Meal Planning

Nourished Kids Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for creative, food-themed gifts for the little ones in your life? Of course you are! These gifts may not be on your child’s wish list yet (unless you have an aspiring mini chef in the house!), but they are sure to encourage a love of food and cooking from an early age. As you’ve heard us say before, making healthy food fun is one of the best ways to get kids to try new things. These gift ideas will inspire them to learn about about the nutritious foods around them, how these foods are grown, and make them excited about helping you in the kitchen.


For Babies:

Touched By Nature Organic Cotton Onesiesonesies













One of our team members just had a baby and we would not be proper nutritionists and chefs if we didn’t give the little guy his very first food-related gift. So cute and so soft.


Olimpia and Carolina Superfood Teething Toy

Olimpia and Carolina

We are suckers for any toy that looks like a superfood! These environmentally-friendly teething toys are perfect for achy gums. And who knows? Your baby’s first word could be broccoli. Nothing wrong with that! This veggie crate of organic cotton teethers is equally adorable.


For Toddlers and Preschoolers:

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

We love this book because not only does it teach kids how plants grow, it also comes with seeded paper that you and your kids can plant to grow your own flowers! How cool is that?

Another classic: this Eating the Alphabet board book by Lois Ehlert.


Melissa and Doug Wooden Play Food

Cutting Food - Wooden Play Food

If your child is not quite ready to use a real knife, this play set is a great way for him/her to start practicing. The wooden food toys are stuck together with Velcro, and can easily be cut with the wooden knife that comes in the set. Something else that we love about this set is that it teaches kids the concept of fractions. Yay math!


Sunny Side Up Gardens Little Pizza Garden

Little Pizza Garden

If there is one thing we can count on it’s that kids love pizza. Who can blame them? We do too! This little garden includes everything you need to grow your own pizza toppers- seeds for tomatoes, basil, oregano, bell peppers, scallions, and parsley.



For Kids Ages 5 and Up:

Curious Chef Knife Set

Kids love things that are made just for them! These kid-friendly knives have ergonomic handles, blunt tips, and serrated cutting edges to be safe enough for kids to handle, but sharp enough to actually be useful. They are on our wish list this year!



Planetbox Stainless Steel Lunchboxes

You have probably seen this lunchbox featured in some of our Nourished Kids posts. It is one of our favorites because it is eco-friendly and durable (we’ve had ours for 3 years and it still looks exactly the same). All the different compartments and containers allow you to create different varieties of fun lunches for your kids. You also get a free magnet set to personalize it with your kid’s favorite design.

If you’re looking for something smaller, this LunchBots bento box is a great option, and you can use silicone liners like these for dips or foods that are runnier.


Back to the Roots Water Garden

Image result for back to the roots water garden

We want this for ourselves! This self-cleaning fish tank also grows herbs and microgreens. Per the website: “The fish waste fertilizes the plants and the plants clean the water — so fewer water changes required!” Doesn’t get any cooler than that!

Nourished Kids Holiday Gift Guide (2)

No matter what gift you decide on for the Nourished Kid in your life, here is a friendly reminder that kids learn best by example. Continue to practice your own healthy habits and your kids are sure to follow. Happy Holidays!

Eunice Holmes, RDN, LDN is a regular contributor to this blog and assistant nutrition manager for PreviMedica. Her favorite things are pretty food, being a cat lady without actually having a cat, and of course, her family.


All Things Oats

Freshly picked selection:


HolidayGifts (19 of 27)Oats in their original state are typically given to animals as feed. Once they are clean, hulled, and toasted, we get what is known as oat groats. Finally those are steamed and flattened producing rolled oats, which is the form of oats most of us are familiar with.

What to look for when purchasing:

When purchasing oats you will have the option for rolled oats/old fashioned oats, quick cooking oats, and instant oats. The only difference is the cooking time. Oats can also be purchased gluten free. Oats are naturally gluten free but often processed in facilities with gluten, so it is best to purchase certified gluten free oats if you are avoiding gluten.


There is only one variety of the actual oat plant however they are processed in multiple different ways, producing everything from oat flour to oat bran. Rolled oats are the ones most of us eat for breakfast. There are also steel cut/Irish oats, which are groats that have been cut into 2-3 pieces instead of rolled. Steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats. Oat flour is made from groats that are ground into a fine powder. Lastly, oat bran is actually the outer casing for the oat and very high in soluble fiber.

How to store:

Oats should be stored in an airtight container.

How to prepare:

Traditional rolled oats are typically cooked in water or milk to make oatmeal. They can also be used to make granola. Oat flour can be used in baking in place of other flours.

Nutritional Benefit:


For a tasty breakfast or great on-the-go snack, we love our Apple Quinoa Bites.

Apple Quinoa Bites

Another convenient and trendy way to enjoy oats is to make Overnight Oats. Short version: you add oats and other ingredients (including some form of liquid) to a jar and put in the fridge overnight. The next morning they are good to eat without having to cook them. Domesticate Me has a great recipe with more information about this technique.

Peanut Butter & Banana Overnight Oats

Oats are great for making granola, and it’s even easier if you make it in a slow cooker. Check out our Eggnog Granola which is not only tasty but makes a wonderful homemade holiday gift.

Eggnog Granola

Oats also make a great substitute for traditional bread crumbs. We used them in our gluten free meatballs.

Gluten Free Homestyle Meatballs

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:
Most of our staff uses oats to bake with. While you can buy oat flour, did you know you can also make your own? It’s simple; take a bag of gluten free oats and grind in a food processor until you get a fine powder.


Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Previ Culinary: Cranberry and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap – and we aren’t a fan of plain steamed brussels sprouts either. But when you combine them with cranberries, quinoa, pecans, and a deliciously tart dressing, magic happens. Consider this your new go to side dish for your holiday meals!


Cranberry & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Recipe From:

Makes 4-6 servings


Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, rinsed and ends trimmed, then halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


To make the salad:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.

For the dressing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Cranberry Brussels Sprouts Salad


Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.



A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

give-thanksBeing gluten free doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the traditional flavors of this beloved holiday. We have pulled together our best tips for enjoying a gluten free Thanksgiving, along with some of our favorite websites and blogs for some alternative versions of recipes that we crave during this time of the year.

A Gluten Free Take on Thanksgiving Classics

  • Roux: Instead of using flour and making a roux for your gravy, use cornstarch instead.  Cornstarch simply needs to be mixed with a small amount of stock or water (whisked together so that there are no lumps to make a slurry) and then whisked into the gravy.  As the gravy heats, it will thicken.  General rule of thumb is two tablespoons of cornstarch to 1-1 ½ cups gravy.
  • Stuffing: Gluten free bread is easy to come by and is a simple replacement for gluten containing bread for your stuffing.   If you like the simplicity of the prepared bread cubes for stuffing, gluten free replacements are readily available.  Arrowhead Mills, Ian’s, Hodgson Mills, and Williams Sonoma are some options.  Or instead of bread, think of using a gluten free grain or seed such as sorghum or quinoa.  If you opt to make your own stuffing with gluten free bread, Serious Eats shares how to make the best gluten free stuffing and also some suggestions for variations on the classic.
  • Green bean casserole is a staple for many Thanksgiving tables.  Instead of using the canned cream of mushroom soup, why not make it from scratch?  Not only does the canned version contain gluten, it also contains MSG which can cause adverse reactions in many. If you adore French’s crispy fried onions as a topper, you can easily make your own! Instead of using wheat flour, use rice flour, shallots or onions, and pan fry them.  You will be surprised at how much better they taste!  For our favorite gluten free green bean casserole, check out this recipe from Serious Eats.  It’s a winner!
  • Pies: Another must for Thankgiving. Pecan, pumpkin, and sweet potato… whichever pie you fancy there is a way to still enjoy them! Instead of skipping pies altogether, go for a gluten free pie crust. If you want to make it from scratch there are plenty of recipes out there, and  many stores sell prepared crusts or pie crust mixes. Some brand names include: Arrowhead Mills, Williams Sonoma, and Bob’s Red Mill. Check out how to make a gluten free pie crust here.  If you would prefer not to make your own flour blend and would rather purchase a premixed blend, try this recipe with King Arthur Flour Blend.

We hope that this helps you in your hunt for deliciousness during Thanksgiving!  Gluten free doesn’t mean flavor free.  Nowadays there are more options than ever!  If you have any recipes you’d like to share please share them on our Facebook page.

Happy Thanksgiving!

All Things Garlic

Freshly picked selection:



Garlic is a member of the lily family and a cousin to leeks, chives, and onions.

What to look for when purchasing:

Avoid heads with soft or shriveled cloves or those stored in the refrigerated section in the grocery store.


There are three common types of garlic. American garlic, which has white skin and has the strongest flavor, and Mexican and Italian garlic, that have pink skin and a milder flavor.

How to store:

Garlic should be stored in an open container in a cool, dark place.

How to prepare:

Garlic is usually peeled before use in recipes, though the whole bulb can be roasted to produce a sweet and buttery flavor.

Nutritional Benefit:


While garlic can be found in a lot of recipes, most people have never had it roasted. Roasting garlic gives it a sweet flavor and makes it almost spreadable. It can be eaten spread on toast or used in recipes. Garlic Matters give you the easy way to roast garlic and some recipes it can be used for.

Roasted Garlic

For an easy, one-pan dinner Gimme Delicious lets garlic shine in this simple zoodles dish.

4 Ingredient Garlic Chicken Zoodles

For a taste of fall, Healthy Seasonal Recipes adds garlic to butternut squash for a beautiful side dish.

Easy Garlic Herb Butternut Squash

Feeling adventurous?  Check out this tofu recipe. Tofu doesn’t have much taste on its own, so garlic is a good way to give it some flavor.

Asian Garlic Tofu 

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

It was a resounding similar sentiment about garlic among our staff when we asked them what they do with garlic. Everyone answered “I put it on everything”.


Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Our Favorite Dairy Free Products

What are your favorite dairy free products?  We get this question a lot.  We are an office full of mostly dairy free people, so we know quite a bit about dairy free products. Even if we haven’t tried it, our patients probably have.  We decided it’s time to put together a list of our tried-and-true favorite dairy free products in hopes it will help our friends out there like you!

Dairy Free Milk Canva


New Barn Almond Milk

This milk is a favorite because it has very few added ingredients, and instead of being sweetened with cane sugar, they use maple syrup.  If you opt for the unsweetened version, the only three ingredients are almonds, water, and acacia gum which helps to stabilize and thicken the milk.

Find it here.


Elmhurst makes a collection of rich and creamy milks that are all delicious with minimal ingredients.  We like that they use a cold brewing process that retains the nutrition of the nuts and eliminates the need for thickeners and stabilizers.  The only downside is they do not currently make unsweetened milk, but maybe they will in the future.

Find it here.

SILK Cashew Milk

SILK contains more ingredients than the two listed above, but SILK products are much easier to find, which may be a plus depending on where you live. Their cashew milk is a creamy blend of cashews and almonds.  It comes in a variety of sweetened and unsweetened flavors making it accessible for anyone.

Find it here.



Kite Hill Almond Yogurt (Regular and Greek)

Kite Hill yogurts are creamy and delicious.  They do have a mild almond flavor which isn’t noticeable with the flavored varieties- like blueberry, strawberry, etc.- but we enjoy the plain unsweetened variety and flavor it ourselves.  The Greek version is creamier than the original.

Find it here.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt

We like So Delicious because it comes in a variety of flavors and is easy to find.  The yogurt itself is not as thick as regular yogurt and slightly more sweet from the coconut milk.

Find it here.

Amande Almond Yogurt

This yogurt is a good option for those who are avoiding sugar but still enjoy sweet flavors, as it is sweetened only with fruit juice.  They offer many different flavors, including plain, and the yogurt is a rich and creamy consistency.

Find it here.



Note: Unfortunately, there are not many dairy free cheeses available that are similar to the flavor of real cheese.  Because of this, most are disappointed when they try them. That said, with an open mind, these cheese alternatives can be quite enjoyable. We like to take it in a new direction with something unexpected, such as a nut cheese.

Kite Hill Almond Cheese

Kite Hill has it cheese down to a science.  While they are not the traditional shredded or block cheese, they are delicious and enjoyed spread over gluten free crackers, breads, or fruit.

Find it here.

Dr. Cow Cashew or Macadamia Nut Cheese

Dr. Cow, like Kite Hill, makes nut cheeses which are more of a spreadable type cheese.  Their inventory consists of cashew and macadamia nut cheese.  They also have different infused flavors which are great.

Find it here.


Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut, Almond, and Cashew Milk Ice Creams

So Delicious is easy to find and we like that they make a coconut milk ice cream that doesn’t contain any sugar – only erythritol and monk fruit (lo han guo).  The cashew variety is especially creamy and melts like real ice cream.

Find it here.

Wink Sugar Free Dairy Free Desserts

This frozen dessert does not contain sugar and has recognizable ingredients. A great option if you are dealing with food sensitivities.

Find it here.

*As always, when purchasing commercially packaged foods, always read the ingredient labels to be sure it is free of any allergens or ingredients you are sensitive to.


Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. Her main recipe tester is her 22 month old son.  You can learn more about her here.


All Things Pear

Freshly picked selection:


800px-Eight_varieties_of_pearsUnlike most fruit, pears actually get better once they have been picked. Their flavor and texture improves as they ripen once off the tree.

When it’s in season:

July to early spring.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose pears that are free of bruises and fragrant.


There are over 5000 varieties of pears grown in the world. They range in color and flavor. The most common are Asian, Barlett, Bosc and Comice.

How to store:

Pears should be stored at room temperature until ripe. They should be refrigerated as soon as they are ripe.

How to prepare:

Pears are typically eaten raw and the skin and flesh is edible. If you peel the skin, the pear will brown fairly quickly. Pears can also be cooked or canned.

Nutritional Benefit:



Have you ever had pear sauce? It’s like applesauce, but tastier. A Savory Feast combines the two together for a perfect little treat. Add cinnamon for an added fall flavor.

Pear & Apple Sauce

For a unique breakfast option, in this recipe they pair pears with ginger and golden raisins. Sure to wake up your taste buds!

Quinoa Porridge with Pears & Ginger

Pears are often used in spinach salads alongside nuts for a nice fall taste. The Recipe Critic tops it with a lemon poppyseed dressing, which is sure to be a hit. Watching your sugar intake? Just use plain roasted walnuts instead of the candied ones and eliminate the sugar in the dressing.

Candied Walnut and Pear Salad

If you are looking for a way to enjoy pears in an entree, try this pork recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Pear Sauce

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love poached pears! They are very easy to make and are a gorgeous dessert for the holidays. You simply boil peeled pears in red wine and spices, and serve with a dollop of vanilla yogurt. ” – Megan Huard, Chef RD


Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Living With Food Sensitivities: Gluten

So you reacted to gluten on your food sensitivity test, now what?

At the end of the day, you probably just want to know- what do I eat? Which, I promise we will get to. But first, it is important to understand what your culprit is so you at least have a general idea of where it’s found to better avoid it.


Gluten is a protein found in the following grains: wheat, spelt, malt, barley, and rye. While you may not necessarily be eating these grains whole, like pearled barley with your steak, a sandwich on rye bread, or cream of wheat for breakfast- these are all very common ingredients in a lot of processed and packaged foods. So if you want to see the best possible results with your food sensitivity testing and are currently eat packaged foods, you are likely going to be replacing a lot of these with alternative products.

The “obvious” foods that will contain gluten are baked goods and anything made with flour. This includes: bread, pasta, pizza, muffins, tortillas, cookies, pastries, cakes, etc. The not so obvious ones will be products like: flavored snacks, spices, sauces (soy, Marinara, Worcestershire), dressings, processed meats, gravies, beer, candy, seitan, panko, orzo, udon, couscous and grains that are derivatives of wheat like semolina, faro, durum, and bulgur.

Brunch (11 of 19)

By now, I’m sure you’re thinking “is there anything left for me to eat?!”

The good news is- YES! Yes, there is. For every food that contains gluten there is likely a gluten free alternative. To ensure complete avoidance, taking on the habit of reading ingredient labels is key. You’re not likely to find the word “gluten” listed. Instead, you want to make sure the aforementioned grains (or derivatives) are not listed anywhere on the ingredient list. The easiest way to seek these for these alternative foods is by looking for a “GF” or “gluten free” or “certified gluten free” label on the product. If a product is labeled only as “wheat free”, this does not necessarily mean that that it will be gluten free.

labelreading (1 of 1)

To add to the good news, you don’t have to go to a “special store” to find gluten free options. Many grocery stores carry a variety of gluten free products. Depending on the set-up, some may have it in the same aisle as the gluten contain food you may be looking for, or they may be in its own special section. If you are not sure, just ask an employee. One example, gluten free breads almost always come frozen; so be sure to check out the bread section in the freezer aisle for your gluten free options. If options are limited at your regular grocery store, then you may want to consider your local health food store, as they may carry a wider variety of gluten free products.

With the good news also comes the not-so-good news. Gluten free products will perhaps not taste like their gluten-containing counterparts and will likely be more expensive. Keep an open mind when it comes to these alternative options; if you didn’t like the gluten free bread or gluten free cracker you picked up, try a different brand next time you are at the grocery store. To try and keep your grocery bill from skyrocketing with this new eating pattern, consider naturally gluten free foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and the following whole grains: amaranth, buckwheat, corn (organic, non GMO), millet, oats (gluten free), quinoa, rice, sorghum, tapioca, teff, wild rice.


Lastly, a common misconception of gluten free products is that they are healthier. The truth is, a cookie is a cookie- gluten free or not. In fact, the gluten free alternative may have more sugar and processed fats compared to the gluten containing one. It is important to not lose sight of promoting positive eating to reach your wellness goals. Choose naturally gluten free whole foods first and implement your processed gluten free products as needed.

Changing eating habits is a difficult, sometimes intimidating, task to take on and may not necessarily be achieved overnight. However, with guidance, planning, and an open mind, living a gluten free life can be enjoyable and fulfilling!

If you’re looking for gluten free recipes, you’ve come to the right place! The majority of the recipes on this website are gluten free.. Here are some of our favorite alternatives to traditionally gluten-containing dishes:

Gluten Free Chicken and Dumplings

Gluten Free Mac N’ Cheese

Easy Gluten Free Almond Bread

Easy Two-Ingredient Pancakes

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Apple Carrot Muffins

Living Gluten Free


Ashat, Munish.  Kochhar, Rakesh. (2014). Non-celiac gluten hypersensitivity, Tropical Gastroenterology, 35 (2): 71-78.

“The Gluten-Free Diet.” Beyond Celiac,

Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

All Things Sage

Freshly picked selection:



When it’s in season:

Sage is available year-round but its peak season is the autumn months.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose sage that has a fresh color and smell. You want to avoid leaves that have brown spots or appear wet.


In addition to regular sage, there is also pineapple sage which has a sweet, intense pineapple scent.

How to store:

Refrigerate wrapped in a paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. Dried sage should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

How to prepare:

Sage can be eaten raw but is more commonly found in cooked dishes like stuffing and sausage. Fresh and dried sage can be sliced and added to recipes.

Nutritional Benefit:


Sage is a great accent to this spin on an Italian dish from No Spoon Necessary.

Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara

You often see pork and sage together, as they complement each other very well. Just A Little Bit of Bacon throws in some apples too for an easy weeknight dinner.

Easy Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Sage

This 5-minute chicken recipe has sage as the main attraction, and is convenient because it can be served over your grain or starch of choice.

5 Minute Brown Butter Chicken and Crispy Sage

We can’t talk sage without talking stuffing, of course. Tasty Yummies has a gluten free stuffing recipe you’ll love.

Quinoa Sage Gluten Free Stuffing 

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love to use sage along with other fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme with some onions and garlic to stuff baked fish.” – Jen Mahama, Navigator


Previ Culinary: Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Latte

Nothing says “fall” like pumpkin and we love our version of a delicious pumpkin spice latte. This creamer is dairy free and keeps refrigerated for up to one week. You would never know how easy it is to make! Enjoy it in coffee, as a dairy free milk flavoring, or anything else you may think of!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes: about 3 ½ cups “creamer”

*This recipe is based on your own taste.  The amounts shown below are the maximum amounts that we used in our kitchen.  Feel free to adjust them as necessary!  This creamer will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.  It is also good in iced coffee!


For creamer:

  • 2 – 13.66 oz. cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1 – 15oz. can organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon to taste

For one serving:

  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


  1. Heat the coconut milk over medium high heat until it is smooth and warmed, but not boiling.
  2. Whisk in ¼ cup pumpkin and taste the mixture. Add up to one can of pumpkin puree to taste.
  3. Whisk in 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice. Taste and add more if needed.
  4. Whisk in maple syrup.
  5. Pour “creamer” to taste into a cup of hot coffee, garnish with cinnamon and enjoy!
  6. Pour remaining creamer in a jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for one week.


Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.


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