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Beth Wallace

POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2013, 10:23 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition | Recipes

Put that microwave popcorn back on the shelf.  This is your new savory snack that the whole family will love, and you will love knowing how healthy it is for them.  With just the right amount of cheese and a little garlic, these soybeans get crispy in the oven for the perfect eat-by-the-handful snack.  Edamame or soybeans, are a naturally good source of protein, fiber, and iron.  Edamame comes naturally in pods, but you can find them shelled with the fresh vegetables or in the freezer section. 

But you might want to make a double batch…I bet these will be gone by the first quarter. 


  • 1 (12 ounce) package of frozen edamame
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
POSTED: Thursday, September 19, 2013, 10:08 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition | Recipes

When it comes to a game-time favorite, nothing is as good as pizza…until you try this stromboli.  I know, you don’t see how a stromboli could ever be healthy.  Swap this with your regular pizza for a full serving of vegetables and so much flavor that you will never even miss the traditional meat filling.  The roasted vegetables and cheese provide vitamin C, iron, fiber, and calcium, and the small slices are perfect for portion control.  Enjoy each slice with some tomato sauce for dipping, and get ready for a big win at dinner time. 

Roasted Vegetable Stromboli


POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013, 11:08 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition | Recipes

What’s a great game day recipe that you can start in the morning, walk away from, and will be ready at game time? Turkey chili. Why is this family-pleasing meal healthy? The beans provided a good source of fiber, and chili is an easy place to sneak in vegetables to a meal.  This recipe is nutrition packed with two servings of vegetables, and swapping lean-turkey for beef cuts down the saturated fat content. Top it with baked corn chips for some crunch, and watch it disappear as fast as that offense moves.    

Crock-pot Turkey Chili


POSTED: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Fitness | Nutrition

School is in session!  I could say that it was the whistles during drills from the high school football field that reminded me of fall sports season, but truthfully, it was the cross-country team that passed me running on Kelly Drive that made me think about being a teenage athlete. 

Though many teens may not think daily about the direct effect each meal has on their sports performance, the rapidly growing market for sports drinks, nutrition bars, and nutrition supplements has made teenagers more aware of the role nutrition will play in their physical abilities. 

Despite their engaging promises and attractive packaging, there is no super bar, drink, or supplement that will be better than an actual healthy diet for teenagers when it comes to making the most of their time the field. 

POSTED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition | Tips

Back to school mode is in full swing, and more likely than not, there are a few parents that are standing in their kitchen thinking about the 180 school lunches that they will make their child this year.  While school lunch programs are moving towards healthier choices, many parents and kids still prefer the DIY lunch from home. 

Not only is lunch an important mental break for your child, but a healthy lunch will help to fuel their brains and allow them to stay sharp and focused during the remainder of the day.  Since no parent wants to have a lunch box returned untouched, I’ve come up with some ideas for your most difficult lunchtime scenarios.

The Peanut-Free School: More and more schools are finding the need to eliminate peanuts and other tree nuts in order to avoid reactions in children with severe allergies.  Hummus can be a hearty, healthy, kid-friendly alternative when peanut butter isn’t allowed.  Pair a small container of hummus with pita wedges, sliced cucumbers, and carrot sticks, or chop up some lettuce, tomato and other veggies to fill a pita. 

POSTED: Thursday, August 15, 2013, 12:00 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition
Whole grains are excellent sources of dietary fiber, which can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times / MCT)

On a recent family vacation, I was given the task of picking out a few snacks at a rest stop for the remaining car ride. Knowing that there were many lobster rolls and ice cream sundaes to be had in the week ahead, I wanted to have some snack options that were healthy, but satisfying enough for a three and a five-year-old. 

While my trained eye went directly to the package labeled “Whole Grain Crackers,” I found myself immediately placing them back on the shelf.  One quick look at the nutrition label indicated the product contained nothing more than the cheese-flavored snack crackers on the next shelf. 

Many parents have heard that eating whole grains can help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, and that providing children with healthy options early on in life will help to maximize overall nutrition. The problem is that many products on the grocery store shelves that are allowed to use the term “whole grains” do not contain the nutrition components that actually help to prevent these diseases; like fiber and antioxidants. 

POSTED: Thursday, July 11, 2013, 5:00 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Obesity

Looking for another reason children should step away from the TV? You can add “contributes to obesity” to the list.  In fact, a report from the World Health Organization’s European office stated that the marketing of junk food to children through commercials and social media has become “disastrously effective” to the health of children.  Now with one in three children in America considered overweight or obese, could part of the answer really be a remote click away?

Research continues to prove that there is a strong correlation between the increased marketing of non-nutritious foods to children and the rates of childhood obesity.  A recent study by the University of Michigan found that children who regularly watched television commercials consumed more junk food, and had a distorted view of healthy portion sizes and choices, than households where commercial-free television was viewed.  The most frequently advertised foods were sugar-sweetened beverages, sweetened cereals, prepackaged snack foods, fast foods, and convenience meals.   

Television isn’t the only place where children and teens are being exposed to unhealthy marketing.  Children’s websites, social media sites, and smart phone apps also target children and teens with age-specific product advertising. Children under the age of eight cannot understand the persuasive intent of advertising, according to the American Psychological Association.  The APA also states that “product preference” is established after just one commercial exposure, and is strengthened with repeated exposures. 

POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 9:53 AM
Filed Under: Beth Wallace | Nutrition

There are two times of the year that children gain the most weight in my professional experience.  The first is during the holiday season, and perhaps surprisingly, the second is during the summer.  A combination of these factors could lead to weight gain – a lack of structure in their day without school, being more responsible for feeding themselves, and social celebrations from graduation parties to vacations almost every weekend.

While I definitely do not discourage families from enjoying less healthy options on special occasions, you also need to realize that not every barbecue can be treated as a “special occasion” for food choices when your social calendar is packed every weekend.

With Memorial Day being the unofficial kick-off to summertime, I thought it would be good time to share a few tips on how you can lighten up some of your summertime party staples.

  • Main Dish Makeover - Instead of the standard hot dogs and burgers, lighten up your meat selection with chicken breasts.  Naturally lower in fat and an excellent source of protein, they are still satisfying and pack big party flavor with a balsamic marinade or barbecue sauce.
  • Side Dish - A barbecue isn’t a party at my house with some sort of pasta salad.  Instead of a mayonnaise based dish, change up the flavor by adding some cubed avocado for a creamy dose of hearty healthy omega-3 fats.  Maximize the nutrition by switching to whole wheat or “white wheat,” fiber rich pastas and add as many diced, colorful summer vegetables as you can find.
  • Grilled Salad - I bet that if you put a green salad out on the picnic table, 75 percent of it would still there at the end of the party.  Make those veggies much more enticing by making a grilled salad:  Place a head of romaine lettuce cut in quarters, cherry tomato halves, sliced red onion, sliced peppers, and summer squash onto foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and grill on the top rack for ten minutes, turning vegetables after five minutes.  Drizzle your favorite vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.
  • Summertime Cooler - Toss the sugary drinks aside and make a Pineapple Cooler.   Mix 1/3 of pineapple juice with 2/3 sparkling water for a refreshing flavor, without all of the added sugar.  Having a party?  Try an iced tea bar:  Make a large container of unsweetened iced tea, and have sliced fruits like peaches, raspberries, lemons, and blackberries for added flavor. 
  • Frozen Treat - Swap your popsicles and water ice for frozen Greek yogurt.  Blend 12 ounces of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with 1 cup of your favorite berries, and put into popsicle molds or an ice cream cooler.  Delicious, nutritious, and packed with protein and vitamins. 
About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Temple University Hospital
Christopher C. Chang, M.D., Ph.D Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Mario Cruz, M.D St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist - The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic, CHOP
Gary A. Emmett, M.D. Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Lauren Falini Bariatric exercise physiologist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Crozer-Keystone Health System
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, RD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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