We love snacking here at Guiding Stars. Food fuels our bodies and gives us energy to do our best. Whether you need a bridge between meals or a mini-meal approach to eating, snacks rock. The trick is to choose foods that will give you energy, keep you fill, and support your overall nutrition goals for the day. Here are some of the healthful snack advice highlights from our experts: dietitians Allison Stowell and Kitty Broihier.
Whether you’re feeding a toddler, a school-age kid who isn’t going back to in-person instruction yet, or yourself as you work from home, lunchtime can be sticky. Literally, perhaps, in the case of the kids. Even for adults, getting a regular midday meal during a disrupted routine can be harder than it seems. A small amount of structure and intention, however, can help you defeat the hunger grumps before they derail your day.
Did you ever consider how nutrition affected your brain when you were younger? I didn’t think so! But does this sound familiar to you? You walk into a room and can’t remember why you’re there. Or you need to make a hair appointment but can’t recall the name of the salon. Even the “Where are my glasses? Oh, they’re on my head!” cliché rings true to life for lots of people around the age of 50 or so. Taken alone, none of these “senior moments” is too upsetting, but when they become more frequent, it dawns on you that your brain isn’t working quite like it used to. When these incidents start to interfere with your daily life and functioning, it’s called dementia. Dementia ranges from mild to severe, and is generally more common as people get older. Wouldn’t it be great if making some pretty simple dietary changes could help keep our brains healthy as we age?
This month, we’ll be exploring ideas for truly great snacks. A snack, as our dietitian Allison Stowell often tells us, should be a purposeful bridge between meals. Snacks can be tricky because they’re rarely eaten sitting down at a table with ample time to plan them out. They’re more often consumed quickly in between activities. And while many of us are spending the lion’s share of our time at home right now, snacks may still be needed under more challenging conditions for eating nutritiously.
If your daily tasks include packing school lunch, you know it can get tiring to come up with ideas your kids will eat every day, while keeping it interesting, safe, and nutritious. Like any other meal you plan and prep for, school lunch must fit into a balanced day. There are a few common pitfalls many of us fall into when considering what our kids need packed in their lunch bag. Let’s avoid them together.
Whether you’re just learning to cook or are looking to expand your skills into a specific area, we’d like to help. Our cooking advice tends to focus on preparing delicious food that’s packed with nutrition. We showcase recipes that earn Guiding Stars. This means that they have more of the nutrients we should each more of and fewer of the food qualities we should limit.
Maybe you’re a creature of habit. Or maybe you just adore certain summer fruits and veggies so much that you find you’re getting the same three or four produce items each week. If you’re ignoring everything else out there, you could easily up your nutrition game by branching out in the produce aisle. And if there ever was a time to do this, it’s summertime! Here are a few ideas for how to dig yourself out of the summer produce rut…..
Bulk acquisition of produce is one of the ways we can save money while eating fresh food. We’ve discussed nutrition-oriented ways of preserving produce and tricks for experimenting with a vegetable to keep it from getting boring. Sometimes, of course, you just need to get it out of your house. Not many people appreciate it when we play “ding-dong, ditch” with a paper bag of zucchini. And, more to the point, if you find someone who would actually appreciate that zucchini, you might be able to exchange it for a food you don’t have.