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healthy snacks



Are Your Kids Over-Fortified? Too Much of a Good Thing Puts Their Health at Risk

kids-overfortified

Millions of well-intentioned American parents, unbeknownst to them, are over-fortifying their kids with too many nutrients. That’s according to a report published earlier this year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

EWG, an American-based health and research organization, analyzed the nutrition facts labels for 1,550 breakfast cereals and found that 114 cereals were fortified by the manufacturer with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value of vitamin A, zinc, and/or niacin. They also looked at 1,000 snack bars and found that 27 common brands were fortified with 50 percent or more of the Daily Value of at least one of those nutrients.

Among the most fortified cereals were:

  • General Mills’ Total line
  • Wheaties Fuel
  • Kellogg’s Product 19
  • Smart Start
  • All-Bran Complete
  • Cocoa Krispies
  • Krave

The most fortified snack bars included

  • Balance
  • Kind
  • Marathon

Food Awards: Best & Worst Breakfast Cereals

When foods are fortified, vitamins and minerals that aren’t originally in a food are added by the manufacturer. Classic examples include adding vitamin D to milk, iron to flour, fiber to cereal, and iodine to salt. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to breads, cereals, and other products that use enriched flour in an effort to reduce Spina Bifida and other serious birth defects. The idea of fortification was developed almost 100 years ago to treat common nutrition-deficiency diseases.
But it is possible to consume too many fortified foods, especially by children, because the Daily Values are set for the needs of adults not kids. Furthermore, the Daily Value standards were set in 1968 and so some are higher than levels currently deemed to be safe.
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What Do Americans Eat? Kale, Gluten-Free, and Organics Top 2014 Food Trends

food statistics

Food trends come and food trends go. One year we’re all raving about Sriracha, the next we’re falling for the cronut. For the last 30 years, Parade has surveyed those trends and other American eating habits.

This year, foods like snack bars and frozen sandwiches have risen in popularity. As more people eat on the go, convenience foods are going to see a natural rise. According to Parade‘s survey:

  • 27 percent of main dishes made at home are frozen or ready-to-eat meals.
  • 80 percent of our meals are prepared at home, and over half of them are made from scratch or fresh ingredients.


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Healthier Vending Machines are a Win-Win for All Hungry Consumers

vending-machine

You’re running late and you haven’t eaten all day. You’re starving, your blood sugar is tanking, and you need a snack now. But wait! The vending machine is your only option.

Americans have busy schedules. They have less time available to plan and prepare a meal. According to government research, half of all Americans eats three or more snacks per day. Two generations ago, snacking was reserved for working men, growing adolescents, and toddlers with small stomachs. Most Americans ate three square meals a day. Now, meal skipping is common place, especially at breakfast. For teens, snack foods eaten outside of a sit-down meal provide one-fourth to one-third of daily calorie intake.

7 Wackiest Vending Machines: Automated Caviar, Lobster, and Burritos

Enter Healthy Vending Machines

At work, school, and in public places, vending machines are often the only source of food for sale. But food and beverages typically found in vending machines are a problem: high in calories, low in nutrients, and full of unwanted ingredients. Vending machines are seen as a major contributor to the poor food choices that lead to overweight and obesity. Improved access to healthy food is a key strategy in obesity prevention, a matter of great interest to anyone concerned about medical costs.
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Eat Like the Royals: 7 Ballpark Recipes Celebrating the Kansas City Royals’ World Series Run

Last night, my social channels bled blue as the Kansas City Royals clenched their first playoff bid since 1985. Chants of going all the way were deafening and will no doubt silence any time soon. It’s a moment these Midwest baseball fans have waited, in some cases, all their lives for. There are a lot of long games ahead for these fans, as many as seven if things go their way, which means a lot of tailgate-inspired eating is on the horizon.

How does one eat like a Royal? There’s no pinkies out around here like those other royals. This is both KC Missouri and Kansas — around here, it’s all about the meat!

Here’s how to eat like a Royals fan — we’ll even show you a few ways to trim down these ballgame faves so you don’t need to up-size your new champions T-shirt!

CLEAN CARAMEL CORN

clean caramel corn laurenslatestimage credit laurenslatest.com

No ballgame is complete without Cracker Jacks, but they’re kind of terrible for you. We love this recipe from LaurensLatest.com that uses coconut oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla to craft a treat as indulgent as the classic. Popcorn is naturally gluten-free, if that’s your thing. This recipe is also vegan and without adding processed sugars.

beef meatball kabobsimage credit Kacy Meinecke/DietsInReview.com

JALAPENO CHEDDAR BURGER BITE KABOBS

Grilling a batch of big, juicy burgers  these parts. But there are ways to teach these old dogs new tricks! Treat the burger as a side or appetizer with this tiny meatball kabobs. They’ve got big flavor, as we stuffed all-natural beef with jalapeno and cheddar cheese.
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Treat Your Workout with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls

chocolate pretzel protein balls

Three words for you… Treat. Yo. Self. If you know Parks and Rec, you know the reference. Only we believe in treating yourself all the time, not just one day a year. Especially after a workout!

When you’re on a run, crushing the weights, or sweating through a cycling class it’s easy to get tunnel vision and feel like there is no light at the end. These little Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls are that light. Finish the grind, then treat. yo. self.

chocolate protein ball

We love making these because they’re ridiculously easy. We also love making these because they’re ridiculously delicious. Just five ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your well-stocked pantry, and five minutes of prep is all you need for yummy, indulgent, homemade copycat Larabars.
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