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School Lunch Planning Guide

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 1:30:31 PM America/Detroit

Tara's Lunch Packing Tips

  • Have a reusable lunch box and water bottle.
    • These are super convenient to have for lunch packing and the water bottle helps ensure a well hydrated kiddo.
    • Offer a mix of nutrient rich proteins, fats, and carbs.
      • You want to fuel both your child’s mind and body and a good mix of micro and macronutrients is just the ticket to do so.
      • Here are some options that you can mix and match from:
        • Proteins
          • Cheese
          • Cottage cheese
          • Eggs
          • Tuna
      • Fats
        • Avocado
        • Nuts or nut butters
        • Oils
        • Olives
        • Seeds
      • Carb
        • Beans
        • Fruits (fresh, frozen, or dried)
        • Milk or yogurt
        • Vegetables
        • Whole grains (bread, pasta, or pita)
  • Here are some examples:
    • Hummus, pita bread, olives, carrots, milk
    • Cucumber, watermelon, cheese kabobs, yogurt with pepitas
    • Cheese cubes, whole grain crackers, grapes, cucumber slices , milk
    • Guacamole, tortilla chips, pomegranate, edamame, milk
    • Nuts, berries, cottage cheese, snap peas, milk
    • Tuna sandwich on whole grain bread, apple slices, grape tomatoes, yogurt
    • Pasta salad with veggies, hardboiled egg, orange slices, yogurt
    • Almond butter, honey, and dried cherry sandwich on whole grain, melon, popcorn, milk
    • Include a fruit or a vegetable, or even better, both!
      • Make sure that it is an option that your little one likes. It’s great to offer new foods but perhaps not when your kiddo is away from home and other food options for a large chunk of the day.
      • Make it kid friendly and easily accessible.
        • Peel the orange, slice up the cucumber, pit the cherries, dice the avocado, and spread the almond butter all in advance as these things will make it quicker and easier for your child to enjoy their lunch.
        • Getting them involved in the planning and prep is also a great idea. It may help teach them the positives of planning ahead!

Your super fruit sidekick,



Posted By Jordan Fekete

A Good Night's Rest: Moon Milk

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 9:14:41 AM America/Detroit

Eating nourishing food is, of course, a key part of a healthy lifestyle. But have you ever thought about aligning your eating schedule with your circadian rhythm? Wait…what is circadian rhythm?? Think of this as a built in body clock involving your sleep/wake pattern. Eating and sleeping at the wrong time disrupts the circadian rhythm and may interfere with healthy metabolic function. Who knew!? Meal timing and adequate sleep are key factors to healthy living.

Here are some considerations to help align your eating pattern with your circadian rhythm:

1. Eat breakfast shortly after waking as to shift the body into wake mode.

2. Shortly after waking, consider natural light, fresh air, and/or some exercise as another method to re-inforce to your body and metabolism that it is time to wake.

3. Get adequate sleep - making good food choices, exercising, and coping with stress are all easier when you are well rested.

4. Consider no light at night: turn off the television and put away cell phone.

5. If you choose to have caffeine, consume it no later than mid-day.

6. Consider this moon milk recipe for a dietary source of melatonin (Montmorency tart cherry juice) to naturally assist sleep:


    5 oz unsweetened almond milk

    1 oz Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate

    Optional: for a spiced milk add turmeric, cinnamon, ginger powder, and/or nutmeg per preference

    Mix ingredients, heat on stove top, and enjoy.

    7. Follow the same schedule on weekdays and weekends times; this is important as to re-inforce the circadian rhythm.

    8. Consider set meal times.

    9. Consume the majority of your days energy earlier in day when your body is more efficient at utilizing this energy.

    • Consider eating your largest meal mid-day.
    • Consider only light eating later in the day.

    10. Fast at night along with your sleeping period.

    • Consider a 12 hour fast, stopping eating in the evening, continue fasting while sleeping, and not eating until breakfast the next day.
    • Consider a set and consistent bed time and wake time.

    Sleep tight!

    Your super fruit sidekick,


    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    Grab this, leave that!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2018 11:51:11 AM America/Detroit

    Navigating the grocery store can be quite the intense task. Below are some fun swap out ideas for you to try so you can easily “grab” the healthy option and “leave” behind the not so lovely option. Enjoy!

    Grab this

    Leave this




    Avocados house monounsaturated fatty acids which are heart healthy and may reduce inflammation. Try spreading it instead of mayo on your sandwich.

    Banana ice cream

    Ice cream

    Just freeze your sliced bananas and then puree…super easy and yummy. By doing this, you’ll lower calories and saturated fat without lessening the tastiness and creaminess.

    Dried fruit

    Fruit gummies

    With dried fruit you will get the cell protective, antioxidant benefits of fruit…. On the other hand, {spoiler alert} fruit gummies are really just candy in disguise.

    Kale chips

    Potato chips

    These crispy delicious green guys are super nutrient rich, contain fiber, but don’t house the calories and non-beneficial fats that potato chips do.

    Nutritional yeast

    Parmesan cheese

    With its cheesy favor it hits the palate nice, yet offers B vitamins that the Parm does not.



    Croutons are emty calories and excessive carbohydrates. Nuts, however, offer heart-healthy fats and protein. 

    Sparkling water


    If you need the fizz in your beverage it’s best to opt for a sparkling water and leave the soda behind. All that sugar wreaks havoc on our precious bodies. In just 1 can of soda there’s more than 9 teaspoons of sugar!



    Zoodles or zucchini noodles have significantly less calories and carbohydrates compared to regular noodles.

    Your super fruit sidekick,


    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    Sidekick Profile: Meet Kasey!

    Tuesday, July 24, 2018 2:49:54 PM America/Detroit

    Kasey Goins ~ A chocolate-loving Physician Assistant with a strong belief that food is medicine.

    Professional Experience:

    I am a full time Physician Assistant in Family Medicine and have a huge interest in nutrition and wellness.  I believe that food is medicine and that what we consume can either hurt or heal our bodies.  I love working with women who have (or have had) chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and autoimmune conditions and aim to help them find healing through healthy food. 

    Tips and Tricks for Cooking Healthy:

    • Prepare in advance! I’m super busy and always on the go, so being prepared is key for not pining for the nearest drive thru or vending machine when hunger strikes! I recommend planning out your meals for the week. This way, you're purchasing healthy ingredients without creating waste.
    • Wash & Cut: Plan time to wash and chop your vegetables right when you get home from shopping. You can also portion out meat (I like to portion chicken into 1 or 1 ½ pound freezer bags).  These tips make mealtime a cinch!
    • Slow & Low: The slow cooker is your best friend! 
    • Simple Snacks: For snacks, I like homemade granola bars, trail mix, or have fruit washed, cut and ready for snacking.

    Favorite Graceland Fruit Products:

    My husband and I love all of them, but particularly the No Sugar Added Dried Cranberries!  And the organic blueberries, too!  I add the cranberries to granola bars and salads, and often will make my husband a batch of peanut butter granola bars with dried blueberries. So good!

    Instagram feed Kasey enjoys:
    So many to pick from!  I’m a sucker for the recipes that Tieghan Gerard (@HalfBakedHarvest) creates, and I can’t get enough of Jessica Merchant’s (@HowSweetEats) wittiness and creative food combinations!  Also, Erin from @TheAlmondEater has the most stunning photos and cakes!  I get my inspiration from so many places!

     When not in the kitchens, you might find Kasey…

    Probably at the gym, doing yoga, or in the kitchen!  I also love visiting the farmer’s market and hanging out at the beach in the summer!

    Second Act Career?

    I would absolutely love to take my blog full time.  I love the idea of working from home and making a living helping others improve their health.

    Connect with Kasey:

    Facebook: Well-Fed Soul

    Instagram: @well_fedsoul



    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    How to: S'mores Bar

    Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:55:06 AM America/Detroit

    June is National Camping Month so let’s talk s’mores! I love me the occasional s’more and so do my girls. Rather than doing the traditional s’mores, we recently set up a s’mores bar with some fun and delish toppings to choose from. If you’re a fellow s’mores lover who wants to make this happen, here’s how! 

    • Gather the following ingredients:
      • Whole grain graham crackers
      • Dark chocolate (Tip: at least 70% cocoa for an antioxidant punch)
      • Marshmallows (Tip: for the vegans out there…pick up the Dandies brand and you’ll skip the gelatin)
      • Additional toppings:
        • Diced banana pieces
        • Diced strawberry pieces
        • Peanut butter or almond butter
        • Nutella
        • Pretzel sticks broken into pieces
        • Sprinkles (Tip: to keep the fun but skip all the food dye and trans fat go organic)
        • Next, belly up to the s’mores bar, add a chocolate square along with your toppings of choice to a graham cracker square (Tip: the peanut butter, almond butter, or Nutella will help the other toppings stick)
        • Roast your marshmallow and put it on the pre-loaded graham cracker square
        • Place a graham cracker square on top and enjoy! 

    Your super fruit sidekick,


    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    Sidekick Profile: Meet Vanessa!

    Thursday, June 14, 2018 2:24:33 PM America/Detroit

    Vanessa Musi ~ Revolutionary Pastry Chef with a healthy sweet tooth.

    Vanessa Musi: Revolutionary Pastry Chef with a healthy sweet tooth.

    Professional Experience: In 1992 I started baking my first healthy desserts and inspired by my personal story of hypoglycemia. I became the first healthy pastry chef in Mexico, one of the first in the world. I graduated with honors from the French Pastry School; since then, I have spent 26 years teaching, consulting for major restaurants, bakeries and doing recipe development for companies such as Starbucks and Bulletproof. I pioneered the first classes, workshops and healthy baking programs specializing in paleo, grain free, whole grain, vegan and keto recipes. Currently, I am creating the fist healthy baking school and bakery in the world in Austin.

    Tips and Tricks for Cooking Healthy: Plan ahead! Buy frozen veggies, fruits, prepare your organic veggies (wash them and store them) so you can immediately make anything. I like to prep on Monday and make a few containers of veggies, rice or cauliflower rice and salmon that I can turn into different dishes in no time. For snacks, I keep boxes of my favorite bars or organic and sprouted nuts and seeds on hand. If I need to travel or have something on the go, I just pack some in a bag so I am prepared and don’t have emergencies. This is important for me because I have hypoglycemia.

    Favorite Graceland Fruit Products: I love the no added sugar dried cranberries so much! And the Montmorency dried cherries -- I put them on my salads and add them to my cookies and bars.

    Instagram feed Vanessa enjoys: @thefeedfeed

    When not in the kitchens, you might find Vanessa… Exploring bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, reading recipes online, walking, traveling to cities like NYC, Chicago, LA. I love self-development, entrepreneurship, social media and nutrition and listen to a lot of podcasts

    Connect with Vanessa:


    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    National Great Outdoors Month

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:58:03 AM America/Detroit

    June is National Great Outdoors Month. In celebration, I would love to share some ways to embrace adventure in the great outdoors.

    • Let your curiosity guide you: commit to trying a new outside activity. Maybe you have always wanted to canoe, go fishing, or sail. Seek it out and make it happen.
    • Explore nature: Try a good ole’ fashion hike in the woods. You’ll be getting fresh air and physical activity together in one.
    • Seek out an adventure: Really, the possibilities are endless here. My personal adventure this summer will be to take my girls to Sleeping Bear Dunes
    • Practice mindfulness in your current environment: Often adventure exists in familiar places if you view it through new eyes. Go for a walk in a place that you know very well but be mindful of every step along the way. In the words of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh “walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
    • Bring the indoors out: Do something that you typically do inside, outside. Some examples of this include doing yoga on the beach, reading under a tree, or sleeping under the stars.

    How do you opt outside?

    Your super fruit sidekick,


    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    In Bloom: Cherries

    Friday, May 25, 2018 11:20:31 AM America/Detroit

    With the National Cherry Festival on the horizon it seems fitting to do an ode to the amazing benefits of Montmorency tart cherries!

    Nutritional benefits


    • High concentration of anthocyanins, through antioxidant benefits
      • Are cardio-protective and may reduce the risk of heart disease
      • Are anti-inflammatory and may decrease inflammation in the body
      • (For athletes) may help with muscle recovery after a workout

    Naturally occurring melatonin:

    • Promotes better sleep by improving the quality and duration of sleep once you hit the pillow

    Dietary Fiber:

    • helps us feeling full and in effect we may eat less
    • may help with blood sugar control
    • has cholesterol lowering effects
    • contributes to digestive health

    Make them a part of your daily routine to achieve the benefits

    Easy snacks for families

    • Nuts, pepitas, dried cherry mix
    • Top a yogurt parfait
    • Add to tuna salad and spread on a whole grain pita
    • Add as part of a cheese board
    • Toss on a bowl of oatmeal or granola

    Your Super Fruit Sidekick, Tara

    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    Memorial Day Picnic Checklist

    Thursday, May 24, 2018 2:17:08 PM America/Detroit

    Guys, it’s finally here!!! Warm weather! My family has been living it up outside and enjoying some good outdoor eats. Here is our handy checklist for planning a picnic:

    Picnic basket items:

    • Supplies
      • Plates
      • Cups
      • Silverware – some for eating and some for serving
      • Napkins
      • Cutting board - provides a flat surface to serve on
      • Corkscrew
      • Food
        • Tip: Try not to over pack perishable foods as this will help you limit waste and also lower food poisoning risk.
        • Easy, nutrient rich, and balanced packables:
          • Cut up fruits and veggies
          • Dried fruit
          • Nuts
          • Whole grain crackers
          • Hummus
          • Olives
          • Cheese
          • Sandwiches
          • Flatbreads packed with veggies
          • Drinks
            • Ice water works two fold – to hydrate you and to keep your food cold
              • Bring plenty of water if it’s hot or throw in some la croix as well if you want some flavor in your hydrator
    • Wine – yes please
    • Cold pack

    Tip for packing your picnic basket:

    • Place bottles of ice water on top to keep food cold
    • Having reusable containers for packing your picnic will help your picnic packing and is more earth friendly than plastic sandwich baggies…GO GREEN!

    Other items to bring:

    • Sunhats
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Picnic blanket
    • Frisbee
    • If you have a doggie – a bowl for water

    Your Super Fruit Sidekick, Tara

    Posted By Jordan Fekete

    Graceland Fruit Announces Wisconsin Expansion

    Friday, April 27, 2018 11:51:57 AM America/Detroit

    Addition of State-of-the-art Production Facility Provides 30 Percent Increase in Manufacturing Capacity

    Read More
    Posted By Jordan Fekete
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