Category Archives: nutrition

tips to satisfy your ‘snack tooth’

maria thomas popsguest blogger: vancouver dietitian maria thomas dishes expert tips to satisfy your mid-day snack cravings 

it’s two hours after lunch and you have that feeling in your stomach…you’re hungry, but it’s not quite dinner time! there are tons of healthier options to help fight that mid-afternoon snack craving that still taste great! lucky for you, i’m here to help! mid-afternoon snacking doesn’t have to ruin your day. in fact, if done right, it can set you up to eat less at dinner and go to bed without feeling stuffed. here are some of my top tips to help guide your afternoon snacking on a fun and successful path:

why should we snack? (besides the fact that snacking is fun!) i’m a huge fan of snacks. i had a client tell me once that when they wait too long to eat, they enter a mood that they affectionately termed “hangry” = hungry + angry.

i could relate because this same thing happens to me when i get so busy and caught up working that  before i know it, i look at my watch, and its 2pm and i’m famished.  so, in addition to helping curb appetite, stabilize metabolism so your body is better at burning calories and of course fat, it can also help keep you from getting “hangry”

what mid-afternoon snacks do you love? when i’m working from home i like a small handful of nuts and a piece of fruit, or a piece of toast with peanut butter, or sliced peppers and celery with hummus.

when i’m at the office my go-to snacks are a lara bar or a banana or apple (because they travel pretty easily) and some pumpkin seeds. if i’m there all day, i’ll throw in some greek yogurt!

what is a good snack for the always-on-the-go? i’m a fan of fresh fruit or a healthy granola! the trick is to find one that is higher in both protein and fibre and then you’ve hit the jackpot! it will be ketchup popchipsperfect for helping curb appetite and keeping cravings at bay.

when i’m out and about running errands and need something fast, i don`t necessarily want to buy a box of granola bars from a grocery store, and buying yogurt requires that i also have a spoon, plus a spot to sit and eat it. trust me- eating yogurt while driving is pretty much out of the question (yes, i’m saying this from experience!)

this is when you might be tempted to grab a bag of chips, but don`t succumb to a bag of full fat, deep-fried potato chips with 400+ calories with and enough sodium to blow your daily limit two fold, not to mention the extra hour you’ll have to workout on the treadmill to burn it off.  this is when grabbing something like a single-serve bag of popchips is perfect (and you must try their yummy new ketchup popchips)! a small bag only has about 100 calories, and you’ll recognize everything in the list of ingredients!

what if i can’t tell if i’m hungry or just bored? what do i do!  so often we eat for reasons other than being actually hungry. if you can’t tell if you’re actually hungry or bored, before you grab something from the fridge, local cafe or the vending machine, wait a few minutes. a trick is to focus your energy and attention on something else for 5 minutes – whether that is sending an email or going to speak with a colleague or going for a 5 minute walk. basically, give yourself a 5 minute distraction. if that little distraction takes your mind off the food and you forget about it, it wasn’t hunger! another tip, is if you are thirsty, you may actually think you are hungry, when you are not.  before reaching for a bite, have a few sips of water-that might be all it takes to curb those cravings.

what’s one snack you must have in the pantry at all times? one snack i must have in the pantry is popcorn. it’s easy, fast and actually whole grain! i recently had popcorn with black pepper on it-to my surprise it was so yummy!

hungry for more?  click here to get maria’s free snack list “10 healthy snacks to curb your cravings!”

why maria thomas pops: whether on camera or behind the scenes for hit tv shows the last 10 pounds bootcamp, bulging brides, village on a diet, entertainment tonight canada or the steven and chris show, or working with clients helping them achieve their health and wellness goals, vancouver-based registered dietitian maria thomas, owner of www.cutmycholesterol.com, a 4 week online weight loss and heart health program, and  www.urbannutrition.com is fast becoming recognized as one of canada’s leading health experts. follow her on twitter @marianutrition and facebook at facebook.com/urbannutrition for awesome nutrition tips!

canadian popchips flavours

put some super in your bowl

guest blogger: manuel villacorta, nationally recognized registered dietitian & owner of mv nutrition center in san francisco

tortilla.championchipfootball sunday has become a sacred day in america, and is often welcomed with nearly as much food as thanksgiving.  you can easily pack over 2,200 calories on snacks alone! with all the days excitement and activity it is easy to over consume and let your inhibitions down. here are some practical tips to help you enjoy football’s biggest day without making your waistline grow!

am i going to tell you to stop eating? no! we are going to focus on harm reduction. promote less harm by including these types of snacks for the big game:

say hola tortilla and adios guilt. the u.s. calorie control council estimates that americans pack tortilla salsaaway 11 million pounds of chips during sunday’s big game. replace your traditional fried tortilla chips with tortilla popchips. this simple switch will reduce your calorie and fat intake without sacrificing the flavor.

meet your newest salsa partner:  volume is key to a game changing guacamole. try adding pico de gallo salsa (fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro) and add it to your guacamole. the result will be ranch tortilla popchips a hearty and delicious dip that is lower in calories and fat. pair with salsa tortilla popchips.

the coolest cream of the crunch: switch up your ranch wing dip. chicken wings are always hot item on the menu, but it’s easy to overdo it with the high fat dressings and dips.  get cool by making an alternative dip full of flavor and low in fat. mix 1 cup greek yogurt with 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. nacho cheese tortilla popchipsolive oil, and 1-2 tbsp. fresh dill (or herb of your choice).  pair with ranch tortilla popchips.

a nacho above the rest: add this cilantro bean dip to your party spread; or spread it on top of chips to create a super nacho platter.  it is simple and sure to be a hit! blend 2 cans tortilla popchips black bean dipof drained black beans, 3 tbsp. black bean juice from can, 2 tbsp. lime juice, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. cilantro paste, and a pinch of salt. pair with nacho tortilla popchips.

new tortilla popchips are available at your local mollie stone’s market.  head over to facebook.com/molliestonesmarkets to find out how you can win a popchips snack pack for the big game!

 

manuel villacortawhy manuel pops: manuel villacorta is a nationally recognized registered dietitian owner of, mv nutrition, an award winning nutrition center in san francisco. he is the creator and author of eating free: the carb friendly way to lose inches. he is a health contributor for huffington post, fox news latino and univison.

eating freemy nutrition

stress-free energy for 2013

lisa dorfmanguest blogger: lisa dorfman, ms, rd, cssd, lmhc—performance nutritionist

the new year is all about resolutions—solutions to unresolved dietary detours you’ve taken in the past which has kept you from reaching your personal best in health, sport and life. one resolution echoed by millions of men and women from year to year is to manage the stress in their lives.

energy = less stress. in my 5th book, performance nutrition for tackling stress (momentum media 2013) i stress the value of getting enough carb fuel to survive the “hurdles of everyday life”! carbohydrates, also known as sugars, are the easiest form of fuel your body can use for a quick energy source. easy energy means less stress for your body—for digestion, metabolism and storage. regardless of the negative propaganda you hear from low carb diet advocates, your brain, nerve cells, and muscles can’t thrive without a daily dose of carbs!

complex carbohydrates. 99% of the carbs you find in popchips are best for stress-free energy.  complex carbs provide a slow, steady energy source to last you longer than simple carbs which are mostly sugars. fiber found in many of the complex carbs like 100% whole grains, vegetable and fruits, brown rice, beans and peas contribute to the slow speed of digestion. complex carbs are gluten-free popchipsstored in the muscles and liver, called glycogen and can be used for energy now and in the long run. the world health organization (who), a branch of the united nations, and most health guidelines recommend that almost everyone can benefit by eating the majority of your calories, at least 50% from a rich complex carbohydrate diet.

gluten free = stress free. gluten is the protein found in wheat products like pasta, cereals, crackers, cookies and cakes but can also include foods that have wheat like marinades, cheese sauce, vitamins and even snack foods like pretzels. if you can’t eat whole grains from wheat you’re not alone. gluten intolerance affects 1 in every 133 men and women in the us. it may be caused by hereditary factors, and triggered by stress, surgery or infections. those who are gluten sensitive have “stressful” side effects like diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, anemia, chronic fatigue, weakness, bone pain, and muscle cramps when they eat foods with gluten. fortunately, snacks like popchips are also gluten free!

getting a dose of daily carbs also keeps your blood sugars in check. when you’re stressed you need more carb energy to fight or flight the stress. your body rushes carbs to the muscles so you popchips nutrition factscan deal with the stress. the challenge is that during stress your body shuts down the gut to accommodate the extraordinary energy needs of the rest of your body. if you lose your appetite or forget to eat, you’ll hit an energy deficit & crash! that’s why a single serving of popchips provides just the amount of energy and electrolytes like sodium and potassium to keep your muscles moving until you’ll have time to sit & enjoy a home cooked meal once again.

so this new year, resolve to fuel with stress free energy and enjoy happy, healthy and peaceful times with your loved ones, families and friends.

hungry for more from the sunshine state? follow @popchipsFL and find popchips at your local target, whole foods, publix and fresh market.

lisa dorfman, ms, rd, cssd, lmhc, known nationally as “the running nutritionist®” is director of the graduate program in nutrition in the department of kinesiology & sports sciences at the university of miami, & personal nutritionist to olympian, elite & professional athletes worldwide. a former pro triathlete & competitor in over 34 marathons (pr 2:52:32), ironman usa, & hundreds of multisport races including the 2004 long distance duathlon world championships for team usa, lisa has been featured on dateline, 20/20, cnn, espn, fox, msnbc, designing spaces, e & local & international news & appears in dozens of publications monthly as a health expert. lisa’s programs & five books including her latest performance nutrition for tackling stress (momentum media, 2013) is available worldwide at www.foodfitness.com, & www.healthymiami.com along with delicious recipes, restaurant reviews & cutting edge info on food, fitness & enhancing overall health.

my tour of popchips

guest blogger: ashley pettit, nutritionist, fitness chef, personal trainer.

ashley pettit at popchipsbeing a nutritionist, recommending commercial products can be tough, so when i invited to make the trek from the midwest to the los angeles based popchips facility to take a tour and learn how my favorite snack chip is made, i jumped at the chance.  being able to peek behind the curtain and see just how your food is made can make the difference between being a product advocate or an opponent.

wearing my mandated, but adorable white smock (like a lab coat for good chip makers,) hairnet, safety glasses, and gloves, i was ready to walk through the step-by-step process of air-popping these multi-flavored potato and tortilla chips.

first up, we saw the popping in action on their multi-dimensional potato and tortilla chip “popper”  that delivers tons of pressure to make the airy taste and texture you get from the product. there’s no oil used in the popping process, all that’s added is a little bit of all-natural safflower and/or sunflower oil into the flavorful blend of seasonings at the end. then, we were able to taste the freshly popped chips and watch the in-depth quality control process.

the quality control is fantastic to see — handpicking the broken chips, the “ugly” duckling chips that just don’t look good enough for your bag, and taste testing to make sure the flavoring is well rounded — they stop at nothing to make sure you get the best product possible.

popchips' operations teamhowever, the employee culture and happiness of the workers was what made me walk away with an even bigger smile on my face. (well, that and the massive box of chips of all flavors we walked away with!)

the way you make something truly dictates its taste and quality as a food.  when it comes to popchips, i am able to say i am 100% confident that they are made in a naturally delicious, first-rate way to give you a flavorful, light snack.

one bag, 100 calories, air-popped (not baked nor fried)-these little suckers definitely mean more to me now! stock up your refrigerator and try some ashley pettit living dips with your favorite popchips flavor!

ashley pettit headshotashley w. pettit is a nutrition and physical fitness expert.  she received her ba degree in english and journalism from miami university in oxford, ohio, and attained her master’s degree in holistic nutrition (mshn) from clayton college of natural health.   she is a certified nutrition coach (cnc), licensed through venice nutrition, a certified wellness & nutrition consultant (cwnc), a certified fitness chef (cfc) and a certified metabolic typing advisor (cmta).   

eating well at holiday parties

guest blogger: jennifer shea rawn ms, mph, rd shaw’s and star market health and nutrition expert

'tis the season to be snackingwith all the holiday cheer and festive comfort food abounding this season, it’s easy to let your healthy lifestyle slip. but…hold on, not so fast! those of you who want to keep your svelte waistline through the holidays without much sacrifice, read on. for the rest of you, we’ll chat in january.

here are some easy tips to help you stick to your goals while still enjoying the great holiday parties:

  • eat. before you arrive at the party. enjoy a handful of nuts, cup of soup or carrots and hummus before you arrive to lessen the likelihood of overindulging. arrive at the party starving and all self-constraint bets are off.
  • alternate the booze. if you will be having more than 1 alcoholic drink, alternate 1 drink of alcohol with 1 glass of sparkling seltzer water. the result will be fewer calories consumed and a happier you in the morning. and, as always, drink responsibly.
  • hang out by the crunch. instead of chatting near the chicken wings, pigs in a blanket and swedish meatballs, hang out by the veggie crudite platter. better yet, offer to bring that to the party and choose your favorite veggies and popchips to circle a hummus or greek yogurt dip.   all your veggie, popchips, hummus and greek yogurt dip needs are available at your neighborhood shaw’s and star market.
  • there is room for indulgence! just remember, a minute on your lips…well, you know the rest. fill your plate mainly with lower-calorie vegetables and lean protein. then enjoy small “tastes” of more indulgent dishes.
  • one bite rule. choose only your favorite dessert but go small in your portion size and savor every bite. and follow the one bite rule – if the first bite doesn’t taste good, neither will the 2nd…or the 10th.
  • family and friends trump food. focus on the people more than the food. since you didn’t arrive starving to the party, i’m assuming you can handle this part.
  • sweat. not at the party, but the next day. get in a low-key workout in and sweat. go for a walk outside or a bundle-up winter hike. the fresh new england air will work wonders for your post holiday party drag. plus you’ll burn off some of the extra bites you took last night.

happy holidays! and cheers to a healthy, happy 2013.

jenny sheajennifer shea rawn ms, mph, rd is a leading health and nutrition communications expert and registered dietitian. rawn is a member of the academy of nutrition and dietetics, the rhode island dietetic association and the food and culinary dietitians practice group. in 2009, jennifer was awarded the women of influence in the food industry award by the griffin report of food marketing. rawn’s passion for health and wellness has led her to positions as media expert, health and nutrition expert, public speaker and consultant. jennifer is currently the retail east dietitian for supervalu where she covers the supermarket chains of shaw’s and star market, farm fresh, shoppers and acme markets on the east coast. 

find more tips from jenny on eating well on the shaw’s facebook page, and follow jenny on twitter @jennyshea and pinterest @jennyeshea.

shaw's and star market

chef aaron sanchez dishes fall football recipes

to celebrate another delicious season for snacking, we teamed up with “iron chef america” and “chopped” star, chef aaron sanchez, to create four exclusive fall tailgating dishes that were specially designed to be paired with one of our four new tortilla popchips flavors…

grilled chicken cemitas and garlic-chipotle love with salsa tortilla popchips

these hulking sandwiches are like mexican subs — overstuffed with all sorts of goodness, bursting with flavor, and topped with a mind-blowingly delicious sauce of roasted garlic pureed with smoky chipotles. have a lot of napkins on hand! salsa tortilla popchips bring a crispy counterpoint to all the juicy sandwich fillings and a bright flavor that can withstand everything going on inside that bun. (makes 4 servings)

for the chipotle love sauce:

  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt

for the cemitas:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ripe haas avocado
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 cemita rolls or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup refried beans, warmed (from 1 15-ounce can)
  • 8 ounces oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • sliced ripe tomato
  • thinly sliced lettuce
  • fresh cilantro leaves

1. make the chipotle love:  in a dry medium heavy nonreactive sauce pot place oil and garlic cloves and cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes till garlic has browned and become soft. remove from oven and allow to cool. then place remaining ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree till a smooth paste.

2. prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high.

3. split each chicken breast in half horizontally and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. pound each breast half until it’s one-quarter inch thick (if you don’t have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.

4. mash the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt, and warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.

5. grill the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. set aside and keep warm. split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown, about a minute.

6. to assemble each sandwich, spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. top with a chicken breast, then spoon on a quarter of the refried beans. divide the cheese among the sandwiches, and top with tomato, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. drizzle on a generous amount of chipotle love and top with the remaining bun half. cut each sandwich in half before serving.

ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips

usually the fish in a ceviche is trimmed into large chunks, but for scooping up this tangy-sweet version with brightly flavored and spicy chili limón tortilla popchips, i’ve trimmed the fish into small cubes, 1/4- to 1/2-inch in size. the result not only makes a ceviche that’s perfect for scooping, but also a speedy version that “cooks” in the fresh lime juice in less than an hour. (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 pound fresh halibut filets (or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as haddock, red snapper or sea bass), diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 8 to 10 limes)
  • 1 fresh red serrano chili, seeds discarded, chili thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small mango, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. in a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, serrano and salt. cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. the fish cubes will “cook” in the lime juice until they are opaque.

2. half an hour before serving, stir the mango, scallion, cilantro and olive oil into the ceviche. cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. serve with chili limón tortilla popchips for scooping up the ceviche.

crab dip with ranch tortilla popchips

sweet and delicate crabmeat in a creamy sauce with a dash of lime highlights the tanginess of ranch tortilla popchips. the buttermilk in the dip echoes the buttermilk flavor of classic ranch, and the jalapeno offers color and bite. while fresh crabmeat is always delicious, this recipe works equally well with frozen. (makes 6 servings)

  • 1  8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno, finely minced
  • 1 pound lump crab meat, picked over, any shells discarded
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 1-quart baking dish.

2. in a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise with an electric mixer on medium speed. blend in the buttermilk, lime juice and salt until the mixture is smooth.

3. using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the crabmeat. turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. bake for 30 minutes, until the mixture is golden and bubbling.

4. sprinkle with the cilantro and scallion and serve warm with ranch tortilla popchips to scoop up the dip.

all-beef chile colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips

a tex-mex style chili is all about the meat—and the chilies. layering the different types of chilies adds depth and a rich heartiness, a perfect foil for nacho cheese tortilla popchips, which become a crunchy base for each bowlful. throw a handful in each bowl and ladle on a generous scoop of the meaty chili. a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese echoes the flavor of each chip and makes this a real meal. (makes 6 servings)

  • 6 guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 6 fresh tomatillos, papery skins peeled off
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grated sharp cheddar

1. in a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the guajillo chilies on each side for 30 seconds, until just softened. put them immediately in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them to cover. soak for 15 minutes.

2. in the same dry skillet, toast the tomatillos and garlic, turning several times until the vegetables have softened slightly and the exteriors have brown marks, 3 to 4 minutes. discard the paper skins on the garlic.

3. put the guajillo chilies in a blender with the soaking water, the tomatillos, the peeled garlic, and the chipotle chilies in adobo. pulse to make a smooth puree.

4. in a large stewpot over medium heat, cook the onions until softened and just turning golden, 6 to 7 minutes. add the ground beef and cook through, breaking it up with a spoon as you cook, about 10 minutes.

5. add the pureed chilies and tomatillos, the tomatoes, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, loosely covered, until the deep orange-red sauce is thick. you may need to add a little more water, but take it easy. the finished chili should not be too wet.

6. taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. for each serving, put a handful of nacho cheese tortilla popchips in the bottom of a bowl and ladle a serving of chili on top. scatter with a handful of cheese and eat at once.

these recipes are perfect for upgrading your tailgating spread, spicing up a happy hour and for enjoying at home during the fall.

hungry for more? follow @popchips and @chefaaron on twitter!

down. set. snack!

popvp’s taste test: popchips sushi

two words you might not necessarily pair at first glance, popchips and sushi actually go together…

years ago, my brother took me to a sushi restaurant in manhattan that blew my mind.  not only was the sushi high quality, but each piece was an innovative, delectable work of art.

i particularly remember the chef crushing potato chips on top of one piece of sushi and serving it to me from behind the counter with a smirk on his face.  i had never seen anything like it, but once i tasted it, oh yes, it made total sense.  the salty crunch was the perfect compliment to the cool fish.  yum.

inspired by this experience, i’m letting you in on my secret lunchtime creation.  by crushing popchips on top of store bought sushi,  an everyday lunch is elevated into something a little outside the box and totally satisfying.

today, it’s thai sweet chili popchips on top of my crab california roll, but the possibilities are endless.  chili lime popchips on top of a shrimp tempura roll.  jalapeno popchips on top of a yellowtail brown rice roll.  salt & pepper popchips on top of a cucumber roll. so many combinations – my mouth is watering already.

so try it – and tweet me what you like to combine with popchips for a little lunchtime creativity…

back to school lunchbox ideas

guest blogger: azmina govindji rd, consultant nutritionist & award-winning dietitian

hi, i’m azmina and i’ve been popping for the last few months in my role as the uk nutritionist for popchips. my work is very varied  – i could be conjuring up culinary delights using the latest herbs and spices one day, talking to a journalist about some crazy fad diet the next, and then i might be off on a plane to speak at an international health conference.

for me it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle while i cope with all the pressures of work and family life (i have two kids, run my own business and lead a global nutrition website committee in my spare time…).

i believe there’s a place for every food and that you can enjoy the tastiest snacks as part of a healthy balanced routine, no matter how busy you are. this month, i’m concentrating on school lunches.

lunchtime is an opportunity to give your kids an energy boosting and healthy meal that will keep them going till they get home. one of the best ways to start children off with a balanced attitude to food is to involve them in the shopping experience and in the preparation of their meals.

here are a few basics for healthier lunchboxes:

  1. let’s start with the carbs. ask your child to choose from a variety of breads – like wholegrain, granary, or white breads enriched with fibre or seeds.
  2. then think about a protein for the filling – try eggs, low fat soft cheese, turkey or chicken breast slices, canned tuna or salmon.
  3. ensure you make the most of the juicy and colourful fruits and veggies on offer. you could pop a few seedless grapes or a chunk of cucumber into their lunch box. mix some sweet corn with a tuna sandwich filling.
  4. a lunchbox that only has super-healthy foods in it risks being too boring to be eaten, so when you’ve got the basis of your lunchbox right, you could on occasions include a lower calorie treat, like popchips or a couple of jaffa cakes.
  5. remember that fluid is needed to avoid dehydration and it can help your child to concentrate at school. so add some water, diluted squash or a small serving of unsweetened fruit juice.
  6. add a portion of dairy food. this can be a slice of cheese about the size of a small matchbox, or a pot of yogurt. dairy foods provide calcium, which is especially important for children because it helps them to grow strong bones. choose lower fat varieties to help cut down on saturated fats.

taking a little time to plan and prepare those lunchboxes could help your child focus at school and be less tired at the end of the day. until next time…happy popping!

azmina  is a mum with a passion for good food, fun and friendship. underneath that softer side lies a busy professional – she’s an award-winning registered dietitian and nutritionist, known in the uk for her no-nonsense simple tips and realistic outlook on healthy lifestyles. she is a national media spokesperson for the british dietetic association (so the press like her) and was itv’s this morning nutritionist from 2006 to 2007 and has appeared on bbc’s the one show, watchdog and the wright stuff: http://bit.ly/azminashowreel. she now works as a consultant nutritionist to itv’s lorraine show and as an expert for various food companies and organisations.azmina has written over a dozen books including the best-selling gi plan, the hot body plan, diabetes uk’s the diabetes weight loss diet, and weight watcher’s millennium cookbook. her lively personality and down-to-earth approach help her to communicate scientific dietary principles using everyday practical language. she believes that healthy food can be tasty and is on a mission to help spread this philosophy. find azmina here: facebook, twitter, website.