Health & Fitness

Activated Charcoal: Detox Tool or Fitness Fraud?

It seems as though every fitness media outlet has latched onto the newest trend: activated charcoal. The black powder is said to have medicinal purposes as a powerful detoxification agent, and is treated in a way that is safe for human consumption. Before being a fitness fad, it was commonly used in emergency rooms to treat mild poisonings. Basically, activated charcoal is supposed to flush out all toxins and chemicals from your body, giving you a clean slate to begin a healthier lifestyle.

All of this sounds good, but how effective is activated charcoal at removing these so-called “stored toxins”? According to Livestrong, there is no evidence to show that the human body has stores toxins to begin with, or that charcoal can somehow extract them from your body. If you’re trying to use activated charcoal to lose weight, regular consumption of charcoal can lead to more damage than good. Similar to other detox diets out there, the charcoal detox requires participation in fasting for a few days. The weight you may lose during this time is due more to the calorie restrictions during the fasting phase than to the charcoal consumed.

Moreover, the regular consumption of activated charcoal can lead to constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and in some severe cases, bowel obstruction. With consistent and repeated doses, complications such as abscesses and charcoal deposits can develop in the abdominal wall. Dr. Kamal Patel, a medical professional in Tampa, Florida, has been doing extensive research on the affects of activated charcoal on the body. For those taking daily prescription medications, the interactions between charcoal and the medications could render the medication ineffective. This is particularly dangerous if the medications taken ensure proper bodily function or livelihood.

One of the most popular promotions of activated charcoal, besides consuming it for detox, is using it for teeth whitening. Instructions for it’s use for teeth whitening is to wet your toothbrush, dip it into loose activated charcoal powder, begin brushing it on your teeth, leave it on your teeth for three minutes, then rinse. It’s recommended to use activated charcoal to whiten teeth around two to three times a week in order to begin seeing results.  Activated charcoal is also said to be a cure for bad breath.

Unfortunately, dental professionals are wary on recommending activated charcoal for teeth whitening. They recommend only using it around once every other week, if at all. They also warn that since it is such an abrasive powder, it can wear down the enamel on the teeth, causing bigger dental problems down the road. Enamel is the protective layer on your teeth that help prevent cavities or rot, and once it’s gone, it’s very hard to restore. This is certainly a bigger problem than having yellow teeth.

So the next time you’re looking for a healthy way to detox, we recommend sticking to fruits, vegetables, and a large glass of water!

Fun Fitness Classes in NYC to Help With Your New Year’s Resolution

Now that the second week of January is coming to a close, how are your new year’s resolutions coming along? Less than stellar? Well, you’re not alone. Statistics show that only 8 percent of people actually keep their new year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the millions of Americans that pledged to lose weight in 2018, week three typically tends to see a steep drop in motivation. If you’re in the New York City area, however, there are a lot of creative, unique, and fun fitness class options to help keep you motivated!


Learn Japanese & Korean Sword Fighting – Sword Class NYC  

Was your other resolution for 2018 to learn more about other cultures? Kill two birds with one stone and sign up for a Beginner Iaido – Siljun Dobup class. During these 55 minute classes, you’ll learn techniques and forms for using traditional Japanese & Korean swords as well as proper cutting directions. Certainly more interesting than feeling like a hamster on a treadmill.


Learn To Juggle (Or Get Better) – Juggle Fit NYC

Has learning to juggle always been a secret desire of yours? Or maybe a hidden talent? Juggle Fit NYC combines the technical skill, balance, and concentration involved in juggling with the activeness of an upper body workout. An hour of juggling can burn around 280 calories, the same as walking, and combining the two could make for a fun and entertaining workout!


AG6 – Asphalt Green

Located inside the Asphalt Green fitness center in the Upper East Side, AG6 is a workout that combines total body, high-intensity, circuit based training with interactive technology for a workout like no other. Basically, the system will give you visual cues in the form of lights to guide you through your workout; so it’s basically like an Avatar-inspired bootcamp. It’s a pretty intense and legitimate workout, burning around 1,000 calories in 45 min.


Bollywood-Inspired Interval Dancing – BollyX

With numerous locations held throughout the five boros, BollyX is Bollywood’s answer to Zumba; an intense, interval workout to your favorite Bollywood songs. Bollywood is known for its catchy, rhythmic music that typically features a series of dance numbers, perfect to get your body moving and shaking. It’s designed as a complete body workout, so be prepared to sweat while toning and slimming down.


Rock Out While Jump Roping – Punk Rope NYC

Jump rope was easily the best part of recess. This new cardio workout is sure to get your heart pumping by combining two exciting factors: jump rope and punk rock. Designed for groups and individuals, the workout is a fun and intense workout aiming for good vibes and sweat. The class is held at the Greenpoint YMCA every wednesday from 7:30 – 8:30.  

Why Are Your Teeth Yellow?

When referring to yellow teeth we do not talk about an urgent dental condition but having yellow teeth will easily have negative effects on you. The good news is that in many cases improving tooth color is not that complicated. However, it is really important to understand what causes yellow teeth in order to whiten them. Here is why teeth are yellow, highlighting the most common causes.


This is the reason nobody wants to hear about but tooth color is running in the family. When a parent has yellow teeth, children can end up with a similar hue. Teeth that are normally white can easily be reddish gray, gray, reddish yellow and reddish brown.


If tooth enamel is thin, underneath dentin will start to show. Dentin has a deep yellow towards brownish color. In many cases teeth appear to be yellow because of having thin enamel. When this is the case, the solution is looking online to see how to increase enamel thickness. Various articles on health blogs like Health Annotation can offer such information.

Tooth Wear

As you are aging teeth will become yellow because enamel is wearing away due to chewing and being exposed to acids coming from drinks and food. This is the most common cause of having yellow teeth. However, if the person is younger, tooth wear is usually not the case. A trip to the dentist is necessary.


The nicotine that comes from smoking will do a lot more than getting you addicted. It will leave surface stains on teeth of a brownish or yellowish color. This is just one of the many reasons why smoking should not be a habit for you.

Foods And Drinks

There are various different foods that are going to stain your teeth. The common examples include curry spices, berries and pasta sauce tomatoes. They include pigments that are going to cling to your tooth’s enamel, this staining surface. Even if you just eat a salad and add some balsamic vinegar you can end up with teeth of unsightly color.

When referring to drinks, the two common culprits causing yellow teeth are tea and coffee. You should also know that the same thing happens when you consume white or red wine. Sodas that are dark and sports drinks that include artificial flavoring have to be absolutely avoided.


Fluoride is really good for your teeth but if it is present in excess spots of a brownish yellow or yellow color will appear. This practically means that you want to be careful when using fluoridated water, prescribed fluoride tablets and fluoride toothpaste. The dentist should be contacted in order to discuss the appropriate dosage in order to avoid the appearance of yellow teeth caused by fluorosis.

Avoid Having Yellow Teeth

At the end of the day, what is very important is to go to the dentist for regular checkups. The conversation you have with him will help you to easily see what can be done and prevent the appearance of yellow teeth. Prevention is always more important than treatment in this case.

The Many Faces Of Detox

For some people, the word detox evokes images of someone living on smoothies and fruit juice for a week and maybe spending a lot of time in the bathroom. For others, there’s still that image of a bathroom, or maybe someone rolling around in bed as they come off the drugs they’ve been addicted to. No matter the image you see, detoxing your body (or even your skin) is kind of similar no matter what you’re trying to banish.

What Is Detox, In General?

As a noun, the dictionary defines detox as “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.” As a verb, it is defined as “abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.”

So, as you can see, not only could you detox from drugs or alcohol, but you can also detox from things like sugar (another unhealthy substance you may be putting into your body). You can even detox your skin. The human skin absorbs all kinds of things, from lotion to pollution.

Detoxing From Drugs And Alcohol

This is probably the most intense thing to detox from. If you’ve ever watched a TV show or movie about drugs and watched someone try to get off them, you know that the detox process means a lot of pain, sweating, and even vomiting. It’s not a pretty sight.

Drugs cause a lot of harm to the human body, so it kind of makes sense that they’d make a fuss getting pushed out. That’s why detox centers have drugs that help with the detox. Doing it without can even lead to death.

Dietary Detoxing

There are many dietary reasons people detox. Sometimes they do it to lose weight, sometimes it’s because of health issues, sometimes they just want to get off a certain food and clear it from their system altogether. There are pills that can be used for detox, but many people prefer to detox the natural way.

The natural way means using things like a fruit cleanse. They eat or drink a certain dietary regimen for a certain amount of days. What they put into their body helps flush out the toxins and stuff that they’ve stored up in fat cells and elsewhere.

Skin Detox

Just like you build up toxins inside your body, in your liver and elsewhere, you also build them up in your skin. These toxins can cause blemishes, acne, and even sensitive skin. However, there are things you can do on the outside to specifically detox your skin.

Look for facials and face masks that have detoxifying properties. Something with charcoal in it will surely pull out all of the impurities in your skin. You can buy pre-made masks or research recipes to make your own at home with natural ingredients from your kitchen.

Tips For Prolonging Your Life

The majority of people desire to live long and happy lives surrounded by friends and family that love them, doing the things that they love most in this world. Therefore it’s extremely important to treat your body with care and take the proper measures to extend your life as much as you can.

Many people desire a rich and quality life but can’t seem to follow through with what it takes to have one.  It doesn’t have to mean that you spend every day of your life hidden behind closed doors afraid of the world.  It is important to still live your life and understand that risk is a part of the experience of life.  All it takes is a few simple steps to decrease your chances of something going wrong.  Here are some of the best ways to look out for yourself and others.

Take Precautions

It’s important to practice precaution and prevention every day.  That means you should do things like brushing your teeth to avoid gum disease.  Look both ways before you cross the street, and always wear a seatbelt.

If you are given the option to get insurance or opt out of insurance, do yourself a favor and always choose insurance.  Looking out for yourself means having a plan if something should go wrong.

In your older age, you should make sure that you are surrounded by people that can take care of you, and that you have the proper help you if you have any medical complications.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Studies show that diet accounts for 80% of our health.  You can do all the exercise in the world, but if you are putting toxins and empty nutrients into your body you might as well just sit on the couch at home.

Eating a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meats, and whole grains can provide all the nutrients your body needs to work at its top capacity.  Make sure that you still enjoy life’s pleasures with treats here and there, but make the majority of your diet full of “real” food from the earth.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Not everyone is an athlete and they certainly aren’t expected to be.  Doing as little as taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes once a day can significantly lower your risks for disease and lower your overall body fat.

It also increases your energy and overall mood.  If you feel like pushing yourself even further, try joining a class which works all of the muscle groups.  You can go for something high impact like dance cardio, spinning or aerobics, or if you prefer something lower impact, then yoga might be the best option for you.

How to Lead a More Flavorful Life (Without Packing on the Pounds)

Food is delicious. Well, most foodflavorless is delicious. When you have dietary restrictions ― for health reasons or to slim down for summer ― you usually miss out on the most flavorful food, opting instead for bland or boring dishes that provide nourishment at the expense of taste.

However, even if you can’t add calorie-rich sauces, gravies, and dressings that boost food’s flavor, you can still live a flavorful life. Here’s how.

Buy Organic Only

The produce sections in today’s grocery stores are absolutely space-age. In past eras of human history, seeing such large, bright meats, fruits, and vegetables was exceedingly uncommon. Yet, as impressed as our precursors would be with the look of our produce, they would be equally disappointed with its taste.

The majority of our fresh food is overfilled with pesticides, preservatives, dyes, and all sorts of unnatural additives that enhance its look while shrinking its flavor ― and its nutrition. The result is bland food, even in fruits and vegetables that are supposed to explode with flavor.

The only solution is buying organic. Though organic farms are not completely faultless ― for example, many still employ chemical pesticides, but at rates much lower than conventional farms ― they do tend to focus on healthy practices that enrich food nutritionally and flavorfully.

Plus, organic farms often grow heirloom varieties that aren’t much different from the produce of the past. Thus, you can get healthier flavor by shopping organic only.

Use Alternative Flavor Enhancers

Thanks to all sorts of advancements in gastronomy, you no longer need to rely on old-fashioned (and decidedly dangerous) flavor enhancers like salt and sugar. Today, there are safer methods of adding flavor to food that don’t endanger health or derail fitness plans.

For example, at your local grocery store, you can find dozens of alternatives to sugar, including familiar substitutes like Splenda and Sweet’N Low. However, these chemical sweeteners can cause almost as many health problems as regular sugar; instead, you should search out Stevia, which is a naturally sweet plant (like sugar cane) with an astounding zero calories per serving. Stevia comes in all shapes and sizes, from granulated varieties to liquid drops, so you can replace sugar in almost everything you make.

Salt is harder to replicate. Though some companies offer low-sodium salts, the better option is to exchange salt for different seasonings altogether. Different spices and herbs provide flavor and little else, and mixing your own seasonings is a rewarding way to find new flavor. However, experimenting in the kitchen isn’t for everyone; those who lack the palate can look for healthy seasoning providers, like Flavor God, for pre-mixed options.

Build Aromas

Unfortunately, the above solutions aren’t available to everyone. Some people have such extreme dietary restrictions that any flavor whatsoever can be dangerous. Still, it is possible to live a flavorful life ― with aroma. A significant portion of your ability to taste arises from your olfactory senses, meaning your nose. Thus, by saturating your environment with pleasing smells, you can continue to enjoy flavor.

There are several ways to add aromas to your space. Scented candles are obviously some of the most common, as you can find thousands of varieties in stores and online. Another typical solution is scented lotion or perfume, which allows scent to follow you no matter where you go.

An option you might not have considered is vaping, which consists of inhaling water vapor imbued with flavor and aroma. The growing vaping community has ensured millions of different “e-juice” mixtures, from coffee to apple cobbler to breakfast cereal milk, so you can smell some of the most esoteric flavors you might be missing in your food.

aromaIf none of those options satisfy, you can try aromatherapy. Though aromatherapy is slightly more limited in its scent options than candles or vaporizers, its aromas are usually more potent. Essential oils are the most common tools of aromatherapy; these are particularly refined oils that carry intense natural scents, including citrus, almond, lavender, eucalyptus, and hundreds more.

Long-time practitioners of aromatherapy claim different scents have restorative effects, so you might begin to feel stronger and saner by enjoying aromatherapy. However, it is important to remember that aromatherapy is unregulated, which means you should understand the limitations of the practice before you begin.

Easy Appetizer and Dinner Recipes To Help Recovering Alcoholics

Alcohol withdrawal and alcohol craving are two different issues about one thing in common: alcohol. The latter is not experienced if the individual craving it has not had alcohol use experience, while the former is an individual who has had issues regarding excessive consumption of alcohol. Recovering alcoholics can either be avoiding or withdrawing from alcohol ingestion with determination, resorting to consuming nutritious foods, from easy appetizers to entrees, since food issues have to be put into context since in some conditions.

Certain kinds of food can help with withdrawal from or avoidance of alcohol, as well as other lifestyle changes, dosage-based dietary supplements, and medical and therapeutic treatments which may be are needed. There has been research about some potential benefits of certain types of food consumed during the periods of alcohol withdrawal and avoidance. The focus has been on foods – appetizer recipes, dessert concoctions, smoothie preparations, main dishes, even snacks – which contain the family of vitamin B-complex, albeit the other major vitamins such as vitamins C, E, A, and D (in addition to the vitamin B-complex group) have also been show to play significant roles.

Substitution is an Option

Studies have shown that gradual reduction of sugar intake is able to lower alcohol cravings. Avoidance of sugar with more than the amount of ten grams per serving — especially the refined or processed variety in desserts, for example – as well as reduction of intake of sodas and beverage with sugar as the first main ingredient, as well as reduced intake of naturally “sugary” fruit juices and dried fruits.

The total elimination of sugars in one’s diet is, understandably, impossible to achieve, but reducing the consumption of foods with high sugar content is not difficult to do through substituting them with foods with decreased sugar amounts in them. Instead of having a snack of a Danish and an ice cream float, a vegetable soup recipe like minestrone would be the better choice for a mid-morning respite at work or in school.

Withdrawal from or Avoidance of Alcohol Results in Sugar Cravings

Sugar can have so much impact on regulation of the body’s blood sugar levels, and recovering alcoholics are sometimes not aware that they consume certain foods with hidden amounts of sugar in them. Research has shown that stabilized blood sugar levels reduce craving for alcohol. It may be difficult steering clear from foods that contain large doses of sugar but only at first. A slow but steady incorporation of foods high in nutrients but low in sugar can help the recovering alcohol to completely crave spirits.

Detoxification of a former alcoholic’s body begins with eating foods such as lean meats, fresh vegetables, limited amounts of grains (some of which are converted into starches and then become sugars), limited amount of fruit juices, selected varieties of fruits (mostly those which are not rich in sugar content), and no sweets whatsoever of any kind. Recovering alcoholics need more nutrition than those who have not had alcohol or its excesses in their physical systems. Alcohol quickly depletes a plethora of nutrients that the body stores, makes or obtains from other food sources, the reason why recovering alcoholics need to double time in replenishing the nutrients lost from years of excessive alcohol intake.

5 Most Likely Foods To Cause Food Poisoning

Food poisoning occurs when either food or food products become contaminated with bacteria that ‘s harmful to humans and ends up causing certain illnesses and adverse health effects. The main pathogens that are the most present within contaminated food and are responsible for most of the food borne illnesses that occur each year are E. coli, salmonella and listeria.

Overall, just over 100,000 people get some form of food borne illness every single year and end up getting hospitalized because of it, while roughly 3000 end up tying every single year from certain food borne diseases.

In this article we’re going to cover how food poisoning usually occurs as well as the top five foods that are most likely to cause food poisoning.

How does the process of food poisoning usually occur?

The contamination process can occur during several stages of the food process. It has to do with germ contamination and when they enter the food chain. For instance, germs can come into play during the growing or harvesting stages or even later on during phases of the manufacturing process.

It can even occur when products are simply mishandled and germs jump from one food item to the next, this is know as cross contamination. This is most likely to occur when you’re eating raw foods, as the heat doesn’t have time to kill the potentially harmful germs, as the food is consumed raw.

1. Chicken and Beef

Chicken is one of the main transporters of food borne illnesses, especially salmonella and staph bacteria, which is why you should always ensure that chicken is thoroughly cooked before consumption. Beef is the same as chicken, and is known to transport bacteria. You should always ensure your beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before eating; easily done with an air fryer.

2. Eggs

Eggs have been known to cause salmonella poisoning for years. The contamination of eggs occurs even before the shells are developed, during the incubation phase. That’s why it’s always smart to use an egg cooker from All Great Appliances that will safely cook eggs before you eat them. Eating raw of undercooked eggs will greatly increase your chances of getting salmonella.

3. Leafy Greens

Since most leafy green are grown close to the ground they are very susceptible to E. coli, because they come into contact with contamination from animals or even water. The processing of the greens may also introduce unwanted bacteria. Make sure to thoroughly wash any leafy greens, especially if they aren’t organic.

4. Tomatoes 

Tomatoes usually have very high traces of pesticides, dirt or other bacteria. Even tomatoes that seem more fresh and are bought at a farmer’s market. To minimize your risk make sure to wash your tomatoes thoroughly before consumption.

5. Sprouts

Sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts are prone to carrying different forms of bacteria. The high moisture content of the sprouts makes it very easy for bacteria to survive for long periods of time. Make sure to wash the sprouts before eating, especially if they’re store bought.

I hope this article will help in making a positive impact on your health for years to come. Staying healthy is equal parts information and action, by understanding how food borne illnesses usually occur you’ll have a better ida at home to keep you and your family safe. Knowing the foods where food poisoning is most likely to occur will help you to make smarter and safer decisions around those foods.


Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The Law Offices of WT Johnson, a personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas. Zane thinks it’s scary how many foods can give you food poisoning.

Why You Should Eat Organic To Reduce Your Chances Of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can be a very serious issue, it brings with it major health concerns and can even cause death in some cases. If you think you have food poisoning it can be helpful to make sure you get the proper medical treatment. The last thing you want is to have to treat your sickness all by yourself, getting the proper medical treatment is extremely crucial.

Some of the easiest ways to limit your chances of getting food poisoning are to eat more organic foods, and be aware of where your food is coming from. When you eat higher quality foods these foods will naturally have less exposure to harmful chemicals and other bacterias that are given a chance to pollute less quality foods.

In this article we’re going to cover the reasons you should eat organic food to reduce your chances of getting food poisoning, and the steps you should take if you happen to get food poisoning.

Why do organic foods do better at preventing food poisoning?

Over 40 million people get some form of food poisoning every single year, and that’s just the number of cases that are reported. If you attempt to include unreported cases of food poisoning that number would be much higher. Some of the largest contributors to this number are meats such as chicken and beef. Aside, from meats other greens such as spinach and salad mixes also contribute to that high number.

Foods that are organic have stricter requirements for their growth, production and manufacturing. These regulations end up making it harder for food borne illnesses and bacteria to spread. Also, food that is grown in an organic manner tends to be healthier, due to those same standards.

How can I reduce my risk of food poisoning?

There are a few different ways you can minimize your risk of getting food poisoning. For instance, when you prepare your food always ensure that you wash your hands before and after handling any meat, or even any food whatsoever. Also, make sure that you always wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat or cook them.

Ensure that you always cook your meats to the recommended temperature, undercooked meat is a big contributor to food poisoning. Bacteria’s that cause illness cannot survive past a certain temperature, so cooking your meat past that point will go a long way towards making your food safer.

What steps should I take if food poisoning does occur?

I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better idea of why you need to eat more organic foods in your life. Besides the health reasons of eating more organic foods, they can also lower you and your families chances of contracting a food borne illness, or food poisoning. Remember, if you do get food poisoning seek medical treatment as soon as possible, this will increase your chances of having a smooth recovery.

The biggest contributor to food poisoning is obviously the treatment of your food, so do whatever is in your power to minimize your risk. This includes buying healthier foods, and utilizing safe and effective preparation and cooking procedures.


Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The McMinn Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane did not enjoy the last time he got food poisoning at a restaurant.

5 Ways To Get Kids To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

During my days as a public school teacher, I witnessed several of my students eating fast food for breakfast every single day. One of the students in my class would even come to class with a large soda each morning as part of his “breakfast.” The amount of fats, sugar, and sodium that these young children were absorbing each day made me worried about their health and well-being. Not only did it make them more sluggish and less focused on their schoolwork, but they actually began to prefer chips and cookies over healthy alternatives such as fruits and vegetables. Throughout the years, I have become increasingly interested in ways to promote healthy eating among kids. Here a few tips that I’ve utilized to get my kids to eat better.

Make Fruit the Star of the Show at Breakfast. My family’s breakfast always revolves around fruit. Sometimes I’ll make all-natural fruit smoothies for my kids to enjoy. Other times we’ll create parfaits with yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit. My kids also enjoy having blueberry or raspberry pancakes, waffles, or muffins. I’ve even been known to broil grapefruit (with a touch of brown sugar) as a unique breakfast alternative. There are lots of fruit recipes sure to satisfy your family.

Highlight Fruits and Veggies All Day Long. Instead of just handing chips to your kids, give them chips and salsa or carrots and ranch dressing. Rather than giving them soda to drink, try Naked juice, Juicy Juice, or homemade lemonade. Instead of just making pepperoni pizza for dinner, add onions, mushrooms, and green peppers. Offer them dried fruit as a healthy alternative to sweets. Cut up cantaloupe and watermelon for snack time. Make fruit popsicles to enjoy on summer days. Add veggies to your omelets and fruits to your muffins and oatmeal. Show your kids that there are countless yummy ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into their daily routine.

Make Fun Food Snacks. My kids love making banana boats (bananas with peanut butter and chocolate chips). They also enjoy making “smiles” out of apple slices, peanut butter, and marshmallows. Another family favorite is to create “rainbows” by arranging several fruit slices (each of a different color) into a rainbow shape. There are dozens of fun and healthy snack ideas for kids to try. Make fun snacks together. Try new recipes. Find ways to make eating healthy foods fun. Although your children may not like certain fruits and vegetables at first, they will begin to acquire a taste for them if you feed them healthy food instead of sugary desserts and fatty foods.

Be Sneaky. Grate up zucchini and add it to spaghetti sauce. Add extra vegetables to casseroles and pizzas. Find sneaky ways to put fruits and veggies into your children’s every day favorite foods.

Let Them Try New Foods. Take your kids to the store and let them pick out a fruit or vegetable that they’ve never had but want to try. Then figure out a fun way to prepare it. This is a great way to introduce them to more foods while still making sure that it’s a healthy option.

Andrea Smith is a 30-something mother of three. She blogs about all things kid-related.