Pamela Ofstein MS, RD, LDN

Consultant Dietitian – Specializing in Corporate, Family, Social, and Clinical Practice

Browsing Posts published by pamela ofstein

 Is there value in DIET to prevent or treat cancer? Healthy diets are important for general well-being. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables continues to be beneficial. Researchers are now investigating the connection of diet’s role during many of the disease states, including cancer. Dietary factors may be looked at as a part of treatment and recovery as well as help conventional cancer therapy and prevent the cancerous cells from spreading to other areas of the body. The focus on physical activity, a heart-healthy diet and weight control seem to be the best defenses to prevent disease and promote a healthy life.

 According to a report issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency of the World Health Organization, being overweight accounts for one-quarter to one-third of cases of breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney and esophageal cancer worldwide.  Research shows that fat cells can act as hormone pumps, secreting hormones and other growth factors into the bloodstream. If someone is overweight, the pumps work overtimes. If the body’s cells are exposed to very high levels of these hormones/growth factors over a long period of time, they tend to reproduce more quickly and this can increase the chances that cancer can find a place to grip onto.

The foundation of a healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains – which in turn contain fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals and more. Researchers aren’t sure which components are responsible for preventing cancer and other diseases, but they do agree that by including these types of foods you are providing your body nutrient-dense foods that are naturally fat-free, low in calories and important component of a weigh-control eating plan. These experts recommend eating a wide variety of plant-based foods in particular.

Incorporating low fat, plant based foods are essential to wellness and disease prevention. Studies have shown low fat diets can reduce the risk of some cancers. For instance, researchers report from the National Cancer Institute Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study that by significantly lowering dietary fat, it may reduce the risk breast cancer recurrences in postmenopausal women treated for early-stage breast cancer. By consuming a diet that is rich in plant food, it seems to avoid excess amounts of high saturated fat foods – leading back to the point of limiting your total fat intake.

What about specific vitamins and minerals? There is no one vitamin or mineral that will prevent disease but there are some studies that show certain nutrients can have an effect on prevention. Folate just happens to be one of them. In a study of the effects of folate on more than 27,000 male smokers between ages 50 – 69, men who consumed about 400 milligrams (the recommended daily allowance) decreased their risk of developing pancreatic cancer in half. Cancer-fighting foods rich in folate include orange juice, spinach, romaine lettuce, dried beans, peanuts, orange, asparagus, cereals and pastas. As you can see, the foods once again listed include your fruits, vegetables, grains and low fat items.

Research suggests that vitamin D, fat-soluble vitamin, may also build protection against cancer by curbing the growth of cancerous cells. A report presented by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) showed a link between reduced breast cancer risk and increased vitamin D intake. It lowered the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 50%.  According to their recommendations, the current RDA of 400 international units may be too low. Higher amounts may actually prove better (~1000 IU) and considered to be safe and have a protective effect. Keep in mind, whole foods work well to get that vitamin D in there – milk, seafood, eggs and good old’ sunshine are good sources of vitamin D.

Tea is another promising source of anti-cancer agents. Tea contains flavoniods, specifically kaempferol, which has been shown to protect against cancer. A study evaluating kaempferol intake of more than 66,000 women showed that those who consumed the most of it had the lowest risk of developing ovarian cancer ovarian cancer. Researcher Margaret Gates, a doctoral candidate at Harvard’sSchool of Public Health, suggests that consuming between 10 milligrams and 12 milligrams daily of kaempferol — the amount found in four cups of tea –offers protection against ovarian cancer. 

Now there are more reasons to include vegetables, specifically cruciferous types (members of the cabbage family like kale, turnip greens, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts). In lab experiments, cruciferous vegetables produced substances producing cancer-killing effects when cut or chewed. Most studies show positive effects in regards to prostate and colon cancers. Interestingly enough, the protective effects of these cruciferous vegetables seem to have more effect when they are cut or chewed – not whole.

 American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention:

  • Eat a variety of healthful foods, with an emphasis on plant sources.
  • Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole grains in preference to processed (refined) grains and sugars.
  • Limit consumption of red meats, especially those high in fat and processed.
  • Choose foods that maintain a healthful weight.
  • Adopt a physically active lifestyle.
  • Adults: engage in at least moderate activity for 30 minutes or more on 5 or more days of the week; 45 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity on 5 or more days per week may further enhance reductions in the risk of breast and colon cancer.
  • Children and adolescents: engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week.
  • Maintain a healthful weight throughout life.
  • Balance caloric intake with physical activity.
  • Lose weight if currently overweight or obese.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption.

Unfortunately there is no one perfect food or nutrient to completely reduce your risk but by combining different foods and behaviors you can reap the biggest health benefits. Overall healthy diet and lifestyle patterns are associated with a decreased risk of disease.

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Thanksgiving – yes it is long gone and so are the winter holidays but I couldn’t let a year go by without the update to The Wishbone Classic! So I am a little late but better late than never and with the upcoming holidays approaching – this can be a tradition for all seasons.

Ready for The Wishbone Classic - Blake Scores!

Basically, holidays are centered on cooking, sitting, and waiting for the yummy food to arrive – then we eat. All those hours of prep are gone in like 20 minutes! But hold that thought when you are planning your next gathering…..it’s time for the OFSTEIN-DAVIDSON family to put a spin on it! 

The 2nd annual Wishbone Classic was hosted (by none other than Susan and Daniel Ofstein out of Miami, Florida).  For those of you who need a refresher, the Wishbone Classic is the coolest Thanksgiving event that combines the ultimate building blocks for any family relationship: friendly competition (well, this is questionable) and smack talk!  You can’t beat that combination!

What is The Wishbone Classic? Forget just getting up on Thanksgiving Day to get your Feed On……those days are over; it’s time get your Game On! This race is run to award The Royal Jiblet trophy to the family unit who crosses the finish line first. Sounds easy? Well, you may be the fastest runner in your family but if your significant other, hubby or kids slow you down (finish last) the trophy is still up for grabs! It is all about teamwork and pushing each other to get moving and improve their endurance and speed.

Bottom line is it’s a race to win the trophy (The Royal Jiblet)! In our case, we started months before prepping everyone for the upcoming event. Who will be the fastest? Who will train the most? Who will begin to run who never had before (that in itself deserves a prize)? What will be the distance? At first, I think most of us thought it was just for fun…..but as the holiday approached, the competition grew. It was awesome……smack talk on facebook….bets on who will win (Shaina? Mencken?)…..this was only just the beginning. The motivation was empowering!

When that trusty day arrived, we were positioned at the starting line and were then….off! Eighteen (we are growing!) of us hit the trail and pushed on to the finish. Some of us started quicker than others, some of us got held back a bit by the little ones (although let me tell you ….do they have endurance!), and others were simply making their mark knowing they completed the task overall.  

Patriarch and Matriarch of the winning family - Dave and Pam

The race was won. The Royal Jiblet trophy was awarded to the winning family AGAIN….did you hear me, AGAIN (mine! Eat that other Ofstein’s!) and the individual winner was my son Blake (now nine!). A single prize goes to the individual winner and the winner takes home The Royal Jiblet – for others to worship and pine for!

What better idea to get a little exercise and fitness into any holiday! I mean it is all about family, but it is sure is fun with a little competition added! Think about it – Passover and Easter are coming……just throwing that out there!

 

It’s that time again for those infamous resolutions and big commitments we plan to conquer this 2012! The big question is what’s on the top of your list? Some of our lists are short while others have a list of resolutions that go on and on (that’s me!). Whether they are about relationships, family, work, hobbies, or overall changes – usually somewhere on that list health and appearance sneak in. Living in the nutrition and diet world daily (can’t help it – I live for it), the New Year is prime time for promises to eat better, exercise more, and looking and feeling good.

Here’s the challenge – each week let’s make it happen and keep checking off those resolutions. For some of us, doing a triathlon might be #1 on our list (number #10 on mine) but for others it might be to start running or bicycling. Either one works! Making resolutions that are a little more challenging (ones that take a bit more dedication) are part of the big picture, but don’t forget the little guys. It’s pretty rewarding when resolutions can easily be accomplished. Small resolutions rock!

Yeah, yeah, you’re THINKing how am I going to stick with even one of those resolutions? Well, you’re reading the right article. Start with your list of top resolutions and add some small ones (i.e. limiting fast food) that can affect your overall health daily; simple stuff that will benefit your health whether your resolution is running a marathon or running up and down your stairs.

Check out the tips below and add to them. Keep up with each tip for a couple of weeks. The longer you do it, the longer it sticks.
Nutrition and Health tips for 2012:

1. Do it every 2-3 hours. Huh? Eat every couple of hours. Love this tip (why it is #1)! Keeps you full, speeds up your metabolism, prevents overeating, and helps keep your blood sugars steady.

2. Make your Cup Skinny. Forget about all the added flavors and twists – go bare. Keep your coffee and tea plain and your calorie soda, make that diet or drink water.

3. Drink Half your Weight in Water. General 64 ounce a day rule still stands but for some we could use more. If you weight 160 lbs, drink at least 80 ounces a day.

4. Keep it Raw. Add veggies and salad to your plate to keep calories low and add nutrients. Skip the other sides.

5. Talk and Walk. Forget about sitting down with the phone, take it outside and walk while you talk (plus you get some free time alone!).

6. Skip Lunch. Well not necessarily. But skip a few of those lunches or dinners with the guys and gals. Too many of those can add calories (and a few more beverages) that you might be trying to limit.

7. Stuff your Bag. Always have something to eat wherever you are; piece of fruit, crackers, veggies, cheese stick, nuts, or health bar. You never know when you might miss a meal and having a quick munch might be what you need to avoid indulging later.

8. Please you’re Sweet Tooth. Skip the dessert and grab a piece of fruit. You can save hundreds of calories by saying no.

9. Play some Funky Music. If you love exercise great, but for some of us it is tougher to get out there. Playing and exercising to your favorite tunes pumps you up and keeps you moving.

10. Be Good to Yourself. Don’t wait for the end of the year to make you feel good. Reward yourself for being YOU. We all love a little something for ourselves and a little pick-me-up can do the trick.

‘Severely obese’ Ohio third-grader taken from family and put into foster care

This one really got me today……as I heard it on the news today as I read it in The Washington Post – not sure what to say about this one. I think we (especially as parents) all have feelings about this headline and the information (well, missing a lot of pieces I think) that comes with it.

A third grader who weighs more than 200 pounds has been taken from his family and placed in foster care after social workers said his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight. As a mom, I can’t imagine my child be taken away ever – and as a health professional I also can’t imagine seeing my child deal with obesity day in and day out – a total catch 22.

A lot of pieces are missing from the story – family history, living situation, resources, etc. – hard to really make legitimate comments. But a couple of things to think about…..it was reported that there was help for the past several months (20 quoted) in the past in terms of resources and education. Just wondering at what level…..hoping (mom talking here) that money, resources, availability to education isn’t what is hindering this child from living a healthier lifestyle – and that the intervention (in terms of offering nutrition professional, mental health professional, doctor, etc) was totally exhausted (questionable) before it got to this point.

Florida is far – but would love to help this child out and work with him – and his family as a whole.

They say you are what you eat. That statement can be scary if we really look at what we eat. Is that hot dog really beef? Is that fruit juice full of vitamin C? Is that American cheese really American – and cheese? The ninth wonder of the world – what is in those foods and how do they last so long? Whether you have kids out there or not, foods like sliced cheese, fruit punch, hot dogs or chicken nuggets have shown up in your household at least once or twice. With school being back in session, it’s that time to focus on what foods were serving.

 

American Cheese Slices – is it really cheese? Yes and no. American cheese is a common processed cheese (pasteurized cheese product) like those old favorites Velveeta or Cheez Wiz (softer versions). Unlike cheese such as Swiss or Cheddar (natural cheese), cheese slices that we use on our burgers or add to our sandwiches are a mixture of pre-made cheeses; sounds okay so far. They are then reheated and blended together, pasteurized, and mixed with an emulsifier so it melts easily and provides a medium-firm consistency. It traditionally started out as a blend of cheeses (Colby and Cheddar) but nowadays most of it is manufactured from a set of ingredients and uses whey protein concentrates in addition to artificial additives, extra salt and food colorings. Now don’t get me wrong, it does offers some advantages over unprocessed, natural cheese: extended shelf-life, it melts smoothly when cooked and does make a great addition to burgers (much more appealing than chunks of cheese melted). Limit it where you can and opt for natural, unprocessed cheese. Next time try handing your kids or you a slice of cheddar cheese instead of the one in the wrapper.

 All-Beef, Turkey, Kosher Hot Dogs – We all grew up thinking hearing stories about these dogs – so what is the difference? Beef hot dogs will run about 150 calories (13 grams of fat) verses a turkey dog with 100-140 calories (>7 grams of fat). Each contains about 6 grams of protein and average about 500 mg or more of sodium per dog (that is one salty dog). When it comes to Beef hot dogs, they must contain only beef with no soybean protein or dry milk solid fillers added. Kosher dogs are all-beef and do not have natural casing (sheep intestine). Items termed frankfurter may contain up to 3.5 percent fillers (use your imagination) and made from a combination of meats. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that meats used for hot dogs must be the same type of quality ground meat sold in supermarkets, sometimes variety meats (livers, etc) can be used; however, these producers of the product must clearly label the product with the statement ‘with variety meats’ or ‘with meat-by-products’. Basically choosing a turkey dog will really only lower the fat in comparison to a beef dog – but with all hot dogs, read the label and note the ingredients.                                                   

 

Chicken Nuggets – Kids love them and of course they do; what other food comes in cool shapes like dinosaurs and funky shapes. Basically there are usually two types of chicken nuggets to buy: whole meat or formed nuggets. The name says it all. Whole meat is just that – whole pieces of chicken with added breading or batter and frozen. Processed or formed nuggets usually contain chicken and trimmings (chicken pieces and/or skin); then mixed with sodium, phosphate and water to bind them together and adding juiciness. A machine can then make it into whatever shape (often dinosaurs) manufactures decide. Many of the processed nuggets have double the calories and high fat and sodium content. Try to pick whole meat nuggets – you form them into your own shapes! 

Foods can be tricky – not always what they seem. Get ahead of the marketing game and read those ingredient labels. Go for the whole foods and stick to the perimeter of the supermarket which is usually your dairy, fresh protein sources and produce (fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables). Focus on few. Opt for products with fewer ingredients; less is more. Remember that the first ingredient is the largest component of that item. Keep it fresh!

Nothing better than raising awareness and raising money for Breast Cancer!

The Glam-a-Thon Rocked out and THINK Magazine did it with Hard Core!

We all know some man or women who has touched our lives either living or has fought for/back with Breast Cancer!

Here’s to a cure and keeping healthy!

 

Those who know me realize that this is a big month for me! I love Halloween! Costumes, kid’s parties, decorating, and candy – treats everywhere. Everywhere I go there is candy and goodies all around – the stores, fall events, school functions and even your colleague’s desk!


How can you avoid the goodies this time of year? Here are a few of my tricks to keep your candy and goodie intake under wraps!
– Don’t buy candy yet – sounds like a no brainer but probably one of the easiest ways to avoid nibbling. If it isn’t in site, you won’t have the temptation to indulge. As I walked through the store yesterday and saw some tempting treats, I thought let me hold off a week or so to buy my stock.

– Surround yourself with the Alternatives – If you want to have a bowl or items or things around that are Halloween-ish (not really a word!) for yourself, the kids, workers, etc., opt for healthier foods like sugar-free gum, nutrition bars, pretzels, popcorn, yogurt covered raisins.

– Decorate – Hey, decorating doesn’t add any calories. Liven up the place a bit wherever you are (inside or out) and create a festive environment. Not only will you not tack on calories, but you may just burn a bit more doing the work!

– Treat your self – okay, so you want to have a piece of candy. Then do it! Just keep it to one piece (all about moderation) and pick lower calorie, healthier options if possible (is there such a thing?). Try a piece of dark chocolate (antioxidants) or a lower fat item like a tootsie roll…..

Don’t forget some of the tasty alternatives to Halloween eating, like the following:
• Roasted pumpkin seeds
• Caramel dipped fruit (use a “light” caramel dip)
• Fresh fruit with a low-fat yogurt dip (a crowd pleaser that satisfies a sweet tooth with a punch of vitamins!)
• Sandwich cutouts (use Halloween cookie cutters to make mini turkey and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches)
• Low fat cheese fondue with fruit and pretzels for dippers
• Hot apple cider

Happy Halloween – whhhhaaahhhhaaaaa!

Hear ye, hear ye. Listen up all you men, women and children out there. This is the time of year we get a fresh start and promise to make changes (big or small) to improve our lives. Something health related always seems to fall in there some where. We ask ourselves what we can do to make a change and a part of our lifestyle. There are a lot of places to begin and sometimes the simple things can often be the ones we don’t include. Food, food, food……what could be better than that! Making sure you are eating some of those key super foods will get you started in the right direction this year. If you can make one change in 2008, include the foods below to help keep you younger and healthier! It can be effortless!

The ancient (or not so ancient) secrets of eating well:

Yogurt
Why you should eat it? Yogurt is rich in calcium and helps to prevent osteoporosis. Our bones are important and keep you intact! It also contains good bacteria that help to maintain gut health and lower the incidence of intestinal illness throughout the life cycle.
Ways to eat it: Out of the container of course! But also mix some whole fruits or nuts in it for added nutrition and taste. Substitute it in for some recipes that call for creams or sauces.

Prunes
Why you should eat it? They are a good laxative. They are healthy for young and old. Just think of them as dried plums (sounds better). They are rich in iron and potassium and high in fiber.
Ways to eat it: Fresh or right out of the package. You can always stew them but for some that isn’t as appealing. You can add them to recipes like baked goods or use them in sauces (pot roasts) or excellent for a snack (great for work and on the go).

Cabbage
Why you should eat it? Not only does it taste good, but is very low in calories. It is one of the dark green leafy vegetables we are always talking about and is a good source of vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene and potassium. Cabbage contains glucosinolates which have been shown to reduce cancer.
Ways to eat it: Some like it raw or in slaws (Cole or Asian style). Add it to your salads and sandwiches. Cook it in boiling water till it softens and it is a great vegetable side dish to any protein source. Add it to soups or stew for extra flavor and nutrients.

Pomegranate Juice
Why you should eat it? It is an excellent source of vitamin C and super rich in antioxidants. Pomegranate juice has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors, improving blood flow and helps fight prostate cancer.
Ways to eat it: Go for the 100% pure juice (no added sugars). Simply drink it up or add it to beverages or recipes. It is perfect with a little seltzer and gives it that little hint of red!
Fatty Fish
Why you should eat it? Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring) is an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids (fats) which help to keep your heart healthy and can prevent cholesterol buildup in your arteries. Those omega-3 fatty acids are important to brain function and also have anti-inflammatory properties. There’s a lot of research that states native Alaskans have a lower risk of heart disease.
Ways to eat it: You can always grill, bake or broil them up fresh or freeze the fillets and defrost for the meal. Don’t always go for the traditional, serve as a sandwich, cut up and add to your salad or make a wrap (add some lettuce, tomatoes, rice, etc.).

Berries or Cherries
Why you should eat it? Because they are full of antioxidants and help to fight off those free radicals and full of vitamin C. They are delicious to eat and have been shown to improve both learning capacity and motor skills in animal studies (I’ll take any help I can get!).
Ways to eat it: Raw, fresh or frozen; any way you eat them they are good. Add them to yogurt (now we are talking -two good foods) or make a smoothie. You can add or mix them to anything – deserts, baked items, salads,

Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes
Why you should eat it? They are as rich in nutrients as their colors! Red-orange vegetables are loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene (antioxidants) that will help preserve healthy skin cells and prevent oxidation from the sun.
Ways to eat it: Any way you like. Raw is delicious for all but sweet potatoes. Add them to salads or use them to stir-fry. Cook them as side dishes or add them to any dish (sauces, stews, soups); you can always grill them.

Some of the others, not to be discounted of course, include nuts, olive oil, whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, cinnamon, pomegranate juice, seeds (pumpkin seeds), wine and dark chocolate (in moderation of course). Add these foods to your daily routine and you are one step closer to keeping your body healthier, longer!

 

Great article about my favorite ROCK star – Bret Michaels and Diabetes! Written by me of course -

 Read on……………..

http://healthnews.ediets.com/health-topics/diabetes/diabetes-eating-and-staying-fit-like-a-rock-star.html

Bret Michaels

As we near the end of summer, it’s time to get ready for another school year.  Days ago we were prepping for camp and packing swim bags, sports gear and camp junk. What many of us enjoy during the summer months is the freedom from packing lunches. Of course, if you’re like me with too many little ones, there is no break yet. But, for most of you out there, I have heard some relief – no more lunches for summer.

Not your typical lunch recommendation - hey, it was summer at Fenway!

Not your typical lunch recommendation - hey, it was summer at Fenway!

But as the school year approaches, once again is the time to ask the aged old question, what am I going to pack for lunch? Who says finding what to bag up for lunch is easy. It can get stressful. Well, maybe not that stressful – but it sure can be frustrating. To come up with new ideas and selections while limiting the same old picks isn’t always easy. Now most of us become creatures of habit (young and old) and don’t stray too far from the norm (eating the same breakfast day in and day out) but we do want some variety here and there. Making lunch healthy, taste great, and something to look forward to is fun for kids …..Adults too!

What can I pack my kids for lunch that they will eat? Not that easy to answer – tough even with my own kids. There is the option to buy school lunch, but many of us choose to send it from home. Whether you brown bag it, use a lunch box or tote it, it’s all about packing what they will eat. What do they like? What will they eat? How do they like there food served? Some basic questions that might help make the process of picking out lunch foods smoother. Perfect example is my son….. I packed a whole apple two days in a row for lunch (he loves them) but it kept coming back. I asked… ‘You don’t like apples?’ He told me that he liked them but didn’t eat it. The next day (determined to try again) I asked if he wanted me to cut it up. He said yes and he ate it that day. Sometimes it is the little things – like the way food is presented that works.

So let’s think out of the box. Keep these things in mind when packing that next lunch:

  1. Pack a Rainbow of Colors (studies show color increases consumption)
  2. Pick different Shapes or make shapes (cookie cutters for sandwiches, cool kitchen tools)
  3. Variety (the more the merrier)
  4. Cut Food up (kids eat more often when in bit size pieces)
  5. Pick a item from each Food Group (easy way to get the foods you need: veggie, fruit, grain,  protein, dairy)
  6. Let them help you pack (trust me, they will tell you if they don’t like the food – then you know they like what is packed)
  7. Portion it all out (portioned servings; keeps serving sizes in check)
  8. Go Green (pack in reusable containers; steel water bottles; etc.)
  9. Sneak in a small Treat (they will love you for it; bit size chocolate or cookie does the trick)

Now on to the big stuff you really want to know – what to pack. Pick a few items or combine and send them packing:

  1. Whole fruit, fruit cups and applesauce (in natural juice)
  2. Cut up carrots or any vegetable with side of dressing
  3. Peanut butter with some raisins or cut up apples
  4. Cheese sticks (low fat) or cut up cheese slices (do it yourself)
  5. Yogurt cups or yogurt on-the-go items (trick: freeze to keep them even colder)
  6. Cottage cheese cups (already portioned out)
  7. Sandwiches on whole grain bread, tortillas, pita pockets – tuna, egg salad, deli meat, pb&j (great sandwich cutters out there in shapes – just bought dinosaurs and hearts at Ross!)
  8. Think Meatless (Hummus or cheese on a tortilla; almond or apple butter on crackers)
  9. Bagels, waffles, pancakes (they aren’t just for breakfast)
  10. Roll ups – deli meat with cheese in the middle (alternative to a sandwich and kids love them)
  11. Chicken finger strips – cut up left over chicken (at dinner, make a few extra pieces and use next day)
  12. Pretzels, whole wheat crackers, rice cakes (we call them popcorn cakes), or baked tortilla chips
  13. Dried cereal/fruit mix (make your own -whole grain cereal mixed with dried fruit)
  14. Snack bars – avoid the hydrogenated oils
  15. Low fat pudding (yummy)
  16. Pizza slices – leftovers are great to pack (we all have eaten cold pizza at some point!)
  17. Homemade Lunchables – cut up chicken or roll up deli meat; add crackers; cut up cheese; and a piece of fruit and a bit size piece of dark chocolate!
  18. Water, water, water!

Final tip or suggestion – throw a note or message in the bag…….when it is made with love, it makes all the difference. The smile on their face is priceless!