Category Archives: Media

We Can Cook

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I occasionally write about childhood nutrition issues: childhood obesity, children’s menus, cooking with kids, etc. One thing I am very passionate about is feeding children real food. What I mean by this, is that it is best to introduce children to the same foods you and other adults eat.

Kid favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken fingers are pretty much always available to kids at restaurants, but no child needs to eat those calorie-laden meals every time he eats out (or even when eating at home). If you knew me as a child you’d be saying “Who are you to talk?!” because I was what many parents would call a picky eater. Staples of my diet were chicken nuggets, pizza bagels, and mac ‘n’ cheese, and the only vegetables I liked were peas and carrots (especially carrots). Looking back at my diet, it’s a good question how I became a dietitian (and I didn’t even tell you about all the desserts I used to eat)! Lucky for me I didn’t have a weight issue, which may be why no one thought twice about what I ate. But from a nutrition standpoint, I would not want my children eating the same way.

My interest in childhood nutrition and making sure children learn about all varieties of foods is what excited me to write my first kid’s cookbook, We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Cooking with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities

The book is full of recipes that I developed using a variety of foods including ones that children may not be familiar with. Every recipe is designed to have children help in the preparation, this way they get to know the foods they are going to be eating and they will learn how to cook at the same time. While the book is geared to children ages three to six, children of all ages can take part in making these recipes — the older the child, the more he or she can do in the kitchen! There are also a handful of food-related activities written by Maja Pitamic.

You can read a review of the book at and taste a sample of the recipes in this post by my friend and fellow dietitian Elisa Zied.

And don’t fret — there are recipes for Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Chicken Fingers included!

HCG Diet &The Spice of Life

In case you were wondering where my blog posts went at the end of the week, check out two guest posts I wrote. (You may have seen me link to them on Twitter or Facebook.)

HCG Diet

First up, I wrote all about the HCG Diet for The Scoop on Nutrition, my fellow dietitian Emma Stirling’s blog in Australia.

Variety balance moderationNext, in my monthly post on the Sweet Spot Blog, “Variety, Balance, and Moderation are the Spice of Life,” covers the three basic principles of a healthy lifestyle.

I hope you enjoy the posts and feel free to comment here about what you think about the HCG diet and/or how you follow the healthy lifestyle principles.

Have a great weekend!

Mixed Messages

Almost a year ago I wrote about the efforts of the New York City Mayor to reduce the amount of sodium found in restaurant food and in food products (check out the Salt Shakedown post).  This past November the NYC Department of Health unveiled an ad campaign in line with Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to cut the salt. The ads are composed of posters in subway cars that show images of two commonly bought foods that are high in sodium — canned soup and frozen meals. To make the point that these food items are high in sodium, the posters show salt bursting out of the packages and surrounding the food items. Below the image it says: “Many foods pack a lot more salt than you think. Too much salt can lead to heart attack and stroke. Compare labels. Choose less sodium.” (FYI, the ads are in English and Spanish.) Here is what one of the ads looks like:

NYC Department of Health Salt campaign(Source:

My opinion about these ads is mixed, but what is even more mixed is the message that is being sent by posting these ads in the same subway cars that post ads like this one:

sodium in bbq foodThe image is a bit blurry (sorry – phone cameras aren’t the best), but this is an ad for Dallas BBQ, a barbecue restaurant in the city. On the plate is a large piece of cornbread, what looks like half a barbecued chicken breast with skin, half a rack of barbecued ribs, and yellow rice. I would put the sodium content of this plate of food (which is the Chicken and Ribs Combo on the Dallas BBQ menu) at approximately 5,000 mg, well above the 1,500-2,300 mg per day recommendation. (I did send an email to Dallas BBQ asking for the nutrition information and will update you all if I hear back.)

The sodium content of frozen meals varies widely, but the majority fall between 400 mg and 800 mg. Compared to the meal above that doesn’t seem so bad, right? So what message is the Health Department sending when they put these two ads side by side (or across from one another, which is how they were in my subway car the other day)? If you ask me it’s quite a mixed one.

Food Meets Fashion

The following post was written by nutritioulicious™ intern Jo Bartell

As I shared in my intro post, I used to work in fashion, and I hope to combine my career as a dietitian with my love for fashion. Fashion and food have always been among my favorite topics, and lately it seems I’m not alone! Food and fashion are coming together in pop-culture and in Hollywood, where food and restaurants are becoming as trendy and fashionable as the newest clothing designers and runway shows. Chefs are even becoming the newest celebrities.

This concept became even more evident this season at Barney’s New York, where the holiday windows read, “Have a Foodie Holiday.” I went to check out this perfect depiction of the foodie/fashion combination last week and I wanted to share some pictures with you.  Renowned chefs from Julia Child and Jamie Oliver to Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Daniel Boulud, and Bobby Flay are featured this holiday at Barney’s in an elaborate, whimsical display that is undoubtedly attracting attention from fashionistas and foodies near and far.  Enjoy!

holiday windows at barney's

Trail Blazers: Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Jamie Oliver

rachael ray holiday windows at Barney's

Paula Deen & Rachael Ray

daniel boulud holiday windows at Barney's

Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?

Healthy Grilling Segment

July 4th weekend may be over, but there’s plenty of time left for grilling this summer. For some healthy grilling tips and recipe ideas, take a look at the segment I did for Fox 5 Good Day NY Street Talk:

Healthy Summer Grilling

(It’s the 4th segment of the show!)

What are your favorite foods to grill in the summer?

nutritioulicious™ Live on WBAL Baltimore This Sunday

If you live in the Baltimore area, tune in to WBALTV/NBC Weekend Edition tomorrow morning, Sunday April 11th. I’ll be on in the 7 am hour talking about sodium in food. Get ready to take the quiz and see which foods are highest in sodium. Trust me, you’ll be surprised!

For more about sodium, check out my older post Salt Shakedown. And be sure to check back for a rundown of what I talked about on the morning news!

The Freshman 15

Are you in college or heading off to college next fall and are worried about gaining “The Freshman 15”? Don’t be! Check out some of my tips for how to avoid the Freshman 15 in Your Guide to Beating the “Freshman 15” from Mochi Magazine online!