starting solids

Podcast: Starting Solids with Your Baby

On this week’s edition of our nutrition podcast, Ellie Trefz, feeding therapist extraordinaire, returns to join registered dietitian Betsy and Jen in a lively discussion about starting solid food with your baby. Solid food is just for fun, says Ellie. Does Betsy agree? What about nutrition and balance? What about preventing picky eating from the start? Listen in to this episode for tips and ideas to prepare for a fun adventure with your infant.

Click here to listen on iTunes

Nutrition for the Young Soccer Athlete

Nutrition for the Young Soccer Athlete

Did you know that the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s favorite pre-game breakfast is pancakes? With the recent victory of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, read on to find out more about nutrition for soccer and check out our power-up pancake recipe.

Soccer is an endurance sport requiring strength, speed and agility. In fact, professional soccer players can run up to six miles in a game! Nutrition is often overlooked by many young soccer players. Under-fueling in soccer is common, which includes symptoms of lethargy, decreased reaction time and speed and loss of muscle and fat. Low energy intake can put soccer players at risk of nutrient deficiencies or injury. On the other hand, soccer players who over-fuel may feel sluggish, have decreased flexibility and speed, and gain more fat than muscle. Fueling for performance is a balance!

During the season, recovery and hydration are key components to performance. Especially, if games take place on Friday nights and Sunday mornings, that is a short period of time to recover and refuel. 

5 Tips for the Soccer Athlete

  1. Eat a meal 3 to 4 hours before the game. For example, for a competitive teen athlete eat oatmeal mixed with fruit, nut butter, and yogurt, 2 scrambled eggs with vegetables, and 1 cup of milk (size of meal depends on age, height, muscle mass, and level of the athlete). Keep in mind that you will not eat another meal until after the game, so the meal should keep your energy sustained.
  2. 1-2 hours before practice or games have a snack to top off energy stores, such as a PB&J or a smoothie. If you are hungry beforehand this means your fuel is running low. Imagine low-energy for sport as your phone operating on “low-power mode.”
  3. Post-game mealwhen there is a second game scheduled that weekend, include a lean protein, carbohydrate, and antioxidant foods. An example would be a burrito bowl with brown rice, chicken, black beans, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. 
  4. Hydration: During the humid hot months, do your best to drink fluids and electrolytes during practice, games, and throughout the day. How much you need is  based on temperature, time of game, humidity, and upcoming games.  The general rule of thumb is to consume half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of fluid each day. Lots of foods have a high-water content. In your post-practice snack, include fruits and vegetables to help meet your hydration goal, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and citrus. Practice taking sips of water during practice and games. For example, try 2 to 4 gulps of water every 20 to 45 minutes. Include electrolyte beverage if your athlete sweats a lot and is active for more than 60 minutes.
  5. After the tournament or a weekend filled with games, relax and simply enjoy any type of meal. 

Fruit Wrap

This recipe is easy to prep, even your kids can do it! The wrap is packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and a source of fruit. It will give your kids a long-lasting energy and fullness to stay active this summer.


  • 1 Whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp Natural peanut butter OR Almond butter
  • ½ cup of thinly sliced strawberries and bananas OR sliced apples
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chia seeds


  1. Spread the peanut butter covering one side of the whole wheat tortilla. 
  2. Place the sliced fruit on the layer of peanut butter.
  3. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon and chia seeds over the fruit.
  4. Roll-up the tortilla and enjoy!

 Amanda’s Power Up Pancakes 


  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • dry 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 


In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. For each pancake pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. Flip when they start to bubble. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches, spraying the griddle as needed. Makes about 10 pancakes. Number of Servings: 3 Nutritional Info Per Serving: 181 Calories, 2.7g Fat, 10mg Cholesterol, 361mg Sodium, 20g Carbs, 2.8g Fiber, 19 g. Protein

 -Adapted from “The Biggest Loser” 

tips for healthy kids summer diet

Summer Stomachs: Family-Friendly Summer Meal Tips

School stomachs eat around the same time daily. Whereas summer stomachs may be on a total free for all.

A few weeks ago, a mother made a comment during her child’s nutrition assessment, “I told my kids to bring their school stomachs home for the summer.” This family was working on creating a meal and snack schedule that fit their routine for the summer to help keep them on track with their goals throughout the summer. Sounds like a great idea for all of us.

Assess Your Kids’ Eating Summer Schedule

If it seems like your child is constantly reaching or asking for a snack this summer, assessing their eating schedule may help. Try using the following tips:

  1. How how often are the kids eating? Kids and adults typically eat every three to four hours. Giving your digestive tract a break from working throughout the day (for 3 to 4 hours) is healthy. Imagine if someone were constantly knocking at your front door – that would get annoying! When you are constantly snacking or grazing throughout the day, that constant knocking is likely how your digestive tract is feeling. Let’s give it a break from working for at least three hours in between meals/snacks. 
  2. Hydrate! During the 3-4 hour break from eating, just stick to just water.
  3. Reduce Snacking: If kids are snacking throughout the day, they may end up being full when it is time to sit down and eat a meal. This is especially important for young children and toddlers, as family meals is a great opportunity for trying new foods. The hungrier they are the more likely they will try that new food!

If they are constantly snacking, assess if they are feeling bored or are they physically hungry.

Tips to avoid eating out of boredom

  • Separate yourself from the food environment, perhaps go outside for a walk or bike ride.
  • Use your hands to stay busy. For example, draw on the sidewalk with chalk, paint a picture, or read a book.
  • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash.
  • Close the kitchen and place a physical barrier in the way, such as a chair or piece of tape.
  • Call or Facetime a friend.
  • Pour a glass of water because you may be dehydrated.

Questions or interested in setting up a nutrition consult? Schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric dietitians at Feed to Succeed by phone (847-724-8015) or email Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for daily doses of cooking tips, nutrition tips and fun facts.

Infant formula

Podcast: How to pick the right infant formula

Amanda Gordon, infant nutrition expert and lactation consultant, returns to join an animated discussion with Betsy and Jen about choosing which infant formula is right for your baby. With so many choices available, what are the different purposes of each? Does spending more money mean a better product? Not necessarily! Tune in for more info!

Click here to listen on iTunes

Learn more about our lactation services from our dietitian and IBCLC Amanda Gordon.

breastfeed vs bottle feed

Podcast: Infant Feeding Issues – Breast, Bottle and Red Flags

If you have had any questions about how your infant eats, you won’t want to miss this informative episode with Betsy and Jen! Feeding therapist and lactation consultant, Ellie Trefz, is featured today, sharing her experience treating feeding difficulties for all infants, from micro-preemies and preemies, to full term infants who are struggling to feed well. Plus, did you wonder about the pros and cons of the millions of different baby bottles? Ellie shares her insight into how and why to choose bottles and nipples. 

Click here to listen on iTunes

Learn more about our lactation services from our dietitian and IBCLC Amanda Gordon.

Feed to Succeed Podcast: Choosing to breastfeed or bottle feed

Baby cows drink cow’s milk; baby goats drink goat’s milk; baby camels drink camel’s milk; baby humans drink… breast milk? Join Betsy and Jen in a discussion with Amanda Gordon, lactation consultant and infant nutrition expert, to learn more about choosing how to feed your baby with formula or breast milk, as well as a thought provoking insight to why we call human milk breast milk. 

Click here to listen on iTunes

Learn more about our lactation services from our dietitian and IBCLC Amanda Gordon.

Podcast Season 4: Infant Nutrition

Welcome back to our fourth series of podcasts with our hosts, Betsy and Jen! They are excited to share their knowledge and experience feeding infants, beginning this episode with their personal stories regarding how each host came to feed their own first child, and the difficulties, struggles and challenges that took each mom down a different path. Don’t miss your opportunity to connect and hear how each mom’s decision to feed human milk or formula is the best choice for her infant.

Click here to listen on iTunes

healthy snack ideas for kids

Healthy Nutritious Snacks for Kids

While snacks are pretty ubiquitous in most homes with little kids, there are definitely ways to make snacks a healthy option for children. Ideally, a snack is a small nutrient dense mini-meal, eaten a couple hours between meals and not too close to the next meal. Children will typically need one to three snacks throughout the day.

Plan and provide your child’s snacks around the same times daily. If children seem to be munching at every opportunity, it may help to take a step back and look at the types of food they are snacking on and distinguish the difference between a treat and a snack. Additionally, identify the reason for the snack, is it physical hunger or emotional hunger. Use the following snack list as a reference for providing super nutrition snacks to your children! 

Crunchy Snacks

  • Air popped popcorn
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cucumbers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Freeze dried strawberries
  • Freeze dried bananas
  • Frozen fruit
  • Fresh apples
  • Plain cheerios
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Bell peppers

Non-crunchy Snacks

  • Plain yogurt – sweetened with cinnamon and vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened applesauce – add your own cinnamon
  • Cheese stick
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Turkey jerky
  • Hummus
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Individual tuna cups
  • Deli meat roll ups (low-sodium sliced turkey wrapped around 1 cheese stick)

Interested in setting up a nutrition consult? Schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric dietitians at Feed to Succeed by phone (847.724.8015) or email ( Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

pediatric nutrition cooking demo

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 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

national nutrition day

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.