Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quick Breakfasts for Back To School

The following blog post is sponsored by the American Egg Board and Egg Nutrition Center.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Busy school mornings can be challenging for parents and long school days can be equally tough on kids adjusting from the freedom of summer. As a dietitian I don’t have the secret formula for a straight-A student, but I do know the important role a good breakfast has in giving kids energy and focus. 

Research shows eating high-quality protein foods for breakfast, like eggs, can help you and your family feel more satisfied throughout the day.

I have always been a breakfast eater and I’m not ashamed to say that some days as a child I enjoyed donuts or even leftover cake for breakfast.  While it was delicious sometimes I found myself ravenous by 10am with lunch hours away.  I was on the right track by having SOME breakfast as multiple scientific studies demonstrate the cognitive benefits of eating breakfast, such as improved memory recall time, improved grades and higher test scores.[1][2] 

BUT what I was missing was high-quality protein.  The kind that’s easily found in eggs. 

Now that I’m the mom and have my own little one, I am focused on creating morning meals that fuel us both with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Many egg-based breakfasts fit that bill.  They also come together quickly, which is essential in the am.

Nutritionally eggs are a powerhouse, with one large egg containing 6 grams of high-quality protein and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, found within the concentrated natural yellow color of the egg yolk, as well as vitamins E, D, and A.

A current favorite recipe in our household is egg muffin frittatas.  They sound fancy but they’re oh-so easy to make.  If you already do weekend food prep these are great for you.  Once prepared you can store them in the fridge or even freeze for a fast breakfast in the future.
Kyle leaves the house at 0-dark-30 most weekday mornings and I’m just not the gal to get up with him and prep breakfast at that time.  Sorry babe! Each morning I send him on the way with 3 hard boiled eggs and a slice of oatmeal bake to eat as he drives.

Now that Bear is nearing 15 months she is eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.  Well maybe….we have the makings of a picky eater on our hands but scrambled eggs with cheese are always a hit.  I’m happy knowing she’s getting protein and the nutrients I shared above.  If she’s awake and we need food fast then I whip up these microwave mug scrambles.  They’re ready in 3 minutes and the clean up is fast too.  That’s a win, win for Mommy.
More good news for egg lovers? The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans removed the daily limit on dietary cholesterol and include eggs in all three recommended healthy eating patterns. This supports the consumption of eggs along with other nutrient-rich whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

Here’s to wishing you a happy, stress-free back to school season with many EGG-celent breakfasts.

What’s your favorite egg dish?
What did you have for breakfast today?

Love and sunny side up,

[1] Rampersaud G, et al. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. JADA 2005;105:743-760.
[2] Pollitt E, et al. Fasting and cognition in well-and undernourished school children: a review of three experimental studies. AJCN 1998;67:779S-784S. Vander Wal JS et al , et al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J of Obesity 2008: 32(10):1545-1551.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life with a 1 Year Old

I have a one year old!  Wow!  Well technically I have an almost 15 month old, but I wanted to share some of her milestones and our daily life with our now toddler.
We had a Little Mermaid themed birthday party for our red headed girl.  We still don't believe that her gorgeous red hair will stick around, so we wanted to celebrate it while we could.  Bear wasn't a fan of the cake, but she loved all the attention and swimming with her cousins and friends.

Even though sometimes she is up earlier than Mamma would like, Bear does a good job sleeping through the night.  She averages 10.5 - 11 hours of sleep a night and we still aim for 2 naps a day.  If she has a long am nap or a busy afternoon we may only get in 1 nap.  I'm thankful she is not in daycare when it comes to naps as a lot of daycare centers transition 1 year olds to 1 nap and my little Bear is still counting on those afternoon zzz's.  And Mamma may be counting on them too to get work done!

Bear is hit or miss with eating.  Her clear favorite food is cheese with blueberries and waffle a close second.  She's not the kid who will beg for food and sometimes it's a bit of horse and pony show to get her to eat, but I know she'll get there.  I just make sure to keep offering her a well balanced plate and keep meal time a positive occurrence.  One thing she will consistently refuse is meat.  She loves eggs and tofu but she passes on meat.  My budding vegetarian!
Chatter Box
It's probably no shock that she's a talkative.  Her favorite words are "mamma" "dada" "cat" and "GO-GO".  See she's a race announcer in training!

Favorite Things
Now that she is a walking pro (started at 13.5 months) one of her favorites things to do is go outside.  She's just discovered digging in the dirt, which as you can imagine isn't MY favorite thing to do. We take her to MyGym once a week and she loves gymnastics and dancing to the music there.  She's not quite into interacting with other kids, but most kids her age are still quite internal.

What's next?
Now that's she's walking, Kyle and I are trying to be brave and take her more places.  We tend to keep her at home more than we should for fear of "nuclear meltdown", but we're doing better.  She has loved the nearby splash pad and I hope to bring her to Disney when it cools down. She's also signed up for the Wine & Dine kids race and I may just cry when she takes off running thinking about how last year she couldn't even crawl.

I hope you have enjoyed watching Bear's first year unfold on social media.  Any tips for navigating life with a toddler?

Do you have kids - what was their first word?
Favorite kid TV show?

Love and go-go,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Kardashian Diet

Anything a Kardashian does garners attention and followers.  Welcome to our celebrity society!

Recently Kourtney Kardashian was in the news for claiming to eat ghee (clarified butter) as part of her morning routine for weight loss.
Thankfully Shape Magazine reached out to me to shed some light on whether or not this was a good idea.  Long story short - NO! :)
If you want to feel full all morning and stall your metabolism then maybe butter will do the trick.  However I can put the full weight of my nutrition education behind the idea that you're better off having a balanced breakfast with protein, fiber, and healthy fats.  This will get your metabolism moving and save your heart from an influx if saturated fats.
If you look at it objectively there are "some" benefits to ghee over traditional butter.  It has a nice nutty flavor so my suggestion would be to add a small amount to roasted potatoes or vegetables if you need a fix.

Take a look at the article and let me know your thoughts!

What did you have for breakfast today?

Love and clarified nutrition,
Carissa & Kyle

Thursday, March 31, 2016

What My 9 Month Old Eats

Learning to feed a baby can be a fun game of rejection, ejection, and frustration.
Today I'm sharing a day of eats for my 9 month old daughter.
I am a Registered Dietitian but I'm also a first time Mom so I'm figuring it out as I go.  This is not a text book or a guide to feeding your child, but simply a window into one day in our food diary. Also all the foods she eats have been given the green light by her pediatrician.  Some foods (strawberries and whole eggs) some people may wait longer to introduce FYI.

If you have a baby who gladly eats everything then kudos to you.  My quote Wicked..."I'm not that girl!"  Learning to feed her has been a constantly evolving science.  What works one day gets you a closed mouth and a turned head the next.  Blame teething, blame the moon cycle, but she keeps us on our toes.

At 9 months we are still counting on formula and breastmilk as our #1 source of nutrition.  We never skip a bottle for a meal.  If her daily ounces aren't where we want them to be we will wait for a meal or skip the meal.  It's all about the milk in our world until she's closer to 1.
Every day is different for her foods.  It depends on what we have in the house, who's feeding her, and if she needs prunes (because some days we NEED prunes).  We just started adding in a small morning meal of finger foods.  My ideal goal is for her to have a meal based off oatmeal with a vegetable high in Vitamin A and fruit for and then a meal with a base in yogurt with a green vegetable and avocado for another meal.  But those are dreams and we're just happy when she eats! :)
Here are Bear's day of eats:
720am - wake
740am - Formula
830am - She's acting hungry so I offer some finger foods for a "breakfast".  I don't want get too messy, because let's get real...I've barely had coffee so I don't feel like scrubbing the floor.  I have a waffle and she has some organic strawberries, teething biscuits and a few bites of toast.
950am - Formula as we try to nap
1045am - Formula as we try to nap part 2
115pm - Breastmilk bottle after nap
245pm - Lunch - Earth's Best oatmeal made with water and a small amount of apples and blueberries, cantaloupe, scrambled eggs, organic banana, and water.
345pm - More formula.  Bear had an appetite this day!  She was crying and fussing so I tried another bottle and down it went.  Maybe she's growing?
630pm - More formula post nap.
715pm - Dinner with Daddy - Stoneyfield Organic plain yogurt, the rest of the scrambled eggs (she has eggs every other day), avocado, and broccoli.  All washed down with water.
845pm - Formula and bed.
Her "dessert"

As I said before we practice the mantra "Under 1, food for fun" so we're happy when she does eat but it's not the end of the world when she's simply not interested.

If you have kids were they picky eaters or adventurous eaters?
Did you try Baby Led Weaning or stick to purees?

Love and tiny bites,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Easy Convenient Home Meals

It's not secret that #MomLife is tough.  I used to enjoy meal planning and trying new recipes and now I enjoy actually getting to eat food NOT standing up!  I compromise on how long my meals take to prepare, but I don't compromise on my nutrition.  I've turned to convenience food and lately I've been finding that in the frozen foods aisle.

Here are a few reasons why frozen food can be a part of your well-rounded diet:

  • Frozen food is food that has been frozen your convenience. Freezing is the best method for preserving food and locking in nutrients because the ingredients are picked and harvested at the peak of ripeness, flash-frozen for convenience and perfectly packaged for accessibility
  • Frozen foods are not only convenient for everyday usage and special occasions; they also often provide a reasonably sized single portion with little to no waste. Not only can single portions help consumers keep to their health goals, minimizing food waste is essential for staying on a grocery budget 
  • You can also eat your way across the globe, and experience restaurant-quality flavors with the endless options of ethnic-inspired cuisines in the freezer aisle. No matter your craving, you’ll always find what you’re looking for, from Asian, Hispanic, Italian to Chinese meals that are easy to prepare and take less time to make than it does to order take-out.    
Ever since I was a kid I have enjoyed waffles with peanut butter for breakfast and it's making a big come back now.  CBear also had bites of her first Eggo this week! Kyle is also a fan of the Jimmy Dean Delights sandwiches and he uses them as a fast midday snack when he's working at the gym.  
If you have time visit for more great recipes, meal ideas and tips.

What's in your freezer right now?

Love and no frost,