Tag Archives: nutrient-rich

Protein Series, Part 1 of 3: Benefits of Lean Protein for Healthy Muscle Mass

Introduction:  Recent research indicates that a moderate serving of high-quality protein (3-4 oz) with each meal can make a significant difference in healthy aging, body strength, weight management, and disease prevention. This is especially significant since approximately 20 percent of older adults do not meet the USDA’s recommended dietary allowance of protein. Read my three-part series on Protein to learn how you can achieve optimal health as you get older.

 

Benefits of Lean Protein for Healthy Muscle Mass

Given the growing baby boomer population (approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65 years old every day), loss of muscle mass in older adults is becoming an increasingly significant public health issue.

It’s a fact of life that our body changes as we age. Those transformations happen in body composition, skeletal changes, metabolism slows down, aerobic (oxygen) capacity declines, and our immune system weakens. So, how do we prevent these changes?

The most practical dietary strategy to stimulate muscle growth is to include high-quality protein during each meal, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Aug 2007). Research indicates that a moderate serving of high-quality protein (3-4 oz) with each meal can make a significant difference in body strength. This is especially significant since approximately 20 percent of older adults do not meet the USDA’s recommended dietary allowance of protein.

Be Lean Protein Savvy

Enjoying these high-quality protein foods can help you build a healthy lifestyle at any age:

  • Consume 3-4 oz servings of protein-rich foods at each meal daily.  ( 1 protein equivalent = 1 oz meat or 1 cup milk or yogurt or ½ cup beans or 1 egg )
  • Vary protein sources weekly. Try poultry,  fish, lean beef or pork,  bean or all-vegetable meals, low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, cheese.
  • Choose low-fat toppings. Top baked potatoes with cottage cheese, yogurt, marinara sauce or salsa, and top salads with balsamic vinegar, lemon, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
  • Snack on healthy alternatives such as nuts, popcorn, wholewheat bagels, pretzels, popsicles, frozen nonfat yogurt, carrots, homemade Chex cereal mix, wholegrain crackers or toast. 

Add Muscle with Protein

Building optimal muscle mass comes from pairing the right types of high-quality protein with the right exercise routine, and making that a habit. First, exercise is not all about the amount that’s important, it’s the type of exercise that’s important. Did you know that starting at age 25, you can lose 8-10 lbs of muscle mass each decade? Did you know cardio workouts such as walking and running will help you maintain muscle, but resistance training is what really helps you build muscle? Stimulating the right muscles, over several repetitions, helps you build muscle mass over time. In addition, eating lean protein within 30 minutes after resistance training helps builds muscle more effectively. 

Exercise Variety Leads to Optimal Benefits

Enjoy changing up your routine with these exercises. And, remember to set goals that are appropriate to your age group and ability to get the most out of all of your efforts.

  • Aerobic (heart, lungs, weight, stamina, balance)
  • Flexibility/stretching (joints, range-of-motion)
  • Strength (bones, muscles, core)
  • Balance (reduces falls, hip & spine fractures; adds stability, coordination, functional fitness)
  • All-in-one (yoga, pilates, aqua exercise, Zumba, bar/ballet classes, functional fitness, bands with cardio, circuit classes)

Sample Weekly Workout Plan/Goals*

  • Cardio – moderate intensity, 30 minutes, 5 times/week OR vigorous intensity, 20 minutes, 3 times/week
  • Strength – 8-10 exercises, 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times/week
  • Balance/Core – 3 or more times weekly
  • Stretching – 5-10 sets per day

*Note: these particular sample exercise goals are intended for adults over the age of 65. See a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

In summary, you can age gracefully. Achieve optimal health as you get older with 1) 3-4 oz. lean protein with each meal daily along with other nutrient-rich foods, and 2) exercise for cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility weekly. Become proactive and live a healthy, active lifestyle starting today.

Remember to sign up for my blog, so you don’t miss out of part 2 and 3 of Protein series. You can also follow my updates on Facebook.com/GeorgiaKostasNutrition and Twitter @GeorgiaKostas. For more nutrition and wellness tips, recipes, handouts, and to get a copy of my book The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009), visit my website www.georgiakostas.com.

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Renew Your Health in the New Year!

If you are committing to “eat better” in 2012, and want to reap the greatest benefit with the least amount of change, where will you begin? Most health experts agree:  “eat more fruit and vegetables”!  Here are four good reasons why:

  • their unique nutrients help reduce chronic disease – heart, hypertension, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity
  • their low-calorie, high fiber, and water content will help you lose weight faster, while feeling “full”  
  • their potassium, magnesium, and fiber content counters common nutrient shortfalls
  • their nutrition impact trumps genetics in reducing genetic-related heart disease

Not convinced?  The Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which followed the diets and health of 110,000 men and women for 14 years, found that eating more fruit and vegetables helped people lose weight faster and more easily, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 30%. Those averaging 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables daily had the greatest reduction in cardiovascular risk.  Although all fruits and vegetables likely contributed to this benefit, the greatest impact seemed to come from green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices).

Beyond the cholesterol-lowering benefits of fresh produce, their anti-oxidant content improves artery health. A Swedish study released in December 2010 quantified the antioxidant value of diets in over 35,000 older women. Those who ate the most fruit, vegetables, and whole grains had the greatest anti-oxidant intake and greatest reduction in stroke risk.

Anti-oxidants have many beneficial qualities, including: 1) block cholesterol-plaque build-up and hardening in our arteries, keeping artery walls (muscle) pliable and healthy for better blood flow, and 2) lessen plaque-related inflammation in artery walls, leading to blood clots. Stiff, plaque-narrowed arteries and clots lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Supplemental anti-oxidants have proven unhelpful, and in some cases, even dangerous.  Nature provides the right form and balance of anti-oxidants in foods, conferring health benefits, as well as the right mix of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phyto-nutrients, and phytosterols, which most likely are at the heart of the benefits.

Another interesting study reported in 2011 found that adding fresh produce and other heart-protective foods to one’s diet reduced the risk of heart attacks more powerfully than merely subtracting the “bad” stuff – saturated fat, sugar, trans fats, salt.

I love this finding because I have long been an advocate of adding quality foods rather than merely subtracting foods when helping my clients to eat better, lose weight, or lower cholesterol or blood pressure.  My clients tell me they prefer this positive approach and are more successful with their health and weight results.

So, if you make one change this year, begin by adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals daily! You may start with just one extra fruit and one vegetable today. Or, follow the recommendations of the 2011 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans:   fill “half your plate with fruit and vegetables and lunch and dinner”.

Need more ideas?  Check out my book The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution:  Step up to the Plate (2009), or email me at Georgia@GeorgiaKostas.com to schedule a nutrition consult in person, over the phone or online.  You can follow me on Twitter/GeorgiaKostas, Facebook/Georgia Kostas Nutrition or visit my website http://georgiakostas.com. Let the New Year begin with renewed health and zest!

Happy, Healthy Holiday Tips

“Tis the season to be jolly! A season filled with festivities, friends, family, fellowship…and yes, food!

How can you enjoy the season and not give yourself the typical 2- 8 lbs at Christmas that may linger all year? Here are a few top survival tips:

  1.  Focus on the people and conversation everywhere you go — let food be a secondary joy.
  2. Arrive at events satisfied, not starving. 
  3. Drink 2 glasses of water before walking in the door, and drink 2 glasses of water for every higher calorie beverage.
  4. Fill up first on veggie and fruit options (easy on the dips, dressings, sauces).
  5. Go lean with protein, such as turkey, meatballs, ham, roasted chicken, beef tenderloin slices.
  6. Pay attention to liquid calories, such as holiday punch, soda, beer, wine, eggnog, which pack hundreds of extra calories…and pounds. 
  7. Use small plates, which lends to smaller portions. Imagine each bite providing 50 calories…100 bites = 5000 calories (= 1.5 lbs of weight gain per party!)
  8. Think small and special, so skip “usual” foods like chips and dips, and head to seasonal favorites.
  9. Cut portions into smaller bites than usual.  More bites = more chews = more filling.
  10. Offer to bring a dish, such as a fruit trays, vegetable tray, coleslaw, pico de gallo, Heavenly Seven-Layer Dip (recipe below), turkey slices, vegetable wraps, popcorn, chex mix with added popped cereals (rice, oats, wheat, etc).
  11. Keep moving –walk the mall or walk your neighborhood! Every step helps.
  12. Remember that eating scheduled meals and exercising at scheduled times will help you survive the stress of the season, so you can enjoy the holidays even more.

For easy tips, meal plans, recipes and more, check out my book The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution:  Step up to the Plate (2009). Or, send me an email at Georgia@GeorgiaKostas.com, for a nutrition consult in person, over the phone or online.  I want you to be at your healthiest and happiest this holiday season, and carry that well into the New Year!

Follow me on Facebook/Georgia Kostas Nutrition or Twitter @georgiakostas.

Healthy Seven-Layer Dip

Guacamole (buy at grocery store or make homemade below). Set aside.

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 teaspoons lime juice, fresh or bottled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons salsa or fresh chopped tomato
Garlic powder or garlic salt to taste (optional)
Black pepper to taste

Dip layers   Prepare and set aside each item below.

8 ounces fat-free or light sour cream
1-ounce packet taco seasoning mix
15-ounce can fat-free or vegetarian refried beans
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese blend (i.e. Jack and cheddar)
2 1/4-ounce can sliced black olives (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In small bowl, blend sour cream with taco seasoning.
  2. Spread the refried beans in the bottom of a deep-dish pie plate or glass pan (you can warm the beans up in the microwave briefly to make them more spreadable.)
  3. Top the beans with the sour cream mixture; then top each layer as follows: guacamole, tomatoes, green onions, shredded cheese, black olives.

Serve with reduced-fat tortilla chips or reduced-fat crackers or baby carrots, jicama sticks, red bell pepper slices, broccoli or cauliflower pieces,

Makes 16 appetizer servings.

Per serving (dip only): 85 calories, 5.2 grams protein, 6.4 grams carbohydrate, 4.4 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated fat, 1.9 grams monounsaturated, .3 grams polyunsaturated fat), 7 milligrams cholesterol, .7 grams fiber, 258 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 46%.

Share the Importance of Food Day 2011

Food Day 2011 is less than a week away! On Monday, October 24, join the likes of Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher; Celebrity Chef, Author, and Registered Dietitian Ellie Krieger; and thousands of parents, teachers, students, health professionals, community organizers, local officials, school lunch providers, neighbors and friends across America—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.  
 

The overall goal for Food Day is to transform the American diet. I personally see this as a wonderful opportunity and challenge for all of us across America to build our meals around REAL foods. We should enjoy the great flavors and reap the powerful nutrient-rich benefits of consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat, and low-or-no fat dairy foods each day. Adversely, overly processed foods are usually high in added solid fats, sugar, and salt are often high in calories, low in nutrients per calorie, and are  packaged in non-biodegradable  plastic , making them increase our waistline, heighten chronic disease risk , harm our health and  the environment.

Need help getting started to improve your eating? Download one of the delicious, healthful, easy-to-prepare recipes from some of the country’s most prominent chefs and cookbook writers in the Food Day cookbook.

You can also try a favorite recipe of mine from my book, The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step up to the Plate(2009). This recipe is full of delicious, fresh ingredients that you can find in season now at your local farmer’s market or in the produce section of your grocery store.

Ranch Pasta and Vegetable Salad

6 ounces corkscrew pasta, uncooked

¼ pound fresh snow peas, trimmed (about 1 ½ cups)

1 ½ cups fresh broccoli flowerets

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup fresh cherry tomato halves

2 medium fresh yellow squash, trimmed and cut into 2” x ¼” strips

¾ cup nonfat buttermilk

½ cup 1% lowfat cottage cheese

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

1 green onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain; rinse under cold water, and drain again.  Place in a large bowl.
  2. Blanch snow peas, broccoli and squash in boiling water 30 seconds; drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. Drain well; add to pasta.
  3. Process buttermilk and next 4 ingredients in an electric blender until smooth; add green Onion, jalapeno and cilantro; process until minced.  Pour over pasta mixture, and toss.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Yield: 8 cups (8 servings) 

Per Serving: 125 Calories, 1 g Fat, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein

For more resources and nutrition and healthy eating tips, visit www.georgiakostas.com/Products.aspx . Follow me on Twitter / @georgiakostas, Facebook / Georgia Kostas Nutrition, and LinkedIn / Georgia Kostas.

Cool Treats to Beat the Heat

What would summer be without ice cream, shakes, lemonade, iced tea, watermelon, and sweet fresh fruit?! 

Cold or frozen treats are part of summer! But who wants to run 12 miles a week or do 2 spin classes just to work off 2 cups of rich, premium ice cream or one shake or an ice cream sundae?  Two cups of ice cream (1 pint) translates to 4 scoops (1/2 cup each) weekly- the amount most Americans average all year long. If it’s rich, premium ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s, Haagen Dazs, Baskins Robbins ), that’s 270 calories per ½ cup scoop. BlueBell and Cold Stone  are closer to 250 calories per scoop. Less rich ice creams (10% fat) and milk-based gelatos average 150 calories per scoop. Frozen treats can add up quickly and so can the pounds!   Especially if you enjoy 2-3 cups per dish! 

Fortunately, we have delicious, lower-fat options to enjoy without adding pounds! That’s double enjoyment!  Apply these calories per ½ cup to your typical serving! 

Lighter Options (½ cup or 1 bar)

  • Dreyers’/Edy’s Slow Churned Light/ Breyer’s Double Churn Light (100 calories; 0-3 g fat)              
  • Blue Bunny frozen yogurt or fat-free, no-sugar-added ice cream (100 calories; 0-3 g fat)
  • Blue Bell light/ low-fat / reduced fat/ fat-free and no-sugar ice cream (100 calories; 0-3 g fat)      
  • TCBY nonfat frozen yogurt (100 calories; 0-3 g fat)           
  • Sorbet, sherbet, fruit Ice, Italian ice, water-based gelato (about 100 calories; 0-2 g fat)
  • Skinny Cow Fudge bar, Truffle Bar, or Dipper/ Fudgesicle / Popsicle/ Juice bar (about 100 calories; 0-2 g fat)
  • Sugar-free Fudgesicle / Popsicle (15-40 calories; 0 g fat)
  • Watermelon, cantaloupe or strawberries  ( 2 cups of any) or 1 frozen banana (100 calories; 0 g fat)                                                              

Don’t forget about summer’s fresh, sweet, juicy fruit – nutrient-rich and delicious!

Homemade Options:

Smoothie (150 calories, no fat)       

  • Blend:  ½ cup fresh or frozen berries or fruit of choice ,  ½ banana,   5-6 ice cubes , and ½ cup orange juice or favorite juice (or ¼ cup juice + ¼ cup nonfat  yogurt )     

Popsicles (25 calorie, 0 fat)

  • Freeze ¼ cup 100% juice in individual ice cube or popsicle containers.

For more resources and tips, visit http://www.georgiakostas.com. Follow me on Twitter @georgiakostas or like my professional Facebook page, Georgia Kostas Nutrition.  Check out my book, The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate!, where you’ll find balanced no-fuss meals, quick recipes, snack ideas and more.

Healthy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

Back-to-school gets us back-to-basics…including wholesome meals in and out of school. With everyone busy and needing quick meals on-the-go, brown-bagging lunch is an easy way to ensure healthy, calorie-appropriate, portion-appropriate meals. Take this opportunity to add to your best health.  Try homemade.  As you plan your lunches, select foods from each category – wholegrains, dairy, fruit, vegetables, lean protein. Smart options are abundant.

Here are some easy, kid-approved lunch ideas to start the school year off right.

Sandwiches:

  • First, choose your “wrap”: 100% wholewheat bread , bagel, tortilla, pita pocket, hamburger bun, English muffin or corn tortilla                                                                                   
  • 100% wholewheat lighter versions – 100 calories for 2 slices of:
    • Lower-calorie bread (i.e. Sara Lee, Nature’s Own)         
    • Sandwich thins or bagel thins (i.e. Pepperidge Farms, Sara Lee)
    • English muffins or hamburger buns (i.e. Nature’s Own, Thomas)
    • NEW 50-calorie, higher-fiber tortillas
    • 100%  wholewheat crackers – i.e. Triscuits 
    •  2 thin pizza slices with crust facing outward – fill with chopped lettuce or ham slices
    •  Large lettuce leaves (may need a toothpick to keep filling inside)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ealthy,

Tasty fillings – add lean protein and vegetables:

  • Leftover chicken breast, turkey, ham, roast, steak, burger, meatloaf, meatballs, etc.
  • Lean deli meats (turkey, chicken, ham, roast beef)
  • 2% milk cheese slice
  • Peanut butter or almond butter with apple or banana slices (sprinkle with orange or lemon juice to prevent darkening)
  • Tuna-fish salad made with lower-fat mayonnaise, chopped onions, apple, celery, relish
  • Smoked salmon or boiled shrimp
  • Hummus (any flavor) – eat with roasted or fresh red bell pepper slices or baby carrots
  • Ground turkey patty or soy-burger;  soy pepperoni rounds or Canadian bacon slices
  • Tomato slices – remember tomato sandwiches? Update with feta spread and olive tapenade 
  • Grilled eggplant slices sprinkled with grated Parmesan; add grilled onions and roasted red bell pepper
  • Grilled Portobello mushroom slices and sun-dried tomatoes
  • Any combination of roasted vegetables – may add hummus or cheese
  • Tossed salad with cheese slice or hummus in a wrap or pita

Add Vegetables – for flavor and nutrients (inside sandwich or on the side):

  • Tomato and lettuce slices
  • Sliced cucumbers, radishes, mushrooms, onion, or bell peppers
  • Coleslaw or broccoli slaw or grated carrots (in pita pockets or wraps)
  • Pico de gallo, avocado slices, or leftover cooked broccoli slices
  • Baby spinach, watercress, sprouts
  • Cooked veggies such as roasted peppers or Portobello mushrooms

FruitDon’t forget Nature’s sweetest, nutrient-rich desserts:

  • Apple, pear, banana, berries, melon, cherries, peach, orange, raisins – choose fresh seasonal fruit first
  • Water or juice-packed individual fruit servings

Other cool foods your kids will enjoy:

  • Sliced apples and pears with almond butter or ricotta cheese
  • Individually-wrapped cheese portions – Laughing Cow rounds or wedges, Cabot cheese slices, string cheese – enjoy with fruit, cherry tomatoes, wholewheat crackers or bagel
  • Fresh veggies with Ranch dressing, hummus or bean dip – baby carrots, cucumber, broccoli, celery, yellow squash, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, sugar-snap beans
  • Fresh fruit salad or store-bought sliced fruit-in-juice individual packs; serve with yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Pineapple  slices with ham,  smoked turkey or cottage cheese
  • Cold pasta salad; coleslaw; cherry tomatoes; cold bean salad (black bean/corn combo or lentil salad or 3-bean salad)
  • Tossed salad with hard-boiled egg and grated cheese or turkey slices; dressing in side container
  • Mix of Chex cereals and nuts

Try these ideas, and you’ll find yourself budgeting calories, time, and money. In addition, a “fix-your-own” lunch habit could help your kids shed 2-3 pounds a month!

For more resources and tips, visit http://www.georgiakostas.com. Follow me on Twitter @georgiakostas or like my professional Facebook page, Georgia Kostas Nutrition.  Check out my book, The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate, where you’ll find balanced no-fuss meals, quick recipes, snack ideas and more.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Family Mealtimes: Making an Impact

A tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation is family mealtime. But, does your time spent together as a family at the dinner table seem different than the generation before? It probably does.

With dual careers, busy schedules and the temptation of fast food drive-thru, family mealtimes often suffer. Intentions are there, but it’s simply not happening. Recent surveys show that 80% of families value mealtime together, but 33% actually achieve it. Family mealtime is important. There are too many positive health benefits that our children get out of it to be ignored.

Importance of Family Mealtimes

A growing body of research shows positive implications of family mealtimes on children. Here are my top five:

1. Better grades — Studies show kids who eat with their families perform better in school and have a broader vocabulary. Family meals offer an opportunity for conversations where kids learn vocabulary-building words to help them read and communicate better.

2. Learned skills — Family mealtime helps in the development of adult-child communication skills. It offers a time for togetherness, which helps children develop a sense of belonging, trust and better self-esteem. In addition, parents can serve as positive role models and help their children learn important skills, such as meal planning, grocery shopping, setting the table, preparing the meal, serving the meal, polite table manners and enjoying nutritious food choices.

3. Consume more nutritious foods — A Harvard study found that families who eat together are twice as likely to eat their five servings of fruits and vegetables a day as families who don’t eat together. Finally, children who regularly eat with family have diets higher in fiber, calcium, iron, folate and vitamins B6, B12, C and E.

4. Healthier weight — Children who eat meals with their families are less likely to be obese than those who eat alone. That’s because children consume less fried food, added sugar, and soda when they eat together. When there are no TV, computer, and phone distractions, children also eat better foods and are less likely to overeat. They eat more slowly (learning to detect true hunger), and talk more. The talking is as important as the food itself.

5. Less behavior problems – Family meals are positively associated with reducing risk-taking behaviors among children. Teens are less likely to use tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, and get pregnant, due to the increased family connection and communication at mealtimes.

Although 5 family mealtimes a week are optimal, research shows that family meals even 3 times a week makes a HUGE difference in the health of family members – emotionally, physically, nutritionally, psychologically, academically, and behaviorally. Isn’t it great to know that one simple behavior, that both parents and children report loving, can nourish one’s total well-being and make a lifelong impact, beyond the table? Think of mealtime as Family Time!

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Resources to Help Make an Impact

Making family mealtime a reality is about routine. What 3 nights a week can you make family mealtime become a reality? Do you need to eat on the bleachers or around a park table to make mealtime a reality? Do you need to cook ahead on a weekend, pick up foods to take on a picnic, have sandwiches for dinner, or let every family member pitch in, just to make it happen? Here are several resources I recommend to help bring back the tradition of family mealtime and making it last:

• National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Enriching Family Mealtimes toolkit — helps busy families enjoy more mealtimes together – see “how-to” tips, advice, tasty quick recipes, menus, shopping lists, conversation starters, menu planning forms, plus many other resources.

• Purdue University’s Promoting Family Meals project  — lists books, research, studies and articles on family mealtimes- a comprehensive reference.

• National Restaurant Association’s Kids Live Well initiative  — lists healthful Kids LiveWell options that many of the nation’s leading restaurant companies are offering for kids.

Personal Note: Thank you, Florida Dietetic Association, for inviting me to speak on the topic of the Importance of Family Mealtimes to your talented group of registered dietitians on July 19, 2011. I would also like to thank NCBA for sponsoring the session, and for creating the amazing toolkit, Enriching Family Mealtimes, which will be a valuable resource for RD’s, teachers, and parents, in helping to secure the tradition. Family mealtime can help families eat better, maintain healthy weights, and prevent weight gain.

For more resources and tips, visit my website Georgia Kostas Nutrition. Follow me on Twitter @georgiakostas or like my professional Facebook page, Georgia Kostas Nutrition. Check out my book, The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate, where you’ll find balanced no-fuss meals, quick recipes, snack ideas and more.