Amy Stephens


Licensed dietiTian

specializing in sports nutrition and diabetes

4 Bean Soup Recipes

Here are some great high-fiber, low calorie soup recipes that are easy to prepare. Each recipe contains mostly vegetables, beans, and herbs with little oil or parmesan cheese for flavor. They are filling and are a great substitute for green salads in the winter. You can make a large amount and keep separated into portions to grab and heat up for a quick healthy meal.

Three Bean Minestrone

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup cooked (or canned, drained and rinsed) pinto beans
1 cup cooked (or canned, drained and rinsed) white kidney beans, cannelloni or Great Northern beans
1 cup cooked (or canned, drained and rinsed) light or dark red kidney beans
8 cups water or broth
rind from a small piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
2 zucchini, diced
2 medium red tomatoes, diced
4 cups baby spinach
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
optional – 6 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly grated

In a large stock pot over low heat, combine the olive oil and onions. Sweat the onions until wilted and soft, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add celery, beans, water and Parmigiano-Reggioano rind and cook for about 20 minutes.

Add diced zucchini and cook for another 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, cover and cook at a low simmer for at least 30 more minutes.

Add spinach, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Serve with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 6.

Nutritional Info for 1 1/2 cups serving size
Calories: 280, Total fat: 16 g, Carb: 28gm, Fiber 10g, Protein 12 gm

Afternoon Bean and Turkey Soup
I found this recipe at

1 or 2 turkey carcasses
½ cup dry light red kidney beans
½ cup small red beans
2 small or l large onion, chopped
1 – 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
¼ green or sweet red pepper
4 stalks of celery and heart, including any leaves that are fresh and green
1 – ½ teaspoons dry thyme
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon season salt
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry parsley or ½ cup fresh
½ cup brown rice or whole grain
1 p.m. — Put 1 or 2 turkey carcasses in a large stockpot.
Cover with water. Simmer for 1 – 2 hours.
3 p.m. — Sort and rinse beans. Add beans to the pot. Simmer.
4 p.m. — Remove turkey from the pot to a platter. Cool. Add vegetables, herbs and spices. Simmer. Pull bones apart and remove meat and skin. Cut meat into small pieces. Stir the mixture to check for bones and gristle. Remove and discard all bones and gristle. Return meat to pot.
5 p.m. — Rinse brown rice in a sieve and add to the soup. Simmer.
6 p.m. — Serve with crackers or whole wheat bread, glass of milk and fruit dessert.
Refrigerate or freeze and label any leftovers for future use.
If you need to start later, combine steps. Two hours is the minimum cooking time to make a good broth, cook the meat off the bones and tenderize the beans. Brown rice needs 45 minutes to cook. Add or substitute the vegetables and seasoning your family prefers or you have available.
4 p.m. — Put everything but the rice in the pot. Use high heat, stir and tend the pot until it simmers. It will take 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer.
5 p.m. — Add the brown rice.
5:45 p.m. remove the carcass. Return the meat to the soup and serve.

Nutrient information for 1 1/2 cups serving size: 144 calories, 7 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates,
7 g fiber

Kale and White Bean Soup
Created by Chef Ann Cooper. Featured at the 2013 Beans For A Better Life seminar in Dallas, Texas.

1½ cups onion, diced
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp garlic, minced
½ lb. (dry weight) cannellini beans, cooked (roughly 2½ cups cooked)
4 cups vegetable stock (plus a bit more to adjust liquid to your personal taste)
1 bay leaf
½ tsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups carrots, medium dice
7 cups kale, chopped
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Makes 8 servings.

Sauté onions in oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add cooked beans, stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add carrots and cook another 5 minutes.
Add kale and cook about 12 minutes or until kale is tender. Add more vegetable stock if your soup needs more liquid, and warm through.
Check seasoning, adjust as needed, and serve sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Info for 1 1/2 cups serving size
Calories 171, Total fat 5.1g, Carb 20gm, Fiber 5.5g, Protein 10gm

– See more at:

Lentil Soup

**Can use less oil to lower calorie content.**

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry French lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Makes 6 servings


In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Nutritional Info for 1 1/2 cups serving size
Calories 340, Total fat 10g, Carb 44gm, Fiber 21g, Protein 17gm

Helpful Information on Trans-fats

Thought this information will be helpful to understand the impact of trans-fat on health. I always thought trans-fats had similar impact of saturated fats. I encourage my patients to avoid trans-fats because the foods that typically have them are processed and have very little nutrition value. Foods with trans-fats won’t be missed.

Trans-fat free foods are not good for us. I’m sure food marketers will promote products as “trans-fat free” so we think we can eat as much as we want. Just remember, total calories and portion size is still important to consider when making food choices.

A brief history of artificial trans fats
The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to remove artificial trans fats from the American food supply was a long time coming. Public health experts and activists have been trying for nearly 20 years to get the fats removed from foods served in restaurants and sold in stores. In its announcement Thursday, the FDA said the ban would prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths due to heart disease each year. Here’s a look at the history of trans fats.

Source: LA Times. 11/8/13,0,3204327.photogallery#axzz2k44MVCNJ

These are foods that might have trans fats in them

— Cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, and some breads like hamburger buns.

— Hard margarine (stick margarine) and vegetable shortening.

— Pre-mixed products (cake mix, pancake mix, and chocolate drink mix).

— Fried foods (doughnuts, French fries, fried chicken including chicken nuggets, and hard taco shells).

— Snack foods (potato, corn, and tortilla chips; candy; packaged or microwave popcorn).

Source: Department of Agriculture, Washington Post. 11/8/13

Q&A: What are trans fats anyway, and why are they so bad?

What is a trans fat, and why is it so dangerous that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants it removed from the food supply?

These are just some of the questions on the minds of diners as they digest Thursday’s FDA action. Although consumption of artificial trans fats is already on the decline, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said further reductions could save 7,000 lives each year.

Need help understanding this news? Read on:

What is a trans fat?

These fats – also known as trans fatty acids – are made by adding hydrogen to liquid oil, which turns it into a solid, like margarine or Crisco. This makes it a handy ingredient for processed food manufacturers, since it improves the texture, stability and shelf life. It’s also inexpensive. Today, it’s often used in foods including microwave popcorn, coffee creamers, packaged cookies, cans of frosting and frozen pizza, among others.

Where does it come from?

Trans fats are a natural component of animal products such as milk and meat. The FDA says that it is synthesized in the guts of grazing animals.

Artificial trans fats were invented in 1901 by Wilhelm Normann. The German chemist added hydrogen gas to liquid oils and came up with a cheaper alternative to natural products like lard and butter. For many years, these partially hydrogenated oils were believed to be safer than trans fats from animals, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI. But by the early 1990s, epidemiologists were realizing that the fats contributed to heart disease.

Why are trans fats bad for your health?

It’s not just bad, it’s doubly bad. For one thing, it increases blood levels of the “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein. High levels of LDL increase one’s risk of coronary heart disease, including angina, heart attacks and other potentially fatal problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To make matters worse, researchers also believe that trans fats reduce blood levels of high-density lipoprotein, the “good” cholesterol. HDL appears to reduce heart risks by funneling blood cholesterol to the liver, where it’s broken down and removed from the body. There’s also evidence that HDL slows the buildup of dangerous plaques in the arteries, the American Heart Assn. says.

CSPI, the nonprofit advocacy group that petitioned the FDA to require labeling of trans fats way back in 1994, has declared artificial trans fats “the most harmful fat of all” on a gram-per-gram basis.

Haven’t trans fats been banned already?

In some places, yes. In 2006, New York City became the first city to prohibit the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants and bakeries. California passed a law to phase out their use in restaurants in 2008. The first country to virtually ban artificial trans fats was Denmark, which took that action in 2003.

What about foods I buy in the grocery store?

Many food makers have reformulated their products to remove artificial trans fats – and when they do, they often tout their success on packages. Some examples of processed foods that are now trans-fat-free include Oreo cookies, Cheetos, Pop–tarts and instant Jell–O pudding.

So what exactly happened on Thursday?

The FDA announced its intent to remove partially hydrogenated oils from its list of ingredients that are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). That would effectively prevent food makers from using it in their products. Members of the public will have 60 days to comment on the proposal. If it takes effect, it would mark the first time since 1969 an item has been removed from the GRAS list. (Then, the artificial sweetener cyclamate was knocked off the list due to concerns about bladder cancer, liver damage and birth defects. Subsequent studies have found it to be safe in humans.)

Remind me again – what are partially hydrogenated oils?

These are the primary source of artificial trans fats. (Think of Wilhelm Normann adding hydrogen gas to liquid oils a century ago.)

Will this FDA action improve my health?

There’s good evidence that removing trans fats from foods – both through government regulation and voluntarily measure by industry – has already improved the nation’s health.

To cite just one example: Researchers from the CDC examined concentrations of trans fatty acids in blood samples collected as part of its ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that between 2000 and 2009, levels of four types of trans fatty acids fell by an average of 58%. They reported their results last year in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

Another study based in part on the survey’s data calculated that the average American consumed 1.3 grams of artificial trans fats per day between 2003 and 2006. That’s a significant reduction from the 4.6 grams that the FDA said each American adult was eating every day (on average) in 2003. These findings were published in 2012 in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants.

If trans fats are so awful, shouldn’t I reduce my consumption to zero?

Not necessarily. It would be great to eliminate all artificial trans fats from your diet, but remember that some trans fats occur naturally in meat and dairy products. Unless you’re a vegan, you’ll probably keep eating some of the fats.

But you shouldn’t necessarily freak out about this. The Institute of Medicine considered this very question in a 2005 report and concluded that reducing trans fat consumption to zero would cause radical changes in diet that might deprive people of protein and essential micronutrients. The health consequences of this are “unknown and unquantifiable.”

Source: LA Times 11/8/13.

Lose Weight to Ward Off Diabetes

September 10, 2013

Author: Bonnie Liebman in: Diabetes and Diet

People with pre-diabetes who lose weight can slash their risk of full-blown diabetes.

Researchers monitored 3,000 overweight people with pre-diabetes—that is, their blood sugar levels were above normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. All were participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program, which randomly assigned more than 3,200 people to an intensive lifestyle intervention, the diabetes drug metformin, or a placebo. The lifestyle intervention included a goal of 150 minutes of exercise a week and diet counseling.

People in the lifestyle group who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight within six months of being diagnosed with pre-diabetes had an 85 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with diabetes over the next three years than those who lost no weight. Those who lost 7 to 9 percent of their body weight lowered their risk by 66 percent, and those who lost 5 to 6 percent of their body weight lowered their risk by 54 percent.

What to do: If you’ve been told that you have pre-diabetes, try to lose weight and boost your exercise before your next doctor’s appointment. The Diabetes Prevention Program is now offered at many YMCAs.

Source: J. Gen. Intern. Med. 2013. doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2548-4.


Simple Salad Dressing Recipes

I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to eat vegetables.  Here are some great salad dressing recipes to try for you and your family.  Ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store and most recipes use the basic ingredients:  olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar.  Dressings can be a great way to boost monousaturated fat intake with olive oil or safflower oil.

Tip:  chop your salad to give a different texture and taste all different foods in each bite.

Tip:  double the recipe and save your homemade dressing in one of the below containers.  Can buy these at Bed, Bath and Beyond, your local hardware store or online at





Balsamic Viniagrette

by Emeril Lagasse


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Mesclun salad mix or favorite greens, for accompaniment
  • Assortment of salad ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, sliced red onion, chopped celery, diced cucumbers, walnuts
  • Blue cheese (optional), for garnish


Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the salad mix and desired salad ingredients, top with blue cheese and serve immediately.

If not using dressing right away, cover and refrigerate, whisking or shaking again before use.

*If using a good quality balsamic vinegar you should not need the sugar, but if using a lesser quality you might want the sugar to round out the dressing

Lemon Viniagrette


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (to taste)


1.  Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl, making certain the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
2 .  Let sit for an hour or so, and then whisk again before serving.

Shallot Viniagrette

Printed in Bon Appetite, 2003



  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar* or can use white balsamic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • *Also known as sushi vinegar; available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.


Whisk shallots, rice vinegar and Dijon mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

11 Simple Weight Loss Tips by Dawn Blatner

Here is a great article I found published on with some great weight loss tips I find to be very helpful.


(CNN) — Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and nutritionist for the Chicago Cubs, is trying to change the meaning of the phrase, “Treat yo’self.”

Most people treat themselves by indulging in a gallon of ice cream or by lounging around the house, watching TV. Blatner wants “treat yourself” to mean exactly the opposite. Her definition is designed to give you more energy, help you lose weight and keep your body healthy.

“It’s preplanning your grocery list. It’s being in the grocery store and buying foods that nourish your body. It’s eating mindfully,” she told the audience at the Obesity Action Coalition’s annual Your Weight Matters convention. “Those are really good things that when you do them, it’s treating yourself right.”

In other words, you deserve to feel good and look good, Blatner says. So putting in five or 10 minutes to plan your meals for the upcoming week or spending 30 minutes at the gym is the ultimate act of self-love.

“There’s no bigger gesture in this world that says, ‘You know what, Dawn? You matter.'”

Follow these 10 tips to “treat yourself” to a healthier, slimmer body:



1. Table. Plate. Chair.

Every time you put food in your mouth, you should have three things, Blatner says: a table, a plate and a chair.

These three items ensure you’re not sneaking snacks from the refrigerator late at night or gulping down 1,000 calories in your car from a fast food joint. And having them probably means you’re consuming more nutrients than a bag of potato chips would offer — unless you’re one of those weird people who puts potato chips on a plate.

“It’s my answer to eating mindfully,” Blatner says.

Eating mindfully, research shows, helps people pay closer attention to the enjoyment of eating and to feelings of fullness. Studies suggest people who eat mindfully consume fewer calories at meals, no matter how much is on their plate.

2. Willpower is a mental muscle. Exercise it.

Willpower is a limited resource, psychologist Sean Connolly of San Antonio says, but we all have it. The trick is in knowing how to use it efficiently.

“People list lack of willpower as the No. 1 reason holding them back from improving their lives in some way,” says Connolly, who works regularly with bariatric patients. “Willpower is not a gene. It’s a tool that we all have that we have to learn to use, develop and manage.”

Like any muscle, your willpower gets tired. So you have to plan, Connolly says, and know what you will do in situations that offer a healthy choice and an unhealthy choice. You also have to be prepared for emergencies, such as at the end of a long work day, when your willpower is exhausted and the drive thru window beckons.

Willpower also needs to be replenished daily. The best way to do this? Get enough sleep.

3. Be realistic.

Let’s be honest, most of us want to lose a lot of weight. And when we don’t — when we drop 5 or 10 and then hit a wall — we get discouraged and jump back on the fried food wagon.

One of the biggest obstacles to losing weight is unrealistic expectations, says psychologist Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University.

“The less you weigh, the less you need to eat and the more you need to move (to lose weight),” Foster says. “And that’s not fair.”

It’s nice to aim high, but successful losers drop an average of 8.4% of their body weight. If you weigh in at 200, that’s about 16 pounds. And losing those 16 pounds improves your health dramatically.

In other words, hoping to weigh what you did in high school will derail your plan before it starts.

“Life changes, and that’s not an apology or a cop out. It’s a realistic assessment,” Foster says. “What else in your life is the same at 45 as it was at 20?”

4. Find better friends.

It’s known as the “socialization effect.” Cigarette smokers hang out with other cigarette smokers. Drinkers hang out with other drinks. And overweight people hang out with other overweight people, says Dr. Robert Kushner of Chicago.

“What do you do if you’re hanging out with a group of people who are overweight?” he asks. You pick a restaurant. You go out for burgers and a beer. “You’re probably not talking about going rollerblading.”

We tend to pick up the habits of those we hang out with the most. So find some friends with healthy habits, and you’ll become healthier yourself.

5. Do a cart check.

You know the MyPlate diagram — the one that shows how your plate should be split into fruits, grains, vegetables and proteins? Your cart should look the same, Blatner says. When you think you’re finished shopping, do a quick eye check to make sure it’s filled with about 25% protein, 25% whole grains and 50% produce.

“Choice is the enemy of weight loss,” Blatner says. She recommends planning out two healthy breakfasts, two healthy lunches, two healthy snacks and two healthy dinners for the week. Buy the ingredients you need for each and then rotate them throughout the week.

This gives you enough choice that you won’t get bored but not enough choice that you’re overwhelmed and end up looking for the nearest vending machine.

6. Do not eat in response to that thing.

You’re at the movies. It’s your cousin’s bachelorette party. Your son is at the top of his graduating class. It’s a ball game — and what’s a ball game without a hot dog? If you want to lose weight, avoid eating in response to “that thing,” Foster says.

Plan what you’re going to eat at these special — or not so special — occasions so you don’t have to rely on your willpower. And only eat when you’re hungry. There will be more food at the next thing.

7. Tell yourself: “I have the right to be thin.

Self-sabotage is a real problem in weight loss, Connolly says. A lot of times his clients say they want something and then go out of their way to make sure it doesn’t happen.

It’s not a lack of desire or motivation. “Something holds us back,” he says.

We have to learn to validate ourselves, Connolly says, because we’ll never get everything we need from other people. Tell yourself daily that you deserve to be healthy. You deserve to look and feel good. Then believe it.

8. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

If you haven’t heard this acronym before, memorize it now. Any goal you set should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, says Eliza Kingsford, psychotherapist and director of clinical services for Wellspring. If it meets these qualities, you’ll be much more likely to achieve it.

For instance, “I’m going to be more active” is a goal. “I will walk for 30 minutes every day for the next month” is a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

It’s specific in that you know how much activity you’re going to do. It’s measurable — did you walk today or not?

It’s attainable and realistic; everyone can find 30 minutes in their day, and walking doesn’t require a lot of equipment or special training. And it’s timely because you’ll be able to see at the end of the month if you hit your goal.

9. Stand up.

Most of us now spend eight hours a day sitting at our desks at work, and two to three hours sitting at home. That kind of sedentary lifestyle is nearly impossible to counteract, Dr. Holly Lofton of New York says, even if you hit the gym for two hours a day (and who does that?).

She suggests wearing a step counter that will keep you aware of the movement — or lack of movement — you’re making throughout the day. Try standing up at your desk while on a conference call, or walking to a colleague’s desk instead of e-mailing him. Take the stairs. Park farther away. Everything counts!

10. Life will never be stressfree. Learn to cope.

Scientists disagree about whether stress itself produces a physical change in your body that can lead to significant weight gain. But we all know the effect a stressful day can have on our willpower.

The problem, Kushner says, is that there never will be a long period in your life without stress. And if we cope with everyday stress by indulging in brownies and vodka, the weight will continue to pile on.

“Life happens. It’s not so much stress that causes weight gain, it’s the coping, the push back,” he says.

The key is to learn positive coping skills. If work is stressing you out, take a 10-minute walk instead of hitting up the cookie tray in the breakroom. Take a yoga class at the end of a long week. Use deep breaths to get through a phone call with your mother.

And treat yourself to a stress-less day.




Snack and Lunch Ideas for Kids

Healthy Eating for Elementary School

By Amy Stephens, MS, RD, CDE

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

Amy Stephens is a registered dietitian who has been practicing nutrition for 13 years.  She has offices in the West Village and Hastings-on-Hudson specializing in healthy eating, weight management, and diabetes.  She has four children, three of which are in Hillside Elementary.


What to feed your kids for lunch

For many of us, packing lunches every day is a dispiriting chore. We may be dealing with picky eaters, siblings with different food preferences or kids tired of the same thing every day. Meanwhile, we want to make sure our kids eat adequate nutrients to optimize their performances in school, stay healthy and provide them with enough energy for their long days at school.   Do remember to be enthusiastic about introducing new foods to you kids.


I’ve compiled some tips and lunch ideas to make packing lunches easier.


1.  Discuss menu ideas and lunch goals with your kids in the beginning of the week. Make sure kids know what healthy foods are and why we need them.

2.  Bring kids to the grocery store to pick out their own foods.  Try ordering on Fresh Direct with your child and have them pick out the foods they like.

3.  Pack a variety of foods from different food groups.  Vegetable, starch (bread, rice, pasta, cereal) and protein (chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds).

4.  Kids need to be exposed many times before they try it.  Also, kids need to taste things many times before they will like it.

5.  Use BPA-free lunch containers with fun colors. Bento boxes are great to keep foods in separate sections to maintain food textures. Lunch Bots (available on are individual stainless steel containers that are virtually indestructible.

6.  Try to make the same foods for all kids in the house; catering to siblings with non-mutual food preferences is challenging. Try to make sandwiches with different ingredients or find fruits and vegetables all your kids like.

7.  Keep track of which foods your child likes so you can make them again.

8.  Keep it simple.  Use leftovers or colder foods for lunch.

9.  Praise and recognize kids when they try new foods.

10.  Help kids make better snack choices at home.  Keep a healthy snack cupboard at home.  Fill it with healthy food options and ready-to-eat healthy foods (cut-up vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and ready-made salads).

11.  There are hundreds of websites dedicated to recipes of all sorts, as well as some focused just on kids’ lunches.  A couple of my favorites are and : you can type in whatever ingredients you have on hand, and the website returns recipes containing them.


Sample lunch ideas


Note: these are just a sample; there are an unlimited number of healthy options

    • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with 1 teaspoon mayo or mustard.   Can add lettuce or


    • Low-fat tuna or chicken salad made with low-fat mayo, celery and tomato/lettuce.
    • Hummus sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato.
    • Peanut butter or almond butter and jelly on pita.
    • Mini whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, lettuce, and tomato
    • Granola, fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt
    • Leftover pasta salad made with parmesan cheese and broccoli.
    • Turkey burger slider on whole wheat bun with ketchup to dip.
    • Leftover rotisserie chicken with steamed string beans and mashed potatoes.
    • Hard-boiled egg with mini whole wheat bagel and cream cheese.
    • ½ Avocado and whole wheat pita.
    • Pita pizza on whole wheat
    • Tortilla wraps with shredded cheese, chopped chicken, and cut vegetables
    • 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, whole-wheat crackers, and fruit
    • Quinoa salad with vegetables, beans and cheese.
    • Bean-based soup or stew in a thermos, whole-grain roll with butter or margarine, and fruit
    • Soups – best are chicken broth or tomato based vegetable soups.

    **Try different kinds of healthy breads until you find one your kids love. There are many options: thin whole wheat (Arnold’s brand), mini whole wheat pita (Sabra or Whole Foods brand), Thomas Light English muffins, Matthew’s whole wheat, Vermont’s best whole wheat or soft wheat, Whole wheat mini bagels (Thomas’ or Whole Foods), and whole wheat tortillas.


    Snack ideas

    Carrots, cucumbers or celery and Ranch dressing (Cindy’s kitchen makes a kid-friendly one). Single serving Sabra hummus containers are an option for very busy parents, available at Costco – or buy a large one – or make hummus yourself – and spoon into a small Lunch Bot or Tupperware container.


    • Cut-up fruit and nuts.


    • Small banana and low-fat yogurt


    • Dry cereal (Crispex, Granola, Wheat Chex) and cut up apple


    • Granola bars (Cliff Jr. Z bar)


    • Granola with low-fat yogurt


    • Cheese and whole wheat crackers
    • Package of seaweed – Annie Chuns Brand (Whole Foods) or Trader Joe’s Brand
    • Applesauce (either packaged or homemade) and baby carrots
    • Edamame, lightly salted

    ***As always, please check labels carefully if your child has a food allergy.




    • 6 oz Refillable water containers (Kids Konserve or Klean Kanteen – available on
    • Low-fat milk at school or in thermos
    • Unflavored soy or almond milk in thermos


    Additional Resources for meal planning



    • Dinner A Love Story, By Jenny Rosenstrach.  Great resource with more in depth food ideas and great recipes.  Jenny’s blog is:
    • Cooking Light Magazine. Quick recipe section in the back is really helpful.


    Can type in ingredient and get recipes (ie. Black beans, kale, spinach)




    Feeding Your Children

    Children’s eating habits are formed at an early age.  Help your kids make the best food choices by exposing them to a variety of foods.  Amy will address nutritional needs and create an individualized nutrition plan to help kids make the best food choices.

    New Food Products

    Since there are many new food products available, Amy utilizes the most current research to help in selecting the best food products in the marketplace.   She will also help incorporate the right foods into your diet.  Amy will create an individualized meal plan and help prepare a grocery list.

    Weight Management

    Amy works with patients to create an individualized meal plan that addresses patients medical history, food preferences, previous diet history and activity level.  Amy creates a nutrition plan to promote weight loss.  Follow-up sessions are often recommended to foster diet change.