim...   



Try Soup

I have found that pureed vegetables are great as a soup and also as an addition to anything that you bake that might need liquid such as meatloaf or even quiche. Our favourite soup this winter was pureed broccoli and potato. Sometimes We would dress it up sometimes with so...   



just add more

The way I incorporate more fruits: I cut up 1 cup of fruit (berries, bananas and kiwi) and put it in my yogurt or cereal every morning.  At dinner,  I steam a variety of veggies.  At the same time,  I saute mushrooms, red pepper, garlic and onion (or wh...   



Make a game of eating more

We sit under the kitchen table and pretend we're eating camp food....   



kids own plate

When my daughter, Kira, was born, a good friend  the mother of two older children herself --  gave me a very cute pottery dish, shaped a flat round with a little hollow cup in the center.  In the midst of all the pink outfits, stuffed animals, and chew frien...   



Fruits & Veggies for Health

Over the years as I have been reading about the value of eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, I realized that with our eating habits at the time there was no way I or my family could use this easy way to maintain/improve our health. We made several changes. The one that...   



new to mothering step children

I married a man with 4 children, 3 living at home. He had sole custody of the children. Along with the long days of work and travel often 10-12 days their eating habits were limited to fast processed foods. Needless to say introducing them to other cooking is a challenge, ...   



Dinner

I m trying to watch my wieght and make sure that the rest of the family eats healthy. The problem is I have the two pickiest little boys ever and a husband that eats nothing but junk I not sure how or what to cook that is both healthy and enjoyable that everyone in the hou...   



dinner

to get kids (and husbands) to eat well you have to think fun. Try having theme nights such as mexican night. Have ground turkey tacos and add can of black beans to add some texture but don't tell the kids! Them have all the fixing tomato, lettuce and don't forget salsa (it...   



Create your own luck

Want your kids to eat that fancy salad you made for dinner? Get them to help you make it! Hone in on their creativity by getting them to make fun things with their vegetables. St. Patrick's day is coming up so create some luck and get them to make some 4-leaf clovers with ...   



Fruits and vegetables can make food fun for kids

Kids like colorful things. And they like to play with their food. At least mine do. With that said, I find that the many colors of fruits and vegetables offer a great opportunity to make food look good to them. So i've made it a habit to cut up a variety of fruits and...   



how can i spruce up vegetables so my daughter will eat them?

my daughter loves fruit but i have a hard time getting her to eat vegetables. i try hiding them but she always finds them. any suggestions?...   



Breakfast Smoothy

In a powerful blender add: fuji apple, 2carrots, 1 cellery, red cabbage, 4 strawberries, 5 rasberries, broccolli, yogurt (4 tblspns) orange juice,2 bananas, Fresh pinapple- blend till smooth...   



fruits & vegetables in juicer

whats the healthy fruits & vegetables to blend in a juicer, for kids and adults....   



Fruits and Veggies

Does anyone know where I can get the nutrition facts for fruits & veggies...   



tracking consumption

I'd like to find a chart for daily tracking of fruit & veg that is kid-friendly - s/thing using stickers or magnets, etc. i'm shocked that this sort of resource is not readily found on this website or elsewhere online....   



Beets

Colorful Tye Dye Salad Fresh greens Fresh or canned oranges. Beets, drained, sliced and save the juice. Add some crunch with pecans, croutons or granola. Put fresh clean greens on the plate first,arrange oranges over the greens, arrange beets over the oranges, sprinkle cru...   



Lunch Box Apples

This time of year I love finding the small apples in the market: Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, even Granny Smith, they were all in the produce section yesterday. My kids love them, they are the perfect size for a lunch box, a great snack or after lunch dessert f...   



Posting in this area is closed temporarily

Please visit our Ask the Expert section for answers to your questions. Scroll the entries or check out the FAQ's....   



Picky 7 year old

I have tried putting a sauce thata the child likes over the vegetable i.e. cheee sauce or maybe some kind of tomato/ketchup sauce. Asking them to try it once. Each time i prepae he dish I use less sauce and soon they realize that they are eating the vegetable alone....   



? 4 u

where does this information come from...   



New Vegetable - Clover Sprouts!

I recently had a salad with some bits from one string cheese spear, a small tomato, and half-a-handful of clover spouts - that's right - clover sprouts. I made a small vinagrette with hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to accompany that salad, and I liked it!...   



Canned veggies

Need suggestions for reducing the sodium in canned vegetables. Was reading some cans in the pantry today and realized that some canned soups and vegs are loaded with salt and sugar....   



Refrigerated fruits

It's suggested to store apples, oranges and grapefruit in the fridge but I do not like cold fruit; they hurt my teeth. I usually leave them out but if I can add to their storage life I'm all for it because they do tend to get shriveled after a while. I'm open to advice and...   



cauliflower trick

Here's a cool trick. Cook your cauliflower until soft. Then mash it or whip it like potatoes. Add Garlic, butter, and other seasonings you like. It has the same consistency and tastes good too. The kids can't tell the difference. Even the 19 year olds. I also switched out ...   



kids food

My grandsons are 5...   



Help please!

My 3 yr. old has a very limited diet. I need to get more protein ...   



frit salad

because its a long way from school to home i always make sure my child has a homemade fruitsalad....   



jucier machines

I'm Diabetic. Is it safe to make and Drink From a Juicer?My concern is when mixing say all the fruit for a drink am I going to get a lot of more calories and carbs aloud.I would like to buy the Jack Lalane Juicer, I'm just not sure if drinking many different fruits or vegg...   



Posting Closed

Posting to the Mom2Mom area has been temporarily closed but we'll soon be bringing you THE Fruit & Veggie Blog, written by a mom like you. In the meantime, check out the Mom2Mom Archive or visit our Ask the Expert section....   



Halloween's Tricky Treats

I LOVE Halloween!  In fact, it's by far my favorite holiday.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that, unlike many holidays, there's no real stress or expectations associated with it.  I find that it's simply a fun time of year to go visit haunted houses, carv...   



Periodic Evaluations Can Lead to Improvements

The other night I saw a commercial that shows a woman grocery shopping and talking about the possibility of government taxing unhealthy food choices--specifically sugary beverages like soda.  As she places a liter of lemon-lime soda in her basket she states that she &...   



What Does Healthy Look Like?

A recent discussion with my teenage daughter revealed she was having some body image issues.  Alex is the exact opposite of me at her age--she's very thin, long arms and legs, a flat belly and narrow hips.  She looks like the typical high school freshman--or so I...   



Going Out to Eat? Don't Forget Your Fruits & Veggies

Let's be honest--we've all done it.  Okay, some of us more than others, but I'm sure at some point you and your family have been seated in a restaurant and end up feasting on meals that look nothing like the nutritious versions you prepare at home.  For some reas...   



Getting Back to the Basics

After recently getting news that a family friend had been diagnosed with cancer, I started thinking about how many people--young and old--seem to be acquiring serious diseases these days.  Cancer is just one disease I feel like I've heard all too much about in recent ...   



Try a New Twist on Cranberries this Thanksgiving

Although cranberry sauce is one of the main items associated with Thanksgiving, I was never a big fan.  I know a lot of folks enjoy it and that's great--I just could never quite warm up to that red, jiggley mass, which still held the can imprints on it. &nbs...   



Are You the Alpha Dog?

I have two dogs and when they were pups my vet gave me sound advice: Always make sure you assert yourself as the "alpha" dog of the pack.  Otherwise, she said, they will walk all over you.  While I know that parenting is a far cry from dog training, I h...   



Are You the Alpha Dog? (Part II)

Today I continue with the subject of parenting and using my friend Maureen, who I consider to be a great mom, as an example.  Last week I touched on a few familiar topics parents deal with like getting your kids to take on responsibilities and addressing disrespectful...   



This Holiday Focus on What's Really Important

December is a whirlwind of a month.  Between shopping, decorating, attending holiday parties and baking, it's a wonder we have enough time to sleep.  It's no surprise the holidays can be stressful for a lot of people.  I know I have found myself worrying abo...   



It's Cold and Flu Season--Defend Yourself

December is known for the holidays, festive occasions and ...the flu.  Typically we start to see signs of colds and the more serious flu virus popping up this time of year.  It's probably due to the fact that as the weather turns colder we are indoors and in clo...   



Keeping New Year's Resolutions

Every January I really hate going to the gym.  I spend the majority of the time searching for an open parking space and once inside I'm fighting other members for a cardio machine, a free weight or even a spot to stretch.  While it's incredibly frustrating, I kno...   



Your Kids Take Their Lead From YOU!

In many countries, like China and India for example, children regularly eat fruit, veggies and fish without complaint.  In fact, these foods make up the majority of their daily meals.  Yet, here at home we have a tough time getting our own kids to touch anything ...   



The Anti-Bully Zone Starts at Home

This week I'd like to write about something a bit different from my usual healthy lifestyle topics.  As a parent, I feel I'd be remiss in ignoring something we've seen making headlines in recent months and a very real problem for many of our children--bullying. Due t...   



Don't Be Afraid to Spice Up Your Veggies

My mom always used lots of herbs and spices in her cooking so I grew accustom to my foods having a little extra "zip" in them.  Since this is how I learned to cook, it was how I began to introduce meals to my own family.  I have found that extra touch o...   



What Makes a "Happy" Meal?

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I'm all for getting kids to eat healthy.  That said, you might be surprised that I have mixed feelings about the recent news that San Francisco voted to ban including a toy in fast food child meals (commonly known as ...   



Tummy Troubles? Fruits & Veggies Provide Much Needed Nutrition

In the past few years there has been increased awareness around a variety of gastrointestinal problems.  IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) including Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, acid reflux and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) impact the lives of hundr...   



Coming to Terms with My "Un-Coolness"

Remember when your parents wouldn't let you do something and you'd think how when you grew up you would be a cool parent?  I did whenever I didn't like something my parents did or didn't agree with one of their rules.  Lately I'm finding myself having to come to ...   



Make Your Own Applesauce

This week I welcome a recipe and blog input from Dana Davis, founder and president of Tyger Sales and Marketing.  Dana is a strong advocate of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry with more than 12 years experience working with produce companies.  Dana is marri...   



Guilt-Free Valentine's Day Gifts

When we think of Valentine's day, we traditionally think of that heart-shaped box full of chocolates.  As tempting as that may sound, it's a sure fire way to overindulge and end up with "sugar shock."  I mean, seriously, can you really just eat one of t...   



Veggie Quiches: A Breakfast or Snack Time Treat

This week I'd like to share one of my favorite things to make for breakfast--veggie quiches.  Besides the obvious reason they're my favorite (they taste so good!), they are simple to make, easy to store and allow me to get in a full serving of vegetables before 9 a.m....   



Staying Healthy When You're Expecting

While it's important to eat healthfully ALL the time, a woman who is expecting has extra motivation since her diet will also impact the health of her unborn child.  And, it's not as easy as it sounds to ensure you eat the right foods while pregnant--morning sickness a...   



40 Plus and Feeling Fine

To say our culture is obsessed with youth would be an understatement.  One look at the T.V. or most marketing ads and it's pretty obvious.  For the most part, it doesn't bother me that I've passed that "ideal" youthful age of twenty-something, but every...   



Good Health Takes a Lifetime Commitment

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go."  --William FeatherFor the most part, I believe we've become a nation of people who want and expect instant gratification.  From economic recovery to travel time to weight los...   



Meeting New Guidelines with Half-Your-Plate Concept

In January, the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services released the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  There were no real surprises--Americans should cut down on sodium, added sugar and solid fat.  In addition, they are recommending that we start fi...   



Planting Peas Signal Start of Spring

Peas are the first crop to be planted for the gardening season and signal one of the first signs that spring is here.   Since I've been wishing for the cold and snow to go away since around the time it started (December), any symbol of spring is okay with me, not...   



Capture the Goodness of Spring Onions Year-Round

I welcome back guest blogger Dana Davis this week for a lesson on drying spring onions.  Earlier this year Dana shared with us her recipe for homemade applesauce, which was a big hit!  Since I love the flavor spring onions add to many dishes I know I'll be trying...   



Are Today's Kids Growing Up Too Quickly?

Last week, I heard a disturbing news report about a popular retail clothing chain that is currently marketing a padded, "push-up" bikini top to girls as young as age 7.  What??!!   The report got me thinking about my own kids and all the things we ...   



My Favorite Spring Veggie

If I had to pick a favorite vegetable this time of year, I'd have to say asparagus is the winner.  I actually enjoy it year round, but spring it's at its peak of flavor and the prices are low.  While there are many ways to prepare this versatile veggie, the key i...   



Weight Loss: How Fruits & Veggies Helped Me (Almost!) Reach My Goal

Early last fall, I decided I wasn't eating enough fruits and vegetables.  I promptly began incorporating more into my daily diet.  These were simple changes--I substituted a piece of fruit or unsweetened applesauce and a low-fat string cheese for my mid-morning s...   



Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Avocados

This week we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army's victory over French forces in 1862.  For most of us, it serves as an opportunity to celebrate Mexican heritage and history while enjoying the delicious foods Mexico has to offer.  In rece...   



Save Money and Buy Fresher Produce with the Season

Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, I'm beginning to see the first signs of local produce stands in my area.  I'm always thrilled with this for two reasons:  A) the produce sold locally is especially fresh and tasty and B) local produce is very budge...   



Head Outdoors and Take Advantage of the Season

For me, a healthy body is the result of two important things--diet and exercise.  While I exercise on a regular basis year round, I find April, May and June to be my favorite months because it allows me to give the gym a rest and venture outside for my physical activi...   



Kick Off the Summer Season with Some Strawberries!

When I was growing up, the start of my summer was officially Memorial Day weekend--our first weekend of the year at our summer place.  Even now, the last weekend of May I always associate with the beginning of summer, the end of school (or close to it) and ...strawber...   



Spoil Them Now and What Happens Later?

I just attended an event, which was held at an upscale restaurant, with more than 100 guests in attendance, a full open bar and cocktail hour before a sit down dinner, Viennese dessert table, table centerpieces, dancing with DJ and guest favors.  No, it wasn't a weddi...   



New Food Icon = Extra Commitment

A few months ago I wrote about how the Half-My-Plate concept was helping me keep myself and my family on track to getting our recommended servings of fruits and veggies each day.  It makes it easier to measure servings--just fill half your plate!  This past week ...   



Make Your Child's Summer Vacation Count

As I write this my two teens are finishing up their last week of school and I'm thinking about the 2+ months of free time they'll have on their hands.  I have a feeling a lot of moms are dealing with this same scenario and, depending on how old your child is, it can b...   



Meal Tips for Beating the Heat

I find that the seasons really dictate how much time I spend in the kitchen and what kind of meals I prepare for my family.  For example, you can usually find me making some veggie soup on a chilly, rainy day or roasting a chicken and some butternut squash during the ...   



Add Some Fruits & Veggies to Your July 4th Celebration

July 4th typically means outdoor barbeque celebrations and my husband's family is no exception.  Since they live by the water and have a pool, it makes for the perfect location to fire up the grill, get some sun and enjoy the holiday.  My first year at their cele...   



How to Keep Healthy on Vacation

Have you ever come back from vacation feeling sluggish?  Or how about finding your clothes are a bit tighter than before you went away?  I have and I chalk it up to overindulging on foods I don't normally consume. Let's face it--vacations are for letting loose, ...   



Reap the Benefits of Family Meals

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how I continue to provide my family with healthy meals during the summer months when the heat and humidity can make me want to avoid the kitchen.  I received a few comments in response, which were all similar--how important it is t...   



A Fun Idea for Summer Squash

If you planted summer squash in your garden this year, right about now you're probably trying to figure out what to do with all the extra you have.  I can remember my parents bringing zucchini with them to work to give out to their colleagues--I think as quickly as th...   



Portion Size: Does it Matter?

I recently saw a show where they compared a typical fast food meal from back in the 1970's to one today.  Both meals consisted of a hamburger, soda and order of French fries.  The 1970's meal resulted in a total of 590 calories, while today's version en...   



Eating During the Dog Days of Summer

My area of the country just got through a week long heat wave of temps hovering around 100 degrees with heat indexes in the 110's and it sounds like we're in for another one later this week.  I'm not sure about you, but when the weather gets this hot my appetite goes ...   



Taking Steps to Combat Childhood Obesity

Last week, McDonald's made an announcement that probably has health conscious moms smiling.  Beginning this September, they will automatically put a serving of fruit in each of their Happy Meals, reduce the size of the French fries included and offer a choice of bever...   



Gearing Up for Back to School

It's hard to believe summer is almost over and within the next few weeks we'll be seeing that familiar sight of school buses in neighborhoods everywhere.  I must admit, by end of summer I'm feeling like the parent in that old commercial who is gleefully pushing his ca...   



Trying to Find a Balance

I find more each day that parenting is a learning process and sometimes we make a decision not knowing if it's the right one at the time.  Things like making sure my kids eat healthy or setting curfews and other rules can differ from other parents and there's nobody to te...   



Help Improve Nutrition in Your School or Community

Now that it's back-to-school time, a lot of moms are focusing even more on the health of their children.  I know my two teens are much better prepared to take on the day's challenges when they're eating well-balanced meals.  Traditionally there were limited optio...   



So Many Ways to Celebrate National Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month!

September brings a new season, a new school year and the opportunity to recommit yourself to a healthy lifestyle.  September is National Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month and this year there are more ways to show your support and get involved. In line with the n...   



Settling in to a New Season

The fragrance of burning leaves has replaced the summertime scent of tanning lotion and lazy days have become a hectic mishmash of work, school and sports schedules.  Yes, we've officially entered a new season and, if you're like me, it can be a shock to the system.  Don...   



Apples are the Flavor of Fall

One of the things I enjoy most about this time of year is biting into a sweet, crisp apple.  Since we're just coming into their peak season, I thought I'd offer a little info** about the various varieties and a few ways I like to enjoy them. Apples are a great source o...   



Giving Your Child an Edge with Healthy Meals

With the start of the school year, there have been a number of articles, blog entries and reports relating to nutrition for school-aged children.  This week, I thought I'd share my own tips for keeping my kids well fed and healthy throughout the school year. Let's star...   



Go Pink for October

October is breast cancer awareness month and, if you're like most people, you've either been personally touched by it or know someone who has.  I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you (and myself!) about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how it can go a lo...   



Soup for Supper!

As the days turn cooler, I find myself spending more time in the kitchen and one of my favorite things to cook is soup.  While soup tends to be seen as a first course on many menus, I prefer to make it my entree and build my meal around it. Soup is an easy way to add m...   



A Little Planning Goes a Long Way for a Healthy Lifestyle

As the mother of teens, the benefits of planning seem to be an ongoing lesson for both my kids and me.  Sometimes it's watching John run around in the morning trying to grab his stuff and run out the door to get to school on time ("If you had organized the things you need...   



This Halloween Focus on Fun!

Halloween is my favorite holiday and it's definitely not because of the candy.  I love the autumn season, the fun of dressing up and the silly, scary mood of the celebration.  If you're like many parents who dread having their children gather bagfuls of sugary treats, wh...   



My Encounter with Miss Picky

This week I'd like to share a funny story. My husband and I were doing our usual weekly shopping the other week and as I was selecting some lemons in the produce area, I overheard I tiny voice saying, "I don't liiiike those." (note the "like" was drawn out and emphasize...   



Make Side Dishes the Stars of Your Thanksgiving Table

My family is staying home and I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself this year (yikes!).  At first I thought I was going to have to throw my commitment to the MyPlate dietary guidelines out the window for the day (filling half our plates with fruit or vegetables).  But a...   



Be Their Parent, Not Their Friend

One of the most difficult things about your kids growing older is the way you somehow morph from being the wisest person in the world who they want to be around all the time to the person who doesn't have a clue about anything (in their eyes) and who they cringe at the th...   



Remember to Give Thanks

I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week.  In light of the holiday, I want to remind everyone (and myself!) to be thankful for what you have.  It's so easy to become bogged down with life's every day troubles and forget about the good things we have or take them fo...   



Avoiding Holiday Nutrition Disasters

'Tis the season ...to be merry, to be jolly and for many, to let common sense when it comes to healthy eating go right out the window.  The alarming part is that it only takes that short period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year's to undo a good portion of the heal...   



Try Healthy, Homemade Gifts this Year

I usually find the most difficult gifts are the little ones--hostess gifts, something for the kids' teachers, etc.  I get tired of doing the usual candle, potpourri routine each year and I started thinking about what I've received that I really appreciated.  Typically, i...   



Kicking the Cold or Flu Virus (Once You've Caught It!)

You've taken all the precautions--gotten your flu shot, wash your hands frequently and you eat a healthy diet.  Yet, somehow you've managed to catch some kind of nasty cold/flu virus that's been making the rounds.  Unfortunately, this time of year despite all the precaut...   



Christmas Eve Italian Style

"The Feast of the Seven Fishes" is a popular Italian tradition celebrated on Christmas Eve, which involves a large meal revolving around numerous seafood dishes.  My mother's family used to celebrate it years ago with dishes like crabs in spaghetti and fried smelts among ...   



This Year Make YOU a Priority

It seems like one of the biggest challenges for many people when it comes to health and fitness is time.  If you're like me, you're most likely trying to juggle your work schedule with the school and sport schedules of your children.  Don't forget to add in doctor appoin...   



The Real Cost of Eating Healthy

This week I wanted to comment on a subject that frequent comes up--the cost of fruits and vegetables or just eating healthy in general.  I've seen a variety of comments that it's more expensive to eat healthy and that the Fruits & Veggies--More Matters message to cons...   



Chase Away the Winter Blues with Fresh Herbs

I find the winter "blues" typically hit me right after the holidays.  The days are short, the temps are cold and unfortunately we've still got a few months before it begins to warm up and the first signs of spring appear.  One of the things I miss during the cold weather...   



Let One Pot Meals Warm You this Winter

When I think of "comfort food" the first thing that comes to mind are one-pot or one-dish meals like soups, stews and casseroles.  And, there is no better time to enjoy these foods than during the winter season when we're looking for any way possible to keep warm and cozy...   



How Do You Keep a Healthy Attitude During Winter?

Typically each week I'm sharing my own tips or advice on a wide range of topics.  This week, I'd like to turn the tables and ask you to share your ideas on something I think probably affects many of us this time of year--the winter "blahs." You probably know what I'm t...   



Weight Management Made Easy (Finally!)

Last spring, I wrote about how some small changes made to my eating habits had made an unexpected difference in my weight.  Without trying, I had dropped 5 pounds and my clothes were fitting looser than normal.  Those changes were simply adding more fruits and vegetables...   



This Valentine's Day Focus on a Healthy Heart

It's hard to think of February without thinking of hearts--heart-shaped cards, heart-shaped candies, Valentine's Day, etc.  But don't forget that February is also American Heart Month when we raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and encourage people to fight back aga...   



The Secrets of Snacking

Remember being told never to eat between meals when you were a kid?  Well, in my opinion, you can throw that advice right out the window.  Snacking, as long as you're eating the right things, can be key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, as well as keeping you...   



When It Comes to Eating Their Fruits and Veggies, Kids Are Copy Cats

Ever hear of the saying "monkey see, monkey do?"  Well, that kind of sums it up when it comes to kids eating healthy.  This topic has come up in past blog entries, but I think it's worth repeating since our own attitudes and actions toward healthy eating have a lot of in...   



"Hiding" Veggies: Is it Good or Bad?

There seems to be some debate on whether or not moms should "sneak" veggies into their kids' food.  Some moms are big fans of the practice and there are even a few cookbooks out there with recipes designed around this, while other moms are more traditional and believe chi...   



Celebrate National Nutrition Month with ALL Forms!

March is National Nutrition Month and this year's theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape," which I'm pretty sure is designed to go along with the new dietary guidelines of making half your plate fruits and veggies.  Sadly, if you walk through any cafeteria or restaurant, chanc...   



Spicy Black-Eyed Peas are What's for Dinner

If you're a working mom you know that coming up with weeknight meals is tough.  You want to find something that your family will like, have it be healthy for them and easy for you to make--not an easy task.  This is why I'm always excited when I come across a recipe that...   



Spring Clean ...Your Pantry

It's spring--yippee--my favorite time of year!  I always feel energized to get myself organized and clear out the clutter that has accumulated over the winter months.  One particular area I turn my attention to is my kitchen pantry.  I typically sort through half eaten ...   



Add a Taste of Spring to Your Easter Table

 I'll be having my family over for Easter celebration this year and I'm looking forward to making my table festive.  My sister is coming over the day before to color eggs with me and I want to get some spring flowers like lilies and tulips to create a centerpiece.  ...   



Taking Health Tips from the Older Generation

My 92-year-old grandfather passed away last week after living a very full and healthy life.  In fact, up until the last three months of his life he was lucky enough to have nothing more than an old war injury to his back bother him from time to time.  While staying at my...   



Food Safety Tips for Warmer Weather

Happy May 1st everyone!  My favorite month of the year for so many reasons, but mostly because of all the outdoor activities this time of year brings.  Picnics, barbeques and beach outings are going to become the weekend norm for most of us over the next few months.  Th...   



The Solution: A Bowl of Fruit!

I'm sure many other moms will understand my challenge of getting my two teens to opt for fruit when snacking over other less healthy choices like cookies or ice cream.  I don't mind them having the other stuff sometimes, but I'd like them to reach for some fruit at least ...   



How Diabetes Has Impacted My Life

Although I've been writing this blog for over a year, I've stayed away from sharing too much about the fact that my husband is a Type 1 diabetic.  And then just this week I saw a report on the news that a new study, presented at the CDC's Weight of the Nation Conference ...   



Don't Forget Sun Safety This Summer

This week's blog is off my usual topic of nutrition and exercise, but it's definitely something we, as Moms, should be aware of with the summer season almost upon us--protecting yourself and your kids from the sun.  I will be the first to say that I am walking proof of ho...   



Quick, Easy & Healthy Dinner Idea

Have you ever had one of those evenings where you haven't taken anything out for dinner, it's too late to defrost anything and you'd really rather not order take out?  I've found myself in that spot more than once and as long as I've got a few key ingredients on hand to m...   



Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact on Your Health

There are things I've heard and seen lately that I don't really agree with and I thought I'd bring it up in this week's blog and let my readers decide how they feel about the subject.  I'll call it the "all or nothing" mentality.  Let me explain... Many of us are doin...   



MyPlate Celebrates One Year

It's hard to believe it's been a year since we threw away the measuring cups and stopped struggling to figure out if we were really getting our required amount of fruits and veggies at every meal.  This month we celebrate the first birthday of MyPlate, the icon representi...   



My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

This week, I want to share with you my own personal challenge when it comes to exercise, specifically running.  My hope is that if you're feeling fed up with your own routine or like giving up, you might get some encouragement after reading this and realize there is at le...   



Healthy Kid-Friendly Summer Snacking Options

Our family joined a new pool this year, which has a snack bar that opens for 15 minutes on the hour.  This coincides with "adult swim" and I'm guessing it's so that the adults who opt to take advantage of those peaceful 15 minutes in the pool don't have to do it with a fe...   



A Simple Side Dish for Your 4th of July Celebrations

If you're like many people, chances are you've been invited to attend a barbeque, cookout or picnic this 4th of July.  One challenge I always face is what to bring so that it keeps well in the heat and is something that everyone else won't be bringing (how many times have...   



Let Fruits & Veggies Help Keep You Hydrated

If you were one of the many who suffered last week's brutal heat wave, you know keeping hydrated was key to surviving those uncomfortable days. The obvious answer is to have water on hand at all times, but I find that filling up on fruits and vegetables at meal times reall...   



Finding the Right Diet Plan for You

I was recently at a barbeque where I met a woman who had lost over 150 pounds--quite an accomplishment!  She had drastically modified her diet and made exercise a regular part of her daily routine to reach this goal.  The conversation revolved around dieting for a bit an...   



Exercise "Social Networks" Can Keep You Motivated

One reason people stop exercising is lack of interest or loss of motivation.  Let's face it--after a while doing the same thing can get boring.  That's why so many personal trainers will tell you to mix up your routine by adding different kinds of exercise into the mix (...   



Want to Feel Your Best? Listen to Your Body!

Last Saturday morning, my husband informed me that John wasn't feeling great.  Apparently he was having some stomach "issues" and had spent a little extra time in the bathroom that morning.  Ugh!  When he came downstairs a bit later he smiled at me and said, "Man, I don...   



Save the Dining Out for Special Occasions

When I was growing up we usually ate at home.  If we went out if was for a special occasion, because we did well on our report card or during the summer we'd stop somewhere each Friday night on our way to the beach for dinner.  Eating out always felt like a special treat...   



Make Your Health A Priority

We've all done it (I know I have!)--we're too busy to exercise or cook a healthy meal.  Yet, we somehow find time to fit in other things we want to do.  It's all about priorities and typically maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be one of the first things to get sacrific...   



Food Budgets and Meal Planning 101

Learning how to create and live within a budget is a skill and sadly I find that many folks, especially in younger generations, are lacking that skill today.  I learned from my mother who, in turn, learned from my grandmother how important it was to create a budget and pl...   



Make Your Child's Lunch the Envy of the Lunch Table

It's hard to believe summer is over and school is back in session, but along with homework and sports practice, packing lunches is one more thing you can add to your daily agenda.  As a mom, I know how difficult it can be to create lunches that are healthy and will be som...   



Celebrate Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month with Small Improvements

Have you wanted to make a change?  Maybe drop a few pounds or add more exercise to your schedule?  September is Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month and there's never a better time to start than right now! Many of us often think of January as the ideal time to beg...   



Enjoying Flavors of a New Season

As much as I love the summer and all that comes with it (warm temps, the beach, fun in the sun), each year I find myself getting excited for the pleasures autumn brings.  I'm not the only one either--earlier this week a friend posted on Facebook, "Pumpkin Spice coffee is ...   



Progress Not Perfection

Since September is Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month, I'm very excited to welcome a guest blogger this week!  Amanda Brooks is a seven-time marathoner and personal trainer and the author of RunToTheFinish, a fitness and healthy living website that stemmed from her ...   



An Investment in Better Nutrition Benefits All Americans

A few weeks ago I was contacted by American Health Line, an online publication providing nonpartisan synthesis of the day's health care news, to provide a guest blog post for Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month. If you regularly read my blog, you know my topics can...   



October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's October and while you may be seeing lots of pumpkins and Halloween-themed items around, there's something else you'll be seeing a lot of as well--the color pink!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and its symbol is the pink ribbon.  Many retailers and brands ...   



Paint Your Plate the Colors of the Season

Now that autumn has officially started, I'm in full "fall mode."  I've got my house decorated for Halloween, my fall mums are planted and I'm incorporating all the fresh fall produce into my my meals.  I love how many of the season's fruits and vegetables match the hues ...   



Host a Healthy Halloween Party

Halloween is just a few weeks away and it seems like each year more parents are opting for different activities than the usual trick-or-treating.  In many cases, this allows parents to cut down on the amount of candy their children consume and provides a safer environment...   



Adventures at the Apple Orchard

Each fall I encourage families to go to their local farm or orchard and take advantage of the in-season, local produce while having some autumn fun.  This year, I decided to visit my favorite place, Milburn Orchards, and take a few photos to show you what local farms have...   



How to Create a Healthy Plate in Less-Than-Perfect Dining Situations

I've written about how we can avoid dining disasters when eating out, but many of my examples have involved selecting the establishment you desire to visit.  So, what happens if you find yourself in a situation where you're dining at a restaurant that's not exactly known ...   



Roast Veggies for Added Flavor

If you've seached online or through a magazine lately, you've probably seen at least one recipe that calls for roasting autumn vegetables.  One reason is that fall veggies hold up well to this cooking method.  Sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, brussels sprouts, acorn an...   



A Behind the Scenes Look at the New School Nutrition Rules

When school started this year, our kids were welcomed with healthier fare in the cafeteria.  The new school nutrition guidelines kicked in, which meant less fat, sugar and salt, and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.  It all sounds great, right?  H...   



A Quick, Healthy Soup to Warm You on Cold Nights

Chilly winter evenings call for a bowl of hearty, steaming soup.  But on a busy weeknight who has the time to prepare homemade soup after a day at work?  I've got a great solution for a quick, easy and healthy homemade split pea soup that will take you no more than an ho...   



Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us it's easy to get mired down in the usual craziness that comes with them, but if you really want to embody the spirit of the season, I'd encourage you to do something that gives back to those less fortunate.  I know it is this time of year that I...   



How to Use Tools Found in Your Supermarket to Make Healthy Shopping Choices

The best way to make healthy choices when shopping is to plan ahead, but let's face it--with busy lifestyles that doesn't always work out.  So, when you find yourself at the supermarket without a plan and without a shopping list, how do you ensure you don't end up with a ...   



Gifts from the Heart

I find the most difficult holiday gifts tend to be hostess gifts or those smaller items for that special teacher, your child's soccer coach or your hair stylist who never lets you down.  It's hard to find the right balance of not overdoing it while finding something uniqu...   



Hosting a Stress Free Holiday Party

You know those women who seem to effortlessly pull off successful house parties?  Everything is perfect--the food, the atmosphere, the decorations and everyone is talking about how wonderful the party was for weeks afterward?  Well, I'm not one of them.  The stress of m...   



Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Get You Moving

Mornings can be tough, especially this time of year when the temps have dropped below the freezing mark and you'd much rather stay snug and warm under the covers.  That's why I find starting your day with a healthy breakfast that will fill you up and provide enough energy...   



A Year-End Note to Moms and Dads: Keep Up the Good Work!

As a mom, I can say that being a parent is without a doubt the most difficult job I've ever had.  It's one that requires you to be on the clock 24/7 and there are a lot of times you question whether or not you're doing it well.  I often feel like a broken record--remindi...   



3 Simple Ways to Make Your New Year a Healthy One

A new year means a clean slate--a chance to start fresh and healthy living always tops new year resolutions.  Often times, people think this means expensive gym memberships or a whole diet overhaul.  No so!  Healthy living is an ongoing process and you have to start som...   



Greens--Easy, Economical & Delicious!

Kale is Fruits & Veggies--More Matters "veggie of the month" and it got me thinking about how much I love greens--ALL greens, kale included.  They're so versatile and no matter what the season, they're readily available in your supermarket's produce section.  An add...   



Beat the Winter "Blahs" with Citrus Fruits

If you're like me, January and February can be tough months to get through.  The days are cold, tend to be gray and I spend more time indoors than I prefer.  One shining spot during these winter months is the fact that citrus fruits are in season.  Quite frankly, it cou...   



You'll Cheer for These Superbowl Snacks

I saw a Taco Bell commercial the other day that really annoyed me.  It showed a person attending a Superbowl party with a vegetable tray and the voiceover says that showing up to game day with veggies is a "cop out and people really hate you for it."  Seriously?  I've p...   



At Home Juicing and Smoothie Fixes That Won't Break the Bank

Juicing and ready-made smoothies are all the rage these days, especially when it comes to fruit and vegetable blends.  And, why not?  Many Americans don't get the required amount of vegetables so adding them to a sweet tasting drink is an easy solution for incorporating...   



Be the Example

This week I'm excited to welcome guest blogger Lori Taylor, better known as The Produce Mom!  Launched in January 2012, The Produce Mom® is the official blog and consumer brand of Indianapolis Fruit Company.  Lori has seven yeas of experience with Indy Fruit and boasts ...   



Simple Steps to a Healthier Salad Bar Meal

My kids recently informed me that their school added a salad bar to the cafeteria.  I was really pleased with this news since it provides the kids who purchase their lunch with another healthy meal option.  The problem is that some of Alex's friends who are visiting t...   



You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power of Positive Thinking

Succeeding isn't always about how physically strong or well-prepared you are.  The same goes for managing your way through a rough spot.  A lot of it has to do with how well you can motivate yourself mentally.  Let me start with a personal example.  If you read my b...   



Garlic: Full Flavor at Low Cost

What is one ingredient you simply can't do without in your kitchen?  Of course it's difficult to choose only one, but at the top of my list is garlic.  I can honestly say I use it in more of my entree and side dishes than any other ingredient.  The aroma of garlic saut...   



Healthy Options for a Festive St. Patrick's Day Feast

If you're like most people, you'll be channeling your inner Irish this upcoming weekend.  Aside from the holiday parades, you might also choose to prepare a St. Patrick's day-themed meal to celebrate.  Now, since green beer is not  considered a nutritious option, let's...   



Guest Post: Red Berry Whole Wheat Scones

This week I'm honored to have Jodi Reinman, who is well-known for her popular "Garlic Girl" blog, share a delicious, yet healthy recipe you'll want to add to your spring celebrations!  In addition to her Garlic Girl blog, Jodi works as Public Relations and Social Media...   



Savory or Sweet--Salsa's a Great Addition to Your Meal

Up until a few years ago, I thought of salsa in the traditional snack food/appetizer way--"salsa and chips."  The version I was familiar with was the tomato salsa, usually made with tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and onion.  I still love tomato salsa, but I've found that th...   



Add a New Twist to Your Old Lunchtime Favorites

"Salad" sandwiches are a lunch favorite.  Tuna, chicken or egg salad--they appear on cafeteria and diner menus and we enjoy them from a young age.  And, while the traditional versions of these longtime favorites are very tasty, they are usually high in fat and lacking ...   



Teens & End-of-School-Year Stress

The spring months typically mean a sense of renewed energy, anticipation for summer fun and vacations, and an overall feeling of well-being.  That is, unless your a teenager or a parent of one.  Don't get me wrong--all these things still apply, but as we approach the end...   



Want to Eat Like a Celebrity? Eat Kale!

This week, I welcome Dianne Mower, author of  The Healthy Eating Organisation blog.  Dianne's passion is simple, she wants to deliver sensible, realistic information on how to improve the health benefits of every meal for her readers.  Her recipes are easy to follow and...   



Avoiding Diet Disasters While on Vacation

We've all been faced with a familiar situation--you're doing really well, eating a healthy diet, then it's time to go on vacation and BAM! all sanity goes to the wind.  I'm here to tell you it is possible to go away, stay focused on eating healthy and still enjoy yourself...   



Rethink Your Next BBQ Menu

Now that the weather is finally starting to show signs of spring, many of us are breaking out the grill.  With Memorial Day right around the corner, there are plenty of backyard BBQ opportunities over the next few months.  I know the typical grilling menu consists of bur...   



Go Gluten-Free Naturally

May is Celiac Awareness Month.  According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 1 out of 133 people in the United States is affected by Celiac Disease.  People who suffer from this are frequently believed to have an allergy to gluten, a protein found in wheat.  Actually, su...   



Reduce the Sodium, Keep the Flavor

Many of us are trying to reduce the amount of sodium in our diets.  In fact, the U.S. dietary recommendation is not to consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.  High sodium diets can be linked to greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.  It's ...   



Celebrate National Salad Month!

 May is National Salad Month and with the warmer weather here, there's no better time to give your oven a rest and enjoy a lighter meal.  When we typically think of "salad," we think of a traditional side salad or green salad.  I encourage you to experiment--don't f...   



Happy 2nd Birthday, MyPlate!

 Two years ago this month, USDA introduced MyPlate, replacing MyPyramid as the visual for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.  Why should we celebrate this milestone?  Well, for the first time consumers were provided with a clear idea of what a balanced diet should look li...   



Rethink Your Summer Snack Routine

 Summer days are for trips to the pool, park or beach and any parent knows snacks are a must.  Before you reach for a bag of salty chips, package of cookies or drop money at your destination for whatever calorie and sodium laden choices they have available, try some ...   



Simple Side Dishes for Summer

 Side dishes are designed to complement your meal.  Since summertime meals are traditionally lighter fare due to the warmer temps, try to keep your sides simple so they won't overwhelm your main entree.  A lot of cooking is done on the grill and when you can, use th...   



Mix It Up with Marinades this Summer

 Outdoor grilling is a regular activity during the summer months and its hard to deny the wonderful flavor a barbeque adds to meat, fish and veggies.  Yet, you can boost that flavor even more by marinating your meats or veggies.  A variety of herbs, spices, vinegars...   



The Origin of Hatch Chile Peppers

 This week, I welcome a blog post from Melissa's Produce on Hatch Chile Peppers.  The folks at Melissa's Produce were gracious enough to provide us with some background about the origins of the Hatch Chile and ideas for using it in your recipes.  Enjoy the following...   



How to Enjoy Sweet Cherries this Summer

 This week, I welcome Brianna Shales of Stemilt Growers.  Stemilt Growers is known for their apples, pears and, during the summer months, their delicious cherries.  I've enjoyed these tasty gems and they are really extraordinary!  Brianna has agreed to share some h...   



Zucchini that's Going Like Hotcakes!

 If you planted summer squash back in the spring, you're probably trying to figure out what to do with all of it right about now. My guess is you've already supplied your friends and family with an abundance and you've got several loaves of zucchini bread in the free...   



Keeping Your Teen Healthy--Physically & Emotionally

 It is with a heavy heart that I write this week's blog. Last week, we learned that one of my teens' classmates took her own life. Of course the big question is "Why?" and there is never a good answer. Our school community held a prayer service for the students and...   



A Protein Packed Summer Salad (No Meat Required!)

 I try to limit the time I spend heating up my kitchen during the warmer months, instead opting for using the grill or choosing recipes that use little or no-cook methods when possible. Salads are often a great alternative and adding protein to them make them filling...   



Beach Grub That's Good and Good for You!

 We just got back from the beach and typically beach vacations can be healthy diet disasters.  Everywhere you look there are nutrition nightmares--boardwalk fries, greasy pizza, ice cream  and fudge.  It can be difficult not returning from your trip without packing on...   



Family Meals Make a Difference

 If you follow my blog, you know I'm a big advocate of family meals.  The one thing I've always insisted is that we consistently sit down as a family at dinner and those meals are prepared by me 90 percent of the time.  Why do I feel so strongly about this?  Three reas...   



Enjoy Garden Fresh Tomatoes Year Round

 If you planted tomatoes this spring, you are reaping the fruits of your labor right now with an abundance of fresh-from-the vine goodies.  Quite frankly, no store bought variety can compare to one grown in your own garden (in my opinion)--there is a certain sweet fl...   



Add Some Healthy Dishes to Your End-of-Summer Celebrations

 Am I the only one who is having a hard time believing summer is almost over??  It's true though--this weekend we celebrate Labor day, the "unofficial" end of the summer season and the beginning of another school year.  If you're like many folks, you'll be spendin...   



It's Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month! What's On Your Plate?

Happy September!  This month is packed with good things--a new season, a new school year and we get to celebrate Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month.  "More Matters" is important to understand when talking about fruit and veggies.  Why?  Because consuming sufficie...   



A Fresh New Season, A Fresh New Start

 A few times each year, I push the "restart" button on my healthy lifestyle routine.  It's typically at New Year's, around spring (think "spring cleaning") and again in September.  September is a great time for me to regroup because of the new season and the new sch...   



Spice Up Veggies with Indian Flavors

My friend and neighbor, Sadhana, is Indian and has recently introduced me to her culture's culinary's delights.  She is vegetarian so the dishes she prepares take advantage of all sorts of fruit and vegetables, especially those that are flavorful and in-season.  While re...   



Another Reason to Love September--It's National Mushroom Month!

September is National Mushroom Month and that's a reason to celebrate in my house.  We love mushrooms and why not?  They're readily available year-round and are a great addition to soups, salads, pizzas and sauces.  My husband is particularly fond of mushrooms, so I m...   



Add Some Winter Squash to Your Harvest Table

Less than a month ago, I was trying to figure out what to do with the abundance of summer squash I had on hand.  Now that we've moved into the fall season, the summer squash plants are either done producing or pretty close to it.  And, while I'll miss having fresh summer...   



5 Apples to Try During National Apple Month

This week, I welcome Brianna Shales of Stemilt Growers, back for National Apple Month.  Autumn is busy time of year for Stemilt and Brianna has agreed to share her knowledge of the different varieties of apples harvested by Stemilt. Check out these delicious varieties and...   



Celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month so I thought it would be an ideal time to explore the different types of vegetarian diets, their benefits and how meatless meals can be incorporated into your regular meal schedule.   Many folks think going vegetarian is simply omi...   



Beef, Chicken or Vegetarian, Spicy or Not ...A Chili Flavor for Every Taste

The autumn season brings crisp days, chilly evenings and lots of football!  In our house, a favorite dish we enjoy while watching the game is a hearty bowl of chili.  I usually tend to make the traditional tomato-based blend, using ground turkey breast and kidney beans, ...   



Fun, Healthy Treats for Halloween

 This week, we celebrate my favorite holiday with tricks and, most importantly, treats!  In addition to, or in place of the traditional trick-or-treating, many parents and communities are holding Halloween parties.  These fun events are a terrific way to introduce ...   



Sweet and Savory ...Expand Your Love of Pumpkin Beyond Pie

It's hard to believe in just three short weeks we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving--everyone's favorite "food" holiday.  One traditional recipe associated with Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie and it's easy to see why--it's the perfect dessert for autumn.  The warm shade of ora...   



Learn to Recognize and Celebrate Real Beauty

  Ever flipped through the latest issue of any fashion magazine and wonder how those models look so perfect?  Well, wonder no more.  I always knew there was some touch up work that was done to images before they published those fashion photos.  You know, editing out ...   



Discover the Sweet and Tart Goodness of Cranberries

November is the time I usually start seeing an abundance of fresh cranberries showing up in the fresh fruit and veggie section of my local supermarket.  This is a wonderful thing because fresh cranberries are hard to come by and their in-season time frame is rather shor...   



You'll Give Thanks for These Healthy, Delicious Side Dishes

If you're like most of the nation, you'll be spending part of the week prepping for the BIG feast this Thursday.  I know for many of us, this includes the traditional side dishes like mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole to name a f...   



A Midweek, One-Pot Meal with All Forms of Vegetables

 We've officially entered the holiday season and that means your weeknights have gotten a little more hectic.  Added into the usual after work/after school frenzy is holiday shopping, holiday parties and gift wrapping.  Instead of being tempted to reach for the take...   



Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

During this holiday season, I find that the most difficult gifts to find are the ones for neighbors, teachers or someone who provides you a regular service, like your hair stylist.  You want it to be something inexpensive, but you also want it to be nice and mean somethin...   



Add Some Fruit To Your Holiday Treats

More than any other time of year, many of us are spending time in the kitchen baking lots of sweet treats.  Yes, the holidays are known for cookies, cakes and scrumptious desserts, but that doesn't mean you can't include some delicious fruit to your favorite recipes.  I ...   



Healthy Hors D'Oeuvres for Your Next Holiday Party

Holiday party food can be a diet disaster, in particular the appetizer or hor d'oeuvres portions.  These tasty, little morsels tend to be loaded with fat and calories and before you know it, you've consumed your calorie quota for the entire day!  The good news is that th...   



How to Make Brussels Sprouts a Family Favorite

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap.  They're commonly known as the veggie used in threats ("If you don't behave I'll make you eat a plateful of brussels sprouts.")  And, kids everywhere usually turn up their noses when they see brussels sprouts are on the dinner menu.  I ha...   



Got the Winter Blues? Add Some Citrus Fruit!

If you're like me and live in most parts of the country, the next couple of months probably have you dreaming of tropical islands and warmer temps.  Unfortunately, we have a little way to go before Mother Nature cooperates.  This is why I love that the winter months ar...   



Easy Ways to Add More Meatless Meals to 2014

 A new year usually means resolutions and typically those resolutions have something to do with a healthier lifestyle.  Whether you're trying to lose a few pounds or simply trying to eat a healthier diet, one way to accomplish this is by adding more fruit and vegetab...   



Put the Focus on Fiber

 We hear a lot about fiber these days.  Cereals claiming to have more fiber than other brands, supplements you can take to add fiber to your diet and so on.  Before you go out and buy the latest product boasting the best way to get your daily fiber requirement, do...   



Why I Chose to Take the More Matters Pledge

 About three years ago, I made the decision to take the More Matters Pledge to add one more serving of fruit and vegetables to my daily diet and it was the start of one of the smartest decisions I'd ever make.   My diet has always been rather healthy--consisting of...   



Pump Up the Nutrition of Your Oatmeal

 It can be tough to get going on cold winter mornings and we've had plenty of them this year in my neck of the woods!  I find that a hearty bowl of oatmeal can warm me up while giving me a boost of energy to start my day.  There are plenty of ready-made options you ...   



Make a Healthy Heart Your Focus this Month

 For many, February brings to mind Valentine's Day and candy hearts, but more importantly, February is American Heart Month.  You may have seen the Go Red campaign on television or in magazines.  Go Red is designed to raise awareness about heart disease in women.  ...   



Rethink Your Idea of "Snack Food"

 February is National Snack Food Month and you might be wondering why this is something a healthy person would celebrate.  Traditionally, we think of snack foods as those unhealthy "junk" foods that are loaded with calories and fats, but the fact is this doesn't have...   



Make Potatoes Part of Your Healthy Diet Plan

 Potatoes are a popular veggie, but they can often get a bad rap when thinking about healthy diets.  This is because we so frequently associate them with foods like French fries and potato chips.  I'm happy to say that potatoes are a lot more than these few, less-th...   



Short on Time? Frozen Fruits and Veggies Can Help!

 March is National Frozen Food Month, so I thought it appropriate to bring to light the benefits of frozen fruit and vegetables.  Now, I know some of you are probably wrinkling your noses and protesting because you will only use fresh produce.  However, I'm here to...   



A Green Even St. Patrick Would Love!

 With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I'm thinking shades of green.  While there are plenty of green veggies, I thought I'd feature one that is perfect for the spring season and a personal favorite--spinach.  There's a reason this leafy green was touted b...   



Tempt Your Taste Buds With the Flavors of Fresh Artichokes

 Now that the spring season is upon us, you'll begin to notice artichokes appearing more frequently in your supermarket's produce section.  Not only will they be more abundant in supply, but they'll be at some very budget-friendly prices.  Spring is "artichoke seas...   



It's Not A Race ...Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food

 Many evenings I'm about five bites into my dinner when I look across the table and see that my son's plate is almost completely cleared.  John is 18, with a healthy appetite to put it mildly, but the pace at which he eats his food both amazes and disturbs me.  I've...   



A Passion for Pineapple

 As you make your way through the produce section of your local supermarket over the next month or so, don't be surprised at the sight of large, fresh pineapple displays with some great sale prices to match.  This is because pineapples are in season right now, making...   



Toss Some Spring Greens into Your Next Salad

 One of my favorite meals, either main entree or side dish, is a salad and one of the many things I love about spring is the fact that this is the time certain varieties of greens are in season.  While you can find many of them year-round, the selection you'll find ...   



Celebrate Easter with A Spring Brunch

 For me, Easter is a bit different than other major holidays as far as family meals are concerned.  Unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas, where a big dinner is served, my family typically celebrated Easter with a Sunday brunch.  Even if you don't celebrate Easter, spri...   



Make Room for Fresh Mangoes on Your Plate

 If you're thinking about the tropics, look no further than your grocer's produce section.  That's right--fresh mangoes are in season right now and few fruits conjure up the feeling of sitting on an island beach quite like the flavor of a juicy mango.   It mig...   



Lighten Up Your Meals for Spring

 As the days get longer and warmer, I move away from heavier meals.  You know the kind I'm talking about--I call them "comfort food" and they're great for fall and winter when those cold evenings call for something that will help warm my family and chase away the chi...   



It's National Digestive Disease Awareness Month--See How Fruit and Veggies Can Help

 We all know fruit and veggies are filled with good things--fiber, vitamins and minerals.  However, when you suffer from a digestive disease, healthy foods can end up being your enemy since they tend to be harder to digest.  Unfortunately, a lot of sufferers will av...   



Avocados--A Step Beyond Guacamole

 If you're like me and a fan of fresh avocados, then don't walk, but run to your supermarket!  Right now is the best time of year to get your hands on perfect, ripe avocados that are super cheap and the most flavorful.  Yes, spring is avocado season and if you only ...   



Focusing on Women's Health

 During May, we focus our attention on women's health, specifically on how women can identify areas where they can improve their health.  There are things we should all be doing to keep healthy--eating the right foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regula...   



Want to Live a Healthier Life? Learn How to Chill Out

 Stress--we're all familiar with it, but when does it become a problem and begin impacting our overall health?  Stress is the brain's response to any demand.  Let's face it, we are bombarded with demands each and every day.  Most of these we can handle with no pro...   



Get Ready, Get Set, Get Grilling!

 Summer means backyard barbeques and one way to enjoy your barbeque in a healthy, yet tasty way is by grilling fresh, in season fruit and vegetables.  I'm sure most of you are familiar with the traditional grilling methods for fruit and veggies, such as veggie kabobs...   



A Special Meal Just for Dad

 This coming Sunday is Father's Day and we all want to do something special for dad.  This year, instead of taking dad out to dinner, why not cook him something he'll love?  Let's face it--most dads will appreciate a home-cooked meal more than something he'll get ou...   



My Favorite Shade of Blue

 One of my favorite things about summer is the fact that blueberries are in season.  I simply love them!  It's hard to believe so much flavor can come from such a tiny berry, but an in season blueberry can rival any other sweet treat any day of the week.  Even bett...   



Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer

 When the temperatures rise, it's important to stay hydrated.  Of course the obvious answer is to drink plenty of liquids, preferably water, but another great way to ensure you keep hydrated during these hot, summer months is by adding plenty of fruit and veggies to ...   



Keep Your July 4th Festivities Fun and Healthy

This week is filled with July 4th festivities--picnics, barbeques and backyard cookouts.  Whether you're at the beach, around the campsite or just spending it relaxing at home, delicious food is always a requirement for a successful celebration.  This year, consider taki...   



Let's Cheer For National Pickle Month

July is National Pickle Month and that's a great thing since your garden is probably overflowing with cucumbers right about now!  If you haven't tried homemade pickles, now is the time to start, especially since I've got a few great recipes that are super easy.   The t...   



The Best Baked Beans

July is National Baked Bean Month!  It's no surprise since picnics, barbeques and summertime gatherings almost always offer up this popular side dish.  Hot dogs, hamburgers or grilled chicken are hard to imagine without a steaming plate of sweet and savory beans to go wi...   



For the Love of Stone Fruit

Stone fruits refer to those that contain a stone (or sometime referred to as a "pit"), which can be removed with ease (Freestone) or without (Clingstone) from the flesh of the fruit.  The most popular stone fruits are usually enjoyed during the summer season and include p...   



Summer Salads to Celebrate

I love salads and there is never a better time to enjoy them than summer!  Hot weather is ideal for breaking out the fresh veggies, not to mention it saves you from having to heat up your kitchen with cooking.  Traditional green salads are always terrific, but I've pulle...   



Make the Most of Your Sandwich

Cheesesteaks, Hoagies and Clubs--August is National Sandwich Month! While these are a few of the less-than-healthy options, I've got some great ideas for tasty yet nutritional sandwich selections beginning with your favorite toppings.  The easiest way to add both fiber a...   



It's August and I'm Feeling "Peachy"

August is National Peach Month and it's fitting since these delicious fruits are in abundance right now.  Sweet, juicy peaches typically come into season around late June and are available through late August-early September.  Aside from their wonderful flavor, peaches a...   



How to Avoid the "Freshman Fifteen"

It's the time of year when young adults are getting ready to move into their college dorms for the upcoming fall semester.  For those of us who have gone through that initial experience of leaving home the first time, we're familiar with the term the "freshman fifteen." ...   



Laying a Healthy Foundation for Your Kids

August is Kids Eat Right Month and if you have a picky eater in your house, which can be the case with many children, that can be quite a challenge for many parents.  For a lot of kids, the variety of colors and textures that come with healthy eating are viewed as taboo....   



Spectacular Spuds

Here's a fun fact--according to the USDA, each American eats 112 pounds of potatoes each year.  Now, that's a lot of spuds!  Of course, it's no wonder since potatoes are so delicious and versatile.  One thing many people don't realize is how nutritious these tasty veggi...   



Rise and Shine!

September is All American Breakfast Month and that's a reason to celebrate and an opportunity to include more fruit and veggies into your breakfast routine.  While I know many of us do a decent job serving up veggie omelets or a bowl of hearty oatmeal, topped with dried f...   



Family Meals Made Simple

We celebrate Eat Dinner Together Week this week and for many families this can be a challenge.  Busy schedules that include work, school, sports practices, and other extracurricular activities, make it difficult to sit down together and enjoy a nightly meal.  I understan...   



Parsnips = Nutrition + Flavor

Autumn is the season when root veggies are popular.  You probably enjoy preparing carrots, yams, potatoes, but how about parsnips?  In recent years I've seen an increase in recipes either featuring parsnips or incorporating them as an ingredient.  I've also found that t...   



Vegetarian Diets: Get the Scoop!

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and if you or someone in your family is considering making the switch to a vegetarian diet, it's important to get all the facts about this important lifestyle decision.  First and foremost, a well planned vegetarian diet is a healthy di...   



Warm Up Your Autumn Evening with A Bowl of Spicy Chili

Happy October everyone!  You know what that means--rich autumn colors, crisp fall days and cool weather are upon us.  This is the time of year when I begin to seriously start cooking up some comfort foods like soups and stews.  It just so happens that October is Nationa...   



Pack a School Lunch That Will "Wow" Your Child

It's National School Lunch week and and for me it's an opportunity to help parents make their child the "star" of the cafeteria lunch table.  So often, that lunch you pack your child can go uneaten, traded for something else or thrown in the garbage at school.  Why not ...   



Celebrate National Food Day for Your Health and Our Environment

This Friday, October 24th, is National Food Day, a day to inspire us to change our diets (if they need changing) and focus on the obesity issue our nation is facing.  It also touches on the need for improved food policies like reducing hunger, improving food access and p...   



Guest Post: Healthier Halloween Treats

This week I welcome Guest Blogger Katie Serbinski, MS, RD.  Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in nutrition and health communications.  As a public relations and food industry expert, Katie creates social marketing campaigns and customized media content aimed a...   

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