Healthy BBQing For The Family

Spring is in the air! With warmer temperatures and longer evenings, the smell of the neighbours BBQ is certainly becoming familiar. BBQing is a delicious and quick meal that you can prepare for the whole family. However, some of the foods we choose to throw on the grill aren’t always the healthiest choices. BBQing can be a healthy method of cooking, we just need to make the right choices when deciding what to cook.

Below are some healthy BBQ suggestions that you can try the next time you fire up the grill:

  • Most people tend to use lots of BBQ sauce on their foods when grilling, BBQ sauce can be very high in sugars and sodium. Limit the amount of sauce you use, or try making a homemade sauce that is low in sodium and sugar.
  • Love fish? Why not grill some fresh salmon or trout – add some of your favorite species, olive oil, small amount of BBQ sauce and then wrap in aluminum foil…in minutes you will have a delicious meal.
  • Choose lean meats for grilling more often – chicken breast and pork lions are always great choices. To keep moist, marinate in some olive oil and spices before grilling.
  • For the kids, grill up some homemade burgers made with lean ground beef, chicken or turkey. Sprinkle some low fat shredded cheese and the kids will love it!
  • Vegetables can easily be grilled. Fresh corn is a great addition to every BBQ. You can also make some veggie kabobs that include bell peppers, fresh mushrooms, onions, cucumbers, etc.
  • Steam some of your favorite vegetables by wrapping in aluminum foil and sprinkle with some olive oil and spices.
  • Tired of the same desserts? Try grilling some fresh sliced pineapple; top with frozen vanilla yogurt….you’ll love it! And it’s a great alternative to cake, pie and ice cream.

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Breakfast

Throughout the day it is recommended that we get the majority of our daily food intake from fruits and vegetables. Children ages 2 to 6 should get 4 to 6 servings, teens ages 14 to 18 should get 7 to 8 servings, and adults 7 to 10 servings. These amounts may look impossible to many and can certainly be impossible if you don’t incorporate fruits and vegetables in every meal…breakfast being the hardest for most of us. How can we add fruits and vegetables to our breakfast each day?

  • When cooking eggs for breakfast make scrambled or try an omelette, add some fresh veggies such as onions, peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.
  • If you enjoy making breakfast sandwiches at home, add some lettuce and tomato to your sandwich.
  • Add some colour to your cereal by adding some apple, bananas, peaches, fresh or frozen berries, or any other favorite fruit that you would like to add.
  • If you are having waffles, french toast or pancakes topping it with some of your favorite fruit, berries and bananas always makes a tasty treat!
  • If you are the traditional coffee/tea and toast/bagel kind of person don’t forget to add a side of fruit, it can be half an orange, an apple, some berries or even some banana sliced to top your peanut butter toast…yum!
  • Try a yogurt and fruit parfait for a quick and simple breakfast.
  • Smoothies are always a great way to add fruit and even vegetables to your breakfast; add some of your favorite fruit, berries and kale with some milk, 100% juice, or ice and a small amount of yogurt for extra flavour and you quickly have a delicious breakfast in a cup.

veg.omlette The above is sure to make your breakfast a little less boring and more nutritious – I hope it helps you get the fruits and vegetables you need each day!

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador


How much fibre do I need?….How do I get enough fibre? These are two common questions than many Dietitians hear on a regular basis. Fibre is important to our health; it can help maintain a healthy bodyweight, control blood sugars, lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers and helps to regulate our digestive functions.

How much fibre do you need? Below are general guidelines for the amount of fibre that is recommended daily-please keep in mind that all amounts listed are not specific for age:

Children 1 – 3 years: 19 grams

Children 4 – 8 years: 25 grams

Girls 9 – 18 years: 26 grams

Boys 9 – 18 years: 31 to 38 grams

Women: 21 to 25 grams

Men: 30 to 38 grams

How do you get enough fibre? When searching for foods that will provide you with a “good source” of fibre you should look at the nutrition facts table. If the % daily value is 15% or more than that food choice is high in fibre. If it is less than 5% then its low in fibre:

– Choose whole grain pastas, bread, rice and cereals more often than white.Fibre

– Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.

– Be sure to include foods such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds in your diet on a regular basis.

A high fibre lunch could look like this:

Tune Sandwich on whole wheat bread (6.2 grams) with light mayonnaise, 1 med lettuce leaf (0.1 grams) and 1/2 tomato sliced (0.9 grams) and for dessert a 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt with a 1/2 cup of raspberries (2.0 grams). Total fibre = 9.1 grams.

*Please remember that when increasing your fibre intake it’s important that you do it gradually and to drink lots of water.

Information retrieved from: and

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador


The Truth About Eggs!

Eggs can be a healthy party of your diet. Eggs are a great source of protein and many other essential vitamins and minerals. If you have been avoiding eggs yourself or avoid serving them to your family you may want to reconsider that choice.

A large Grade A egg has only about 70 calories and provides you with 6g of high quality protein. In addition, it provides us with iron, Vitamins A, D, E and B12, and a variety of other minerals. Canada’s Food Guide suggest that 2 eggs = 1 serving from the Meat and Alternatives food group.

While egg yolks are a source of cholesterol, studies show that for a healthy individual “1 egg a day is ok”. If you have some heart health issues such as elevated blood pressure and/or cholesterol and a past history of stroke or heart attack you can still enjoy eggs as a part of a healthy diet. If you would like to watch your cholesterol intake you can choose to remove the egg yolks and enjoy the whites.

I hope you serve up something “Egg-tra” special this weekend!


Information retrieved from:

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador


Healthy Tips for Your Easter Travels!

Friday marks the beginning of Easter Holidays for students throughout the province. Easter Holidays are always a great time to travel with family and friends. Whether you’re flying somewhere warm and sunny, traveling to visit family, or driving hours across the province to attend your child’s Provincial hockey tournament you’ll still need to take care of your hunger and eat!

When traveling, we often expect that we will “eat badly” as our schedules won’t be normal and availability to healthy food is next to impossible. We tend to choose quicker and easier food options that are high in calories, fat, sodium and low in nutrition. To keep your routine, and maintain those healthy eating habits when travelling it’s always best to plan ahead and prepare.

Foods that are easy to prepare and take with you on long trips are finger foods, those foods that don’t require heating and healthier pre-packaged food choices. Below are some tips that you can try for your travels:

  • If in a vehicle, bring a small cooler with ice for the foods that need to be kept cool and if you are flying, put an icepack in a small lunch bag.
  • Don’t forget to bring some cutlery, napkins and small disposable plates if you need them.
  • Finger food choices: sandwiches, wraps, cheese and crackers, crackers and peanut butter, fruit and veggies that are pre cut, bananas, homemade muffins (ie. banana), trail mix (homemade), dry cereal in small ziplock bags, and ice water in water bottles to keep cool.
  • Pre-packaged food choices: Granola bars, yogurt cups, yogurt tubes, fruit cups (in water or own juice), cheese strings and 100% juice packs.


I hope you find the time to plan for your travels and prepare some of the above snacks when you are traveling this Easter Holiday!

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Kids Eat Smart Foundation Celebrates Volunteers

April 6th to the 11th marks Volunteer Appreciation Week 2014. Volunteers are very important to every community, and many events, organizations and other important community functions could not go ahead without them.

KES Foundation has almost 6000 registered volunteers that attend our KES Clubs everyday – they help purchase food, prepare meals, organize Clubs and serve more than 22,000 meals to school aged children throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. KES Clubs would not be possible without the tremendous dedication and support of all of our wonderful volunteers……you are all truly the best!!

On behalf of all of our children and The Kids Eat Smart Foundation board and staff we want to say “Thank You!”

Breakfast Club volunteers_September 2012

If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer with a KES Club in your community please contact your local school or community center that has a KES Club. It’s a very rewarding experience and you will make a difference every day!

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador