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Guiding Stars for Kids

Fruit Juice Gelatin

As a retail dietitian, I work with all my customers, including my littlest shoppers. These are the guests that are often the most excited to see what nutritious message—and of course snack—I’m able to share with them. Even the very youngest, who remind me of their age by holding their three or four small fingers chat with me and absorb my carefully crafted guidance. These little friends who are quick to show me that they know how to count to three are most excited when I show them the little green cartoon that can also only count to three.

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Chocolate, No Indulgence Required

Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie

Did you know that cocoa powder earns three Guiding Stars? It’s true! On its own, cocoa is high in iron, dietary fiber, and a couple of other important nutrients. The reason chocolate gets a bad rap is that, in order to balance its natural bitterness, it’s often paired with added sugar and saturated fat. Neither is necessary! Pair cocoa powder with fruit for sweetness (plus fiber and a great range of nutrients) and plain, non-fat yogurt for creaminess (and protein), and you’ve got a winning nutritional combination that tastes like a “sometimes” food.

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Follow the Stars to a Healthy Heart

Make Ahead Steel-Cut Oatmeal

February is American Heart Month, and in the past the Guiding Stars blog has covered various aspects of eating for a healthy heart including eating more whole grains, cutting down on added sugars, and eating more seafood. Science shows that consuming a diet that’s lower in sodium, saturated fats, and higher in potassium and fiber is beneficial for cardiovascular health. But of course, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. What to do? Make heart-healthy food shopping easier with these tips.

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The Secret to Vegan “Cheese”

Cashew Cheese Sauce

Cheese sauce is a treat many of us enjoy, no doubt. And many of us rarely indulge because it’s very much a “sometimes” food. Vegan cheese sauces, however, can be absolutely packed with nutrition. The secret to the cheesey flavor is nutritional yeast, which can generally be found in either the natural foods section or the spice section of your grocery store.

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Guiding Stars 101

Guiding Stars logo made of fruit

A typical grocery store has about 40,000-50,000 products in it. That’s a lot of food, a lot for your eyes to take in, and a lot for you to choose from. Add to it that as a shopper, you are likely shopping with a “list of wants” right along with your grocery list. You are likely looking for foods that are lower in sodium, rich in heart-healthy fat, possibly with fewer artificial ingredients, and that offer overall beneficial nutrition for you and your family. But all those products…and all those decisions to make. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a shopping partner by your side to help you “weed out” the foods that aren’t aligned with your health goals or not as healthy as they appear to be? Welcome to Guiding Stars, the BFF that helps you do just that.

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Surprising Stars

Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie

Do you ever look at a Guiding Stars recipes and wonder how something that sounds decadent could earn three stars? Or how a salad might only earn one? Guiding Stars looks a nutrient density, specifically, how much nutrition is in a 100-calorie portion, to help you recognize, for example, when you’ve got a good balance of whole grains and veggies with the sauce that dresses them.

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