Greek Yogurt vs Regular Yogurt – What’s the Difference?

Most of us have likely tried the creamy smooth texture of Greek yogurt and wondered hey is this better for me than the regular yogurt I’ve been eating for years? Greek yogurt’s popularity has been on the rise over the last little while and you may wonder what all this fuss is about. My big question was is one more nutritious than the other?

From a production perspective, all yogurt comes from milk that has had healthy bacteria added, causing it to ferment. Yogurt is then strained through a cheesecloth, which allows the liquid whey part of milk to drain off. Regular yogurt is strained twice, while Greek yogurt is strained three times to remove more whey.

While all yogurt provides numerous health benefits the nutritional stats for Greek yogurt and regular yogurt do differ. Here’s how the two stack up:

Protein – Greek yogurt has almost double the protein of regular yogurt. Eight ounces of Greek yogurt has about 20 grams of protein, whereas regular yogurt provides around 11-13 grams.

Carbohydrates – Greek yogurt has fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. This could be beneficial to diabetics, who have to watch their carbohydrate intake.

Calcium – Regular yogurt has about three times the calcium of Greek yogurt. Both are still considered good sources of calcium, but women who don’t get enough calcium from other foods may want to stick to regular yogurt for its bone-building benefits.

Texture – Greek yogurt is much thicker and creamier than regular yogurt because it’s strained more. Greek yogurt can also be used in cooking as it does not curdle when heated like regular yogurt

As both are a nutritious snack especially topped with granola and fruit – choose one which best suits your taste buds and your nutritional needs.

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Summer Time Breakfast On the Go!

When the sun is shining and the kids are ready to play breakfast should be quick and easy for moms and dads to get the kids out the door. Having these items prepared and ready for the kids to grab and go can make breakfast a breeze.

Having items pre-packed and ready to go is key!

1. Single-serving bowls or baggies of whole-grain cereal are packed with vitamins and minerals.

2. Pair string cheese with whole wheat crackers.

3. Hard-boil several eggs to have on hand for the kids to grab and go.

4. Small cartons of low-fat yogurt are a good combination of carbohydrates and protein/have small containers of pre-cut fruit on hand to stir in for added nutrition.

5. Whole-grain English muffins can serve as a base for a breakfast sandwich. Spread on peanut butter, a source of satisfying protein and heart-healthy fats.

With kids getting more active on those long summer days it’s important for them to start their day right and have snacks on hand throughout the day to keep their energy up!  Be sure to keep them hydrated on those hot sunny days as well!


Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Oatmeal – A Healthy Way to Kick Start Your Day!

Nothing says “good morning” like a warm bowl of oatmeal. Whether slowly cooked and creamy or blended with fresh fruit in a smoothie, oats provide your body with many benefits. If you’re not eating oatmeal for breakfast, you’re missing out on a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to your body first thing in the morning.

Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent heart disease. The food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats.

To make sure you include at least three of the four food groups for your breakfast – top your oatmeal with fresh or frozen berries and enjoy a glass of milk on the side! Check out this delicious homemade oatmeal recipe I discovered – Mmmmm!

Warm Banana Bread Oatmeal

Yields 2 servings

1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (about 1 1/2) overripe bananas, mashed (you can slice the leftover 1/2 banana and use for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup quick oats
2 teaspoons brown sugar

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, mashed bananas, and spices. Heat the mixture on medium heat. When it starts to boil, add the rolled oats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring ocassionally, or until the oats are soft and the liquid has been absorbed.

Pour into a bowl, top each serving with a teaspoon of brown sugar, slices of banana, and enjoy your nice, hot, nutritious breakfast.

Information and Recipe adapted from: &

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cost Saving Ideas for your Breakfast Club and Beyond

Kids Eat Smart Foundation knows that nutritious foods are often costly so when shopping for your KES Clubs and for your family use these tips to make your dollars go farther!

My best plan of attack during the weekly shopping trip is make a list, make a list, make a list. Often on Sunday’s I’ll scan the flyers have a look at the sales and plan my weekly menu based on the sales. I like to get the most bang for my buck when creating my menu – use the tips below when planning your next trip.

Plan Your Budget

Make a list of what food you will need before you go shopping and stick to it.  If you start buying things that are not on your list you will probably go over budget.

Use Coupons & Flyers

Look for specials in flyers and use coupons to get the best deals.  For example, if bread is on sale buy extra loaves and freeze them.  Don’t buy perishable items in larger quantities than you need unless you have an appropriate storage space to keep them.

Portion Foods

Portion foods into smaller, bite-size pieces.  If you cut fruit into segments, students are more likely to take a piece.  Portioning foods often reduces waste as people can choose how much they want more easily.

Buy Local

Buy local foods whenever possible.  Not only are items like fruits and vegetables cheaper and fresher, you’ll be supporting your local community!

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk can be a lot cheaper in the long run.  Only buy in bulk when you are going to use the food before it expires

Compare Prices

Shop around and compare prices.  Grocery store brands are often cheaper than big brands, even when big brands are on sale, and are virtually the same products.

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Getting the most out of Balanced Meals

I attended the PGI Children’s Literacy Festival 2013 at the College of the North Atlantic yesterday and met with some 600 school aged kids throughout the day! Some of the schools in attendance included: Hazelwood elementary, Virginia park elementary, St. Andrew’s Elementary, and Bishop Abraham.  Although the kids were young in age between 7-9, I was excited to hear how much they already knew about eating healthy and Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide

I chatted with the kids about the importance of balanced meals and snacks throughout the day as well as went over the Food Guide. Then as a group we worked together to come up with a balanced meal for breakfast and lunch. Did you know that if we include fruits and vegetables with each and every snack and meal it’s a little easier to attain those recommended servings from the Food Guide?

It’s important to have balanced meals throughout the day to ensure we are eating a variety of foods and getting the required nutrients we need. Balanced meals should include foods from all four food groups: Fruits and Vegetables, Grains, Milk and Alternatives, and Meat an Alternatives. Balanced snacks should include foods from at least two of the four Food Groups. Please refer to Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide for your recommended servings per day for your specific age group – you might be surprised to see if you’re meeting the recommendation servings or not.

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Five make-ahead Breakfasts

Most times the thing that might fall of the morning routine first when we are in a time crunch is breakfast. Beat the morning rush by making these nutritious breakfast foods ahead of time and freezing them. Then on a busy morning, just reheat and eat.

•French toast – Use whole grain bread to make several slices of French toast. Freeze them and reheat it when you need it. Spread some applesauce, or top with yogurt, blueberries or canned peaches.

•Whole grain pancakes – Serve with fresh or frozen berries, 100% juice & yogurt.

•Homemade whole grain muffins – Enjoy with an apple, a piece of cheese, and a glass of milk.

•Quinoa, brown rice or steel cut oats – Make extra grains (which can take a long time to cook) and freeze into single serving sizes. Then reheat it in the microwave and enjoy with some milk, dried fruit and nuts.

•Breakfast burritos – Wrap scrambled eggs in a whole grain tortilla with shredded cheese and diced tomatoes (without the juice). Wrap in foil and freeze. Remove the foil before microwaving and simply heat when you’re ready to eat. Switch it up with other toppings such as red or green peppers, sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach, or green onions. Make sure to drain any liquid from the cooked vegetables so that the tortilla shell doesn’t get soggy.

Enjoy these healthy breakfast choices either at home or at work for a well balanced way to start the day!

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.