Check out some of these fantastic items to get you and your family back on track after Thanksgiving!
All-in-one blender - Healthy smoothies and shakes are a great way to combine convenience, vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, and a serving of calcium-rich dairy or dairy alternative. However, many feel the clean-up makes smoothie preparation a chore on a busy morning. Fear not! There are some fantastic options available that make blending a breeze. Look for a product like the Ninja® Kitchen System. This product features single-serve containers that mix and serve in the same container! Have your kids assist with the recipe preparation, if possible. Typically, kids are more motivated to try something new when they are able to lend a hand with the prep work. Try this recipe for a pumpkin pie smoothie for a vitamin-packed treat the morning after Thanksgiving!
Juicer - Many parents are frustrated that their children fail to consume a variety of vegetables and fruits. Vegetables are particularly important in our diet due to the vitamins and minerals they provide, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, and Potassium. Research from the CDC shows a diet providing 5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduces cancer risk, in addition to other chronic diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Check out this Fruit and Vegetable Calculator to determine how many fruits and vegetables you need per day. Juicing can be a great way to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into the diet and still provide the antioxidant benefits. Keep in mind, juicing takes away the fiber from fruits and vegetables, so make sure to continue consuming them in their whole form in addition to juice. See a variety of juicers available here.
Cast-iron skillet/grill pan - Iron is an important mineral required for development of blood cells, and proper body function. Not only can we get iron from the foods we eat, but also by cooking on alternative surfaces. Research from the Journal of Pediatrics found that iron requirements of infants can be met by simply cooking with iron utensils. Per report from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, iron content varies depending on the length of time the food is cooked, the acidity, and the moisture content of the food. However, using a cast-iron skillet or griddle is a fantastic way to increase the amount of iron in our diet. Rather than buying pre-packaged pancakes, use a cast-iron skillet (like this one shown here) and prepare a big batch when time allows. This pan is not just for pancakes, but flip it over and you have a great surface for grilling chicken, fish, or even vegetables. This is a simple solution to ensure low-fat cooking can occur no matter the weather outside.
Small Plates - Larger plates mean larger portions. During the holidays, this can be a dangerous combination! Rather than serving daily meals on large dinner plates, try downsizing to a typical salad plate for your everyday dinnerware. Research from Eastern Illinois University has shown consuming high calorie foods on smaller plates will significantly decrease the portion of calories consumed. As an alternative, try these portion plates from Precise Portions. These are a great tool to balance servings of high-calorie foods.
Have a fantastic food-related find of your own? Contact FEED at www.feednutrition.com.