Get in the Game! Learn about School Lunch Nutrition and Possibly Win Some Money

Written by Role Mommy Wing Mom, Danielle Feigenbaum

Today kicks off National School Lunch Week! Created by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, National School Lunch Week is a weeklong celebration of the school lunch program. School Nutrition Association members celebrate in their cafeterias every year with decorations, special menus, events and more. The 2014 theme is “Get in the Game with School Lunch.” It’s about encouraging kids to find a balance between healthy eating and physical activity. This year’s theme recognizes the importance of eating well and getting active!
If your kids are in school full time, are you packing them lunch each day or are they buying their lunch in the cafeteria? How much do you really know about the food at your child’s school? You may think you are packing them a healthy lunch, but what if you could save time each morning by not packing lunches and they could get a really healthy lunch right at school?!
We need to start educating ourselves about what is going on in the school cafeteria. If you need some help getting started, visit the School Nutrition Association website for tool kits and lots of great information. Get in touch with your School Nutrition Director and ask questions! How can you get involved? My kid’s school raised funds to start a garden where the kids can plant and grow vegetables. When you involve kids from the beginning of the process, they will feel proud of their accomplishment and maybe even try the veggie once they have picked it. Wouldn’t that be something? Some communities will go apple picking and then donate the apples to the school. There are so many ways you can make a difference in your child’s school nutrition. The combination of serving healthy foods, educating kids on the importance of eating healthy food, making it fun and getting kids to be more active is a win for everyone!
Whether you are super involved in your kid’s school or have no idea what’s going on, this week is the perfect time to learn more about school lunch nutrition! Wouldn’t it be nice to win some money while you’re at it? is a non for profit that provides hot topics articles, success story profiles and facts on school meal programs nationwide. Visit the Tray Talk Facebook page this week for a chance to win a gift card. They will have 5 days of $100 giveaways for followers that participate by answering questions and submitting info on your children’s favorite healthy foods or school experiences. One winner per day – go to the page now for your chance to win and educate yourself and spread the word to fellow parents on the importance of School Lunch Nutrition!
Please take visit this wonderful online resource community of parents and school nutrition professionals.

Creating a Healthier Next Generation

Written by Role Mommy wing mom, Danielle Feigenbaum

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Last week the School Nutrition Association held their Annual National Conference in Boston, MA. I was lucky enough to attend the conference where I met so many amazing people and learned a ton about providing schools with healthy food. Who knew how much actually goes into getting healthier foods into our kid’s schools AND trying to figure out how to educate them to eat it! So many kids across the country are not exposed to different fruits and vegetables at home. It’s great to have healthy food in the schools, but we also don’t want to waste it – we want the kids to eat and enjoy it!
healthyplate.jpg The huge exhibit hall had hundreds of companies that are working on lowering the sugar and sodium amounts in their products as well as meeting new government standards for whole grains. In the upcoming 2014-2015 school year all grains served for breakfast and lunch should be whole grain-rich (at least 50%). Some of the pizza companies are working on making their crusts with more whole grain, but keeping the look of white flour so kids will eat it. There were also companies who are creating ways to get younger kids to try new foods and learn about staying healthy. They have fun stickers you can receive that say “I tried it!” when they try something new (what kid doesn’t love stickers?) And this fun plate that shows all the different food groups you should be eating at each meal.
I had the pleasure of being escorted around the exhibit floor with two amazing District Supervisors of School Nutrition. First, Debbi Beauvais from Rochester NY. I had no idea how much actually goes into planning the food and the payment schools received for each kid. There are many challenges when you live in an urban area, unfortunately it is very expensive to get lots of fruits, veggies and non prepackaged food. On the other side was Director Doug Davis from Burlington, VT who participates in a Farm 2 School initiative to bring local produce to the cafeterias. I love the idea of kids being involved in knowing where the food they eat comes from. If we can get the kids outside planting and visiting farms, maybe they will be more likely to try new and healthy foods. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and The Burlington School Food Project serves free breakfast to all students. Debbi and Doug both had a ton of knowledge regarding school nutrition and as a parent of two picky elementary school children, they really opened my eyes to what is going on in our school. I was very inspired to get more involved and I think parents everywhere should know exactly what is going on with their school’s breakfast, lunch and snack.
The SNA and USDA want to create a healthier next generation. Kids spend so many hours in school and need to be better educated about why eating healthy is so important. Thanks to updated standards kids are now eating 10% more veggies and 23% more fruit at lunch. But this is only the start, we need to help schools get the proper equipment and funding to make healthier foods as well as the education component.
The School Nutrition Association launched Tray Talk as a way to provide parents with information about healthy school meals and offer tips on how to get involved in school nutrition programs. Join the conversation at
For more great information please visit:

My Obsession with LYSOL®…

Written by Role Mommy’s Danielle Feigenbaum

unnamed.jpg Hello, my name is Danielle and I’m a germaphobe. “Hello Danielle.” Admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery, right? Although, I’m not entirely sure I want to recover… thanks to my best friend, LYSOL®. When I was asked to join the No Flu Club with Lysol I thought to myself, sign me up and can I be the President?! This is perfect timing, with the crazy weather we have had (8 degrees to 50 degrees to snow and ice storms) it’s only natural that my 6 year old son would catch a cold. Listen, we all get sick, but I have some tips to help you get sick less often and not spread it throughout your household. Just because one family member has a cold or the flu, doesn’t mean the rest of the family needs to catch it! My secret weapon? LYSOL®!
I was super excited to receive a package with three great Lysol® products to add to my collection.
-Lysol® Power & Free Multi-Purpose Wipes: No bleach harshness or harsh chemical residue. Hydrogen Peroxide formula releases micro bubbles that penetrate to dissolve grease and tough messes. My favorite part? Kills 99.9% of viruses & bacteria including Influenza A Virus (H1N1), Staphylococcus aureus, Rhinovirus Type 37 and Salmonella enterica. You can use the wipes so many different places around the house where germs are present… including: counter tops, sinks, door knobs, light switches, telephones, bathtub, toilet seats, glazed ceramic tiles, cabinets, shower door, vanity tops and chrome fixtures. I walked around with these wipes cleaning everything my son touched, and I’m happy to say his cold is almost gone and nobody else in the family has a cold! Woo hoo!
-Lysol® Disinfectant Spray: This is my go-to product… it kills 99.9% of Viruses and Bacteria1Coronavirus, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and 2. It also kills 99.9% of mold and mildew and you can spray it on hard and soft surfaces all around the house. Right after my kids leave for school I spray down their rooms, who knows what they are bringing home… how many times will I get a letter from the school nurse about someone in their class having strep throat or the flu or something else?
-Lysol® Touch of Foam: Foaming Hand Soap: New Lysol® Touch of Foam foaming hand soap with dual effect is soft on skin and hard on germs. This is very important to me, especially during the winter months, my hands are SO dry. You have to wash your hands a lot and it’s so nice to have a soap that moisturizes and kills germs! The thick, rich, creamy lather works on contact to kill 99.9% of germs, while moisturizer enriched micro-bubbles leave skin feeling soft and comfortable after every wash and you don’t need a lot, one little pump of soap results in very clean, soft hands.
Through its Mission for Health, Lysol® engages communities across the country to promote hygiene practices and instill healthy habits. Together with its healthcare professional and education partners, such as the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Lysol® spreads healthy habits directly into schools and homes.
“Many people do not realize that cleaning is not synonymous with disinfecting and that they
need to use disinfectant products to remove cold and flu viruses from hard surfaces,” said Dr. Philip Tierno, microbiologist, immunologist, and member of The Global Hygiene Council. “Eighty percent of all infections are transmitted by direct and indirect contact, so by understanding how germs are transmitted and how that transmission can be interrupted,
families have a much better chance of warding off the flu.”
Here are some wonderful tips to help you stay healthy! In addition to routinely cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surface areas, the CDC recommends the following effective tips to help families stay healthy during peak flu activity:
-Get vaccinated with a seasonal flu shot – the most important step in preventing cold
and flu.
-Help prevent the spread of flu germs by practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette,
staying away from sick people, and staying home if you get sick.
-Wash your hands with soap and water often, or use hand sanitizer if you do not have
access to a sink.
I’m okay with being a germaphobe, since I don’t think it rules my life, it’s just a part of it. I try not to make my kids crazy, although I have to be honest, it warms my heart when my daughter uses a paper towel to open the door in public restrooms. I’m telling you from personal experience, Lysol® helps to keep you and your loved ones healthy and it keeps the germs away. So do your part in the fight against cold and flu season, arm yourself with Lysol® products and stay healthy!
Discloser: I was sent three Lysol products, all opinions are entirely my own.

Tips for Staying Healthy Through The Holiday Season

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Plan Non-Food-Centered Activities: Take the focus off food. There are so many ways to spend time together besides cooking, baking, and eating. Instead of decorating cookies and gingerbread houses, make non-edible crafts like wreaths, paper snowflakes, or holiday cards. Bundle up to take a walk around the neighborhood and rank the best decorated houses. And light a fire to gather around while you play charades or watch holiday movies.
Bring Snacks To The Mall: Welcome to the real jungle. There’s no denying how tempting it is seeing peppermint mochas or smelling cinnamon rolls (from a mile away, no less). And with the stress of the crowds and finding the right gifts for everyone, you can be in over your head fast. You have to be smart enough to sidestep these hazards. The easiest way to make it out alive? Pack filling healthy snacks like nuts, a piece of fruit, or a bag of air popped popcorn, and you won’t need a search and rescue team to pull you out of the food court.
Make Your Own Hot Chocolate: Ditch the packaged powders and go for the real thing. Many hot chocolate powders are convenient and boast very few calories, but they are chock full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals! Our recipe uses maca, a powder grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru and packed with nutrients, and cacao powder, a less-processed version of cocoa powder that’s a great source of antioxidants. Spend a cozy afternoon in the kitchen with your kids and cuddle up in with this super food hot chocolate recipe.
Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly, then mix in the following ingredients:
-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

-2 teaspoons maca powder

-1 tablespoon coconut sugar

-1 teaspoon honey
-Pinch sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pure vanilla
-1 ½ cups milk of your choice or water
Be Mindful of Your Hunger Quotient: Your HQ is a measure of how hungry you are at a given time – famished, satisfied, stuffed. Try to be in tune with your HQ and let hunger dictate when you eat (versus having a serving of stuffing just because your sister brought it over). On a scale of 1-10 (1 being stuffed, 10 being famished), you want to be between a 4 (slightly hungry) and a 6 (slightly satisfied) all the time.
How To Curb Cravings At Holiday Parties:
Don’t Go To a Party Hungry: One of the biggest mistakes I see during the holidays is people arriving to parties starving! It’s easy to think that the less you eat earlier in the day, the more room you’ll have to eat later at the party…and the less damage you’ll do overall. But this mindset has disaster written all over it! Instead, think this way: ruin your appetite. Have a healthy, filling snack before the party so that you won’t be tempted to dive into the spinach and artichoke dip as soon as you arrive. A hardboiled egg, a slice of turkey, or a Greek yogurt are all small but satisfying options that you can have at home prior to making your big entrance.
Bring Your Own Healthy Dish: It’s never polite to go to a party empty-handed, right? So why not bring a healthy dish you know you can rely on? Bring a salad with delicious, colorful toppings like cranberries, roasted carrots and squash. Think of it as your safety net so that you won’t have to worry if there’s nothing but diet-busters being served. We’re sure you’re not the only one who will appreciate a dish that’s (finally!) not candied, casseroled, or drowning in gravy.
Scope Out The Entire Party Spread: Once you get to the party, take your time. This is very important. It’s easy to jump at the first thing and every different thing you see. You know how it goes: there’s the cheese and crackers, then the pigs in a blanket, then the shrimp cocktail, and then all the main course dishes… And studies show people eat more when they’re offered a greater variety of foods. By taking a tour of all the food first, you won’t fall into this trap. Walk around and look at everything, deciding what’s healthiest and what you want the most. And only after you’ve seen it all should you decide what to put on your plate. That way, you can make an informed decision you’ll be proud of at the end of the night. There just may be some healthy options you want to indulge in!
Socialize (And Not Just With The Bartender!): You’re at a party. With PEOPLE. It’s not all about the food. Enjoy talking to and reconnecting with family, friends, and coworkers. If you make an effort to socialize, you’ll not only enjoy the night more, but you’ll be too preoccupied to think about that pecan pie every 2.2 seconds. A word of caution: be wary of “food pushers”, those who refuse to take “no” for an answer when offering unhealthy treats. My advice? Keep saying no, as many times as you have to. And don’t feel bad! It’s a GOOD thing that you put your health first. Just decline politely and hopefully Great-Aunt Sarah will stop trying to hand you sugar cookies.
Keri Glassman.png Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert and co-founder of MommyCoach, has put together a couple of tips for how to stay healthy, and how to help curb your appetite. If you’re unfamiliar, MommyCoach is a new online community for moms around the country to connect with leading experts and coaches for advice, encouragement, and answers to those hard-to-crack questions.
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Tips to Staying Calm, Focused and Productive at Work
 (no matter where work is!)

Written by Maren Showkeir 
Co-author (with Jamie Showkeir)
Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity Off the Mat and On the Job (Berrett-Koehler, May 2013, $15.95)
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Most people are familiar with the physical practice of yoga but know little about the philosophical foundation on which it is based. Yoga is thousands of years old, and is meant to help you discover and develop your infinite potential. Here are just a few practices from this ancient wisdom that can help you survive and thrive in today’s modern workplace:
CONNECT: Yoga is a practice that connects you to something greater than yourself and heightens awareness of our interdependence. It is the same at work. You contribute to something larger in order to serve others and make a difference in the marketplace. Get clear about what you contribute, how it makes a difference, and connect it to the larger purpose you serve. Thinking about your work in the context of service will create an attitude shift.
FOCUS: The yoga sage Swami Kriyananda says it is more powerful to think positively about one thing than avoid thinking about many things. When you have a lot to accomplish, decide what one task or project will get your full attention for a prescribed amount of time, then set a timer. Let go of the notion of multi-tasking. The most recent scientific research has shown that it is impossible, and trying to multi-task is actually counterproductive.
BREATHE: We do it without having to think about it. But developing practices that harness the breath gives you powerful tools to be more effective at work. Breathing techniques can help you rev your energy when it’s flagging, or calm you down when circumstances get heated or tense. When you’re feeling tired or disengaged, “take five.” Focusing on the sound of your breath, feel your chest rise and fall as you slowly inhale and exhale five times. If you still feel frazzled or scattered, consider taking a break. Feel better? Continue working.
Here’s a Q & A with author Maren Showkeir:
How can practicing yoga at work improve my experience on the job?

Integrating yoga practices into your workday can help you get clear about your intentions around work, and how you want to contribute. Yogic practices such as breathing techniques can help keep you calm in the face of confusion, chaos or contentiousness. Other practices can help you develop discipline, tap into creativity, get organized, work efficiently, enhance emotional intelligence — the list is long!
What are some good things to start with if I want to practice at work?

Breathing is one of the easiest places to begin. Yoga has practices and techniques, called pranayama, that help you harness the energy of the breath. It is powerful! These practices can calm you, ground you, or energize you. Taking a deep breath before responding to questions or comments also can create space to be mindful about what you’re saying.
What do you see as the benefits of practicing yoga at work?

Yoga is meant to help you realize your potential, and to recognize it in others, and it gives you a guide for developing that potential. Like yoga, work is about being connected to something larger than yourself, which means being accountable for the good of the whole, not just your job or your department. When you’re working on self-transformation, it definitely will have an influence in your work environment.
Has incorporating yoga practices made a difference in your work place? How?

For me, yoga has greatly influenced how I bring myself present. Rather than worrying about the past, which I can’t change, or fretting about the future, which I can’t control, the practices help me stay focused on right now. Other practices, such as sauca (purity) remind me to rid myself of negative thoughts, and develop healthy habits. I practice santosha (contentment) by reminding myself that I can choose to be content even in the face of difficult or disappointing circumstances at work. And by not getting attached to specific outcomes. I can only do my best — I can’t control how everything turns out!
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that it’s not dogmatic. There are myriad ways to practice, and you can decide what the practice looks like for you.
Can you recommend some ways to start practicing at work?

In the book, the end of each chapter has five suggestions for developing various practices, so I recommend checking that out. (And remember, they’re just suggestions. Decide whether they make sense for you — or come up with your own!)
But I would say that practicing ahimsa, which translates as non-violence or “do no harm” is foundational. Start by noticing the ways you do harm to yourself, such as negative self-talk, or by working yourself to the point of exhaustion. What can you do to alter that? Then begin to notice how you treat others. Do you gossip about them? Do you snap at others or speak harshly when the stakes are high? Are you forgiving? Honestly, it is hard to violate other yogic practices if you’re dedicated to ahimsa.
How can yoga help me be more successful in my work?

For starters, it can help you get clearer about what true success is — it’s about making a worthy contribution and serving people, not just earning a buck. But in more pragmatic ways, yoga practices such as meditation and focus can help you be more productive. When you learn to be calm and compassionate, it benefits your working relationships, including customer service. An on-the-mat yoga helps you focus, and you become physically flexible, strong, and stable. The other practices do the same thing for your mind, which will definitely help you be more successful.
In today’s competitive, fast-paced work world, how do we slow down and still survive in the marketplace?

That’s a great question. It sounds counter-intuitive, but going slow to go fast is actually more efficient in the long run.
For example, you hear a lot in today’s workplace about the importance of being a good “multi-tasker.” Scientific research is showing that multi-tasking is nothing but mythology, and in fact, is a harmful practice. Our brains are so speedy, they trick us into thinking we can do several things at once, but in truth, our intellectual capacity is diminished and quality suffers. And it takes a toll on our health and peace of mind as well.
Again, yoga’s physical practice provides a good metaphor for surviving in today’s crazy marketplace. It’s common to fall out of a pose, or to do it great one day and struggle the next. Work is like that, too. We all struggle. We all fall down – the important thing is to get back up try again. That’s why the practice is so important.
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Help Protect Children with Allergies

Summer camp is a place for your kids to swim, play sports, run around and have fun! If your child has a food allergy, summer camp can seem scary. It’s not uncommon to find peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or products consisting of eggs and wheat in the camp cafeteria, but for many children who suffer with food allergies, these products can raise high concerns. According to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), 8% of U.S. kids have been diagnosed with food allergies and every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction occurs. With food allergies on the rise, it’s extremely important for parents to inform teachers and staff of their child’s allergies, as well as take precaution into their own hands.
Hope Paige, has created new, fashionable, and affordable medical bracelets for children to remain safe when suffering with food allergies when away at summer camp, in the classroom, on a field trip or a play date at a friend’s house. These ID bracelets are stylish and easily blend in with everyday pieces, but during a time of need, will stand out to medical professionals. With fun colors, styles and a personalization option, these bracelets will allow any child to show off their personal style with a one-of-a-kind bracelet while staying safe.
You can even give back by purchasing a bracelet created by a celebrity and a portion of the proceeds will go to their favorite charity. For example, Melissa Joan Hart supporting ST. JUDE Children’s Hospital, Misty May-Treanor supporting BreastCancer.Org, Kimora Lee Simmons supporting JDRF and more.
In addition to the bracelets, Hope Paige has created an infographic illustrating the amount of children suffering from allergies who will be attending summer camp this year. We all work so hard to keep our kids safe, why not ensure that they are protected by wearing a stylish bracelet to let everyone know about their allergy.
Click here to check out their newest arrivals. Young kids through teens will love all the different choices and actually want to wear the bracelets, so you can enjoy your summer too with a little less worry.

Food Safety Mythbusters!

Written by Role Mommy Contributor Danielle Feigenbaum

I’ve never been a big cook, but now that I have a family I do my very best to put a home cooked meal on the table for dinner every night. One thing I am crazy about, is food safety. I am the person who throws something out the minute after the expiration date, washes my hands with antibacterial soap three times after I touch eggs or uncooked meat, and re-washes lettuce that’s been pre-washed. However; I admit that I don’t REALLY know all the rules when it comes to food safety. So, let’s get to the bottom of it and debunk some of those myths.
MYTH #1: “If I microwave food, the microwaves kill the bacteria, so the food is safe.”
Harmful bacteria may remain if food heats unevenly.
Be sure to follow cooking instructions including rotating, stirring, and letting food stand when indicated.
MYTH #2: “Of course I wash all bagged lettuce and greens because it might make me sick if I don’t.”
While it is important to thoroughly wash most fruits and vegetables, if packaged greens are labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed,” or “triple washed” then the product does NOT need to be washed at home.
MYTH #3: “I don’t need to use a food thermometer. I can tell when my food is cooked by looking at it or checking the temperature with my finger.”
Color, texture and steaming are not indicators that a food is safe to eat. The only sure way to know food is safely cooked is to use a food thermometer.
MYTH #4: “I can’t re-freeze foods after I have thawed them – I have to cook them or throw them away.”
If raw foods have been thawed in the refrigerator, they may be safely re-frozen without cooking for later use. Never re-freeze foods that have been thawed in the microwave or in cool water. Never thaw raw foods by letting them sit on the kitchen counter.
Food safety is so important. When you know how to prepare your food safely, you and your family can avoid getting sick. Let us know what you do to keep your family safe when it comes to preparing food, share your tips!
To further explore tools and other educational materials on food safety you can visit:

5 Goodies Kids Should Avoid to Maintain a Healthy Set of Teeth

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Jessica Donnovan.

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Parents want nothing less than the best for their kids. They do not want their kids to make the same mistakes that they did when they were younger. Parents get monstrous when another kid in school hits their baby. They curse the first boy that broke their little girl’s heart. The list goes on, and that list includes having healthy, if not perfect set of teeth. Hence, parents resort to different tactics for how to make their five-year-olds brush their teeth before bedtime, to avoid eating candies, and to find trips to the dentist enjoyable– the last one being the hardest among kids of all ages or people of all generations. This article will identify five foods kids should avoid eating to have healthy set of teeth. It also aims to suggest some alternative foods to satiate the kids’ cravings for such while not compromising their pearly whites.
1. Hard candies and sweets
Kids love sweets. They would exchange anything between the moon and candies, maybe even you. Hard candies mean sugar, and sugar means bacteria. And as long as the candy stays in the child’s mouth, the happier these bacteria are. Not to mention that when kids get tired of sucking the candy, they would start biting and chopping the hard thing, which can cause some teeth problems.
2. Jelly and some sticky foods
Everybody has his own story getting embarrassed in front of a bunch of kids in school or colleagues at work. You talk and talk as the others hide their giggles and wicked smiles because you got something stuck between your teeth. And you remember that piece of caramel candy you had as a finale to your sumptuous lunch. Then you swore you would never eat caramel bars again. But you still do.
Jellies are to be avoided not only to prevent these awkward things from happening but also to avoid trapping bacteria that goes with these sticky foods. Give them alternative snacks like apples but make it a point not to go overboard in citrusy fruits as they demineralize the teeth enamel.
3. Rice, Pasta, and other foods high in carbohydrates
While you need pasta, bread and rice for energy, keep these food intake limited since they also contain starch that sticks to your teeth, hence, bacteria again. This can lead to further damage like tooth decay and gum problems. Although kids are too young to care for carb diet, you may want to opt for whole grain crackers and brown rice as these are safer options. This may be a double whammy if your kid is suffering from obesity.
4. Soda and carbonated drinks
In the modern age like this where children normally feast on junk foods and fast foods on a regular basis, they too find soda the best partner for steamy hot fries and burger. Carbonated drinks are very acidic that it speeds up the erosion of a tooth’s enamel. Keep these drinks on a minimum and let them drink water instead.
5. Sweet juices and energy drinks
Children love sweets even in beverages as aforementioned. Juices contain a high amount of sugar through artificial sweeteners and food coloring that is also not good for the body. Make fresh juices for them when you can and if it is the healthiest drink available in school, make them drink through a straw so that it will not damage the enamel of their teeth.
teeth brushing
Let them practice the habit of regularly brushing their teeth so that no bacteria will linger too long in their mouth. You can also try giving them alternative foods and drinks that are safer for their mouth and body such as water, whole grain crackers, fresh juices and wheat bread. The most important of all is to reach out to them and explain the importance of taking care of their teeth. Anyway, we know that you cannot watch them 24/7.
Author bio:
Jessica is a freelance writer, she’s an aerobic Instructor and a frequent runner. She loves ice creams and cereals. She’s also into almost all types of music genre and knows how to play the guitar. Follow her adventures on her Twitter.

The Mojo Coach to the Rescue!

Overfed and Undernourished
By Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®
With 24/7 access to nutritionally depleted, technologically created, chemically treated “food,” many of us are taking in thousands of calories that do little to sustain us, let alone nourish us and encourage us to thrive. With so many of us existing this way today, is it any wonder why we struggle with our weight and health?
It’s so easy to grab prepackaged, convenient vending machine, drive thru or shelf food but what price are you really paying for all that “convenience?” Larger sized clothing, higher medical bills and a decreased quality of life are just a few. Why? Our bodies are designed to eat fresh, natural, whole foods that supply us with an endless array of vitamins, minerals, fiber and incredible nutrients. Denying yourself of what truly healthy food provides robs you of your health, youth and vitality.
Here’s what also happens when you eat this way. Foods that don’t nourish you also don’t truly satisfy you. So, we overeat in a search to find that satisfaction that those unhealthy food choices simply can’t provide. Of course all of this overeating causes weight gain and when our weight starts to impact us enough, we may severely restrict ourselves believing that deprivation and discomfort is the only way to achieve lasting health and wellness.
When we simply can’t endure the deprivation any longer, we go right back to eating the way we were eating, only to feel we have somehow failed because of a lack of willpower or compliance. These emotions often encourage self-­‐soothing behaviors and, if we typically use food as our drug of choice, we’re looking at an ongoing cycle of mental, physical and emotional upset that could largely be avoided by changing the choices we make and the way we look at food.
Not only does this pattern chip away at our confidence and self-­‐esteem, it keeps us on a
rollercoaster ride of blood sugar, mood and weight fluctuations. It lays the groundwork for insulin resistance (a pre-­‐curser to diabetes) and other chronic illnesses while keeping us frustrated, discouraged and exhausted. It impacts our digestive health, our adrenal glands, fertility, our skin, hair, immune system, sleep, our ability to heal and so much more.
Now, before you get frustrated with yourself and think that your current eating behavior is simply the result of laziness or bad habits, give yourself a break. For many, this eating pattern causes intense cravings, so your desire for these high sugar, empty food feels almost drug like. The sense of temporary numbing and calm you feel after overloading yourself with these foods floods your body with hormones and chemicals, which offer temporary relief-­‐similar to a drug like state. Unfortunately, eating this way only further depletes and desensitizes your body; making it more and more difficult to achieve a healthy hormonal balance, taste sensitivity and sense of freedom as well as preventing your body from achieving a natural, healthy weight.
Can this be changed so you feel a sense of peace and calm around food? Can food be used to nourish your body and mind without fear? Can you change eating behaviors that have left you overweight, undernourished and frustrated for years, even decades? Of course! It starts with awareness and then a plan.
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®, founder of is a leading health, fitness, wellness, lifestyle, self-­‐improvement expert and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic, energetic and successful people today. Sign up for your “10 FREE Strategies to Get You Lean, Sleek and Sculpted”! (These are complete programs and videos) and take the FREE “Mojo Lifestyle Assessment” to see how you score.

The Real Deal on Fiber

imgres-1.jpegHave you ever walked along the grocery store aisles and seen packages proudly exclaiming “good source of fiber?” Ever turn on the television set and hear the woman toting the benefits of the fiber supplement you simply mix with water?
So what exactly is dietary fiber? Why do we need it in our diet? Where do you get it from?
Dietary fiber is found mostly in fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains. Dietary fiber comes in two forms – soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble (will not dissolve in water) fiber. Soluble fiber combines with water and slows down digestion which makes you feel fuller, longer. Insoluble fiber passes through you system almost entirely intact and has a laxative effect. So, if it passes through your system, it sounds like fiber really isn’t doing much for your body. Not so. In fact, fiber can help with an entire host of health benefits:
• Having consistent and regular bowel movements
• Lowering blood cholesterol
• Helping to control blood sugar levels
• Aiding with weight loss (fills you up, keeps you fuller longer) (Maki)
• Maintaining bowel health (may help prevent constipation, diverticular disease, constipation and some cancers)
So how much fiber do you need in your diet? According to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, ADA, women should aim for between 21-25 grams per day; and, for men, 30-38 grams. If your current diet is low in fiber and you suddenly start to eat high amounts of fiber-rich foods, you may experience major gastrointestinal discomfort. To avoid this discomfort, slowly increase the fiber in your diet. Try to get up to your ideal grams of fiber per day in a two week period adding a little more each day. Just like you count your calories; it is good practice to count your grams of fiber. Simply switching your breads, pastas, and cereals to whole grains can add a lot of extra fiber to your diet. Also, try adding a small salad to each meal, make sure to have a cup of cooked veggies for dinner each night, make a small handful of almonds part of your afternoon snack. Try switching out one meat dinner per week to a vegetarian recipe that includes fiber-rich beans. It’s also extremely
important to drink plenty of water when eating more fiber. Without water, you may experience constipation, so get those 8 glasses of water per day.
Still not sure which foods are good sources of fiber? Here’s the fiber low down on some of the best sources.
• Artichokes- 1 medium – 10 grams
• Peas- 1 cup, cooked, 8 grams
• Broccoli- 1 cup cooked, 5 grams
• Whole wheat spaghetti- 1 cup, cooked – 6 grams
Remember that it’s the variety of whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables that are important to an overall healthy diet. Eating these foods with regularity will help you to create a variety of healthy meals and snacks that are full of fiber.

Darcie Sosa is the guest blogger and Dietetic Technician for Everyday Health Calorie Counter.

Maki, B.. “Whole-grain ready-to-eat oat cereal, as part of a dietary program for weight loss, reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with overweight and obesity more than a dietary program includi.” Pub Med. Journal of American Diet Association, 2010. Web. 5 Jun 2012. .