Blog Posts by DietsInReview

  • Healthiest Brands for Traditional Lunch Box Snacks

    By Brandi Koskie -

    For a lot of moms, packing lunches is something they could do in their sleep with both arms folding the laundry. But even the most talented lunch-box-stuffing parent could learn some new tricks, especially when it comes to making those lunch box meals even more nutritious.

    That mid-day meal at school is supposed to recharge and refuel their young bodies and minds to get through what is often the most sluggish part of the day for kids and adults alike. So rather than fill their bellies with junk food they'll burn through before recess is over, give them something they can use.

    Yogurt, crackers, and granola bars are lunch box staples, but they don't all deserve a place next to your handwritten "Have a great day!" note. We spoke with a few dietitians and tracked down some of the best brands so that you can give your kids their favorite snacks that you can feel good about.

    Portion control is built-in when you buy yogurt cups, however,

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  • Mom-Approved After-School Snack Ideas for Kids

    By Carmen Staicer - Chief Mom at

    The book bags have been bought, everyone has new sneakers and fresh haircuts, and bedtimes have been rolled back. What time is it? Why, it's back to school time! The most wonderful time of the year!

    OK, so maybe that's an understatement for the kiddos, but most parents I know look forward to the return of the school year with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement because the kids are back in school, and dread because the return to school brings with it a large concern: what will those kids eat? School lunches are fairly easy, but the after-school snacks create quite a dilemma for many parents. It's easy to toss a sleeve of cookies or a bag of chips in their general direction, but many school-aged children are in need of a substantial snack to fill in the cracks and refuel them for after-school sports.

    Second to breakfast, after-school snacks can be one of the most important parts of a child's nutrition routine. What your

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  • 6 Tasty, Healthy Treats for Kid Lunches

    By Brandi Koskie -

    It's almost impossible to believe that in a few short weeks the kiddos will be headed out the door for school. Backpacks, tennis shoes, and sharp #2 pencils are always obvious must-have back-to-school items, but we often overlook lunch. What they're eating at school during the day can be one of their most important supplies, because it's that food that fuels them to read, write, count, and play.

    Instead of fighting one another on what to put in their lunch boxes, meet in the middle with some snacks and treats that are good enough for everyone to feel good about. We've found a few snacks worthy of being called mom- and kid-approved!

    Baby Carrots. Not just any baby carrots though, cool baby carrots! That's what the baby carrot industry is trying to make consumers feel about their healthy food. Their neon orange color is natural and full of vitamins, while the neon orange cheese doodles your kids might be used to are nutritionally void. Last fall

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  • Yo-Yo Dieting is Better Than Obesity

    By Jason Knapfel -

    Lose the weight, no matter what! That's the take away from a new study that says even yo-yo dieting, which has always been frowned upon, is better than staying obese. Nobody wants to see their weight go up and down; i's immensely frustrating and can eat away at your self-esteem. But even with all of the negatives, being obese all of time is much worse.

    A study presented at an annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston compared mice who were fed a low-fat diet with those who were intentionally given a yo-yo diet regimen. What they found was the yo-yo diet group lived just as long as the low-fat diet group. There was also a group of mice fed a high-fat diet (more on that later).

    This is certainly not an endorsement of fad diets or extreme weight fluctuations.

    "People should not stop trying to lose weight if they are, like I am, a person who gains weight frequently and tries to lose it," said study researcher Edward List, a scientist at Ohio

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  • Nutrionists and Parents Argue Against the Baby Food Diet

    By Maris Callahan -

    The Baby Food Diet has taken America by storm. While many seeking weight loss are jumping on the jarred, pureed food bandwagon, nutrition experts and parents are questioning whether the safety and efficacy of the hit fad diet.

    "Meeting adequate nutritional needs while following a diet that promotes eating small portions of low calorie pureed foods isn't so easy," Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition expert for and mother of three, told "Jars of baby food vary from 15 to 100 calories so it can really be up to the dieter to mix and match various food groups to meet dietary needs."

    While eating baby food alone can put you at risk for vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, there are ways to follow the diet to make it healthier, more accessible and more sustainable.

    Supplement with Baby Food

    "I would not recommend the baby food diet because you will fall short on nutrients, and most especially, you won't have the

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  • Red, White, and Blue Recipes for Your Fourth of July Celebration

    By Maris Callahan -

    We have all heard that colorful fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. If you're used to eating a palette of colors that include orange carrots, purple potatoes and dark, leafy greens, know that you can eat just as colorfully this Fourth of July with a festive menu designed around your favorite red, white and blue foods.

    While a lot of patriotic recipes use artificial dyes and colors to add festivity and fun to your holiday menu, grocery stores and farm stands are chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables that will not only add these patriotic colors to your plate, but important nutrients to your diet.


    Raspberry, Lime & Mint Smoothie from The Perfect Pantry: Raspberries contain almost 50% higher antioxidant activity than strawberries, three times that of kiwis, and ten times that of tomatoes. Try them in a refreshing summer smoothie to cool off on The Fourth.

    Strawberry-Vanilla Lemonade from Veganess Eats:

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  • July's In-Season Produce Comes in Patriotic Colors

    By Brandi Koskie -

    With July rolling in and the first full month of summer in front of us, there is a lot to be excited about. Namely - fruits and vegetables! Some of our favorite seasonal produce is coming in to its peak of freshness and flavor right now, which means there are weeks of delicious eating ahead.

    Eating seasonally means you're eating food when it's supposed to be eaten. As with eating locally, it can greatly diminish the carbon footprint your meals are leaving behind because the distance it travels from plant to plate is reduced. It can also be very cost effective. Try to get a tomato from Florida during the winter and check out how scarce the availability is and how the price increases.

    Just in time to celebrate The Fourth, July's in-season produce is red, white, and blue and ripe for the picking!

    Fruits: Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Red and White Currants, Gooseberries

    Vegetables: Peas, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Lettuce Varieties, Radishes,

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  • 5 Resources for Planning a Fit and Active Summer Vacation

    By Brandi Koskie -

    With the summer travel season fully underway, you might think that there's not much room in your suitcase for your healthy lifestyle alongside all the sunblock, portable DVD players, and camera gear. But guess again!

    You can easily fit a pair of running or gym shoes into all of the luggage your family is loading up for summer vacation, and even stuff an outfit for the gym in there too. Heck, it might even be some shorts and a tee you were already planning to take with you, killing two birds with one stone.

    The other daunting part of managing your fitness routine, or even penchant for healthy eating while away from home, is not knowing where to go or what to do. That's the confusion we want to clarify now. There are a lot of resources available to you on the road that are often free or incredibly affordable.

    Don't let your healthy habits take a vacation, instead, make sure one or some of the following find a spot on your itinerary.

    MapMyRun -

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  • Why You Should Schedule a Family Play Night This Week

    By Brandi Koskie -

    Do you and your family make time to just be together during the week? Whether it's dinner, activities, or events, it's important to make one another a regular part of the schedule. This wouldn't have been a novel idea a few decades ago, but in today's hectic world, it's unfortunately true that we have to pencil in time for our families.

    That's why we're encouraging families to dedicate one evening a week to Family Play Night. Have your family get up and move together while getting reacquainted in your own back yard. Or the front yard, or the park, or wherever it is that you want to play!

    "Play is a way for families to connect. Children connect and learn primarily through play," says DietsInReview's mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC. "Play helps build healthy attachment and positive relationships. Families who play together will be healthier, happier, enjoy each other more, and work together more effectively." Brooke adds that "Play helps

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  • 5 Foods for Flawless Summer Skin

    By Maris Callahan -

    When the sun is shining you might be tempted to turn to tanning in order to refresh your skin. We all know that the sun can increase your risk for skin cancer so we want to recommend a better way to let your complexion shine this season.

    We already know that water helps flush toxins from you skin cells to create a glowing complexion. In addition to H20, there are plenty of delicious foods you can eat to help your skin to feel and look fresh.

    According to Dr. Brooke Jackson, board certified dermatologist and founder of The Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, fresh fruits and vegetables found at farmers markets not only taste delicious, but are great for improving your skin condition and overall beauty.

    Not only does fresh produce help improve your complexion, but consuming it can be a great way to manage your diet, meet daily requirements for fruits and vegetables and of course, keep your beauty treatment budget in check.

    Berries: Blueberries,

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