Dinner Rotation: July-August

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on July 7, 2015

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Now that I’m back from vacation, it’s time to tweak my rotation for summer. As you can see, I’m adding a grill night and opting for some more summer-type meals like pasta primavera.

I’m also working on my summer sides, which was the driving force behind my recent post on BBQ sides. I just love the relaxed feeling of summer and that extends to meals. It’s all about keeping it simple.

How’s your summer meal planning going?

Big Announcements from Big Companies

Have you noticed the trend of food companies making health-related announcements? In February, Nestle announced it would be removing artificial flavors and colors from its chocolate products by the end of the year. And in April, Kraft announced it will be cutting food dye from its mac and cheese in 2016. And Panera is cutting artificial preservatives.

This June, General Mills announced it will be removing artificial flavors and colors from all of its cereals by 2017. So products like Trix and Reese’s Puffs will be made colorful not with food dye but fruit and vegetable juices. They are the first big cereal company to make this change.

According to the 2015 Nielson Survey, this is most likely the reason why:

When it comes to the foods we eat, consumers are going back to the basics. We asked respondents to rate health attributes from very important to not important in their purchase decisions. The most desirable attributes are foods that are fresh, natural and minimally processed. Foods with all natural ingredients and those without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are each considered very important to 43% of global respondents—the highest percentages of the 27 attributes included in the study. In addition, about four-in-10 global respondents say the absence of artificial colors (42%) and flavors (41%) and foods made from vegetables/fruits (40%) are very important

I think all of this is a big step in the right direction. But I can’t help but think that the nutrition profile of the food product does not change as a result of removing artificial preservatives and food dye. I just hope people don’t evaluate a food product solely on the absence of artificial preservatives and colors.

What’s your take on these changes?


On Real Mom Nutrition, Dr. Rose and I answer a reader’s question about her son’s feeling deprived of junk food.

Jill Castle writes about how to feed the underweight athlete. I’ll be reviewing her new book, Eat Like a Champion, soon!

Natalia at Tribeca Nutrition asks the important question: Do Our Children Feel Respected at Mealtimes? 

Got a picky eater? Sarah Remmer has 47 resources for you (including this blog!).

U.S. Dietary Guidelines will no longer focus on total fat, only the type of fat.

This post on Motherlode reminds me why it is so important to keep a long-term view while parenting, especially when it comes to feeding kids.

A new study explains why distracted eating leads to more snacking later in the day.

Learn why diets don’t work from a researcher who has spent decades researching them.

Have a great week!

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An Unconventional Way to Educate Kids About Nutrition (and Why it Works)

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on July 2, 2015

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It was Sunday morning and Big A pointed out that she was going to have dessert three times that day. First was cake at church to celebrate her first communion, second was a birthday party and third was dinner at Granny’s. In a very serious tone she said, “Granny always has dessert.”

I could have told her to choose one sweet item or just throw caution to the wind. Instead, I chose a third option. An experiment of sorts.

I told her to notice how each dessert tasted as the day went on. Specifically, I asked her to be very aware of how much enjoyment she got each time. She agreed. click to continue


10 Healthy BBQ Side Dish Recipes for Summer

June 29, 2015

Now that summer is here, grilling is here too. What that really means is my husband does all the work while I prepare a few easy side dishes. I reached out to my dietitian friends to get some BBQ food ideas. And boy did they deliver! So here are 10 side dish recipes to give […]

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6 Health Lessons I Learned on Our Summer Vacation

June 26, 2015
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Every summer we take a trip. And this year we chose New York and Washington, DC. New York is where the hubs and I spent most our pre-kid life. It’s where we fell in love and got engaged. Since the kids are old enough, we thought it was time to share it with them. We […]

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How to Get Your Picky Eater to Eat Sushi

June 17, 2015

To help fill in while we are on summer vacation, here’s a guest post from Le Anne Ruzzamenti. My son has been a picky eater since he turned three and as we near his seventh birthday, we can still only count a handful of vegetables and fruits that he will eat. While he’s not the extreme […]

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Book Review & Giveaway: No Sweat

June 12, 2015
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Before I started Raise Healthy Eaters I briefly had a website called Do it Yourself Nutrition. While searching for article ideas, I ran across a study examining what motivates women to maintain exercise. I interviewed the author of the study, Michelle Segar, PhD, and we’ve been in contact ever since. She feels the same way […]

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7 Nutrition Sacrifices I Make to Help Expand My Kids’ Palate

June 9, 2015
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Somewhere along the line I realized that always taking the nutritional high road wasn’t getting me anywhere with my kids. As a dietitian it can be tough to break certain nutrition rules, but I have found that doing so is often exactly what’s needed to expand my kids’ food preferences. Don’t get me wrong, I […]

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5 Obstacles That Keep Parents from Raising Intuitive Eaters

June 1, 2015
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Long before having children, I knew I wanted to raise not just a healthy eater, but an intuitive one. A child, turned adult, who uses internal cues to guide eating and chooses healthy food as much for pleasure as for health. What I didn’t expect was the difficulties that would arise on this journey. But […]

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Vegetable Medley Side Dish [Recipe]

May 26, 2015
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I’ve been working on side dishes for my dinner rotation. I’m trying to ensure I have a variety of veggies and seem to be short on green been and mushroom dishes. So when strategizing I thought of this Green Bean and Mushroom Medley from All Recipes I usually make for Thanksgiving. I made some modifications […]

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Updated Best Cereal Post, Free 12-Page Report and a Favor

May 20, 2015
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I’ve been updating old posts with the goal of keeping the content current. It’s not always possible to republish them so I’m letting you know about my most recent updated post: 10 of the Best Cereals for Kids. It highlights kid friendly ready-to-eat cereals that meet the following nutrition criteria per serving: 10g or less […]

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