Ho Ho Fun!

Whether you’re gifting for Christmas or another holiday, here are a few ideas for those you want to have a healthy new year:))

For the chef-in-training, how about a cutting board that helps differentiate between a small and medium dice (they’re on their own for a rough cut!). Markings on the board eliminate the need to get out a ruler (if millennials use rulers). Obsessive Chef is one brand of these cutting boards; could you use one too?

We flavor foods with fat, salt and sugar. Not too healthy, right? Culinary grilling planks are a cool alternative. The wood imparts a flavor (cedar, hickory, cherry or alder for example) but you can also soak the boards in wine or a fruit juice for even more flavor. You’re adding no calories, just another layer of taste. Fish is probably the most commonly grilled food but veggies could be another easy idea for planks on the grill.

Meal kits are just the thing for the new or easily bored cook. They are quite pricey but their step-by-step instructions, inclusion of every last ingredient (garnishes too) and unique flavor profiles will make an adventurous eater happy. Skill level demanded for the many brands is highly variable, so make sure you make those two elements a perfect match too.

Finally, I keep reading about (but have never tried) an airfryer but they get rave reviews. Fried foods with a minimum  amount of fat sounds like a nutritional winner to me. Superheated air surrounds your food to cook it; it’s the circulation that provides the all over crispness. These are sold at every size and price point. While they are one more bulky appliance to store in your kitchen, I’m guessing you just purged unused appliances just last month. This looks like a fun one.

Share your ideas on gifts to be well.



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No Weigh

This may not be the best time to talk about weight….but maybe it is. Here are three quick stories in the news.

“Early Antibiotic Use May Be Tied to Higher Childhood Body Weight” was the headline in Physician’s Briefing. Over 350,000 kids were evaluated for antibiotic use before the age of 24 months. There was an association indicating higher overweight and obesity in this young population. This is not the first study to show similar results.

Of course, when your child requires antibiotics, administer as your MD directs. But avoiding crowds during this illness season is not only a good idea for you but your baby.


The Journal of Physical Activity and Health published a study of 49 countries whose children did not get enough exercise. The goal for children aged 6 – 17 is one hour daily. Back away from the screens…kids and parents alike.


The third article comes from work at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Working in elementary, middle and high schools in the state with the goals of: reducing childhood obesity, providing fresh fruits and veggies and establish healthy eating habits in young children. Their strategies? Nutrition education in the classrooms and lunchrooms, cafeteria “coaches” and role modeling. Hmmmm. Where have we heard this advice before?


Home economics really should be brought back into the curriculum and parents should be modeling good eating habits at home. Come on peeps! It’s not that hard. But it does take thought and planning.

Overweight and obesity is worsening in the US; not only is it a problem for adults but children as well. We must stem the tide of this multifactorial problem with multiple approaches and strategies. Perhaps December is the perfect time to show what washing hands, physical activity and food choices looks like to be well.



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