Sep 17 2010

Tony Horton's tips for making exercise fun for kids

Tony Horton, creator of the P90X workout series had some practical suggestions for getting your kids active in a fun, creative way. A recent article had some ideas as well...check it out here:

Listen to Tony talk about making exercise fun for kids - here.

Sep 17 2010

Christine Avanti's tips for healthy snacking

Sneaky Snacks


Many snacks aren’t really snacks when it comes to calories and nutrients.  For example Met Rx brand offers their Big Colossal Brownie Bar clocking in at 390 calories and 30 grams of protein.  This protein bar should be considered a “meal” not a “snack.”  Here is some food for thought.  Protein bars were originally designed for body builders who need to eat a complete meal every 2 to 3 hours in order to maintain muscle tissue.  The problem is when people who are not avid exercisers or body builders begin eating protein bars between meals as “snacks.” Although the bar is marketed as a “healthy” option it can cause weight gain. 


Yet another “healthy” snacking down fall can be those cute little 100 calorie packs such as Oreo’s, Teddy Grams, or Cheese Nips.   While the intention is good, often times we find ourselves unsatisfied at just one 100 calorie pack.  Left to our own devices we end up eating 2, 3, 4 or more of these cute little sneaky snacks.


If you are looking for a healthy and satisfying packaged snack between meals, here are a few guide lines to follow:

1) Read the nutrition facts label before you nosh. 

2) The best healthful snack bars have at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, less than 13 grams of sugar.

3) Stick with something that is around 150 calories. 


Try out these low cal all natural snack bars options available at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s:

KIND BAR-Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants: 190 Calories

KASHI TLC BAR- Peanut Butter: 120 Calories

LUNA BAR: 170 Calories

GO ORGANIC BAR: 180 Calories


If you like to cook and save money, check out Christine Avanti’s favorite “between meal” snack:

Momma Lydia’s Granola only 140 calories per serving!

(great for snacking, fruit parfaits or as breakfast cereal)




Listen to Christine here.

Sep 10 2010

Healthy and Delicious Back to School Lunches

Healthy and Delicious Back to School Lunches


We asked Christine Avanti, what are some healthy alternatives to put in kids’ lunches?


Christine’s response-

It's important to feed children a healthy lunch that provides lasting energy for several hours after the meal so they are not experiencing energy crashes and hyperactivity.  Eating balanced meals helps kids stabilize blood sugar which helps keep them calm, happy and alert throughout the day.


2. How to disguise healthy lunches so that kids will eat them:

 Give food silly names- such as ANTS ON A LOG, TURKEY GOBBLE WRAP, VEGGIE CREAM CHEESE PINWHEELS.  Make a grilled cheese sandwich with reduced fat Swiss Cheese and slip in some fresh tomato between the cheese.

(For these recipes go to


3. What are healthy lunch options in the school cafeteria?

Grilled or baked chicken sandwich

Veggie Burger

PB&J Sandwich

Salads loaded with vegetables and olive oil and vinegar dressings based dressings.  Avoid creamy dressings or fried foods because they contain added sugars and transfats.


4. How many calories should kids aim to eat a day?

Avanti says, “steady growth during childhood necessitates a gradual increase in nutrition intake.  Children accumulate storage of nutrients before adolescence so that when they have an adolescence growth spurt, their bodies can draw on nutrient stores accumulated in earlier years.  This is especially true when it comes to calcium.  Calcium intake promotes optimal bone density; the denser the bones in childhood, the better prepared they will be support teen growth and even more importantly they will be better prepared to withstand bone loss later in life.  Thus, the foods children eat influence their nutritional health throughout their entire lives.” 

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) during childhood:

1300 cals/day (1-3 yrs)

1800 cals/day (2-6 yrs)

2000 cals/day (7-10 yrs)



Listen to Christine here: Segment 1 & Segment 2