How to Prep a Fruitful School Snack

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A healthy diet is a necessity for individuals of all ages, but getting enough nutrients is especially important for school-age children. Not only are children learning and developing eating habits that will follow them throughout their adult life, they also need the right kind of fuel to stay focussed during the school day.
At times, children can be tricky. They may not always agree to eat celery sticks and peanut butter as a school-day snack. However, natural sugars, like those in fruit, instead of processed and value-less candy and potato chips, can play a key role in getting children to snack healthily — especially when they may be short on time.
Fruit offers fiber and minerals to improve performance in class, provide energy for sports and curb appetites. Encouraging children to eat fruit as their snack may also help reduce their risk for cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and strokes later on in life.
Get creative during the school year with your afternoon snack preparations. One way to go is to stuff different fruit concoctions in whole wheat tortilla wraps to add a hearty twist to a sweet snack. For example, try this quick and easy Banana and Raisin Wrap recipe from La Tortilla Factory:

Wrap Up Your Diet: Add Fresh, Healthy Eating to Your Menu

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Every day it seems there are a host of new and outlandish methods to win the battle of the bulge. The Cabbage Soup diet, the Fat Flush diet and the Blood Type diet are some of the more unusual, yet even the most ridiculous monikers do little to preserve your overall nutrition.
The reason why fad diets typically don’t work, according to sports and lifestyle dietitian Molly Kimball, RD, is that they aren’t designed to succeed in the long term. “In reality, a successful diet is one that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, taste or nutrition and incorporates your favorite foods every day.” So scratch the word “diet” out of your vocabulary and follow these four tips for fresh, healthy eating:
Keep calories in check. “Even if you exercise an hour every day, there are still 23 hours where you can negate it,” says Kimball. “You still have to keep an eye on what you’re eating.” She advises that you spend your calories on foods high in fiber, protein and healthy fat. Since the body takes longer to digest these nutrients, you’ll be left feeling fuller, longer. For a snack, try a quarter cup of reduced fat cheese melted on a whole wheat tortilla. Low in calories but high in fiber and protein, this snack keeps you powering until the next meal.
Fill up on veggies. Instead of ham, turkey and roast beef thrown between two slabs of bread with cheese and extra mayo, keep the lean protein and incorporate loads of vegetables (raw, grilled or roasted) into a low-carb, high-fiber tortilla. “You’ll be slashing calories but still get the satisfaction of eating a full sandwich, along with loads of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense vegetables,” says Kimball.
Choose healthy fats. Olive oil and fatty fish get a lot of attention for a reason: they’re both filled with healthy fats. The monounsaturated fat in oil and the omega-3’s in fish not only help to keep hunger at bay, they also boost your heart health by raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Get your fill of both with a La Tortilla Factory Extra-Virgin Olive Oil SoftWrap smeared with cream cheese and a little bit of salmon.
Lighten the foods you love. The bottom line is calories, but is giving up your favorite foods worth it? Of course not. Instead of a massive burrito stuffed with cheese, refried beans and sour cream, use a whole wheat tortilla and pile on lean protein, grilled veggies and fresh salsa for an authentic Mexican meal that tastes great with a fraction of the fat and calories.
For healthy ideas and recipes, visit www.latortillafactory.com.

Revamp Your Pantry For Healthier Meals

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In an ideal world, you’d shop every day for the freshest ingredients to make gourmet meals for your family. However, family obligations keep you so busy that dinner often means fast food or take-out.

Fortunately, there is a happy medium between healthfulness and convenience. With a well-stocked pantry, it’s easy and less expensive to create healthy meals in minutes without extra trips to the grocery store.

Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian and nutrition book author, provides these tips for creating the perfect pantry:

* Keep supplies for healthy last-minute meals on hand. Pantry staples like whole-wheat pasta, eggs, tomato sauce, canned tuna fish, peanut butter, canned salmon and canned beans (such as black beans and garbanzos) can make quick and healthy sandwiches, soups, omelets and more.

* Stock up on natural foods. Many common pantry supplies, like canned soups, crackers and sugary cereals, contain large amounts of high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats and sodium. Choose more nutritious alternatives. For example, start off your day with a healthy breakfast including Mom’s Best Naturals (www.momsbestnaturals.com) cereals. This line comes in delicious family favorite varieties, and unlike a lot of natural/organic cereals, this brand is affordably priced so it’s a good, budget-friendly option for families.

* Choose whole grains. Oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice are healthy staples, but you can also create quick, easy meals and side dishes from grains like bulgur wheat, buckwheat, quinoa and whole wheat couscous. Snack on popcorn (a whole grain) instead of fatty chips, and make a delicious trail mix with whole grain cereal, dried fruit and nuts.

* Spice it up. With a well-stocked spice rack, you can prepare simple dishes such as beans and rice with an Indian, Mexican or Mediterranean flare. Stock dried rosemary, thyme, tarragon, dill, cumin, cinnamon, sage, chili powder, turmeric, bay leaves, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder and black and red pepper. Toss dried herbs and spices after a year, as their flavor fades.

For more tips on healthy eating from Elizabeth Ward, please visit her blog at http://momsbestnaturals.com/blogs/moms-best-blog/.