Entries by feedtosucceed

Breakfast Cooking Demo

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but mornings with kids can be hectic! Freshen up your mornings with new, easy breakfast ideas! We’ve teamed up with culinary expert and local mom, Lauren Smekhov, to offer parents and children a fun morning of taste testing and chatting. We’ll follow up with a Q&A with the Feed to Succeed team and Lauren.
Take home a complete recipe guide and shopping list to enable you to make these delicious soups at home for yourself! Tickets – $20 per person. To register, PM us, email info@feedtosucceed.com or call (847) 724-8015.

Cooking demo for parents and children. Try the recipes and receive the cookbook.

Join us!

May 11
FREE pediatric nutrition screening from 10-11AM | Cooking demo at 11AM {$20}

About Our Culinary Coach

Lauren Smekhov has years of practical experience getting delicious food onto the table. As a cookbook editor, recipe developer, chef instructor and mommy of two silly girls, she knows how to take whole ingredients and teach real people how to feed a family in a healthy, well-balanced way. Follow her journey through cooking and traveling on Instagram @lauren.smekhov

3 Tips for Better Eating this Month

Happy RD Day! Everybody needs a Hallmark holiday, right?

In celebration of RD day on this National Nutrition Month, we’re offering you all a present: 3 tips for better eating this month and every month.

1. Make vegetables a main dish. Gone are the days of keeping vegetables on the side of a slab of meat. There are so many ways to make vegetables a main dish: veggie stir fry, vegetarian chili, taco salad, hearty vegetable soups, roasted vegetables with rice…etc. Try to start cooking some of your meals by first opening the vegetable drawer. Toss all that’s in there in the oven or the pot for healthier meals.

2. Lighten up on snacks. Snacking is very American. There are whole cultures that pretty much never snack, and their children are doing just fine. That said, we Americans happen to like our snacks, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Try to light them up, though, by serving veggies and fruits. There are all sorts of Pinterest ways to make them healthy snacks for kids, if you’re one of those moms with loads of free time and that’s your sort of thing. Or, you could just slap some nut butter and raisins on celery and kick it old school.

3. Lower your salt intake. Sodium is an essential nutrient, but most of us are eating too much. The good news, though, is that you can slowly reduce your salt intake, and your taste buds will adjust. The best way to combat high sodium in your daily diet is to watch your intake of highly processed foods. When you’re cooking your own meals, adjust the salt slightly over time to reduce it. Trader Joe’s often has fun mixes for experimenting, or you can make your own, and these can fill in for salt (have you tried their new umami?!). Use spice mixes on fish, chicken, rice or even popcorn.

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. In addition, National Nutrition Month® promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, also celebrated in March, increases awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.

Ask Amanda: Switching breastfed babies to a cup

Switching breastfed babies to a bottle or a sippy cup can be a challenge in the beginning. In this week’s kids’ nutrition Ask Amanda column, pediatric dietitian Amanda Gordon offers some ideas to make the transition easier

Dear Amanda, I have an 11-month-old infant who has nursed since birth and never accepted a bottle. She won’t drink well from a sippy cup either. My milk supply is running low and I’m not sure what to do.

First off, congratulations on making it breastfeeding for 11 months!  That is a big accomplishment.  According to CDC, only about 1/3 of all women who initiate breastfeeding in the United States make it that long.  

In terms of your good question, cow’s milk isn’t an option for babies until one year for many reasons. It contains high concentrations of protein and minerals, which the immature kidneys, stomach and intestines of young infants cannot handle well and it can make them sick. Cow’s milk also lacks iron, vitamin C and other nutrients that infants need, compared to breastmilk or infant formula. .We usually recommend trials of cow’s milk or a gradual transition after an infant turns one year old with a continuation of breastfeeding as possible. 

In terms of the bottle issue, many of the speech and feeding therapists we work closely with often recommend a transition straight to cup, instead of a bottle if an infant is that close to a year old and nursing.  When asked, my colleague, Ellie Trefz, MS, CCC-SLP, recommends, “I would say that starting a straw or open cup would be the next option. You could try water or expressed breastmilk if the infant is under one year old.”

If your supply allows, I recommend continuing to breastfeed up until one year, while also working on cup drinking with water.  Infant formula is an acceptable substitute as needed up until one year, and you can serve it in cup over the next month if necessary.  Whole cow’s milk, as long as it is well tolerated, is a good option after your baby is over a year.  

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.

A Dietitian’s Tour of the Grocery Aisles

Have you ever wished you could take a dietitian or a cooking expert along with you to the grocery store? In this final episode of Feed to Succeed’s nutrition podcast season 3, listen as Betsy and Jen walk up and down all the grocery aisles with you by their side. Get label reading tips, food tips and expert insight into what is worth buying ready-to-use, and what is better to make on your own.

Click here to listen on iTunes

Grocery Tips for Healthy Weight Families

On this week’s kids nutrition podcast, registered dietitian Betsy Hjelmgren and culinary foodie expert Jen Karakosta get down to healthy family basics. Jen and Betsy are excited to share their grocery shopping tips to the secret of a healthy weight for all aged people! Underweight, overweight, and overall tips for optimal health – this is an all-inclusive episode for good health. 

Click here to listen on iTunes

Breastmilk and Daycare: Not just how much, but how?

Heading back to work while breastfeeding is no doubt a challenge. In this week’s kids’ nutrition Ask Amanda column, pediatric dietitian Amanda Gordon offers some ideas to ease into bottle feeding at day care while still breastfeeding.

Q: Hi Amanda, my breastfed daughter is 5 months old. She started daycare one month ago, and I pump and send breastmilk bottles to daycare. Now daycare is saying that she wants more and that I am not sending enough breastmilk. They also say she spits up there. She doesn’t seem to do this at home and rarely seems hungry right after breastfeeding. 

A: It might be good idea to talk to daycare about how they are feeding her, in addition to the amount.  Day care centers are busy places and often have babies on schedules for eating – I remember this well from when my children were in daycare! Schedules can be a good thing, but make sure that the daycare center is paying attention to your daughter’s cues and when she is hungry.  I would also make sure that the daycare center is using paced-bottle feeding, which mimics breastfeeding and how your daughter is used to eating.  A video can be helpful to watch.  A slower flow bottle nipple will also increase the time that the feeds take, which may help her feel full as well. 

If she is fussy right after eating, it might not be hunger. Make sure they are getting good burps out of her, then wait 20 minutes to see if she really wants more.  You could always send one or two more bottles just with 1-2 ounces, so that they don’t waste any breastmilk!

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.

Body Weight and Young Athletes

Coach encouraging you to lose or gain some weight for performance? This episode features youth sports dietitian, Melanie Battaglia, discussing nutrition and body weight amongst young athletes. Betsy and Jen ask some pointed questions about when it is or is not appropriate for an athlete to gain or lose weight for their sport, and whose discretion is appropriate to make that determination.  

Click here to listen on iTunes

Athletic Kids, Food Fads and Sports Supplements

Feed to Succeed sports dietitian, Melanie Battaglia, joins the pediatric nutrition program with Betsy and Jen to discuss the use of performance enhancing supplements and food fads for young athletes. Do your teenage or elementary age children face frequent diet challenges, opinions and even pressure from coaches, peers and other well-intended people? This podcast is for you. 

Click here to listen on iTunes

Let’s Talk EdaMOMe!

In this week’s kids’ nutrition Ask Amanda column, pediatric dietitian Amanda Gordon answers the question: Hi Amanda, what are the best protein alternatives for kids that are not meat and dairy?

This is a great question. Protein is important for all children. It plays an essential role in the body by ensuring that muscles, organs, hair and nails grow and work properly.  Protein, along with carbohydrates and fat are the macronutrients that children need to get from their food for growth and development.  Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for kids. Protein and fat are also important because they help children stay and feel full. 

Nut butters can be a great source of protein for kids. Peanut butter is often a crowd-pleaser, however almond butter is another good protein source. Nut butters also contain fat and help with satiety. Almond butter can have a thinner consistency than peanut butter and some children prefer this.  Almond butter spreads on whole grain waffles well for meals or snacks, it also blends into oatmeal well for a meal or snack.  

Edamame is another good protein source for healthy kids. Shelled edamame (either steamed or roasted) can be a great snack or side dish at meal times. Edamame can also be blended into a spread and made into a dip or hummus.  

Vegetable and non-animal protein foods are great additions to healthy diet, but many are not complete protein sources, meaning they don’t have all of the needed amino acids. Vegetarian and vegan diets are suitable for growing children, however careful attention should be paid to ensure that children get all the amino acids they need. Our Feed to Succeed dietitians are always available to help families figure this pediatric nutrition and diet out! 

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.

Ask Amanda: How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

In this week’s kids’ nutrition Ask Amanda column, pediatric dietitian Amanda Gordon answers the question: What are good recipes to get vegetables into picky eaters? Following are 6 suggestions, the first being the most important:

Suggestion 1: Don’t Trick Them.  Try not to hide vegetables in your child’s meals and snacks. Kids are smart, and if they figure out that you are trying to “trick” them into eating foods they don’t want, you risk losing their trust in you and the foods you offer.  I have even seen this lead to children than rejecting foods they will normally eat.  It is okay to add vegetables to foods (for example, adding onions or spinach to eggs, but don’t try to hid it)

Suggestion 2: Let them pick.  Giving children a choice sometimes makes them feel more in control of the situation.  Offer to make two different vegetables for dinner, let them have a say in which one will be served for dinner.  

Suggestion 3: Raw, Cooked, Frozen, Chopped, Blended, it doesn’t matter!  Some kids prefer the texture and taste of raw vegetables. Try slices of raw orange or yellow peppers dipped into a sauce or dip. 

Suggestion 4: Rinse and Repeat!  Many children will only eat 2-3 different vegetables. The key is exposure. Continue to offer new vegetables, but know that it might take a long time before kids will accept them. Keep offering the ones they will eat, but also offer the ones they won’t eat, with no bribing or forcing to try them.

Suggestion 5: Parents – Eat Your Veggies! Studies indicate the biggest predictor of how a child will eat as an adult is not how they currently eat, but how those around them ate when they were growing up. So, eat vegetables around your children and let them see you.  Snack on raw or cooked vegetables, eat them for dinner and let your kids see them on your plate.

Suggestion 6: Work with What You Got!  My kids love Mexican food. This has been a good way for me to work on vegetables.  I was able to add one color of pepper to our fajitas and even a few onions. For nacho night, I started by adding just a sprinkle of cilantro (an herb not a veggie, but it is green, so that was a big step), then salsa, and now fresh tomatoes. Progress!

 Do you have other ideas? Please feel free to share them here. We would  love to hear from you!

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.