Eat Out: Eat Right

eat outMost Americans love to eat out! Many of us eat out, often at fast food establishments, a few times a week.

The American Dietetic Association ( is a good source of information on how to eat healthy when you eat out. Here are their suggestions:

  • If you are going to begin the day by eating out, build a better breakfast sandwich by replacing sausage or bacon with Canadian ham or regular ham and have it on whole grain toast, or bagel or English Muffin.
  • If you are going to eat out at a sandwich shop, choose lean beef, ham, turkey or chicken on whole grain bread. Use mustard, ketchup, salsa or low fat spreads. in place of fries or chips, choose a side salad or fruit, or if you must have fries, share with someone else.
  • If you are at a salad bar, pile on the leafy greens, then choose carrots, peppers and other fresh veggies. Go lightly on choosing mayonnaise-based salads and high-fat toppings.
  • Eating in a restaurant? Eat your low calorie food first, filling up on salad and soup followed by a light main course. Have all sauces and dressing on the side, for dipping, not pouring. Order one dessert and forks  for sharing with companions.
  • Avoid all you can eat buffet and unlimited salad bars if you know you tend eat too much at these venues.
  • Take size into consideration when ordering muffins, bagels, croissants and biscuits. Jumbo sizes mean jumbo calories and lots more fat.
  • Does your eat out mean grabbing dinner at the hot table in the supermarket or the deli section? If so, choose rotisserie chicken, salad in a bag and fresh bread. Another good choice-lean roast beef, onion rolls potato salad and fresh fruit.

If, for you,  eat out means eating at your desk at work, keep single serving packages of crackers, fruit, peanut butter, soup, or tuna in your desk.



Heart Healthy Foods suggests you follow these eating tips for a healthy heart:

  1. Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
  2. Cut down on sodium (salt). Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” brands of canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
  3. Get more fiber. Fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Take this list with you the next time you go food shopping.

Healthy Vegetables and Fruits

Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. To save money, buy vegetables and fruits that are in season, frozen, or canned.

  • Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach
  • Leafy greens for salads
  • Canned vegetables low in sodium (salt)
  • Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces
  • Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
  • Canned fruit in 100% juice, not syrup
  • Dried fruit
  • Frozen berries without added sugar

Healthy Milk and Milk Products

Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products. Or choose soy products with added calcium.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
  • Soy-based drinks with added calcium (soymilk)

Healthy Breads, Cereals, and Grains

For products with more than one ingredient, make sure whole-wheat or whole-grain is listed first.

  • 100% whole-wheat bread
  • Whole-grain breakfast cereals like oatmeal
  • Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta

Healthy Meat, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Choose lean cuts of meat and other foods with protein.

  • Seafood, including fish and shellfish
  • Chicken and turkey breast without skin
  • Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
  • Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, extra lean ground beef
  • Beans, lentils, and peas
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Nuts and seeds

Healthy Fats and Oils

Cut back on saturated fat and look for healthy products with no trans fats.

  • Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
  • Vegetable oil (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame oil)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Light or fat-free salad dressing and mayonnaise



Promoting Healthy Eating Habits…

The following article was written by Marcia Hall , was featured on Go

eatingWhether it’s school starting early, having a hectic work schedule, trying to get the kids to afterschool activities or constantly being on the go on the weekends, it can be difficult to instill healthy eating habits in your children.  Because of this, drive-thru’s and convenience stores can end up being a mom’s best friend.  However, feeding your children meals and snacks from these places sends a strong, unhealthy and sometimes dangerous message.

Commit to three meals at home together a week.  The importance of eating meals together as a family cannot be underestimated.  Having dinner at the table together helps build bonds that are centered on the very essence of family.  Children naturally want to be with their family, and they will have positive memories of this experience. When you partner this family meal with healthy food choices, your child will be more likely to continue to make healthy choices because it subconsciously reminds her of the family connection.

Try new foods together as a family.  Young children are notoriously picky eaters.  They tend to find a food they enjoy and want nothing else.  They frequently refuse to eat foods that look, smell or feel different than what they are used to.  Even mac and cheese made from a different box can cause a child to run screaming. To help curtail this pickiness, it is important to experiment with new foods as a family.  Remember that it can take a child several months to get used to a new food.  If it is a particularly offensive food, start with just putting a portion on his plate every day for a week.  Next, you can encourage her to feel it with her fingers and even with her tongue when she is comfortable.  This does not mean she has to swallow it, she just needs to put it in her mouth every day for a week so she can get used to the texture.  Slowly she will begin to get more comfortable with it, and eventually you can ask her to swallow one bite.  Children with high sensitivities to new foods may take up to a month before they’re comfortable trying the food, but other children will learn to eat it after a few days.  The important thing is that you eat that new food right alongside your child.

All family members eat the same thing.  Avoid making special meals for your child if she does not like what she has.  You can offer some extra of what she likes after she has tried the disliked food, but don’t make her mac and cheese just because you know she does not like meatloaf.

Prepare ahead of time for the whole week.   It is pretty easy to pre-make a lot of foods, from sandwiches and scrambled eggs to cut up veggies and baggies of grapes.  If you have time on the weekend, assemble sandwiches that your child can take for lunch for the whole week and keep them in the fridge so you can just grab them in the morning and go.  You can portion out some cut up veggies and fruit in bags too so they’re easily accessible in the mornings.  You can even bake scrambled eggs ahead of time; this way your children can have a healthy breakfast, even on school days when time is limited.  Bake them in muffin tins for the whole week and then freeze them.  In the morning, microwave them for a minute or two, add a banana and you have a healthy school morning breakfast!

Invest in on-the-go containers and foods. There is nothing wrong with needing to eat on the go. The extra 10 minutes it might save you in the morning or after school can make a huge difference.  The problem is that “on-the-go” usually means fast food.  This can be avoided by investing in containers and healthy foods that travel well.

Do not neglect eating a healthy breakfast.  For many adults and children, breakfast is an afterthought.  Most of the time, people aren’t really that hungry when they have to wake up early in the morning.  However, neglecting this meal has effects that last throughout the day.  A child’s breakfast often consists of high carbohydrate cereals or sugary toaster meals with little to no protein.  This causes a spike of energy to get out the door, but also causes blood sugar to drop quickly 30 minutes into the school day.  Even young children do not have snack time until about an hour and half into class, so they are likely attempting to learn while their body and brain are hungry for more nourishment.  This will often cause your child to be sluggish, easily distracted and unable to listen well.  It might also cause her to reach for higher carb, sugary foods to satisfy her until lunch.  Then at lunch she is more likely to start with the carbohydrate in the meal, and the cycle goes on and one.  Do your children a favor and make a healthy protein filled breakfast a priority.  You will be amazed at the difference in her behavior and her focus, all from eating a healthy meal at the beginning of the day.

Children will always gravitate toward sweet and salty treats.  However, the more their parents model what healthy eating looks like, the more likely they will only crave those treats once in a while.



Chef Ed Cotton, a New Contributor of Kid-healthy Recipes

Chef Ed Cotton, Executive Chef at Plein Sud, in NYC is a new contributor to Kid-healthy recipes for “Can Do” Street. Chef Cotton graduated from the Culinary School of America, has held executive chef positions at several upscale restaurants across the US  and was a final contestant in Season 7’s Bravo’s Top Chef in Washington D.C. in Sept of 2010.

The first recipe Chef Cotton shares is for a Chicago style dish deep pizza, made with all fresh, healthy ingredients.

It  is a perfect recipe for a mom or a dad who like to share the cooking “from scratch” experience with a young child who is interested in cooking. It  is a great opportunity a child to work with dough and see his or her creation turn into a favorite…pizza!

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Dough Recipe

Approx. 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 pkg. fast rising yeast

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup of very warm water


1 package Health Choice/ low fat brand shredded cheese

2 cans whole tomatoes

A generous handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Cracked black pepper, salt and oregano to taste

4 or 5 large cloves of fresh garlic, sliced thin

2 -10 oz. packages of frozen spinach, thawed

1 fresh ripe tomato, thinly sliced

2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions – Crust

  • Combine the yeast, salt, sugar, 1 cup of the flour and the cup of warm water
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Since you aren’t proofing the yeast first; the water needs to be a bit hotter than usual
  • Add enough of the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour to form a soft dough
  • Knead it for a few minutes, then put it back in the bowl, cover and set aside to rise
  • When the pizza dough has more or less doubled in bulk (usually in less than an hour) punch it down.
  • Lightly spray a 10 inch spring form pan with cooking spray
  • Press the dough into the pan and up the sides.


  • Squeeze the moisture out of the thawed spinach
  • Break up the tomatoes slightly and set them in a sieve to drain.
  • Spread the shredded cheese over the crust
  • Top with the tomatoes which have been mixed with the basil leaves, season with salt, pepper, oregano.
  • Sprinkle the sliced garlic over the tomatoes and top with the spinach and then arrange the sliced tomato decoratively on top.
  • Bake at 425 in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes or so.  Since it’s so thick, it takes quite awhile for the filling to heat all the way through.

Note: The pizza makes a great presentation when you remove the ring from the spring form pan.

To learn more about Chef Ed Cotton, go to Facebook and enter his name.


Eximius Theme by