How to read Food Labels like a pro

Grocery shopping also means reading the food labels diligently to get the maximum nutrition from your food. Let’s be honest most of us don’t pay attention to this task, some of us are also guilty of completely ignoring it. If you are committed to the health of your family, we recommend you make label reading a priority before welcoming any food product into the kitchen. Here is what will help-

Food

  • Every packaged food will have a nutritional facts table at the back. The table will provide information on – Calories, Fat, Saturated fat, Trans fat, protein, cholesterol, carbohydrate, Fiber, Sugar, Vitamins, Calcium, and Iron. Essentially an overview on all the food nutrients.
  • Watch out for the serving size, it refers to the standardized amount to help you compare the nutrition content of various foods. What this means is if you eat the exact serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts Table you will obtain the precise amount of calories and nutrients that are listed.
  •  Pay attention to calories on the Nutrition Facts Table. The listed calories tell you much energy you will get per serving of the food.
  • Percent Daily Value (DV) on the Nutrition Facts label is a guide to the nutrients in one serving of food. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults. For example, if the label lists 7 percent for iron, it means that one serving provides 7 percent of the iron your body needs to function in a healthy manner each day.
  • Try to get more of the healthy nutrients from your foods. Healthy nutrients include Iron, Calcium, Fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C
  • Try to get less of these nutrients from your food – Fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol. Don’t get us wrong, these nutrients are essential for the body, completely eliminating them from the diet can cause major health concerns. However, we must be extra cautious of the amount per serving for these nutrients.

This is a beginner’s guide to reading food labels. Make sure if you haven’t been already reading the food labels till now you start today.

Think we forget something important about reading the food labels? Let us know by commenting below.

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Things you must know about Frozen Food

In today’s day and age, everyone is trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle and optimum fitness. Eating fresh produce, therefore, has become a necessity. People are categorically looking to buy fresh and organic produce and pantry favorites
However, enter a grocery store you are sure to witness large sections of frozen food, often considered unhealthy. To a lot of us, frozen foods are a blessing that makes our life easier and simpler. Refer to our guide to know more about frozen food –

Frozen Fish

  • Freezing is the most natural method of preserving food. It increases the shelf life of food without having to add any preservatives. Hence, frozen food despite many claims isn’t unhealthy.
  • Freezing prevents the growth of bacteria, making food healthier.
  • Frozen food is preserved using the method of flash freezing (freezing water into small ice crystals) at the peak of freshness and almost immediately after harvesting. Hence, at the time of defrosting you can gauge how fresh the food was at the time it was preserved.
  • Frozen foods are more nutritious than canned foods due to the method of processing.
  • Storage plays an important role in enhancing the shelf life of frozen food. Refreezing food lowers its quality.
  • Frozen food like any other food is made from fresh ingredients, in fact its preserved at the peak of freshness.
  • March 6th is National Frozen Food Day.
  • Frozen food can be stored indefinitely. However, with time it will lose its taste and quality to some extent.

Think we missed out on an interesting fact about frozen food? Let us know by commenting below.
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Brace yourself – Back to School is Back

Back to school means hustle and bustle, preparing the kids for their first day at school, and ensuring they have the right supplies for a successful start. What this also means is that they will need a big dose of nutrition as their activity level will surge and they will be spending a lot of time away from home.

schoolmates-at-blackboard-together_23-2147663688

Proper nutrition plays a critical role in the defining the health of your child. Besides – age and gender one must take into consideration the level of activity before meal planning. Here are some aspects you must take into consideration while planning your child’s diet-

  • Fiber – keeps the digestive tract healthy, include plenty of  whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Calcium –  In addition to bone building and maintaining its health calcium helps blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract. It’s imperative to include good sources of calcium in the diet of kids growing up. Low fat dairy products, rhubarb, spinach, collard greens, and sardines are great sources of calcium.
  • Vitamin E- The most potent anti oxidant, it helps protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. Nuts, seeds, wheat germ oil and vegetable oils are all a good source of Vitamin E.
  • Organic Food : Switch to cleaner eating for your children. Introduce them to organic food if you haven’t already.
  • Magnesium – This important mineral supports the immune system and helps maintain muscle and nerve function. Whole grains, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and white, black beans are an excellent source of magnesium.
  • Vitamin D- This critical vitamin helps absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Sunshine, fortified dairy and juice, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna and mackerel are good sources to acquire vitamin D.

Think we missed out on something? Share it with us by commenting below.

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Healthiest Morning Foods to Eat

Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day. It helps you recharge and refuel for the day. It’s a known fact that kids and adults who eat a healthy breakfast tend to perform better at school//work, have more energy and focus better. Scientifically if a person skips eating nutrients early in the day they are likely to not compensate for it throughout the day.

More or less everyone eats breakfast, however, not everyone eats a healthy breakfast. Often it’s a meal that’s consumed in rush before heading out for the day. As a result of an incomplete breakfast, people tend to become irritable and tired. Get healthy with our list of healthy breakfast meals:

Oatmeal

  • Oatmeal: A delight for cereal lovers, oatmeal contains a unique fiber called beta-glucan. The fiber is known to reduce cholesterol and promote a feeling of fullness. Oats are gluten free, rich in anti-oxidants, helps decrease blood pressure and promote a healthy heart. A cup of oatmeal contains 6gms of protein, the same quantity of steel cut oats provides twice as much protein.
  • Greek YogurtGreek Yogurt: Made by straining whey and other liquids of yogurt, Greek yogurt is more concentrated in protein. Protein is known to make the body feel fuller for longer, reduce hunger significantly and increase metabolic rate. Certain Greek Yogurts Greek yogurt are a rich source of probiotics, such as Bifidobacterium, which are known to keep the gut healthy. Adding fresh fruits or using Greek yogurt in smoothies is a healthy breakfast option.
  • CoffeeCoffee: The good old coffee is on this list, no prizes for guessing! :-) High in caffeine, coffee is known to improve alertness, mood, and mental performance. It is also known to increase metabolic rate and burn fat.
  • Eggs: Eggs are the most loved American breakfast. Egg yolks contain antioxidants -lutein and zeaxanthin which help prevent eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. They are known to aid the feeling of fullness, helping in reduction of calorie intake and maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Mixed Berries SmoothieBerries: These bright, colorful and flavorful fruits are known for their many health benefits. They are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight chronic disease and cancer. They’re lower in sugar than most fruits, yet higher in fiber. In fact, raspberries and blackberries each provide an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup. We say eat as many as you can.
  • Green TeaGreen Tea: Considered to be the healthiest beverage in the world, it provides only 35–70 mg of caffeine per cup, which is about half the amount in coffee and yet promote alertness and metabolic rate. Rich in an antioxidant known as EGCG, it protects the brain, nervous system and heart from damage. Include a cup of green tea in your breakfast.

Whether you choose to eat breakfast or not it will always be a personal choice and preference. However, we highly recommend if you do, make sure you start it with the right choices.

Have more to include in our list? Comment below.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Decoded

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Here is some cool history about your favorite chocolate chip cookie-

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Fifty-three percent of American adults prefer chocolate chip cookies over peanut butter cookies (13%). We all know who is the clear American favorite based on the numbers.
  • The world’s biggest chocolate chip was created in 2003 by The Immaculate Baking Company in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The cookie weighed 40,000 pounds and had a diameter of 101 feet.
  • The chocolate chip cookie was created by an accident.  The classic cookie was born when Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, added broken chocolate bar pieces into her cookie batter thinking that they would melt.  They didn’t and the result is being enjoyed by the world over.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies were originally named “Butterdrop Do Cookies and renamed in 1936.
  • The creator of the cookie – Ruth Wakefield was paid for her recipe with a lifetime supply of chocolate from Nestlé. A great deal, would you agree?

Have an interesting fact you would like to share? Don’t forget to comment below.

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Happy National Hot Dog Day

Hot dogs are a must have a staple at every summer BBQ. On the National Hot Dog day. Here are fun facts about Hotdogs!

Hot dog

American favorite – Hot Dogs

  • Hot dogs are not just American favorites, they also originated in the US. Sausages themselves are from Germany, but it was an American genius who thought about putting them in a bun.
  • The origin of the word hot dog still remains a mystery. There are several theories but not a clear one yet.
  • Selling hot dogs at a baseball game dates back to 1880s. Hence, it’s no surprise that baseball fans are the biggest hot dog consumers.
  • Mustard sauce is the most popular hot dog topping followed by ketchup.
  • Hotdogs have traveled to space – NASA has approved hot dogs as a regular item on Apollo moon flights, Skylab missions, and space shuttle flights. Phew!!
  • New Yorkers eat the most hot dogs, more than any other city in the country.

Have an interesting fact about hot dogs that we missed mentioning here. Share it with us.

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5 snacks you can consume after 8 pm

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

  • Popcorn: The next time you are reaching out for that bag of potato chips, replace it with popcorn. It’s a light whole grain, anti-oxidant rich snack. Skip the butter to make it healthier.
Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

  • Avocado: Avocado has healthy written all over it. That explains why everyone is crazy about it.  Did you know just half an avocado contains 7 g of fiber? They contain good monounsaturated fats that the body needs to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. A clear snacking winner we say.
Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

  • Greek Yogurt: This is a favorite amongst the nutritionists and health experts around the world and there is a pretty good reason for it. Made from a highly concentrated form of milk, Greek yogurt provides more calcium than a glass of milk. Amazing, isn’t it? High protein and low-fat properties make it a super fun yet guilt free snack.
Hummus

Hummus

  • Hummus: The popularity of this Mediterranean and Middle Eastern favorite is unbeatable Made of Olive Oil, Chickpea, Garlic, Sea Salt, Lemon Juice and Tahini a basic hummus is loaded with nutrients – Protein, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Zinc and more. When the late night snack cravings kick in, it is probably a smarter choice to dip a carrot or cucumber in hummus.
Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

  • Dark Chocolate: It’s a proven fact that chocolates with higher content of cocoa are better and healthier. This established fact makes Dark chocolates a clear winner for snacking. They contain relatively less sugar and milk than regular milk chocolates. Also, cocoa polyphenols in dark chocolates are known to control cholesterol.

If you are able to replace your current snack choices with the recommended healthy choices, we promise you will never have to worry as much about your waistline. Always stick to the golden rule of consuming foods that are high in protein and low in carbs at night.

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Hacks to host an amazing BBQ this 4th of July

BBQ

BBQ

Cleaned up your grill to host a BBQ for your family and friends this Independence Day weekend? Hosting a BBQ requires a lot of meticulous planning. You want to ensure you are a perfect host catering to the palate of everyone invited. We are ith you on this one! Here are some grilling tips for this season –

  • If you are a BBQ pro, you are probably aware of all the grilling methods available. There is always an ongoing debate regarding which serves better out of the two gas v/s charcoal. Our vote goes to the former because it does burn cleaner while emitting less carbon monoxide.
  • Preheating is your friend! Always fire up the grill early. A preheated grill allows the meat to cook for easily and reduces the risk of food sticking. Also, it will burn off any remnants from the previous grilling, making the entire process more hygienic.
  • Marinate your meats for at least 8 hours. Marinating infuses more flavors and prepares the meat to cook well. What this means is you get richer flavors in half the time. Get as creative as you can while choosing sauces for marinating.
  • Fries are a BBQ staple. Ensure you don’t end up serving soggy fries. Believe us no one is a fan of that. We suggest investing a little more time on this one. Have variables available such as – sweet potato fries, fries with spice mix, etc.
  • Follow the simple rule – “Know thy guest”. A sure way to be a good host is to know the likes and dislikes of your guests. You will be better prepared to meet the requirements of your guests quick and easy. Early preparation aids the task of grocery shopping – you will know exactly what meats (chicken, pork, beef, seafood) and vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, etc.) to choose along with the quantities.
  • Beer is the king of any BBQ party! However, make cocktails an important element of your BBQ bash. Get creative with Sangria, martinis and more.

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Your guide to Summer Produce

Produce is at this peak in summer! What this means is that you can eat your way to a better health easily during this season. So, load up your plates with the best this season has to offer –

Summer Produce

Summer Produce

  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Berries
  • Watermelon
  • Oranges
  • Summer Squash
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatillos
  • Stone Fruits
  • Okra
  • Figs
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Beets
  • Chard

Think our list is incomplete? Let us know by commenting below.

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4 things to do with your kids this Summer

School’s out which means your children are already home. If like many others you are wondering how to keep them busy, here are some simple activities to try this summer vacation with your children-

Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

  • The Instagram Family: Well well well! Maybe you and your kids are already Instagram superstars. However, we do think it will be cute to have an online picture journal of your family’s summer adventure online. And what better than Instagram for this task. The filters are a sure way to up the glam. We say Lights, Camera, Instagram and memories :)
  • Backyard barbecues and picnic: This is not new, you probably already have plans of doing this. Try going ahead with themes. They are the most inexpensive way of upgrading a plain barbecue or backyard picnic. Innovation is the key here – include game stations, DIY booths, etc.
  • Experiment and record new recipes: Summer almost always brings the desire to try new recipes. Blame it on the festivity around us (we mean your kids). The next time you are experimenting in the kitchen include your kids in the task. Finally get around to baking the cookies or ice cream sandwich you have been holding off on. Your kids will be early learners and who knows maybe you will see them in Masterchef Junior soon. ;-)
  • Go Biking/ Hiking: Nature has a strange way of inspiring everyone. Do you
    remember the last time you willingly kept your iPad/laptop to bask in the sun or
    simply sit in the park to read a book? We strongly recommend biking in nature or hiking with the family. Be close to nature and embrace it.

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