A healthy, balanced diet plays a vital role in keeping your kids’ immune system strong.

When the immune system meets a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. In other words, it helps the kids to prevent from getting sickness effectively.

So, if you are looking for ways to keep your kids’ immune system strong, then you should plan their meals to include these 8 powerful immune boosting foods.

Do you know that you can be happier and healthier by eating MORE vegetables?

Yes, we all know that eating more vegetables is a good thing, but many people still prefer to have more servings of meat and fewer servings of vegetables, which is really not recommended.

In this video, MOMmy from Energise Kids will be sharing with you many interesting reasons why we need to increase our vegetable intake and why we need these health savers to be a priority in our diets.

Do you ever wonder why it is important to eat vegetables and fruits?

Today, MOMmy from Energise Kids is going to share with you about how eating vegetables and fruits are going to help us strengthen our body and improve our general well-being!

Wholesome foods are fresh foods that have not been processed and are so called “good foods” that your body would really appreciate as they can help you stay to healthy! In this video, MOMmy – Emiza from Energise Kids will be sharing with you why we should eat wholesome foods instead of processed foods, and she will also quote some examples for both wholesome foods and processed foods so that you’ll have a better idea of what foods to take and which to avoid.

via food.ntv: A popular ingredient finding its way into many Indian gravies, cashew – a plant originating from Brazil, is a nut high in minerals. Brought to India by traders, the cashew tree grows up to exceptional heights having a rather irregular trunk. Hanging from the branches are large juicy apples at the bottom of which are attached the cashew nut. Made available round the year, the nut has a great shelf life if stored properly. The nut and the fruit, both have multiple uses. The nut, often known as the poor man’s plantation although now it is sold for steep prices, is used to make delectable and rich curries and also roasted and eaten dry. They are an intrinsic part of our festive celebrations too. Just imagine how incomplete Diwali celebrations would be without ‘kaju ki barfi’. Back when nomads had no idea how to consume the fruit, the nut was discarded while the fruit was given more importance. A book written by SP Malhotra, World Edible Nuts Economy, points out, “Natives also knew of many medicinal uses for the apple juice, bark and caustic seed oil that were later exploited by the Europeans.”

Contrary to the popular belief that it can make you gain fat, a considerable amount of cashews in your diet can provide you with many health benefits –

1. Heart Health

The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in its case study points out that nuts are likely to be beneficial for health, keeping a check on various ailments, such as heart disease. Studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Cashews help lower LDL and increase the carrying capacity for HDL. HDL is responsible to absorb the cholesterol from the heart and take it to the liver where it can be broken down.

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration had stated that a fistful of nuts a day as part of a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of heart disease. The heart association recommends four servings of unsalted, un-oiled nuts a week and warns against eating too many, since they are dense in calories. Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), also establishes a significant association between the consumption of nuts and a lower incidence of death due to heart diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases. The study stated that nutrients in nuts, such as unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may confer heart-protective, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Prevents Blood Disease

The consumption of cashews on a regular basis and limited manner may help in avoiding blood diseases. Cashew nuts are rich in copper, which plays an important role in the elimination of free radicals from the body. Copper deficiency can lead to iron deficiencies such as anemia. Hence our diet should contain recommended quantity of copper. And cashew nuts are a good source.

3. Protects the Eye

In the urban environment matched with its excessive pollution, our eyes often suffer from various infections. Cashews contains a powerful antioxidant pigment called Zea Xanthin. This pigment is readily and directly absorbed by our retina, says nutritionist Anju Sood. This then forms a protective layer over our retina which prevents the harmful UV rays. Dr Anshul Jaibahrat Bhatnagar says small quantities of Zea Xanthin helps prevent age related macular degeneration in elderly and hence helps maintain eyehealth.

4. Good for the Skin

Derived from the cashew seeds, “cashew oil does wonders for your skin,” says Gargi Sharma, Manager Weight Management, Aayna. Cashew nut oil is rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Also, they are great sources of phytochemicals, proteins and antioxidants. The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but “helps prevent cancer as well,” says nutritionist Anju Sood.

5. Weight Loss

In comparison to diets excluding the intake of nuts, people consuming nuts on a moderate and regular basis lose weight faster. Based on the evidence from epidemiological and controlled clinical studies, nut consumption is not associated with higher body weight. The study done by the Journal of Nutrition states that the epidemiological evidence indicates consistently that nut consumers have a lower BMI than non-consumers. With respect to clinical studies, the evidence is nearly uniform that their inclusion in the diet leads to little or no weight gain. Moreover, nuts like cashews are “packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to giving a boost to the metabolic process to burn excess fat,” says Delhi-based nutritionist Shilpa Arora. Nuts are a great snack for those who are looking to lose weight as they are nutritious and tend to keep you full for a longer time. “Nuts should always be eaten raw and unsalted, so they are beneficial for weight loss efforts,” adds Shilpa.

6. Source of Dietary Fibres

According to studies, cashew nuts have a great percentage of dietary fibers. The two essential dietary fibres required by our body are, oleic acid and palmitic acid. “These fibers are not produced by our body hence they need to be consumed externally,” says nutritionist Anju Sood. Cashew nuts are good sources of these fibers. Dietary fibers help digest food better, however excessive consumption may cause bloating and significant intestinal gas production. Consumption of nuts like cashews have been related to decreased incidences of several digestive diseases.

7. Healthy and Shiny Hair

Experts say that the consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. “Copper present in cashew nut oil helps in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin,” says nutritionist Gargi Sharma. It also enhances hair colour and can provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.

via LiveStrong: It wasn’t too long ago when your toddler was eating the softest, purist foods you could supply, but now that she and her appetite are expanding, it’s a good idea to ask which new foods are appropriate and which aren’t for her young, growing body. Pickles are a relatively nutritious finger food, appetizing to many toddlers, but are they healthy enough? While they can be a great source of Vitamin A, iron and potassium, there are some ingredients to watch out for. Whether or not your toddler should be eating pickles could depend on the brand.

Sodium Content

Despite being, technically, a vegetable, most pickles are sky high in sodium content. Doctors recommend no more than 1000 mg per day of sodium for toddlers, since sodium can tax your toddler’s kidneys and lead to hypertension. Many brands contain more than 1200 mg for a single pickle. Select low-sodium varieties, which can contain as little as 12mg of sodium — far more healthy for your little one.

Sugar Content

No longer relegated to little white packets, sugar now hides everywhere–in drinks, in packaged foods and even in processed vegetables. The pickle, so seemingly fresh and healthy, undergoes quite a bit of processing before it reaches your pantry, so check the label to be sure the sugar content isn’t too high for you toddler. Experts recommend that little ones have no more than 1 tbsp. per day per year of age –or 15 to 45 grams in the toddler years. A store-bought jar of pickles will usually have 5 or so grams of sugar, quite a lot when you consider that the pickle is just a snack.

Natural Flavors

Almost anything packaged and store-bought these days comes with a load of preservatives and chemicals we didn’t bargain for — and pickles are no different. Watch out for added chemicals like “natural flavors,” which are anything but. Natural flavors are designed by flavorists who test natural and synthetic chemicals to create their “natural” tasting concoctions. Look for natural and organic brands with few preservatives and added flavors.

Homemade Pickles

One great way to control the sodium, sugar and chemical content of the pickles your toddler eats is to make them yourself. Perhaps your toddler can even lend a hand. For dill pickles, you’ll need fresh, crisp cucumbers, a handful of dill, a few cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. The website Vegan Reader has a very workable recipe (See Resources).

via Kiddle: The macadamia nut is the fruit of a tree that first came from the east coast of Australia. There is more than one kind of Macadamia tree. Only one kind is grown for food.

The tree is an evergreen (stays green all year long). It grows up to 25 feet (7.6 metres) high. It has groups of small white flowers. It grows best in subtropical (wet and always warm) climates. It needs well-drained soil (water can flow away easily) and 40 to 100 inches (1,000 to 2,500 mm) of rain a year.

The nutmeat (the soft part inside the shell that can be eaten) is mostly a creamy white color. Sometimes it looks a bit yellow. It has a flavor that many people like. Macadamias are eaten roasted (cooked) by themselves. They are used in cookies, cakes, pastries, and candies. People use them like almonds and cashews as part of cooked meals. This is an Oriental style of cooking.

The first commercial orchard was started in Australia in the late 1880s. Commercial production started in Hawaii during the 1920s. Production later spread to California, Mexico, and other places with warm climate.

Macadamias are poisonous to dogs. A dog usually needs 24 to 48 hours to recover fully after eating macadamias.The plant is in the Proteaceae family of flowering plants.


Macadamia is an evergreen genus that grows 2–12 m (7–40 ft) tall.

The leaves are arranged in whorls of three to six, lanceolate to obovate or elliptic in shape, 6–30 cm (2–10 in) long and 3–13 cm (1–5 in) broad, with an entire or spiny-serrated margin. The flowers are produced in a long, slender, simple raceme 5–30 cm (2–10 in) long, the individual flowers 10–15 mm (0.4–0.6 in) long, white to pink or purple, with four tepals. The fruit is a hard, woody, globose follicle with a pointed apex, containing one or two seeds.


Allan Cunningham was the first European to discover the macadamia plant.
German-Australian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller gave the genus the scientific name Macadamia – named after von Mueller’s friend Dr. John Macadam, a noted scientist and secretary of the Philosophical Institute of Australia.
Walter Hill, superintendent of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens (Australia), observed a boy eating the kernel without ill effect, becoming the first nonindigenous person recorded to eat macadamia nuts.
King Jacky, aboriginal elder of the Logan River clan, south of Brisbane, Queensland, was the first known macadamia entrepreneur, as his tribe and he regularly collected and traded the macadamias with settlers.
Tom Petrie planted macadamias at Yebri Creek (near Petrie) from nuts obtained from Aboriginals at Buderim; 1882
William H. Purvis introduced macadamia nuts to Hawaii as a windbreak for sugar cane.
The first commercial orchard of macadamias was planted at Rous Mill, 12 km from Lismore, New South Wales, by Charles Staff.
Joseph Maiden, Australian botanist, wrote, “It is well worth extensive cultivation, for the nuts are always eagerly bought.”
The Hawaiian Agricultural Experiment Station encouraged planting of macadamias on Hawaii’s Kona District, as a crop to supplement coffee production in the region.
Tom Petrie begins trial macadamia plantations in Maryborough, Queensland, combining macadamias with pecans to shelter the trees.
Ernest Van Tassel formed the Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Co in Hawaii.
Tassel leased 75 acres (30 ha) on Round Top in Honolulu and began Nutridge, Hawaii’s first macadamia seed farm.
Tassel established a macadamia-processing factory on Puhukaina Street in Kakaako, Hawaii, selling the nuts as Van’s Macadamia Nuts.
Winston Jones and J. H. Beaumont of the University of Hawaii’s Agricultural Experiment Station reported the first successful grafting of macadamias, paving the way for mass production.
Steve Angus, Murwillumbah, Australia, formed Macadamia Nuts Pty Ltd, doing small-scale nut processing.
A large plantation was established in Hawaii.
Castle & Cooke added a new brand of macadamia nuts called “Royal Hawaiian”, which was credited with popularizing the nuts in the U.S.
Australia surpassed the United States as the major producer of macadamias.
South Africa surpassed Australia as the largest producer of macadamias.
Macadamia nuts were responsible for the delay of Korean Air Flight 86 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. This “nut rage incident” gave the nuts high visibility in the South Korean economy and marked a sharp increase in consumption there.

via FarmFresh: Potatoes are full of stuff that’s good for kids. In fact, compared to rice and pasta, potatoes give you a bigger bang for your buck in terms of healthy nutrition:

  • Carbohydrates: A good thing that’s getting a bad rap lately, carbs fuel both brains and bodies and are the main source of energy for growth and sports.
  • B Vitamins: Helps your body put carbs to work, providing energy and staying healthy.
  • Vitamin C: Essential for healthy skin, bones and hair.
  • Fiber: Every body needs it. You know why.
  • Folate: Helps your body make red blood cells.

Potatoes are not fattening

  • Potatoes are naturally fat free; it’s what you put on top of them that may need to be enjoyed in moderation.
  • If you’re looking for lower-cal, lower-fat potatoes recipes, check our recipe section.

Potatoes are satiating

  • Kids get hungry fast, so they need quality foods that help them feel full longer and provide the energy they need to keep going. Potatoes can help!

Kids will eat them

  • Of course there are lots of healthy foods to choose from. But all the Brussels sprouts in the world won’t help, if they just get pushed around the plate. After all, it’s not really nutrition until your child chews and swallows it.

The Great Back-To-School Spud-Off

These next two weeks—from September 3 through the 16th— we’re celebrating back-to-school time with a Facebook contest that’s all about kids who love of potatoes. A great way to kick off the new school year, our contest highlights how potatoes give kids the healthy nutrition they need to do well in the classroom. Best of all, we’re giving you a chance to win fun Back-To-School prizes — all you have to do is share why your kids love potatoes so much!

Entering is Easy

Submit a fun photo of your kid eating spuds and tell us what he or she loves so much about munching on potatoes. Then, share your post with your friends and family, encourage them to vote for your submission and share it with others. The six entries with the most votes will win prizes — including a grand prize of a $1,000 Visa gift card for school supplies.

So what are you waiting for? Click below to go to the contest page and submit your photo now. Good luck — this will be fun!

via Cure Joy: Blueberry pie, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry smoothies… what’s not to love about this delectable berry that makes delicious desserts even better? Well, there’s a lot more to it. Blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse and are among the foods with the highest antioxidant content. They are loaded with vitamins C, B2, B6, E and K, resveratrol, gallic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, copper, manganese, and fiber.

They are also extremely rich in a variety of polyphenols, anthocyanins (which give them their beautiful color) and phytochemicals, especially flavonoids. Native to North America, blueberries, like cranberries, have a rich folklore history of medicinal use by the Native Americans. These uses, which were once only thought to be anecdotal, are now the subject of intensive scientific research.

It’s a low calorie and low glycemic index option to snack on for weight watchers and diabetics. Blueberries are also great for the skin, fight cancer, promote heart health, enhance digestion and slow down the aging process. You can reap the same benefits from raw or even frozen blueberries (freezing won’t ruin the antioxidants) and should prefer it over processed and sugary versions like jams, jellies, desserts, and drinks. Even baking alters their polyphenol content, as the American Chemical Society reported in a study.

Blueberry Nutrition Facts

These little berries aren’t known as a superfood for nothing.

Blueberries are packed with fiber, antioxidants, manganese, and vitamins B, C, and K.4
A one cup serving of blueberries contains only 84 calories but 4 gm of dietary fiber which keeps you feeling full longer.5
One cup of blueberries provides you with a whopping 25% of recommended daily vitamin C intake. This helps bolster your immune system, maintain strong gums, and promote collagen production in the body. The manganese content in blueberries helps develop healthy bones. The fiber keeps you regular and can help lower bad cholesterol levels.6
These little blue dynamos are also a fat-free, low-sodium fruit that makes for an excellent on-the-go snack.

How Blueberries Boost Brain Health

What has us most excited about blueberries though are the multiple benefits it has for the brain. Studies on animals have shown that the antioxidant properties of blueberries can even reduce brain damage in case of a stroke. Foods like blueberries have a free radical scavenging action and prevent neurodegeneration.7

Let’s find out some more perks of blueberries for brain health.

Maintains Brain Function
Blueberries are good for your brain in many ways. The polyphenols in blueberries have been associated with reduced risk of dementia, improved cognitive performance in normal aging and better cognitive evolution. High total polyphenol intake is also linked with better language and verbal memory along with learning in both animals and humans. Studies conclude that blueberry consumption also appears to have a noticeable impact on short-term memory and improve long-term reference memory after just eight weeks of supplementation.

The super fruit also helps prevent and fight Alzheimer’s Disease. In a study, 47 participants with mild cognitive impairment aged 68 and up were asked to supplement their diet with freeze-dried blueberry powder or a placebo powder. The 16-week study concluded that the blueberry group had improved memory, improved access to words and concepts along with better cognitive performance and brain function.
If there is an easier way to keep the years from showing on your brain, we don’t know about it!

Boosts Memory
We all know that memory often takes a beating with old age. But that can be fixed with blueberries. When wild blueberry juice was supplemented for 12 weeks to older adults, it improved their memory function immensely. Older adults with early memory decline and an increased risk for dementia were recruited for the study.
Blueberries have also shown to improve object recognition memory loss in rats. Even on a short-term consumption basis, the blueberry-enriched diet prevented and reversed object recognition memory loss in aging rats.
Make sure you add blueberries to your grocery list, especially when you’re nearing retirement age.

Improves Speed Of Decision Making
Blueberries are not only great for boosting memory, but also help in the decision-making process. According to a study, scientists observed that blueberry-fed aged rats took less time in decision making when presented with a choice. The rats that were fed with a two percent blueberry diet for three weeks didn’t mull over their decisions for long.
Enhances Your Spatial Memory

Can blueberries enhance your sense of navigation and direction? If research is to be believed, the phytochemicals and flavonoids in foods like blueberries help in reversing age-related deficits in motor function and spatial working memory. In an animal study, scientists demonstrated that aged rats fed with a two percent blueberry diet for three weeks exhibited a marked improvement in spatial working memory.13

With a serving of brain-friendly blueberries in your diet, you’re less likely to feel ‘lost’.

Improves Symptoms Of Depression
Another perk of consuming blueberries for brain health is that it keeps depression at bay. According to a study, blueberry definitely has a role to play in easing depression in older adults. When asked to supplement their diet with wild blueberry juice for 12 weeks, older adults showed diminished depressive symptoms.14
Another research highlights the antianxiety and antidepressant-like effects of polyphenol-rich foods like blueberries. They are mediated through several molecular and cellular pathways, which work together with one another.15

Selecting And Storing Blueberries
Blueberries are in season between July and September, so that’s your window for the freshest produce. When at the grocery store, steer clear of blueberries that look dull or too soft or squishy. Check the container for bluish stains or juices which could indicate bruised or damaged berries. Fresh blueberries will feel firm to the touch and have a plump appearance with a dark blue, velvety color. A silvery or waxy sheen on blueberries is normal.

You can store fresh blueberries in the container they are sold in. Fresh blueberries are perishable so stick them in the fridge as soon as you get home. Don’t wash them before refrigerating. Blueberries will keep best in the vegetable crisper drawer where they will last 3–5 days. When you’re ready to eat them, simply rinse them (gently) in cold water and drain. There is no need to soak berries in water to clean them. That’s it! You are ready to toss them into your favorite recipe or simply eat them as a healthy snack.

If you buy frozen blueberries, make sure to store them in the freezer either in their original packaging or in plastic freezer bags. Just in case you’re wondering, frozen blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh ones. Researchers at South Dakota State University found that freezing blueberries actually helps maintain its antioxidant properties by better preserving the anthocyanin content.

Getting More Blueberries Into Your Diet
Blueberries are versatile little fruits and there are dozens of ways to incorporate them into your daily diet. Toss fresh (washed) blueberries into salads and smoothies. You can add them to your bowl of cereal or your recipe for homemade granola. Fold them into pancake or waffle batter, or cook them down into a sauce and pour over pancakes or French toast. Slather blueberry jams and jellies onto your morning toast or pour yourself a glass of blueberry juice any time of the day. And, of course, blueberries taste delightful in muffins, pies, cobblers, coffee cakes, zucchini bread, scones, crumbles, and parfaits!

via SFGATE: Lasagna represents a delicious comfort food for many, containing hearty noodles, rich cheese, flavorful tomato sauce, as well as a range of vegetables or meats. While the specific nutrient content of lasagna depends on the ingredients you use, most lasagnas have a number of nutrients in common.

One of the nutrients found in lasagna is carbohydrate – sugar and starch. Carbohydrates provide energy to your cells, helping to fuel their day-to-day functions. Most of the carbohydrates in your lasagna probably come from the noodles – a 2-ounce serving of white lasagna noodles contains around 40 grams of carbohydrates. To determine the specific carbohydrate content of your brand of lasagna noodles, check the nutrition label. A small amount of carbohydrates comes from the tomato sauce in your recipe, as well as from any vegetables you include.

Protein and Fat
Lasagna – particularly meat lasagna – also provides a source of dietary protein and fat. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids, and then uses these amino acids to maintain healthy tissue throughout your body. While the amount of protein in your lasagna will vary depending on how much meat and cheese you use in your recipe, each ounce of meat and mozzarella cheese adds 7.3 grams and 6.8 grams of protein to your lasagna, respectively. However, both ground beef and mozzarella cheese also provide rich sources of saturated fat, so limit their use in your lasagna.

Vitamins and Minerals
The pasta, meat, cheese and tomato sauce in lasagna all contain B vitamins, a group of nutrients that help drive your body’s metabolism; while beef in lasagna provides a source of iron to promote healthy circulation. Adding vegetables to your lasagna can further boost your nutrient intake – adding zucchini and red pepper, for example, adds vitamins A and C to your meal.

Making Healthier Lasagna
Although lasagna is far from a typical health food, you can make healthy substitutions at home to increase the nutritional value of your meal. Instead of making lasagna using white noodles – which digest rapidly, causing blood sugar spikes after eating – select whole-wheat noodles to help stabilize your blood sugar. If you make your lasagna with meat, select 95-percent lean ground beef or chicken, and rinse the meat after cooking to wash away excess fat. Limit your use of cheese, sprinkling only a small amount on top, and choose low-fat mozzarella to reduce your fat intake. Finally, load your lasagna up with vegetables to boost the fiber, vitamin and mineral content of your meal. If you don’t like the texture of vegetable pieces in your lasagna, try pureeing the cooked vegetables right into the tomato sauce before assembling your lasagna to get the nutritional benefits of vegetables without significantly changing the lasagna’s texture.