Zesty BBQ Chicken Legs

The staple of any backyard party is great BBQ chicken and we have a great recipe right here.  You can use any pieces of chicken (thighs, breast, tenders, etc.), but make sure that you check each piece for 'doneness' using a meat thermometer in the thickest section. We chose chicken…
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Dietitian's Tip of the Month

Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil: Why BOTH Can Play Nicely In Your Kitchen.

While Dr. Oz continues to tout the health benefits of coconut oil, the American Heart Association argues otherwise. The contradicting advice is confusing to say the least.

Why Coconut Oil?

The fats in our diet are made up of fatty acids linked together into chains, similar to the classic plastic chain links found in nearly every toybox. The length of these chains vary depending on the type of fat, ranging in categories from short to very long. Coconut oil falls into the medium group. Why does size matter? The size largely impacts where and when in the digestive process that this fat will be broken down and how well it will be absorbed into our system. The shorter size of coconut oil is thought to be less absorbed than that of other saturated fats such as butter. 

While I have not come across the science supporting this idea in great length, what I have learned is that the type of saturated fat found in coconut oil does not raise our lousy LDL cholesterol levels to the same degree that saturated fats from animals (butter, lard, red meat) do. This is surely why the American Heart Association has yet to change their stance on these tasty tropical oils. With the majority of the American population battling high cholesterol and other heart health issues, health experts are not quite ready to recommend the addition of yet another saturated fat to our diet. 

Why Olive Oil?

Olive oil remains atop the leaderboards in the race of healthy fats. One of the all-star oils of the Mediterranean Diet, the most highly accredited diet worldwide (along with the DASH diet). And the science is overflowing with support for this rich oil.

  • Made of unsaturated fats which help to boost our healthy HDL cholesterol levels
  • Filled with antioxidants (especially extra virgin olive oil) which help to fight off the inflammation in our body
  • Health benefits whether cooked or served chilled on salad

There is Certainly Room For Both.

We stock both types in our kitchen (along with sesame, flax and canola). 

I keep the olive oil at the ready for our morning French Toast, midday sweet potato fries, or the roasted chicken and veggies the evening may bring. This oil fits the bill! But if I am preparing no-bake cookies or attempting to bring a slightly unique flavor to our stirfry, I will opt for the coconut oil. 

As one of the annoying things dietitians everywhere are preaching, “all foods fit”.

The way I see it, olive oil is numero uno in the field of fats. Butter and lard are towards the bottom of that list. And coconut oil is somewhere in the middle. Therefore if butter is your frequent flying fat of choice, coconut oil would be a great switch for you! However, if you tend to stick with olive or canola oil, keep on keeping on (your heart and brain will thank you!). 

Though for the coconut lovers everywhere, remain hopeful! This trendy ingredient hit supermarket shelves only recently. The saturated fat found in chocolate was once demonized as a contributor to heart disease, yet is now believed to be safe. 

What we do know is that unsaturated fats (think those made from plants, nuts, seeds, olives and fatty fish) are heart healthy. Aim to include these in your diet instead of those made of saturated fats (butter, lard, coconut or palm oil) or trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils).

For more information on how to incorporate healthy fats into your family’s diet, visit choosemyplate.gov.

Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN

Resident MommyRD

Have Q’s? Let me know on Twitter or IG

Romano Baked Tomatoes

American Heart Assoication- Baked Tomatoes medium

Summer tomatoes are here! Whether you grow them yourself or purchase them from your local market, tomatoes are a great way to add color to any dish. And as tomatoes are often a universal ingredient for kids (ketchup, marinara, etc.),…

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Strawberry Shortcake Skewers

Strawberry Shortcake 3

For an easy recipe that kids can help assemble (with supervision, of course), try making Strawberry Shortcake Skewers—a sweet treat that uses a tasty fruit in season. This new take on a classic recipe is sure to be a hit…

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Make Your Own– Ice Pops!

strawberry icepop

Forgo sugary ice cream and cool down with a healthy snack that you’ll be happy to give your kids: homemade popsicles. One of the great benefits to making your own popsicles is that it’s incredibly easy to do and they’re…

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Grilled Pineapple w/ Honey and Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

Gegrillte Ananasringe mit Eiscremekugeln und Honig

This simple recipe is a great go-to grilled dessert on a hot summer night.  Sweet and simple try this recipe tonight. Mix it up with different flavored frozen yogurt. Coconut and mango yogurt were really delicious too. Check out this…

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Fruit Pizza- Simple and Delicious

This creative idea is just so cute that we had to share it with our readers. Using your favorite fruits you can make a fast and delicious "pizza" and the best part is the kids will be begging you to help. To help keep costs down use in season fruit options. Some great options are blackberries, raspberries, pears, peaches and pineapple. Have fun and let the kids be creative with their fruit combinations. There are no rules, just healthy eating and fun! Happy Summer! Prep Time: 10 Minutes Serves approximately 6-8 depending on the size of the watermelon, you can get about 4 "pizza pies" from one watermelon Ingredients: 1 small/medium whole seedless watermelon 1 pint strawberries sliced or whole 1 pint blueberries 1 large mango, sliced 2-3 kiwi, sliced 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional) 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled (optional) Directions: Slice watermelon width wise so you have large circular pieces like a pizza Arrange various fruits on top of sliced watermelon. Sprinkle with cheese or coconut Slice in wedges with knife or pizza cutter. Image: iStock Recipe: Adapted from image by…
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Welcome to Good Food for Kids!

Check out our “What’s in Season” List of fruits and vegetables with kid friendly recipes!

6 Healthy Food Swaps your family will love

Great Smoothie Recipes

Budget Shopping Tips



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Good Food for Kids