3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families

3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families

Nutritional what?! I first heard about nutritional yeast a few years ago from one of my vegan friends.  She was talking about the cheesiest, most delicious mac and cheese that she had just eaten. I was totally confused: cheesy vegan mac and cheese? Neither the word “nutritional” nor “yeast” made my mouth water.  I started probing her with a laundry list of questions and I have to say, I’m glad that I did.  Today, nutritional yeast is a staple in our cupboards and one that I don’t often run out of. There are so many reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families, especially those with a dairy or lactose intolerance - you’ll get the benefits of the cheesy flavour without the discomfort afterwards. What is nutritional yeast? A deactivated yeast and fungus (it tastes better than it sounds, I promise!) Produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugar cane and/or beet molasses.  After 7 days, it is harvested, deactivated by pasteurization, dried and packaged. Bakers yeast and nutritional yeast are not created equally!  Nutritional yeast is rich in vitamins and minerals, whereas bakers yeast can deplete the body of B vitamins and other nutrients. And nutritional yeast won’t leaven a loaf of bread like bakers yeast does. 3 reasons nutritional yeast is awesome for families (and kids) Don’t let the fact that it resembles fish food deter you from enjoying this nutrient dense food. Rich in Folate (vitamin B9) - 530 micrograms of folate per 1/2 tablespoon Pregnant and breast feeding mamas have a higher risk of experiencing folate deficiency and should be particularly careful to get enough in their diets. ...
How to cut out sugar for good (5 things you need to do)

How to cut out sugar for good (5 things you need to do)

New Years is a motivating time to make some changes to our life - and health.  So I ran a poll with the moms who follow me and asked what they wanted to change in 2017.   Virtually every response fell into two categories: I want to be better at meal planning.   I want to cut out sugar for my family. I feel you on #1.  Meal planning is so rewarding (when you can find the time to do it).  Here’s what I have for you: To DIY, read this post: How to Meal Plan (with tips for Picky Eaters) For help, grab this 5-Day Meal Plan for Families with “Picky Eaters” Any check out this Meal Planning Bundle from my friends at Meal Garden too! I also feel your pain on #2.  Sugar. Ugh. Isn’t it incredible how a substance like this controls so many of us.  This holiday, I had a internal debate at every party over whether I should have that Santa-shaped Shortbread Cookie or itsy bitsy slice of Tiramisu.  It wasn’t difficult to ryhme up reasons to devour that sugar-laden desserts: Why not?  Everyone else was eating them It was just one small cookie/slice (at least that’s what I told myself.  It always ends up being 2) I will workout super hard tomorrow It’s the holidays and I deserve a cookie! But of course, being a nutritionist, I knew all the reasons why I should stay the heck away from that Tiramisu. Why sugar is WORSE than smoking (yup) Cutting out sugar is one of the hardest resolutions one can make.  After all it’s an addictive substance!   You and I will need some help. The hard facts in this article by...
What Makes Cheddar Cheese Orange?

What Makes Cheddar Cheese Orange?

Last week in my Facebook Group I posted a photo of a child’s lunch that included cheddar cheese.  As I was brewing topics for my next blog post, a question popped up in the comment’s section of my Facebook post: “Doesn’t orange cheese have food colouring in it?” A great question indeed. That’s when this blog post was born. Cheese makes a regular appearance in children’s lunches and snacks.  It’s an easy protein source for parents and easy to like for kids. I’m a secret cheese lover myself (an old sheep cheese goes oh so well with wine, right moms?).  Although, I eat cheese and drink wine very rarely these days, I still have an interest in what cheese we are eating, when we eat it.   I also want the families I work with to know what’s going into their food (especially those with “picky eaters” who have a limited repertoire of foods). Let’s start here… But isn’t cheese naturally white? Actually, it *should be* yellow. Before the days of factory farming, cows actually roamed outdoors and ate grass. The result was a more yellow milk in the spring and summertime because of the beta carotene present in fresh grass.   During the winter however, dried grass (has lower amounts of beta carotene) was their primary source of nutrition.   Hence, these cows produced a milk that is paler in colour. The more yellow the cheese, the better it was. That was the perception.   The cheese industry caught on to this and started adopting ways to give their cheese a darker hue throughout the year, by adding colour to cheese.  A tradition that continues today. The history behind cheddar cheese is deeper than this, but we are not...
8 Healthier Halloween “Treats”

8 Healthier Halloween “Treats”

Halloween is around the corner and parents are cringing at the thought of our kids coming home with all that candy! It’s rare that my girls get their hands on packaged nutrient-lacking treats at home, but they aren’t completely avoidable.  Firstly, I have the grandparents to count on for keeping non-Nutritionist approved snacks within arms reach of my kids (gotta love ’em).  I also have those one-off occasions during the year where treats are easily accessible and unavoidable, like Halloween.   I would love to put a healthier spin on Halloween For two reasons: Firstly, the excitement around Halloween is high.  Since sugar-laded treats are historically thrown into the Halloween mix, they become associated with “fun”.  In our family we try not to make unhealthy foods (like cookies, ice cream, candy) seem “special”, because special foods become more desired foods.  Brownies deserve no more attention and excitement than broccoli does!   However, the Halloween fun and sugar-frenzy seem to go hand-in-hand. Secondly, who says treats have to contain unhealthy ingredients to taste good?  As soon as Halloween season approaches store shelves are packed high with assorted candy and chocolate.  I do salivate a little as I walk past them, often because I shop while hungry (bad idea), but I would prefer not to walk home with a box because I have no other choices. I know, I know.  There is a time and place for sweets.  I can’t lie.  I love my brownies and cookies too, so it wouldn’t be fair to withhold less healthy foods from my kids, especially on Halloween.  Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives to your standard Halloween treats.   Here are a few for...
4 lunch box must-haves…make sure your child isn’t missing out

4 lunch box must-haves…make sure your child isn’t missing out

Packing a lunch box for our kids is a feat in itself.  Then there’s attempting to pack a balanced & healthy lunch box for kids.  An even bigger  challenge for busy parents.  Heck, I’m a Nutritionist and sometimes I even get stumped trying to avoid duplication. If you find yourself resorting to sandwiches and the same ol’ lunches, this post is for you. If you wonder whether your little one is getting a balanced meal, this is definitely for you! I know mornings are hectic.  I might even go so far to say they are “hellish” some days.   So let’s take some of the pain out of packing lunches for your little one right now.  What I’m about to share can actually be used for planning ALL meals.  Not just lunch! Why a balanced lunch box for kids? It fuels children with sustained energy.  No blood sugar high and lows (and fewer tantrums). It feeds their brain so they can focus, learn, and communicate much better. It reduces their chances of common childhood nutrient deficiencies (omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, B12, etc). This next section provides a high-level overview of the 4 things I include in every one of my meal plans for kids (my own or others).  I break this down further in this complimentary download.  It includes an awesome (parent-approved) Mix & Match Lunch Box cheatsheet with over 60 lunch ideas across the 4 categories I’m about to reveal. As a mom who can’t seem to make it through a “to do” list, I know I don’t want to dedicate hours to packing lunch boxes.  This is the cheatsheet I use to maintain variety while still maintaining my sanity! 4...
19 Healthy Packaged Snacks for Kids

19 Healthy Packaged Snacks for Kids

In an ideal world we would spend hours in the kitchen whipping up snacks from scratch.  As much as I would like to admit that’s what I do, we don’t live in an ideal world [sigh]. Life gets in the way.  Life with kids gets even more hectic. When I’m behind on grocery shopping and have zero fresh fruit or veggies, I may opt for Plan B.  That includes grabbing a healthy packaged snack for my kids. For you, it might just be tough finding SOMEthing or ANYthing to give your picky eaters. Have a Gold Fish obsessed child?  Throw in some crunchy Good Bean roasted chickpeas with their next snack. Does your little one go crazy for melt-in-your-mouth Cheetos?   Snap Pea Crisps might be their new favourite snack (and WAY better for them). Are you ready to put an end to mealtime battles or improve your little one’s variety?  This list is a good place to start. Introducing Good/Better/Best Healthy Packaged Snacks When whole foods are not an option, we want packaged foods made with whole foods. We should aim for high fiber, high protein, and low sugar. Instead of avoiding the middle aisles of a grocery store, I’ve searched high and low for snacks that little ones will love, and most importantly, you can feel good about giving them every once in a while. Most packaged foods are filled with “crap” and added sweeteners, which send our children on a blood sugar roller coaster (tantrums anyone?). But there are better options out there.   I looked, I tried, and now I’m sharing! In my list of the top 19 healthy packaged snacks (I seriously could not find one more to hit 20), you can expect snacks that are: A...