Tips for Healthy Snacking

Your little ones love sugary cookies, while you just can’t resist a savory snack every now and then. If you’re looking for healthier snacks for the whole family that still tasty and satisfying, these tips from the NIH can help you find them.

  • Create healthier versions of your favorite snacks. Instead of your usual cheese and crackers, substitute low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers. Instead of buttery, salty movie theater popcorn, make some fat-free or low-fat popcorn.
  • Make healthier dessert choices. Instead of your usual homemade milkshake, blend a banana, ice and low-fat chocolate milk for a chocolate smoothie that’s still delicious.
  • Choose smarter condiments. Sauces and other toppings can add fat and empty calories to an otherwise healthy snack. Instead of cheese, choose salsa, and instead of regular ranch dressing opt for a fat-free variety.

For more healthy snacking tips, visit the NIH website.

Find Recipes Online with These Websites

These days, finding and sharing recipes has become an online activity, with dozens of websites full of user submitted meals for lunch, dinner and even dessert. These helpful websites will help you with your own family’s meal planning, as well as connect you to other home chefs to trade tips and tricks.

All Recipes
All Recipes is one of the most popular online cooking resources, with an expansive recipe database for just about any meal or occasion. Search the archives by ingredient, watch video tutorials, view sample menus for the entire week, or even plan your holiday spread all on this simple, friendly website.

Epicurious
The ideal site for the passionate food lover, Epicurious is jam packed with creative, inspiring recipes in the form of traditional text, videos, and slideshows of mouth-watering photos. Epicurious also features a great online community where visitors can follow other members, post their favorite recipes, and discuss topics such as family meal solutions and home brewing techniques. 

FoodNetwork.com
The beloved television cooking channel has a corresponding website, and fans of shows like The Barefoot Contessa are sure to love it. FoodNetwork.com features cooking tips from top chefs and hosts, 30-minute meal recipes, a quick recipe finder with filters for ingredients and prep time, and even a blog full of articles that foodies will find fascinating.

Find Local Food in Season Near You

Finding fresh, healthy foods nearby can extend beyond the produce counter at your neighborhood grocery store. If you want find food grown in your region, these three websites can help guide you:

Local Harvest
The CSA page of the Local Harvest website gives you complete information about signing up for a CSA, and where to find one in your area. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”, and it generally operates like a subscription to your local farmers market. If you want a constant supply of fresh, local produce, Local Harvest is worth a read.

FarmersMarket.com
FarmersMarket.com is an entire website devoted to, you guessed it, farmer’s markets. Type in your zip code and you’ll instantly receive information about all of the farmer’s markets in your area, giving you quick and easy access to information about local and organic products. FarmersMarket.com also has an informative blog with tips and recipes for using your market purchases in healthy and delicious ways.

Epicurious
This self-described website “for people who love to eat” features information about farm-to-table meats and produce and where to find them in your area, including an interactive ingredient map. Epicurious also employs healthy, seasonal recipes, a tight-knit online community, and articles from chefs and other experts to keep you informed about local foods.

FDA Tips on Using Dietary Supplements

Before choosing a dietary supplement, there are some important facts to consider. With all the different supplements on the market, it's important to do your research before deciding if the supplement is right for you. The FDA has some things to consider before reaching for that supplement.

Consider if you actually need to take a supplement. 
Most nutrients and vitamins can be obtained by eating a healthy diet. Supplements are not a substitute for eating a variety of healthy foods; they can just help deliver a nutrient you are lacking.

Getting too much of some vitamins can be harmful.
It may be a good idea to speak with a health care professional before starting a supplement. Some medicines can harmful react with certain supplements, so be aware of any possible interactions.

The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements. 
Manufacturers are responsible for making sure the product is safe before placing it on the market. Search reputable websites for information on supplements and remind yourself: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

· Tips for Dietary Supplement Users  [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]

Five Great Juicing Recipes

Juicing is becoming more and more popular.  Using a juicer is a quick and easy way to make these juices but if you don't have one, juicing can be done in the blender too. Just make sure you blend for awhile or else you may have pieces of vegetables or fruit in your juice.

Here five great juicing recipes that taste great and are good for you!

Orange Carrot Ginger Juice

Pineapple Apple Mint Juice

Cucumber Watermelon Lime Juice

Rise and Shine Juice

Post-Workout Refueler

How To Make Great Risotto

Risotto can be a daunting meal to prepare – this Italian dish is known for being quite difficult to make properly. The most thing to remember when making a risotto is constant attention. The cook basically needs to stay over the pan, constantly stirring the rice, while occasionally adding additional stock to the grains in order to achieve that perfect risotto consistency. Once you’ve got the hang of that, below are some ways to jazz up the dish!

–        Mushrooms are known for being a fabulous complement to risotto. Their earthiness infiltrates the rice, adding interest and dimension to the dish. Try using porcini, baby bella, or chanterelle mushrooms, all work well. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

–        Lemon is also a wonderful addition to risottos. Add fresh-squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, and steamed asparagus to the dish for a light, refreshing meal that will truly impress.

–        In the fall, draw inspiration from seasonal produce. Try adding some roasted butternut squash for a subtle, comforting flavor.

–        Seafood risotto is also a very popular option. Incorporate cooked clams, mussels, scallops, and shrimp to add a variety of flavors and textures to the dish, and season with saffron and fresh lemon.

–        For a truly outstanding breakfast, prepare a traditional risotto and stir in cooked, crispy, crumbled bacon and some sharp cheese, like Swiss or Gruyere. Top with a poached egg and enjoy!

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