Asian Chicken and California Prunes Lettuce Wraps

Aww, snap!  Now THIS is a wrap! 🙂 This meal is one of our all time faves! This creation hit the pan after we had spent time visiting our besties in our hometown city in Maryland and then headed “downtown” to Washington DC, where we had one of the most delicious appetizers. EVER.   Yup, an oh so delish Asian style chicken lettuce wrap app 😉 that couldn’t have been more crispy, crunchy, sweet and salty –(and juicy!) and downright delicious– inspired us to make this rendition of it.  We knew it was so good that we had to make it into a full meal! After all, eating that appetizer portion simply left us wanting to order more and to make it our full main-meal! And thus, these wraps we’re reinvented and born in our kitchen!

And of course, as registered dietitian nutritionists, as we whipped these yumsters up, we had more than just flavor in mind–we had your (and our!) waistline and health.  And we’re so excited to say we packed in major nutrients —antioxidants and fiber and just 280 calories per serving- with 23 grams of satisfying protein!

Psstt….if you’re looking for another kind of wrap, check out these healthy “wraps” -also waist-line friendly numbers “wrapped” in a taco!:

Gluten-Free Tilapia Tacos with Zucchini Tortillas

Mediterranean Fish Tacos

Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos

Spicy Tuna Tacos

Salmon Tacos

The great news is that you can make this yourself, or order to your doorstep if you’d like, which is totally cool by us! 😉  And we get it if you choose to order it!  After all, as much as we love spending time in the kitchen making home-cooked meals, sometimes we’re in the mood for a delicious, healthy meal without having to go to the grocery store or measure out all of the ingredients. Many of our clients have told us that they’d like that same thing – to be able to enjoy all of our phenomenal recipes without a thing to do except assemble the ingredients! That’s why we love Chef’d, the awesome home meal delivery service that drops off everything you need for delicious dinners right at your doorstep!

 

California Prunes are one of our favorite ingredients for healthy meals – they’re sweet, juicy, high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and they make these lettuce wraps absolutely amazing!

We love the sweet-savory flavors found in lots of Asian dishes, but that often comes alongside lots of sugary ingredients. That’s where California Prunes come in – California Prunes are full of sweet flavor, but each naturally sweet serving has 3 grams of filling fiber and antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep your heart, brain, and immune system healthy. They pack a powerful punch of flavor in the chicken mixture, which is so easy to whip up and stuff into lettuce leaves for a nutritious dinner!

We hope you love it like we do, admittedly, we’re OBSESSED with it! 🙂

Asian Chicken and California Prunes Lettuce Wraps
 
Lettuce wraps are our go-to quick dinner for busy weeknights. Just sauté chicken breast with Asian-inspired seasonings and wrap in lettuce - it’s that simple! They’re protein-packed and wrapping with lettuce and topping with extra veggies means you’re getting plenty of veggies in a way that even kids will love. Chopped California prunes add a rich sweetness to the filling that’s similar to the flavor of traditional hoisin or plum sauce, but without all the additional sugar and sodium. The sesame green beans on the side add even more savory, satisfying flavor and veggies to round out the meal!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 6 oz green beans
  • ½ Persian cucumber
  • 1 radish
  • 3oz California prunes
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 lime
  • 1½ tsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • ½ tsp tamari sauce
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 head butter lettuce
Instructions
  1. STEP ONE
  2. Peel and finely chop the ginger.
  3. Thinly slice the garlic cloves and green onions.
  4. Cut the ends off of the green beans and discard ends.
  5. Cut the radish and HALF the cucumber into thin matchsticks.
  6. Chop the prunes into 1⁄4-inch diced pieces, add to a medium bowl. Shred the chicken into 2-inch pieces and add to the bowl with the prunes.
  7. Cut the lime in half.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, teriyaki sauce, tamari sauce, the juice from HALF of the lime, and 1½ tsp sesame seeds.
  9. STEP TWO
  10. Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add HALF of the green onions and HALF of the ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
  11. Add the diced prunes and chicken mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  12. Add the teriyaki and tamari mixture, and sauté until liquid is evaporated.
  13. Remove the mixture from heat; set aside for plating.
  14. Carefully wipe the sauté pan clean and return to medium-high heat.
  15. STEP THREE
  16. Add remaining sesame oil and increase heat to high.
  17. When hot, add the green beans and a pinch of salt.
  18. Cook for 2 minutes, turning and moving beans so they cook quickly and evenly.
  19. Add remaining ginger, and 1 tablespoon of water and cook for 2 minutes.
  20. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute or until beans are crisp-tender. Stir in remaining sesame seeds.
  21. Keeping the leaves whole, separate the lettuce leaves.
  22. STEP FOUR
  23. Divide the lettuce leaves evenly between two plates.
  24. Fill each leaf with the chicken mixture and garnish with the cucumbers, radishes, and remaining green onions.
  25. Serve the lettuce wraps with the green beans.
  26. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ of recipe Calories: 280 Fat: 7 mg Saturated fat: 0.5 mg Carbohydrates: 34 g Sugar: 8 g Sodium: 670 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 23 g Cholesterol: 55 mg

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Awww, come on now, did anyone not expect these two twin registered dietitian nutritionists and avocado & chocolate lovers to not eventually mix these two loves together to make a rich, creamy, scrumptious, yet healthy pudding?! 🙂 It was just too easy with them both always staring us down! 🙂

This number takes all of the less than healthy out of a creamy, comfort food– and it’s rich and chocolately! So if you crave chocolate but feel like you’ve been less than healthy after you have it, well then this is just the guilt-free treat for you to indulge in– healthy Chocolate Avocado Pudding! As you probably are aware, we love to create recipes that contain avocado (have you tried our Avocado and Olive Pasta or our Egg Cups with Creamy Avocado with Sun-dried Tomato or our Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Avocado Boats.   Avocados are packed with more than 20 nutrients, good-for-you monounsaturated fats and is responsible for the oh-so-creamy texture, while the cocoa powder adds that rich and decadent chocolate sensation.

 

The oh-so-creamy texture in this pudding is from the avocado and the cocao powder adds that rich and decadent chocolate sensation—and together they create this super light, rich and fluffy mousse!

And while your taste buds bask in creamy wonderland, this Chocolate Avocado Pudding actually does quite a number of amazing things for your body!

Other than the 20 nutrients and healthy fats this mousse contains:

  • magical skin nourishing ingredients–antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene and Vitamin E from the avocado.
    • Vitamin C keeps skin youthful and elastic by aiding in collagen formation
    • Beta carotene helps give a healthy glow and hue while protecting skin from sun damage
    • Antioxidants guard against premature aging by helping to prevent cell damage
    • Powerful anti-inflammatory compounds give skin a smoother appearance

 

  • Plus avocados are naturally rich in water, so they create moisture within your skin, plumping the cells and filling the crevices in your skin (and preventing a dry, flaky scalp and moisturizing hair too!)

 

  • Avocado’s mono-unsaturated fat acts as an additional nourishing lotion for the skin.

 

  • And from the cocao powder—the benefits!– cocoa flavanols support healthy circulation. This means that aside from promoting cardiovascular health, they improve the flow of oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, helping you to perform and feel your best while nourishing your skin, eyes, muscles and all parts of your body—and who doesn’t want a gorgeous complexion, energized muscles and a strong heart?! We certainly do!

 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Nutritional information, per 1 serving

87 calories, 6.7 g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10.5 mg sodium, 8.8 g carbohydrates, 3.2 g fiber, 1.7 g sugar, 1.5 g protein

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup cocao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, divided in half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Slice and peel the avocado and put into fruit processor or blender.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with a microwave safe bowl in 15 second intervals, adding splashes of water as needed to keep the consistency smooth
  4. In the blender, add the melted chocolate chips, cocao powder, half of the almond milk and vanilla extract to the avocado.
  5. Blend ingredients together until smooth, adding in more almond milk if needed.
  6. Pour the creamy rich mousse evenly into 6 mini muffin tins for you and your friends to enjoy now, or store in fridge for a cold but sweet treat later! Feel free to add some sliced strawberries or almonds on top!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 87 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 9 g Sugar: 1.7 g Sodium: 10.5 mg Fiber: 3.2 Protein: 1.5 g Cholesterol: o mg

 

Healthy Bruschetta Hotdogs (Organic!)

Growing up, we were raised in a very health-minded house where our mom cooked everything from scratch and was often found whipping up her homemade granola (you may have read our other blogs where we often describe our parents as having been hippies—minus the drugs!). You’d assume that since our parents would be all for a lean cooking method like grilling or barbecuing, that we’d have done it often. Surprisingly, we were not that family you’d see grilling in the back yard every gorgeous summer evening. Instead, when we smelt the grill in our back yard, it was something special. It meant a big party and lots of guests. It meant, carefree days of running off into the woods in our back yard to play with the guests who were children- and with food in hands!— all grilled-up and delicious.

As you may imagine, our barbeques had a lot of vegetables, veggie burgers and some organic lean beef burgers, but our mom, being the health-conscious lady that she was, didn’t serve up hot dogs on the barby, as she admitted that although she loves the flavor of hot dogs, she just didn’t want us having preservatives and nitrates, and other additives, etc. that were added to them, so she didn’t buy them.

Now, as registered dietitian nutritionists, we find that for that very reason, we have followed in her footsteps and our barbeques are much the same as hers were. We also find that many of our clients grew up loving barbecues as we did and now realize that some of the traditional potato salads, hot dogs and Kool-aids, weren’t so healthy-and they ask us how to make their grilling healthy and delicious, without ruining the flavor.

If you’re like our clients, we’d love to help and we’ve got a lot of healthy barbeque tips  like these on this blog—and maybe you’ve seen some of our recipes like Tangerine Chicken Skewers and Moroccon Grilled Shrimp Skewers and Grilled Peach Salad and Sweet Summertime Grilled Veggies to help!

And now, in addition to our usual summer festive foods that we eat and recommend, we’re so excited about an amazing, scrumptious and healthy find that no one can complain about! (Here’s looking at you, mom! 😉 ). OK—and maybe it’s not just our mom that we’re talking about!  As you’ve likely noticed, we’re pretty particular about the quality of food that we put in our body and that we recommend to our clients to satisfy their taste buds, to look and feel amazing, and to keep their insides rocking with energy and health and to keep them free from disease.  So, we never imagined we’d ever find a hot dog that we’d be grillin’ up.  But thanks to Applegate, the nation’s leading natural and organic meat brand, we have—and in fact, we’re so over the moon about this find, that we’ve partnered with Applegate to tell you about it! The “Cleaner Wiener!” 🙂 Drum roll please…

The revolutionary hot dogs is Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™, which is Non-GMO Project Verified and made with humanely raised, 100% grass-fed beef. This wiener is made without hard to pronounce ingredients like Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrate and Maltodextrin—the chemicals our mom wanted us to avoid. Applegate keeps it clean– we’re talking about 4 simple ingredients that don’t take a food science degree to recognize, just grass-fed beef, salt, water and spices.

We can hardly believe how awesome these hot dogs are—and as girls who honestly don’t remember eating a hot dog before as we’d never want to eat all of the junk that came with it, we can proudly say, we love these 100% organic, grass fed beef dogs—and so much so that we’re having a blast cooking up some recipes with them. These dogs leave your taste buds so happy and your body feeling satisfied and light! Cheers to these Applegate wieners and to our newest recipe– Bruschetta Hot Dogs!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed, grated, or very finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
dash of salt and pepper
4 Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™
4 100% whole wheat hot dog buns

Directions:
1. Mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and let marinate while you prepare the hot dogs.
2. Place hot dogs on a hot grill or skillet and cook until the outside is charred and the inside is heated through (about 5-6 minutes).
3. Toast buns if desired, then place the hot dogs in the buns and top with the tomato mixture and enjoy! Or simply place hot dog in lettuce leaf, top with tomato mixture and wrap the leaf around the dog!

Nutrition Facts: (Wrapped in a lettuce wrap, the way we do it! 🙂 )
125 calories, 8 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 2 grams fiber

Nutrition Facts (served on a whole wheat bun):

255 calories, 14 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 6 grams fiber

We partnered with Applegate Farms to bring you this blog. This is a sponsored post but all opinions are our own.  And don’t forget to check out Applegate’s Instagram, facebook and twitter

Healthy Bruschetta Hotdogs (Organic!)
 
Nutrition Facts: (Wrapped in a lettuce wrap, the way we do it! 🙂 ) 125 calories, 8 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 2 grams fiber Nutrition Facts (served on a whole wheat bun): 255 calories, 14 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 6 grams fiber
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, grated, or very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 4 Applegate Organics® The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog™
  • 4 100% whole wheat hot dog buns
Instructions
  1. Mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and let marinate while you prepare the hot dogs.
  2. Place hot dogs on a hot grill or skillet and cook until the outside is charred and the inside is heated through (about 5-6 minutes).
  3. Toast buns if desired, then place the hot dogs in the buns and top with the tomato mixture and enjoy!

4 Foods that Mop up Toxins

As registered dietitian nutritionists, we think back to when we were kids and how we’d always feel lousy after eating too much junk food, but never let that stop us! — and we hardly noticed cigarette smoke or diesel fumes from the school bus that our mom warned us not to breathe.

Nowadays, we try to avoid overdoing it on sugary foods, as it typically makes our stomachs upset!  And we’re pretty sensitive to chemical smells and toxins and get headaches and sore throats very soon after exposure, oy—it’s not fun (that’s how we found out about Tammy’s situation, below)! Many of you have been asking if there is anything you can do if you’ve gotten a dose of toxins in some form–spent time in a smoky bar, overindulged in a few cocktails, ate foods that you felt we’re full of preservatives or if you exercised outdoors in a smoggy city.  The good news is that you can eat some foods to help your body to function at its’ peak (like this skinny iced matcha green tea latte —and see below for how it works its’ magic!) and while our bodies do an excellent job of detoxifying on their own, certain nutrients amp up the process and help it rid toxins much more efficiently!*

For those of you who know our story, ridding the body of toxins is personally, more important to us then ever since the apartment Tammy purchased last summer is unlivable due to harmful chemical fumes that she and her family have spent too much time in!

 

*Why does it matter if we’re exposed to toxins?:

We’re exposed to more chemicals than ever before. Toxins from pesticides, pollution, poor food choices, the environment, alcohol, etc., damage and age the body and lead to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.  So, the more efficiently your body (particularly your liver) rids itself of toxins, the healthier you’ll be. An accumulation of toxins can be the route of health issues, so help your body to get them out—the faster the better!

Try these 4 foods:

4 Foods that Mop up Toxins

1. Sip this Watermelon Cucumber ACV “Detox” Drink

This drink helps to promote the activity of a liver enzyme that converts harmful, toxic substances into less harsh chemicals, oh yeah! 🙂

Watermelon this time of year is insanely delish-we’d almost swap it for chocolate (we said almost!)! 😉

Bonus: This drink is a bona-fide bloat buster, click here to see how it works!

More drinks like these are featured in our 21- Day Body Reboot  which shows you how to lose your last ten pounds (or more!) while indulging—and  it includes a toxin- reducing and anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle plan.

 

2. Turmeric: Add this toxin- fighter to your meals, smoothies & drinks.

Turmeric is one of Lyssie’s faves—she adds it to everything!

It’s is a superstar!  It fights against inflammation and liver damage.

Try these three recipes to get started:
Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl
Lentil Vegetable Soup
Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

 

3. Green tea and its’ super star sista, Matcha (potent green tea)

Drink this at breakfast or snack time!

Green tea and matcha contain catechins including EGCG (epigallocatechin), a powerful, disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that is associated with everything from reducing cancer and blood pressure to protecting your brain against aging. EGCG/catechins appear to speed up liver activity and increase the production of detoxification enzymes.

This iced matcha detox drink combines nutrients to help your liver in its detoxification process and antioxidants to help your body fend off the damage from toxins and free radicals that occur from everyday living.  As an added bonus, it also helps fight bloat and has possible metabolism boosting benefits.

 

4. Lemons! (Yahoo! –because these also happen to be bloat-busters!) Use lemons instead of salt – they replace the flavor of salt without bloat!

Lemons detoxifying power:

  • Toxins often enter the body as free radicals. Lemons help to neutralize free radicals before they can do any further damage.  They also help prevent inflammation to fight against disease.
  • Lemons help to promote the activity of a liver enzyme that converts harmful, toxic substances to less harsh chemicals (via the liver through a compound called d-limonene.)

Make this Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive oil and Lemon Juice!

 

****BONUS Sip Ginger Mint Turmeric Green Tea “Flat-Belly” Tea that combines 4 potent foods that fight toxins! – Turmeric, green tea and ginger!—Oh my!  And oh my, mint too!

Sip this throughout the day after an indulgence, after spending time in smog during a strenuous workout or anytime you just want a boost from a delicious drink that packs in potent healing foods!  Learn why it works so well!

Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa

As picky little kids who’d only eat our beloved PB&J sandwiches, you’d probably be surprised to know that when asked where we’d like to go to eat for our birthday dinner that we’d pick a Mexican restaurant—spices and all. We’d always order a taco salad and just loved it. So now, as girls who love the rich spices in all ethnic foods, we’re not surprised that by the time we got to college and were cooking our own meals, that one of our favorite go-tos were chicken tacos. They were easy to make, delicious and healthy and at least once a week we’d meet one of our best friends to make them with her (although we loved them so much we would have eaten them nightly!)

In fact, our love for tacos, inspired these scrumptious, waist-line friendly numbers!:

Gluten-Free Tilapia Tacos with Zucchini Tortillas

Mediterranean Fish Tacos

Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos

Spicy Tuna Tacos

Salmon Tacos

And now, our taco love affair has inspired a new yum-ster. And we’re especially excited about these because you can make them from scratch, or have the ingredients pre-portioned and ready to cook right at your house!

 

California Prunes are the sweetest and juiciest prunes out there, making them the best way to beat a sugar craving! Plus, they’re packed with these health benefits:

  • A serving of four to five dried plums packs 3 full grams of fiber. About half of that is soluble fiber, which helps improve satiety, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that support your immune system, heart and eye health, memory, and more.
  • California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has just 100 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

 

  • Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This twist on classic chicken tacos explodes with sweet and savory flavors! Chili powder and cumin add a savory warmth to the baked chicken breasts, while California prunes add sweetness to an easy, fresh salsa. The combination of spiced chicken, sweet prunes, fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and zing from lime juice all wrapped up in a tortilla creates a fiesta with every bite! The refried black beans also got a healthy upgrade: we cut back on the fat while bumping up the flavor with spices, fresh cilantro and lime juice for a flavorful side dish that’s low in fat and high in protein and fiber. This dinner is hearty and filling, yet light enough to feel good about serving any night of the week.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Serves: 2 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 Roasted poblano
    • 3.5 oz Black beans
    • 1 Roma tomato
    • 2oz California prunes
    • 2 Shallots
    • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
    • 1 Lime
    • 2 Chicken breasts (4oz)
    • 2 tsp Cumin spice blend (equal parts cumin & chili powder)
    • 2 oz Roasted corn
    • 4 Corn tortillas
    Instructions
    1. STEP ONE
    2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
    3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
    4. Thinly slice the poblano and set aside.
    5. Drain and rinse the black beans.
    6. Cut the prunes into ¼-inch pieces. Place the prunes in a small bowl.
    7. STEP TWO
    8. Cut the tomato and shallots into ¼-inch pieces. Add HALF of tomato and shallots to the bowl with the prunes; reserve the remaining shallot for step 4 and tomatoes for step 5.
    9. Remove and discard the stems from cilantro, rough chop leaves and add only HALF to the bowl.
    10. Cut the lime in half. Squeeze HALF the lime into the small bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Toss well and set aside. Set aside remaining lime for step 5.
    11. STEP 3
    12. Pat dry chicken with paper towels. Add to a medium bowl. Add ONLY 1 teaspoon cumin spice blend, ½ teaspoon olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well and place the chicken on the prepared sheet pan.
    13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.
    14. Heat a small nonstick sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, add the poblano and roasted corn and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until warmed through. Set aside for plating
    15. STEP 4
    16. Heat a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the tortillas one at a time and heat for 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm for plating.
    17. In the same pan over medium-high heat, spray lightly with olive oil in a spray bottle. When hot, add remaining shallot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until softened.
    18. STEP 5
    19. Add the drained black beans and remaining cumin spice blend. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
    20. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 2 tablespoons of water and lightly mash beans with a fork. Cook until the water has been evaporated then add remaining chopped tomato. Add remaining cilantro, juice from the remaining lime, to the beans. Stir to combine, season to taste, and keep warm for serving.
    21. STEP 6
    22. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch pieces.
    23. Place two tortillas each on two plates.
    24. Divide the chicken and poblano and corn mixture between the tortillas.
    25. Top with the prune salsa and serve the tacos with refried beans on the side.
    26. Enjoy!
    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 430 Fat: 6 g Saturated fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 63 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 450 mg Fiber: 11 Protein: 34

Chicken Tacos with California Prune Salsa | The Nutrition Twins

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

Which Diet Is Best for Kids (and Adults!) with IBS?

When we were in junior high, one of our best friends always complained about her upset stomach. We felt terrible for her and wanted to help, but didn’t know what we could do. She went to the doctor a lot and seemed to try everything — we remember her having to avoid nuts and seeds, then breads, and later what seemed to be everything else. But nothing much seemed to help and she never really had too many answers about her pain or ways to feel better.

Years later, she was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Now, as registered dietitians who work regularly with kids (and adults!) who have IBS, we know exactly what to do to help them, and we think of our childhood friend frequently and wish we knew then what we know now!

 

If you’re like many of our friends and their children as well as our clients who have IBS, you’re not alone; about 20% of the population (including Tammy’s husband!) has this common GI condition, that is sometimes referred to as spastic colon or colitis. If you know anyone who has it, it’s not exactly a walk in the park– its symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation several times a month or week. Although it’s unclear what contributes to IBS, researchers believe stress, gut-brain communications, changes to gut microbiota and other factors may play a role.

If you have IBS or if your kid does, you’re probably all too familiar with how much it can get in the way of normal, everyday living and how it can disrupt a day of fun. In fact, when parents come to us looking to help their kids, they’ve often already tried eliminating things like gluten or milk from their kids diets as they’re typically desperate to help relieve their kid’s symptoms so that they can simply play with their friends without worrying they’ll have to end up rushing off to the bathroom. We get it, that’s no way to live! Here’s what we tell them that often surprises them and that also helps them to understand what foods may be causing the discomfort.

Don’t jump to use gluten-free foods. Can gluten-free foods make your child’s tummy troubles worse? New Research Says Yes.

A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics revealed that children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may be inadvertently eating and drinking foods and beverages that are gluten-free and supposedly more GI-friendly, but the choices are actually making their tummy troubles worse.

Note: If your child has celiac disease (only 1% of the population has celiac disease), they should avoid gluten.

What diet should kids with IBS follow? A low-FODMAP diet. (This is what we recommend for adults, too, as it’s successful in three out of four people with IBS).

When kids and adults with IBS eat foods rich in short-chain, fermentable carbohydrates, called FODMAPs, it triggers their annoying troublesome stomach issues. This is why gastroenterologists recommend a low-FODMAP diet for anyone with IBS.

FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPs are poorly-digested, short-chain carbohydrates that are present in a wide variety of foods, including wheat, onions, garlic, legumes, milk, yogurt, honey, apples, dried fruit, some sugar substitutes and added fiber like inulin.

So, although parents with children who have stomach issues often mistakenly believe the problem stems from wheat or gluten, this study shows that many gluten-free foods and beverages are actually high in FODMAPs and may trigger IBS symptoms in susceptible children.

The researchers analyzed foods and beverages from gluten-free breads and snacks; fruit drinks and gluten-free cereal and dairy alternatives to see if the foods and beverages had high or low-FODMAP content.

Results? Many gluten-free foods and beverages were high in FODMAPs, including certain gluten-free breads and muffins; lemonade, Snapple and cranberry juice; pretzels, potato chips and oven-baked French fries; and Rice Chex cereal.

Due to the high prevalence of IBS among the U.S. population, the authors recommend that food manufacturers provide specific FODMAP content on their products so that those who are on a low-FODMAP diet can make informed food choices (we’re all for this!). Some companies, like Rachel Pauls Food, and Nestle ProNourish are creating and marketing low-FODMAP foods and supplements.

We hope that more food manufactures follow suit and provide specific FODMAP concentrations of their products, like these companies, to help guide you when making choices about what to eat to help manage IBS symptoms. In the meantime, you can test how your kids feel when they eat foods that list that they are low in FODMAPs on the food label. And if you’d like more help and guidance, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment we’re happy to guide you to help your kids to follow a low-FODMAP diet.

This blog is sponsored by Rachel Pauls Food, makers of low-FODMAP Happy Bars and Happy Jerky to help individuals with IBS more easily follow a Low-FODMAP lifestyle.  Check out their FODMAPs guide.