Kids Eat Right

Article of the Week: Nutrition for Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Hot Tip: Child Care and Food Handling

Observe what goes on in the child-care setting. You should be able to answer “yes” to these questions:

  • Do children, staff and volunteers wash and dry their hands before and after      eating or participating in food activities?
  • Do children wash and dry their hands after outdoor play, toileting, touching      animals, sneezing or wiping their nose?
  • Does each child have his or her own washcloth?
  • Are child-care providers practicing appropriate sanitation and food-handling      techniques?
  • Are bottles and foods brought from home refrigerated, and if necessary, heated      safely? (Hint: When you send food, always label it with your child’s name.      Transport perishable foods in an insulated sack with a cold pack.)


Recipe of the Week: Roasted Spring Asparagus

Asparagus doesn’t last long in the Mid-Atlantic region, only the months of May and June. Although you can grill, steam or broil asparagus, I especially love it roasted. This tasty and simple dish goes well with chicken, lamb or fish.


1 pound thin asparagus spears
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons truffle oil (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Clean and trim asparagus. Peel the ends if the spears are thick.
  3. Drizzle a roasting pan with the olive oil and lay the asparagus evenly in the pan.      Turn to coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the asparagus for approximately 20 minutes, or until the stalks are tender      yet crisp. Remove from the pan and transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Drizzle with the truffle oil, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cooking Tips

Shopping Tips

Whether you bring home stalks from the farmers’ market or from your local grocery, make sure the spears are firm and fresh looking and the tips are tightly closed. Asparagus should be eaten with a few days for the best flavor. The best way to store asparagus in the refrigerator is to cut off an inch from the stalk and stand the spears upright in an inch or two of water, covered with a plastic bag.

Cook’s Tip

Truffle oil is olive oil that has been infused with the flavor of black truffles. It imparts a rich, earthy flavor to cooked foods.

Nutrition Nugget

Asparagus is a great source of folate, iron, and potassium. This vegetable is also high in vitamins A and C.

Food Trivia

In addition to the common green color, asparagus also comes in purple and white varieties. The purple asparagus turns green when cooked. The prized white variety is cultivated by covering the stalks with mounds of earth to prevent the development of chlorophyll, which creates the green hue.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family.


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Kids Eat Right

Article of the Week: MyPlate in the School Cafeteria


Hot Tip: Snack Smart Before Practice

Students need a substantial snack before sports practice to fuel their workouts. The lunch line is the perfect place to get healthy snacks to hold onto for later in the day. Top picks include whole-wheat bagels, hummus with whole grain tortilla rounds, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.


Recipe of the Week: Sopa de Elote (Mexican Corn Soup)


  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 5 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 6 cups reduced-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-size clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (2 ribs)
  • 1 large ripe tomato or 3 ripe roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium-size, fresh poblano chilis, seeded and cut into 2-by-¼-ich strips
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream


  1. Place the fresh or frozen corn in a 4-quart pot with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove 1 cup of the corn from the broth and reserve.
  2. Coat a nonstick skillet with the cooking spray and place over medium heat
  3. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes      until softened.
  4. Pureé the onion mixture, broth, corn and tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Add      the pureé to the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Using the same nonstick skillet, sauté the chilis in the remaining teaspoon of oil for 5 minutes. Add to the pot along with the reserved corn. (The peppers will blacken and become soft).
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of cilantro and the salt and pepper to the soup; cook for 5      minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Add ⅓ cup of light sour cream and blend well. Garnish each      serving with 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Variation: Substitute plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt for the light sour cream. Or make a nondairy version with your favorite vegetarian sour cream or yogurt.

Cooking Tip

Two pounds of frozen corn kernels or about 10 ears of fresh corn will yield 5 cups.


Video of the Week: Mom’s Mango Smoothie



Kids Eat Right

Article of the Week: Healthy Soul Food, Your Way


Hot Tip: Allergies?  Wash Your Hands!

You already teach your kids to wash their hands before eating because it’s a first line of defense against nasty germs. But do you also tell them to wash after eating? Washing prevents spreading food particles to someone who may be allergic to that food. Keep others safe – and furniture tidy – with clean hands.


Recipe of the Week: Spicy Indian Salmon

For a spicy salmon with a flavorful twist, try it with a blend of Indian spices. Grill or bake for a quick dish. If desired, marinate the salmon overnight in the refrigerator.


  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 pound salmon (without skin; add ⅓ pound if skin)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Garam Masala

  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons whole cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dry ginger powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


For Salmon

  1. Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray. Arrange salmon in the baking dish.
  2. Combine the garlic, ginger, and spices, and rub into the salmon.
  3. Prick the salmon with a fork a few times. Cover and marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  5. Bake the salmon, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Or grill the salmon, wrapped in foil with a tent for venting, for 10 to 15 minutes. The salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork.
  6. Sprinkle with the lime juice before serving.


Food Trivia

Garam Masala, a blend of several spices, is frequently used in Indian recipes. Buy it in markets or make your own.


Video of the Week: Better Mac and Cheese

Kids Eat Right

Article of the Week: Set an Extra Plate


Hot Tip of the Week: Don’t Use Foods to Punish or Reward

When you need to discipline your child, do not do it with food. If you cut out food to punish a child, this can make your child feel anxious. Your child may worry that she will not get enough food or that she will go hungry. As a result, your child may try to eat whenever there is a chance.

In other cases, children begin to use food to punish their parents. They refuse to eat just to get attention.

Similarly, do not use food as a reward. Children may come to expect more dessert when they try new foods or clean their plates.

Also, when children are rewarded with sweets or snack food, they may decide that these foods are better or more valuable than healthier foods. This belief is hard to break. It may continue throughout your child’s life.


Recipe of the Week: Snowball Truffles

These dairy-free truffles taste great without added fat and sugar. Give as a holiday gift to family, friends or coworkers.


12 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup puffed brown rice
½ cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut


  1. In food processor or blender puree dates and water until a sticky paste/ball      forms. Pulse in cocoa powder until solid dough forms. Stir in puffed brown rice.
  2. With small scoop, form mixture into 14 tablespoon-sized balls.
  3. Roll each ball into coconut to lightly coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes to set.

Cooking Tip

You can store refrigerated balls in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Video of the Week: Potato Kale Soup



Foods High in Phosphorus

In End Stage Renal Disease, dialysis is typically utilized to help take over some of the kidneys’ workload.  Nutritionally, there are some things patients can do to help improve their health. For instance, patients can cut back on the phosphorus they consume. The following are some of the foods that are high in phosphorus:

Dark colas, beer, chocolate drinks, canned iced tea, drinks made with milk, dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, milk, pudding, yogurt, cream soups), beef/chicken liver, organ meats, oysters, dried beans and peas, bran cereals, caramels, seeds, whole grain products, brewer’s yeast, nuts, and wheat germ.

Normal working kidneys can remove extra phosphorus in your blood, so many dialysis patients’ kidneys cannot remove phosphorus very well. Extra phosphorus causes body changes that pull calcium out of your bones, making them weak. High phosphorus and calcium levels also lead to dangerous calcium deposits in blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and heart. Phosphorus and calcium control is very important for your overall health.



Metformin is used to help treat Type II Diabetes.  Metformin is part of a class of drugs called biguanides. Metformin helps to control your blood glucose. It decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from your food and the amount of glucose made by your liver. Metformin also increases your body’s response to insulin.  Biguanides enhance insulin action but require the presence of adequate amounts of insulin, exogenous or endogenous, in order to be effective.  The mean decrease in Hemoglobin A1C from use of biguanides is 1.5-2%.  As with any drug, Metformin can cause side effects.  Some side effects may include: diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, gas, indigestion, constipation, unpleasant metallic taste in mouth, heartburn, headache, flushing of the skin, nail changes, muscle pain.



AND Nutrition Care Manual

Kids Eat Right

Article of the Week: Fuel Up for Sports in the School Cafeteria


Hot Tip of the Week: Decode the Sodium Label Lingo

Reading food labels can help you slash sodium. Here’s how to decipher them:

  • “Sodium free” or “Salt free”: Contains less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • “Unsalted” or “No salt added”: No salt has been added.
  • “Very low in sodium”: Provides 35 milligrams of sodium (or less) per serving.
  • “Low in sodium” or “Contains a small amount of sodium”: Contains 140 milligrams of sodium (or less) per serving.
  • “Reduced sodium” or “Less sodium”: Provides at least 25 percent less sodium than the traditional product.


Recipe of the Week: Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

A cross between a cake, cookie and a bowl of oatmeal, this make ahead treat is handy to heat up and have for a quick healthy breakfast or snack. You can add a touch more brown sugar if you like it sweeter and a splash of milk for more creaminess.


2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 ½ cups fat-free milk or soymilk
½ cup egg substitute or egg whites
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon melted margarine
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups chopped apples


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl mix the milk, brown sugar, egg substitute/whites, margarine and      cinnamon together.
  3. In a larger bowl combine the oats and the baking powder.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the oats, add the apples and mix well.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a 8 x 8 inch pan coated with cooking spray and bake for      30-40 minutes, until top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean in the      center.


Video of the Week: Family Food Rules

Kids Eat Right

Article of the Week: Poor Baby’s Got a Cold


Hot Tip of the Week: A Lickety Split Breakfast

Eating breakfast can help your kids perform better at school. It can also help to promote a healthy weight and good behavior. But don’t worry: preparing a smart breakfast doesn’t need to be time consuming. You or your children can put cereal and milk on the table lickety split. Pick a nutritious cereal that is a good source of fiber. Look for at least three grams of fiber on the package’s Nutrition Facts Label. Round out the meal, and add interest, nutrition and staying power with some of these toppings.

  • Strawberries,      blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
  • Bananas,      peaches, nectarines, kiwi or mango
  • Apples      and cinnamon
  • Chopped      nuts
  • Raisins,      dried apricots, cranberries or cherries
  • Wheat      germ and cinnamon
  • Another      favorite cereal


Recipe of the Week: Quinoa Stir Fry With Spinach and Walnuts

Our favorite whole grain is quinoa because it smells so good when it’s cooking. It’s a complete protein (contains lysine, an amino acid missing in most grains), and is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and fiber (which we all don’t get enough of!). Quinoa is so fun and versatile to cook with as you creatively mix and match seasonal vegetables and taste preferences with this nutrient-packed base that the whole family will enjoy. Move over rice, we’re all about quinoa — try it, you’ll love it! Serve this yummy recipe warm or cold.


1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water (or use low sodium vegetable or chicken broth)
6 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes
½ cup walnut pieces, raw
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Torn fresh basil leaves (optional garnish)


  1. Place      quinoa in a small bowl, add water to cover, and swish to rinse. Pour into      a fine mesh strainer and drain well (it’s important to rinse quinoa).
  2. Heat      oil in medium skillet. Add quinoa. Toast, stirring, over medium heat until      golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, constantly stirring for 1      minute. Add water and heat to a boil. Cover over medium heat and let cook      until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  3. When      quinoa is cooked, add spinach and tomatoes directly to skillet. Stir-fry      over medium heat until spinach is almost wilted and tomatoes are warmed,      about 1 minute. Stir in walnuts and cheese. Garnish with basil leaves.      Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts


Serving Size 1 Cup


Amount per serving

Calories 340


                            %   Daily Value*

Total Fat 19g


Saturated Fat 3g


Trans Fat 0g


Cholesterol 10mg


Sodium 270mg


Total Carbohydrate 30g


Dietary Fiber 12g


Sugars 3g


Protein 13g


Vitamin A


Vitamin C






* Percent Daily   Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or   lower depending on your calorie needs



Video of the Week: Creamy Basil Pesto

Lipoproteins in End-Stage Renal Disease

When patients have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), their lipids may be altered.   When patients have ESRD and are on Hemodialysis, they can expect some changes in their lipid levels.  They may have the following results:

Cholesterol Increased or stay the same
Triglycerides Increased
VLDL Increased
LDL Decreased or stay the same
IDL Increased
HDL Decreased

When patients have received a kidney transplant due to ESRD, they may have the following results:

Cholesterol Increased
Triglycerides Increased
VLDL Increased
LDL Increased
HDL Stay the same


Kidney anatomy blog


Other conditions that may cause Dyslipidemia

Increased Cholesterol: Hypothyroidism, Cholestasis, Porphyria, Dysproteinemia, Progestins, Corticosteroids, Thiazides, Cyclosporine, Excessive intake of saturated fats

Increased Triglycerides: Obesity, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Diabetes/glucose intolerance, Glycogen storage disease, Thiazides, β-blockers, Estrogens, Corticosteroids, Retinoids, Alcohol

Decreased HDL: Obesity, Smoking, Sedentary lifestyle, Progestins, Androgens, β-blockers, Retinoids

Reference: Wiggins, Kerri L. Guidelines for Nutrition Care of Renal Patients, Third Edition.



Infants can be born with Phenylketonuria, commonly known as PKU. This means they are born without the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase. This enzyme helps metabolize phenylalanine. This disease is an autosomal recessive trait. This means mom and dad both have to pass on the gene to the infant, which is why it is not common. Because those with PKU cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine, when they consume it, harmful substances can build up in their bodies. This buildup affects the central nervous system and can cause brain damage. Thankfully, every US state requires testing for PKU in their newborn screening panel.

The outcome of this disease is very good if the diet is strictly followed. If the diet is not strictly followed, mental retardation can occur by the end of the first year of life. Special infant formula is made for those with PKU. Children and adults may continue to drink this formula throughout life to consume a protein source with low phenylalanine levels.

People with PKU should meet with a Registered Dietitian to determine what diet is proper for them. Foods typically avoided on a PKU diet are high biological value protein sources such as meat, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, soy, and dried beans. The artificial sweetener aspartame should also be avoided, as it contains phenylalanine.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Care Manual