Bits and Bites

News from Jen Messer Nutrition

It will be an action packed month at the Messer house! My youngest daughter, Kate, pictured here with me, is graduating from high school on June 6th.

Emily, my oldest, will be back home from PA to attend the graduation ceremony and then we celebrate her birthday on June 7th. It will be a full house again for a brief time.

We have a family vacation planned to Arizona and Las Vegas this month too! I’m looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time in my life!

Over the last few months I have attended several lectures and trainings for health professionals geared toward increasing vegetable consumption among children. Vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases but few children get in the recommended amounts.

Recently, I also became a “Certified Peanut Pro” through the National Peanut Board. Top food allergens, like peanuts, are now recommended for early introduction to babies; typically after 6 months of age. Research has shown that early introduction reduces the risk of developing food allergies later in life.

Speaking of veggies - here is a recipe for your summer get togethers. There are even more of my favorites linked below. This salad features veggies and peanuts brought to you by the National Peanut Board.

Asha’s Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing

For the salad: 1 cup lightly cooked asparagus trimmed, 1 cup lightly cooked green beans trimmed, 1 cup raw carrots julienned, 1 cup raw red cabbage thinly sliced, 1/2 cup strawberries quartered, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes quartered, 1/2 cup roasted peanuts.

For the dressing: 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 tablespoons of honey, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend it to a creamy consistency.

Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Top the salad with the roasted peanuts.

10 Tips for keeping health goals in mind during BBQ season:

  1. Plan your physical activity before the cookout - you’ll be tired after a big day out. Consider bringing an active game to play too! Frisbee?

  2. Bring a healthy dish option to share.

  3. Don’t go hungry to a gathering. Eat a sensible meal before you go. Then you won’t be ravenous when you arrive.

  4. Load half your plate with veggies -that ensures that you get in some fiber.

  5. Keep your drink in hand - sip sparkling water throughout the BBQ. Bring something special to share like a case of Spindrift.

  6. Bring a watermelon based fruit salad to share for dessert.

  7. Lean proteins are a great choice when grilling, BBQ chicken can’t be beat!

  8. Kebabs are another great menu option featuring lean protein AND veggies.

  9. Corn on the cob never disappoints - try it grilled and plain you’ll be suprised by its sweetness!

  10. If you are attending a cook-out for lunch have water and a snack in the car for the drive home. Plan to have an easy meal when you arrive home by having ingredients ready to go. For example, a turkey or hummus, lettuce, tomato, and avocado wrap is a simple meal when you serve it with a side of fruit.

Looking for some healthy cookout options to share?

Check out the delicious heart healthy recipes on my blog; not your average kale slaw, lemon dill potato salad, deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, and Mexican black bean salad. All great options to share with your family this summer.

Got questions?

Reach out if you have any nutrition questions you’d like answered in the next newsletter or if you need help with managing your own nutrition. I love helping people achieve active, energized, and full lives! I accept many major insurances, FSA/HSA accounts, and private payers.

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