Nutrition Tips for Sending Kids Off to College

Nutrition Tips for Sending Kids Off to College

Is your child (not so child anymore) going off to college? As parents, it’s hard for us to not be packing lunches anymore or having a say about what foods our grown children are choosing. Yes, it’s nice not to have to really worry about it anymore and allow them a sense of freedom, but as a health conscious parent myself, I know how important it is for my grown children to be fueling their bodies with the right things!

RELATED: Fall Wellness Plan for Working Moms

A steady diet of pizza and burgers can lead to lower grades, illness, fatigue, higher risks of depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, menstrual problems and sleep disturbances. At the end of the day, fast food and unhealthy food in general, simply don’t provide our children with the nutrition they need to perform well in school. Developing a balanced and nutrient dense diet at a young age helps set our children up for a lifetime of healthy eating and less incidence of illness and chronic diseases.

Most likely, your child will be getting most of their food from an on campus dining hall. In recent years, most colleges and universities recognize that their students have diverse dietary needs and offer a wider range of traditional, vegetarian and vegan options. Dining halls can seem overwhelming for students, especially those who are making food choices for themselves for the first time. 

Here are some tips to help your student conquer the dining hall: 

  • Plan meals ahead of time to avoid last minute decisions when you’re starving!
  • Remember to eat from all food groups, especially focusing on colorful fruits and veggies.
  • Experiment with options to decide what you like and don’t like (don’t be afraid to try new things!)
  • Redefine dessert – don’t always reach for processed, packaged goods but look into eating fruit or fruit based desserts like smoothies, juices or fruit popsicles.
  • Drink more water and pay attention to the amount of added sugars in other beverages.
  • Try to avoid vending machines!
  • Pack healthy snacks and plenty of water when you know you’ll be on campus for extended periods of time.

RELATED: Four Ways to Counteract Daily Stress

Your student will likely be sharing a space with a roommate in a dorm. Dorms are known to be on the smaller side and usually don’t have big refrigerators. 

Here are some things to keep on hand in dorm rooms:

  • Store healthy foods like fruits (apples, bananas, mandarins, pears), veggies (cucumbers, grape tomatoes, mini peppers), no sugar added dried fruit, whole grain cereal, granola or oatmeal at room temperature
  • Stock your fridge with healthy options like baby carrots, low sugar yogurt, bagged, pre cut veggies and single serve hummus or guacamole
  • Have healthy snacks on hand like popcorn, Rx bars, Larabars, rice cakes and nut butters

If your student’s dorm contains a microwave, here are some easy and quick meals they can try:

  • Eggs can be hard boiled, scrambled or made in a mug 
  • Single serve brown or white rice
  • Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Frozen veggies with beans

If your student will be living in an apartment where they have access to a full kitchen, here are some tips to help ensure they’re eating as healthy as possible:

  • Plan meals ahead of time
  • Make a list of ingredients needed for meals and choose a day to go grocery shopping
  • Try to stick to the list as much as possible to keep your budget healthy and avoid impulse buys that are usually not healthy!
  • Try out a new fruit or veggie each time you go grocery shopping
  • Buy items you use a lot of in bulk
  • Find items (like pre cut or frozen veggies) that make cooking easier and quicker
  • Batch cook so you have meals that last you a few days or all week

With these tips, your student should be able to make healthy choices on campus. Don’t forget to let your student know that it’s ok to indulge every once in a while and most importantly, encourage them to feed their souls by surrounding themselves with people who are positive and doing things that bring them joy!

Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters

Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters

Do you have a picky eater? I know how hard it can be when your child only wants to eat foods from the same food group, or worse, the same food over and over again! Most of the time the food your child likes isn’t very healthy! What is a parent to do?  

Here are some tips that can help you get your child to 

try a variety of foods.

If you’re like us, you resonate with compartmentalizing this process (and some good old bullet points). And, if you have tips of your own, drop them in the comments–we’d love to learn from you!


We know “the plan” is everything thus prepping both mentally and in practice will make this hurdle much easier to tackle.

  • Shop wisely. As parents, we are the ones buying food for our children. If there is junk food at home, we are the ones buying it! Fill your fridge and pantry with real food – your kids will get used to it!
  • Minimize the choices. Try to avoid asking your child the ever popular open-ended question: “what do you want to eat?”. Instead, choose two or three options so they can make a choice and not feel overwhelmed with too many options. 
  • Get your kids in the kitchen with you. Involving your kids with simple tasks in the kitchen can give them a sense of accomplishment and more desire to try their creation.
  • Cut down on snacks. Kids who snack too much throughout the day won’t be hungry enough to eat real food, let alone try new foods. When snacking is a must, avoid fruit juices (these are essentially sugar water) and focus on whole fruits and vegetables.

Meal time

Once you’ve wrapped your head around tackling these tips, there’s not much that’s more important that putting them into practice–at the dinner table.

  • Sneak in the good stuff. Try to incorporate more veggies at all meals. This can mean adding finely chopped veggies to your meat sauce or including them in delicious smoothies.
  • Talk to your children in words they understand. Keep conversations about food at the level of the child. Avoid complicated words and explanations. Keep it simple and let your child know what that particular food will do (or not do) for their bodies and minds.
  • Eat as a family. Life is busier than ever! However, studies have shown that families who eat together tend to eat healthier foods than families who don’t. Connect with your children and nourish your bodies.
  • Get creative. Food can be fun and silly! Arrange food in different shapes and funny faces. This makes your child more likely to try it and forms a positive relationship with food.

Mindset is everything

If there’s one thing we’re learning about all aspects of health, wellness and recovery, it’s the power of our minds!

  • Shifting their mindset (and yours) from what they can’t eat to all the delicious foods they can eat! 
  • Don’t ban everything. Avoid putting foods into “good” & “bad” categories. As long as your children eat healthy foods most of the time, an occasional treat is not the end of the world!
  • Tell your child how valuable they are. Try to get into the habit of letting your child know how special they are, with their unique gifts and potentials. Teach them to love themselves and to nourish their bodies in the best way possible.
  • Be consistent & patient. Some of these tips may not work the first time and not with every picky eater so you may need to try many different strategies before you find what works for your child. Be consistent and pack your patience. Keep offering healthy options and stay strong!

Finally, you’ve GOT THIS.

Summer Holiday Recipe Roundup

Summer Holiday Recipe Roundup

As summer approaches and family/friends gatherings ramp up, we tend to crave refreshing, simple bites that don’t take forever to prep and leave us feeling light. Whether you’re going to a graduation barbecue, attending a backyard gathering or are just enjoying a lazy summer day, make sure to check out these recipes that will hit the spot with their simplicity and focusing on cool, refreshing tastes!

Let’s get it started!


Banana Coconut Chia Pudding | The Blender Girl

Crustless Kale and Cheddar Quiche | All the Nourishing Things

Chia Berry Smoothie | PopSugar

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal | Joy Food Sunshine

Paleo Breakfast Bowl | PopSugar

Yogurt Filled Cantaloupe | PopSugar

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie | PopSugar

RELATED: Anti-inflammatory Recipe Roll Call


Olive Cucumber Chickpea Salad | Veggies Save the Day

Cold Asian Noodle Salad | Running on Real Food

Apple Quinoa Salad | Cooking Classy

Avocado Egg Salad | Pinch of Yum

Charred Broccoli Salad | Alexandra Cooks

Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad | Peas and Crayons

Summer is all about the side, enjoy this array of ideas to wow all your neighbors!


Mango Salsa | Simply Recipes

Cauliflower Rice | Eat the Gains

Grilled Veggies Marinade | A Spicy Perspective

Grilled Maple Tahini Sweet Potatoes | One Green Planet

Honey Garlic Cauliflower | Kirbie’s Cravings

Garlic and Herb Grilled Eggplant | Every Last Bite

We can’t emphasize enough how important a good lunch is. We can find ourselves “too busy” to make a proper lunch so this summer let’s change that!


Veggie Quesadillas | Erhardt’s Eat

Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice

Black Bean Burgers | Sally’s baking edition

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Zucchini | The Recipe Critic

Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap | Maebells

Mexican Rice Casserole | Making Thyme for Health

Chickpea Salad Sandwich | Vegan Runner Eats

RELATED: How to Meal Prep: 4 Easy Steps You Can Start Today


Quinoa Power Bowl | Dishing out Health

Pineapple Ginger Chicken | The Whole Cook

Beef Fajita with Mango Salsa | A Clean Plate

Dill Flounder with Green Salad | 50 Shades of Avocado

Spinach Avocado Chicken Burgers | Unbound Wellness

Garlic Butter Cod Asparagus Skillet | Eatwell 101 

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes | Emilie Eats


Paleo Vegan Peach Cobbler | Paleo Running Momma

Vegan Paleo Butter Pecan Ice Cream | Allergy Free Alaska

Paleo Lemon Tart

Zucchini Bread | Small Footprint Family

Homemade Pineapple Soft Serve | Eve Lifestyle

Snickers Smoothie | Vegan Foodie

Mango Lassi | All Recipes

Who said eating healthy over the summer had to be boring? These delicious recipes will have you wishing it was summer everyday!

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe Roll Call

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe Roll Call

Winner, winner instant-pot-apricot-ginger-chicken-thighs-dinner. Fun(ny), no?  It’ll come together in a minute here.

There are countless reasons to focus on ingredients and recipes that have anti-inflammatory properties. Said differently, focusing on tons of veggies (known for their anti-inflammatory properties), a mix of proteins, and healthy fats. Making meal choices through this lens helps reduce inflammation in the body and supports cells functioning optimally. This way of eating can be especially helpful for those who have autoimmune conditions.

RELATED: What is Chronic Inflammation?

Anti-Inflammatory Recommendations

Here are some suggestions when trying to adopt an anti-inflammatory meal plan:

  • Eat organic (non-GMO) as much as possible
  • Include small amounts of healthy fats at each meal (nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, salmon, grass fed meats, pasture raised eggs, flax, chia, hemp seeds)
  • Eat high fiber, low glycemic carbs
  • Focus on non starchy vegetables
  • Opt for clean and lean proteins (hormone free, pasture raised beef, lamb, free range chicken and turkey, wild caught cold water fish (no farm raised fish)
  • Include anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric
  • Build your plate around majority veggies, and a healthy mix of protein and healthy fats
  • Avoid inflammatory foods: sugar, dairy, trans fats, soy, corn, legumes and nightshade veggies


Like so many other things, lifestyle choices play a role in how much inflammation we have going on in our bodies. To help lower inflammation it’s important to make sure we are moving our bodies as much as possible, getting good quality (and enough sleep), and remembering to slow down. Incorporating activities like yoga, tai chi, meditation and deep breathing help keep stress levels at bay and alongside that, inflammation as well.

RELATED: Why Inflammation isn’t a Terrible Word

If you’re dealing with an autoimmune condition, you’ll also want to try your best to stick with these tips as well:

  • Remove artificial sweeteners, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, refined vegetable oils, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, food additives
  • Add as many colorful veggies as possible, good fats, low sugar fruits, anti-inflammatory herbs 

Recipes to get you started and inspired:


Avocado Toast | A Sweet Pea Chef

Egg White Scramble & Sweet Potato Hash | A Sweet Pea Chef

California Breakfast Salad | Livestrong Recipes

Honey Berry Toast with Greek Yogurt & Blueberries | Livestrong Recipes

Chia Pudding | Livestrong Recipes

Chocolate Nutter Butter Smoothie | Livestrong Recipes

Steel Cut Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Bake | Livestrong Recipes


Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos | Eating Well

Turmeric Ginger Broccoli Cauliflower Soup | Savory Lotus

Hearty Chickpea Spinach Stew | Eating Well

Roasted Garlic and Kale Spaghetti Squash | The Roasted Root

Spicy Cauliflower Burrito Bowl | Abras Kitchen

Anti-Inflammatory Salad | A Whisk and Two Wands

Loaded Cucumber & Avocado Sandwich | Eating Well


Instant Pot Apricot Ginger Chicken Thighs | Abras Kitchen

Mediterranean Sheet Pan Salmon with Zucchini Noodles | Abras Kitchen

Easy One Pan Mediterranean Cod | Abras Kitchen

Sheet Pan Chicken Tenders & Veggies | Unbound Wellness

Healthy Sloppy Joes | What Molly Made

Fiesta Lime Shrimp Bowls | What Molly Made

Veggie Packed Steak Stir Fry | What Molly Made


A snack formula to live by = Protein + Fat + Low-Glycemic Carb

● Carrots & peppers with hummus 

● Cucumber with smoked salmon 

● Curry roasted chickpeas and cashews

● Mary’s Gone Crackers with guacamole 

● Sliced carrots & sardines 

● Black beans mixed with salsa & veggies or crackers 

● Apple slices with nut butter & dark chocolate


Hot Cocoa | Love Food Nourish

Anti-Inflammatory Tropical Turmeric Popsicles | Abras Kitchen

Dark Chocolate Walnut Date Bar | Martha Stewart

Vanilla Chia Pudding | Martha Stewart

No Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars | All the Healthy Things

Spice Cookies | All the Nourishing Things

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas | Joy the Baker

After exploring these recipes, prepare to be pleasantly surprised how delish anti-inflammatory meals & snacks can be. Cheers to eating your way to less inflammation!

Meal Planning: A SIBO Recipe Roundup

Meal Planning: A SIBO Recipe Roundup

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and been asked to follow a specific protocol in an effort to help calm symptoms down—we’ve got you. It is absolutely normal to feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Quite a few patients that I have worked with have completed this protocol with great success. It all starts with having solid recipes to reach for while being prepared in the kitchen with SIBO compliant ingredients on hand.

RELATED: SIBO: What Actually IS Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth?

Why a SIBO specific diet?

The purpose of a SIBO diet is to temporarily reduce the amount of fermentable carbohydrates in your diet and help improve your SIBO symptoms. By temporarily reducing or removing fermentable foods that your bacteria love to eat, you reduce the amount of gas they produce, therefore reducing the symptoms you feel while simultaneously treating the overgrowth and healing the gut.

Check out this SIBO specific meal plan roundup (categorized by meal type) that will make your life a lot easier while following the SIBO diet!

RELATED: Keeping Your Sanity While on a SIBO Specific Diet

Breakfast Recipes

Coconut Raspberry Breakfast Bowl | The Healthy Gut

Black Forest Smoothie | The Healthy Gut

Shakshuka | Fun Without FODMAPs

Mediterranean Grilled Cheese | Fun Without FODMAPs

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats | Fun Without FODMAPs

Steel Cut Oats with Maple and Cinnamon | Fun Without FODMAPs

Frittata | Fun Without FODMAPs

Lunch Recipes

Pumpkin, Pomegranate and Quinoa Salad | The Healthy Gut

Tomato and Meatball Soup | The Healthy Gut

Smoked Salmon Salad | The Healthy Gut

Crispy Chicken Strips | The Healthy Gut

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta | Fun Without FODMAPs

Cilantro Lime Chicken | Fun Without FODMAPs

Creamy Red Lentil Dhal | The Healthy Gut

Dinner Recipes

Beef Tacos | Fun Without FODMAPs

Slow Cooker Pot Roast | Fun Without FODMAPs

Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken | The Healthy Gut

Thai Fish Cakes with Zesty Salad | The Healthy Gut

Tuna Poke Bowl | The Healthy Gut

Moroccan Chicken | Fun Without FODMAPs

Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Lentils | Fun Without FODMAPs

Snacks & Desserts

Carrot Cake Bliss Balls | The Healthy Gut

Kale Chips | The Healthy Gut

Spiced Trail Mix | The Healthy Gut

Banana Bread | Fun Without FODMAPs

Blueberry Yogurt Pots | The Healthy Gut

Loaded Potato Skins | The Healthy Gut

Smoked Salmon Blinis | The Healthy Gut

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars | The Healthy Gut

Have fun experimenting with these recipes and finding your favorites! You won’t feel restricted while following the SIBO diet with these delicious and versatile recipes. 

RELATED: The Two-Phase SIBO Treatment Plan We Use for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

A caveat for our SIBO patients: low FODMAP is one way we treat SIBO. We also use the SIBO Specific Diet, which is more restrictive than low FODMAP, so your doctor may recommend that route, depending on your health history. As with any treatment plan, consulting with your doctor is the best first step.