Category Archives: From The Newsletter

bacon

No More Bacon for Little Johnny?

As you have no doubt heard, the World Health Organization’s Inter­na­tional Agency for Research on Can­cer (IARC) recently announced the results of a meta-analysis based on over 800 stud­ies doc­u­ment­ing the asso­ci­a­tion between a diet high in red and processed meats and an increased risk of col­orec­tal can­cer.  This does not mean a causal rela­tion­ship was found, just that the pre­pon­der­ance of evi­dence sug­gests such a rela­tion­ship exists.

 It’s not like this is new news for us.

 As Mar­ion Nes­tle points out in her Food Pol­i­tics Blog, ever since the 1959 diet book “Eat Well and Stay Well” by health experts Ancel and Mar­garet Keys, Amer­i­cans have been directed to limit intake of processed and red meats to reduce the chance of heart dis­ease.  By the late 1990s, dur­ing our nation’s low fat craze, can­cer experts again advised us to reduce con­sump­tion of red and processed meats as they believed the high-fat intake that comes from a diet high in these meats was a “prob­a­ble cause” of var­i­ous types of cancer.

 If you’re any­thing like me, you’re a believer in the old adage “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”  And there’s been a lot of smoke.  The issue is not whether or not the data exists.  It clearly it does and has for decades.  The issue is…

 Why haven’t we heeded it?

 We are a red meat and burger-eating nation with an army of bacon-lovers.  We have bacon fla­vored tooth­picks, cup­cakes, and band-aids in the shape of a slice.  We even host a nation­ally tele­vised Annual Hot Dog eat­ing con­test!   It’s hard to give up the foods we love, espe­cially when so much fan­fare sur­rounds them.   We raise our chil­dren in this hedo­nis­tic cul­ture of food enter­tain­ment, and their food habits become an unin­tended by-product of this environment.

The research is not sug­gest­ing we cut “cold turkey” (although the high mor­tal­ity rates of those liv­ing the vegan life demon­strate wis­dom in that choice).  Instead, the research urges us to approach these foods in mod­er­a­tion along with a bal­anced, nutri­tious diet.

 What do you need to be con­cerned about for your family?

 As par­ents, we have taken the uni­ver­sal oath of a life­time of respon­si­bil­ity over our chil­dren.  We want noth­ing more than for them to live long, happy, and healthy lives.   If we can do that eas­ily and in a way that min­i­mizes resis­tance, then most of us would hap­pily stand in line for the magic formula!

 Your best bet is to feed your kids a bal­anced diet, includ­ing an increase in fruits and veg­gies and a decrease in processed and red meat.  Eat a bal­anced diet with every­thing in mod­er­a­tion, cook­ing foods for your fam­ily your­self when­ever pos­si­ble, using lots of raw, pure ingre­di­ents.  Save red and processed meats for spe­cial occa­sions, and teach your chil­dren why it’s impor­tant they do the same.   In par­tic­u­lar, aim for less than the fol­low­ing aver­age intake of these foods:

  • 4 oz daily of red meat (e.g., a quarter-pound burger)
  • 2 oz daily of processed meat (e.g., 2 slices of ham or salami)

 The recent WHO study con­cludes that a diet high in processed meat is a defin­i­tive cause and high in red meat is a prob­a­ble cause of col­orec­tal can­cer.  Eat­ing more than the amounts listed above will increase you and your child’s col­orec­tal can­cer risk by 18%, and increase total life­time risk from 5% to 6%.

To help you man­age that risk, here are some ideas for strate­gies you can adopt today by mak­ing some small changes to your family’s diet:

  • Use nut­but­ters or tuna/chicken/egg sal­ads instead of deli meat for sandwiches
  • Sub­sti­tute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken in beef recipes
  • Do not have too many cold cuts in the house (if they are there, they do get eaten!)
  • Cel­e­brate #meat­less­mon­day with your fam­ily every week
  • Sub out fresh fruit instead of sausage and bacon for breakfast
  • Save red and processed meats for a once a week treat, when­ever possible

 At WT Café, we are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing your fam­ily with con­ve­nient, fresh, and healthy foods.  In our local kitchens, recipes tra­di­tion­ally made with ground beef are made instead with ground turkey, a prac­tice we employed since the day we founded our com­pany in 2007.   Entrees like Spaghetti & Meat­balls, Shepherd’s Pie, Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, Tacos, Meat Lasagna, Chili, and Meat­loaf & Mashed Pota­toes are all deli­ciously made with our house-seasoned ground turkey.   We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Feed­ing a gen­er­a­tion of healthy, happy eaters is worth doing, and any­thing worth doing is worth doing right.

Thank you for the priv­i­lege of feed­ing your children!

Deb­bie Blacher

Founder, WT Café

SOURCES

 

Dr. David L. Katz,

Founder, True Health Coalition

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/meat-cancer-hammering-memo-david-l-katz-md-mph

 

Dr. Mar­ion Nestle

Food Pol­i­tics Blog

http://www.foodpolitics.com/2015/10/some-comments-on-the-meat-is-carcinogenic-report/

 

NY TIMES Sun­day Review

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/sunday-review/so-will-processed-meat-give-you-cancer.html?_r=0

 

Time Mag­a­zine

The War On Delicious

http://time.com/4092378/red-meat-hot-dogs-and-the-war-on-delicious/

 

October Newsletter

If you’ve been fol­low­ing our con­ver­sa­tion on Face­book, you’ve noticed some sober­ing facts regard­ing the state of the health of our children:

  1. 1/3 of Amer­i­can chil­dren eat fast food every day
  2. Kids who fre­quently eat fast food have higher rates of obesity
  3. An obese child has an 89% chance of grow­ing into an obese adult
  4. Only 1 in 210 obese adults ever regain a healthy weight

What does all this mean?

It means that our jobs as par­ents and edu­ca­tors just climbed another rung on the lad­der of impor­tance.  Cur­ing our country’s obe­sity woes starts with us – the adults in our children’s lives -  chang­ing the way kids eat.

The power for change is within our control.

Kids don’t know it, but they need adults in their lives to be role mod­els for good behav­ior.  With­out our guid­ance and advice, kids do what kids to best…..make impul­sive deci­sions that come back to bite them. Teach­ing chil­dren healthy habits is as impor­tant a les­son as brush­ing their teeth, wash­ing their hands, and look­ing both ways before cross­ing the street.

Yet we have a Con­gress bick­er­ing over whether to lower cur­rent nutri­tional stan­dards of the National School Lunch Pro­gram.  When 80% of our chil­dren attend pub­lic school and con­sume 50% of their calo­ries there, do we not have a respon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide sound nutrition?

We have a pow­er­ful lob­by­ing group (errantly called the School Nutri­tion Asso­ci­a­tion) lead­ing the move­ment to repeal stan­dards.  Backed by big processed food man­u­fac­tur­ers with bil­lions invested in pub­lic school lunch com­modi­ties, the SNA is fight­ing to reverse cur­rent nutri­tional stan­dards in favor of lax ones.

Why take a step back­wards now?

Per­haps low­er­ing stan­dards seems like a good idea when pub­lic schools are leav­ing the National School Lunch Pro­gram in record num­bers.  Kids are throw­ing out more food than ever before and have ini­ti­ated thriv­ing social media boy­cotts to drive the change they want to see (#thanksmichelleobama).  Dis­tricts are los­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars every year due to increased waste and decreased participation.

 It is obvi­ous that change must happen.

But there must be a bet­ter solu­tion than back­ing off cur­rent stan­dards.  If we lower stan­dards, we are mak­ing deci­sions at the expense of our chil­dren instead of for their ben­e­fit.  If we lower stan­dards, we are pro­long­ing our cur­rent health cri­sis, not fix­ing it.  If we lower stan­dards, we are not lead­ing our chil­dren, we are giv­ing in to them.

For us at WT Café, the solu­tion is an easy one.  We cook fresh food for kids and fam­i­lies every day in local kitchens across the coun­try.  So far, we’ve served over 2 mil­lion meals at over 200 schools across the coun­try.  We’ve built a pro­gram that helps schools and fam­i­lies ele­vate the qual­ity of their food choices, so they can feel good being part of the solu­tion, not part of the problem.

 It’s not hard, Washington!

Let’s keep nutri­tion stan­dards high and teach pub­lic school kitchens how to cook food from scratch.  Let’s show them how to take fresh veg­eta­bles and add sea­son­ing and new cook­ing tech­niques to bring out their nat­ural fla­vor.  Let’s help them elim­i­nate processed foods and let chil­dren eat as nature intended.

Give these dis­tricts the sys­tems they need to effi­ciently and prof­itably run a scratch operation….recipes, sup­pli­ers, train­ing, and tech­nol­ogy.  Give pub­lic schools the tools they need to ele­vate their pro­grams and keep their stan­dards high….you may be sur­prised at what they can do!

Good health is every­thing, and it starts with us.

fastfood

New evidence that fast food is bad for kids’ learning

fastfood

Life moves pretty fast some­times, and we’re often left try­ing to play catch-up. One area fam­i­lies try to save time in their busy lives is meal prepa­ra­tion. Being able to skip mak­ing break­fast, lunch, or din­ner can be a huge time saver for par­ents. Unfor­tu­nately this usu­ally does more harm than good. For years fast food con­sump­tion has been linked to child­hood obe­sity, now new con­cerns are being raised about feed­ing our lit­tle ones fast food as opposed to healthy home cooked meals. A recent “study pub­lished in Clin­i­cal Pediatrics…suggests that chil­dren who eat reg­u­larly at McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and the like don’t per­form as well at school as their peers.” The study mea­sured more than 8,500 Amer­i­can stu­dents at the age of 10 and then com­pared those results at the age of 13. What they dis­cov­ered was quite alarm­ing. For exam­ple, in Sci­ence “school­child­ren who never ate fast food scored 83 points, com­pared to an aver­age of 79 points for those who ate it every day.” The study sug­gests these results occurred because of the effect fast food has on brain chem­istry, “such as a lack of iron which leads to slower devel­op­ment…” What makes these num­bers even more dis­turb­ing is just how often school-aged chil­dren con­sume fast food. Researchers noted in their study that of the stu­dents they sam­pled, 52% of them had eaten fast food as much as three times in the pre­vi­ous week.

While we occa­sion­ally find our­selves short of time, stud­ies like this show us just how impor­tant it is to pro­vide our lit­tle ones with healthy eat­ing options. For more infor­ma­tion on the find­ings of the study, fol­low the link: http://bit.ly/13qWQLe

boy and cooked vegetables

Why are Kids Such Picky Eaters?

boy and cooked vegetables

 

So you’ve got your­self a picky eater?  You’re not alone. In fact, this strug­gle is all too com­mon. If you’re like most par­ents, at some point you find it’s just eas­ier to suc­cumb to the doe-eyed demands for junk food rather than ruin­ing another din­ner over the bat­tle of the broccoli.

 

We get it.

 

Chil­dren are nat­u­rally born picky eaters with a fear of unfa­mil­iar foods.  Accord­ing to Dr. David Lud­wig, Head of Obe­sity Pre­ven­tion at Boston’s Children’s Hos­pi­tal, being picky “pro­tects chil­dren from eat­ing some­thing toxic and harm­ful. But they’re also pro­grammed to develop an increas­ingly broad set of taste pref­er­ences. If not, chil­dren would die of star­va­tion after weaning.”

 

His­tor­i­cally, this nat­ural objec­tion to foods that are bit­ter often helped to keep young ones from wan­der­ing away from parental super­vi­sion to eat poi­so­nous plants, which are also often bit­ter. Even­tu­ally, chil­dren would learn what was good to eat and develop a taste for a vari­ety of foods to suit their dietary needs. Today, how­ever, it’s not so easy to deter­mine what’s good for us and what’s not due to the heavy use of sug­ars, fats, and salt in our food sup­ply. And let’s face it, if your child’s taste buds grow up think­ing that fast food and french fries are the way food tastes, veg­eta­bles sud­denly fall into that bit­ter and unsafe cat­e­gory along­side pot­ted plants and pesticides.

 

Unfor­tu­nately in today’s world, even with the best inten­tions, highly processed foods are intro­duced into children’s diets from a very early age in the form of sweet­ened yogurts, pack­aged kids’ snacks, over con­sump­tion of fruit juices, and even pedi­a­tri­cian rec­om­mended Chee­rios that are used to develop the pin­cer grasp. So what’s a con­sci­en­tious par­ent to do?

 

We can help.  Here are the Top 5 ways to get your picky eater back on track to a life­time of good eating:

 

  1. Don’t force kids to eat foods they don’t want. When a child refuses a food, forc­ing them to eat it will only cause the body to cre­ate a stress response that will be asso­ci­ated with that par­tic­u­lar food for lifetime.
  2. Offer new foods sev­eral times. It will often take approx­i­mately 10–15 attempts to get a kid to enjoy cer­tain foods. Be patient and gen­tle in your attempts.
  3.  Allow kids to play with food. Young chil­dren usu­ally enjoy touch­ing, smelling, and assem­bling their food. Give them the oppor­tu­nity to have fun dur­ing din­ner time!
  4. Offer a vari­ety of healthy choices.  The key to get­ting kids to eat nutri­tious food is to offer vari­ety. Chil­dren like to be in con­trol of what they eat. Nat­u­rally, offer­ing them a “bar” style or “build-your-own” din­ing expe­ri­ence can often encour­age them to pick from a vari­ety of health­ier options with­out feel­ing like they are forced to eat a spe­cific food.
  5. Let kids be the chef!  Feed­ing your fam­ily is an excit­ing prospect for chil­dren. Tak­ing them to the mar­ket so they can pick out fresh foods teaches chil­dren where our foods come from. Allow­ing them to help stir food or clean veg­gies and fruits will also make them feel included and hands on!

 

When you order from WT Café, your child is exposed to a vari­ety of foods dur­ing their school day.  Let us help you con­tinue your efforts to indoc­tri­nate healthy habits in your child. We know it takes a vil­lage to raise chil­dren, and WT Café is on your side.

Meatball Dippers

NEW for September!

Meatball Dippers

Research shows that offer­ing a vari­ety of healthy foods gets kids the nutri­tion they need to be healthy and strong.  At WT Café, we take this as a com­pany chal­lenge and set out to cre­ate the fresh­est, most nutri­tious, and most excit­ing school lunch menu avail­able anywhere!

 

This month, we are excited to show­case NEW menu items guar­an­teed to make lunch time the high­light of your child’s school day. We know it’s not nutri­tion unless they eat it.  That’s why the WT Café school lunch menu con­sists of kid favorites made health­ier. Lunch belongs in their bel­lies, not the trash can!

 

We’re kick­ing Sep­tem­ber off with a NEW menu item that’s already a kid favorite: Cheesy “Fries and Loaded “Fries”. We take fresh Rus­set Pota­toes, hand cut them (skin on – that’s where all the fiber is!) in local WT Café kitchens to con­serve fresh­ness, toss them with our house-made roast­ing sea­son­ing and some heart-healthy oil, and into the oven they go!  We bake them until they’re soft on the inside and crispy golden on the out­side. Our Loaded “Fries” are then smoth­ered in our tangy sloppy joe mix (made with ground turkey, not beef) and topped with shred­ded ched­dar. For a veg­e­tar­ian option, try our Cheesy “Fries” with our sig­na­ture Gluten Free Cheese sauce on the side!

 

School Lunch Was Never Like This!

 

Are pota­toes healthy, you ask?  Yes they are!  It’s a sur­prise for many to dis­cover one medium potato (5.3 oz) with the skin contains:

 

  • 45 per­cent of the daily value for vit­a­min C
  • More potas­sium (620 mg) than even bananas, spinach, or broccoli;
  • 10 per­cent of the daily value of B6;
  • Trace amounts of thi­amine, riboflavin, folate, mag­ne­sium, phos­pho­rous, iron, and zinc

 

…and all this for just 110 calo­ries and no fat, sodium or cho­les­terol.

 

This month, we are also intro­duc­ing a NEW line of fun and dip­pable entrees. Our tasty Turkey Meat­ball Dip­pers and antibi­otic and hormone-free Chicken Dip­pers are down­right awe­some. Served with a vari­ety of all-natural dip­ping sauces so your child can pick their favorite, includ­ing BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Hot Sauce, and Honey Mus­tard. Kids go crazy for them!  Of course, our lunches are always accom­pa­nied by a rotat­ing vari­ety of fresh, house-made, and all-natural sides.

 

As the WT Café con­cept con­tin­ues to expand across the U.S., the vision of mak­ing fresh, deli­cious, and excit­ing foods avail­able to every child, every­where becomes more of a real­ity. We are 100% com­mit­ted to going all out to make sure your child’s school lunch is the very best it can be, and we can’t wait to deliver on that promise to you.  Make your child’s day — order from WT Café today!

herb-garden

The Edible Summer Garden

herb-garden

There is no bet­ter way to encour­age healthy eat­ing habits than with an edi­ble gar­den. There is some­thing beau­ti­ful about reap­ing the deli­cious ben­e­fits that grow from weeks of hard work nec­es­sary to main­tain a gar­den. And the best time of the year to start an edi­ble gar­den is the early sum­mer.  Right now!

 

As kids wrap up the school year, it’s impor­tant to keep them engaged in activ­i­ties that will con­tinue to chal­lenge them men­tally. The edi­ble gar­den is the per­fect oppor­tu­nity to teach lessons on sci­ence, team work, exer­cise, and most impor­tantly, nutri­tion – all impor­tant lessons that will con­tinue to impact a child’s life far past har­vest season.

 

Today we want to con­cen­trate on nutri­tion, an area where we fall behind as a nation. We all know the per­ilous con­se­quences that unhealthy eat­ing habits can have on our chil­dren.  Con­se­quences like dis­ease and obe­sity. In many instances, chil­dren do not know where their foods come from and often fail to cor­rectly iden­tify fruits and veg­eta­bles. The preva­lence of pack­aged processed foods often adds to this dis­con­nect with fresh and nat­ural foods. By plant­ing an edi­ble gar­den with the fam­ily, par­ents plant a seed of curios­ity that evolves as the gar­den grows and becomes the source of healthy fam­ily meals.

 

The eas­i­est way to start a home gar­den is to plant herbs. Herbs add fresh­ness and intense fla­vor to foods with­out adding sodium and fat. They con­tain many antiox­i­dants and anti-inflammatory prop­er­ties that can keep dis­ease away now and later in life. Herbs are easy to grow and can thrive in pot­ting con­tain­ers and win­dow sills. Below is a list of herbs that thrive dur­ing the sum­mer months and what makes them so great. (Source: WHFoods.com)

 

Basil — Basil con­tains antibac­te­r­ial prop­er­ties and helps pre­vent bac­te­ria growth. It’s also a good source of vit­a­min C and cal­cium. Pair with tomato and moz­zarella cheese for a great sum­mer salad.

 

Chives — Chives also con­tains antibac­te­r­ial prop­er­ties and have been known to aid in the fight against can­cer­ous cells. They also con­tain dietary fiber that aids in diges­tion. Sprin­kle finely minced chives over pasta or potato dishes for a savory and tangy kick!.

 

Dill — A good source of cal­cium to help pre­vent bone loss, dill tastes great with pick­les.  If you’re lucky enough to grow cucum­bers in your edi­ble gar­den, you’ve got all the ingre­di­ents for home-made pickles!

 

Fen­nel -  Fen­nel helps pro­tect the immune sys­tem with its abun­dance in vit­a­min C. An impor­tant part of the mediter­ranean diet, fen­nel helps reduce high cho­les­terol lev­els. It’s great paired with cit­rus and fresh seafood.

 

Pars­ley -  More than just a table gar­nish, pars­ley is rich in fiber and aids in the diges­tion of food. It has been dis­cov­ered to be a great source of folic acid and the per­fect weapon to help keep car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease away. Use as a gar­nish in soups or dips and as a green in Tabbouleh!

 

Sage — The oil in sage is absorbed by the body to reduce inflam­ma­tion. These oils also act as antiox­i­dants. Sage helps pro­tect against oxi­da­tion which is why food com­pa­nies have exper­i­mented with ways in which sage can extend the shelf life of cook­ing oils. Enjoy with beans or roasted root vegetables.

 

Thyme — Like many other herbs, thyme has antimi­cro­bial prop­er­ties. This hum­ble lit­tle herb also helps increase the pres­ence of healthy fats around cell mem­branes. Its strong aroma makes it a per­fect addi­tion to egg dishes or creamy sauces.

 

These herbs will con­tinue to grow through­out the sum­mer and can eas­ily be har­vested with a sim­ple trim­ming. To pre­serve the herbs and use them in the kitchen, lay them in a sin­gle layer on a flat sur­face and allow them to dry for about a week. Once the leaves are dry, store each herb in an air­tight con­tainer and use as you would store bought herbs. Don’t be afraid to sprin­kle herbs into every meal too add loads of fla­vor with­out added sodium!

Broccoli_Cheddar_Soup

Superfood of the month: Broccoli

Broccoli_Cheddar_Soup

This month we are fea­tur­ing the super pow­ers of a veg­gie that is com­monly used in our menu! Broc­coli is begin­ning to make a sea­sonal appear­ance in mar­kets nation­wide as we spring into warmer weather. It’s one of our favorite super­food because:

  • It has a large con­cen­tra­tion of antioxidants
  • It has anti-inflammatory prop­er­ties that also help to fight cancer!
  • It’s a great source of fiber
  • Just one cup of cooked broc­coli con­tains 134% of the daily rec­om­mended intake of vit­a­min C. That’s as much as an orange!

But, where did this super veg­gie come from and when did we begin to eat it? We know that Thomas Jef­fer­son, an avid gar­dener, planted the veg­etable in his gar­den in Mon­ti­cello. Broc­coli was then con­sid­ered an exotic veg­etable in Amer­ica and seeds were obtained by trad­ing in tomato seeds with Euro­peans. How­ever, before broc­coli jumped its way across the pond it was orig­i­nally eaten in Italy as early as 2,000 years ago and known as as “Ital­ian aspara­gus”. It is related to kale, cau­li­flower, and cabbage.

 

Broc­coli is health­i­est when picked fresh and eaten raw! To pick deli­cious broc­coli, select fresh, bright-green heads which have com­pact clus­ters of tightly closed flo­rets and avoid any with yel­low­ing flo­rets and thick, woody stems. To eat, sim­ply break the broc­coli head into small bite size flo­rets and enjoy with a vari­ety of dips and dress­ings or in the ulti­mate WT favorite: a clas­sic broc­coli and ched­dar cheese soup!

Paul Wolbert is the New COO of Wholesome Tummies

Fran­chise and Food Indus­try Vet­eran Joins Whole­some Tum­mies Team

(Orlando, Fla.)—Wholesome Tum­mies is pleased to announce fran­chise indus­try vet­eran Paul C. Wol­bert as the company’s new chief oper­at­ing offi­cer (COO). Wol­bert has spent the past year work­ing with the com­pany as a strate­gic advi­sor and will now come on board full-time to help drive growth.

            “We are thrilled that Paul has joined our team as the new COO,” said Whole­some Tum­mies founder and CEO Deb­bie Blacher. “He was instru­men­tal to the mas­sive growth we saw in 2013 and will be the key to meet­ing our growth goals mov­ing forward.”

            Wol­bert has over four decades of expe­ri­ence in fran­chise oper­a­tions and admin­is­tra­tion. He has the addi­tional advan­tage of hav­ing worked as both fran­chisor and fran­chisee with national and global brands, includ­ing McDonald’s, Taco John’s, Arthur Treacher’s, Coachman’s Dry Clean­ers and US Lawns. He is also the co-founder and mem­ber of the board of direc­tors for Gulf Stream Brands, a fran­chise con­sult­ing and brand man­age­ment com­pany that assists early stage fran­chisors to cre­ate and grow their busi­nesses. Wol­bert helped Whole­some Tum­mies triple its num­ber of fran­chise units in 2013 and looks for­ward to sus­tain­ing that rapid growth pace.

            “I have a pas­sion for start-ups, from devel­op­ing their con­cepts to stan­dard­iz­ing their sys­tems, and most of all for help­ing them grow,” said Wol­bert. “Whole­some Tum­mies is an amaz­ing com­pany that is work­ing to pro­vide healthy food to school chil­dren across the coun­try and I can­not imag­ine join­ing a bet­ter team with a bet­ter mission.”

            Founded in 2007 in Orlando, Fla., Whole­some Tum­mies is the first and only kids’ food fran­chise in the U.S. Its mis­sion is to make fresh, nutri­tious and excit­ing foods avail­able to every child, every­where, by intro­duc­ing a Healthy School Solu­tion to local schools. By work­ing with Whole­some Tum­mies, schools receive access to the fresh­est, high­est qual­ity foods avail­able through school lunch, cater­ing and healthy vend­ing pro­grams. By choos­ing Whole­some Tum­mies, schools make a firm com­mit­ment to stu­dent health. That deci­sion improves par­ent sat­is­fac­tion, increases stu­dent enroll­ment and helps fight child­hood obesity.

            The com­pany began fran­chis­ing in 2010. Since then, Whole­some Tum­mies has expanded to 23 loca­tions through­out the coun­try. Long-term goals call for 250 loca­tions by 2020. For more infor­ma­tion about Whole­some Tum­mies, visit www.wholesometummies.com.

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Web­site: http://www.wholesometummies.com/

Face­book: https://www.facebook.com/Wholesometummies

Twit­ter: https://twitter.com/WholesomeTum

Menu: http://www.wtcafe.com/

Blog: http://wholesometummiesblog.com/

Organized Freezer

Sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions: Month 2

Accord­ing to Forbes, only 8% of peo­ple achieve their New Year’s res­o­lu­tions! We won­dered, what hap­pens to the other 92% of peo­ple? How many of those set out to have a health­ier year and what does it mean for the health of the nation when only a frac­tion of those who set health goals can reach them by the time Dec 31st rolls around?

 

When asked what the biggest chal­lenges were when it came to stick­ing to New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, most peo­ple cited time as the great­est obsta­cle. Mike, a father from South Florida, explained that his tod­dler is a very picky eater with a dairy sen­si­tiv­ity. His family’s New Year res­o­lu­tion was to take processed foods out of their diets and switch to more raw or fresh fruits and veg­gies – which we think is a fan­tas­tic goal! The prob­lem is that he and his wife are employed full-time, which makes it extremely dif­fi­cult to make meals from scratch.

 

Mike is not alone in his plight to pro­vide his fam­ily a healthy meal. Most par­ents have to deal with picky eaters who resist eat­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles and who would much rather eat junk food they see adver­tised on TV! Avid read­ers of our newslet­ter have already learned sneaky ways to add veg­gies into their children’s meals. Puree­ing veg­gies into sauces, mak­ing healthy fruit smooth­ies, and adding oats to increase the nutri­tional con­tent with­out mak­ing it too obvi­ous are some of our past sug­ges­tions. Often times, these are quick addi­tions that can make a big dif­fer­ence in the health con­tent of a meal.

 

Organized Freezer

Through­out the years we have com­piled many time sav­ing tips from our chefs. Below are our favorite tips for your kitchen. You can find many more on our blog!

 

  1. Prep ahead. Make Sun­days a kitchen day with the fam­ily! Chop, dice, and cook off as much food as pos­si­ble so that you wont have to do it dur­ing the week.
  2. Buy col­or­ful food stor­age con­tain­ers and fun sil­i­cone spat­u­las for more kitchen fun times!
  3. Use your slow cooker! A slow cooker is a great invest­ment that could be used to cook beans and hearty cuts of meat overnight or while you do other things around the house.
  4. Buy frozen fruits and veg­eta­bles. If time is just not on your side, buy frozen instead of canned. Frozen veg­eta­bles are often fresher than even those veg­eta­bles in the super­mar­ket pro­duce sec­tion because they are frozen imme­di­ately after har­vest. They do not con­tain the high amounts of sodium that canned counter-parts often have.
  5. Make chicken, veg­gie, and beef stocks ahead of time and then freeze in ice cube trays for easy use through­out the week.
  6. Cook in batches, then freeze. This is per­fect for soups! Make a large batch of soup and freeze it in Ziploc bags so that a sim­ple reheat can give you a great week­day dinner.



Whole­some Tum­mies also has a lot of great tips for feed­ing your fam­ily healthy meals.  Take a look through our blog for ideas and sug­ges­tions for your family!

 

How to Deal with Food Allergies

food-allergy

For busy and con­cerned par­ents, today’s food land­scape is extremely chal­leng­ing to nav­i­gate. With mys­te­ri­ous sound­ing arti­fi­cial ingre­di­ents, sug­ars, and starches found in even the most benign super­mar­ket foods, it’s becom­ing increas­ingly hard to avoid unwanted ingre­di­ents. From high fruc­tose corn syrup in a sim­ple loaf of bread to gums and arti­fi­cial fla­vors in yogurt we assume to be whole­some and nat­ural, a con­sci­en­tious trip to the super­mar­ket requires a ton of time and per­haps a good pair of read­ing glasses! Now, fac­tor in food aller­gies, and the sim­ple task of buy­ing nutri­tional and whole­some food for the fam­ily becomes monumental.

 

That’s where Whole­some Tum­mies and WT Café come in.  As our cus­tomers, you can be rest assured that our foods do not con­tain arti­fi­cial addi­tives or fla­vors.  We do the leg­work for you so you don’t have to!  Our mis­sion is to pro­vide “fresh, nutri­tious, and excit­ing foods to every child, every­where.”  We are start­ing this move­ment in schools by cook­ing from scratch every day in local kitchens across the coun­try and dis­trib­ut­ing our deli­cious, kid-favorite foods to stu­dents and teach­ers in the schools we serve.  It is our hope that through our research we can help par­ents learn and under­stand about the insid­i­ous ingre­di­ents lurk­ing in our children’s most com­mon foods.

 

If you haven’t seen our Nutri­tional Com­par­i­son that com­pares our foods to com­monly pur­chased kids’ foods, click here.  You will be amazed at how long some of these ingre­di­ent lists are!

 

An alarm­ing num­ber of Amer­i­can chil­dren are cur­rently devel­op­ing food aller­gies. Accord­ing to The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC), in 2007, approx­i­mately 4–6% of U.S chil­dren under 18 had some kind of food allergy. Among the most com­mon is the peanut allergy, which has increased by 3000% in the last 15 years and con­tin­ues to grow every year.

 

What’s a par­ent to do? While the research may not exactly point to the source of increase in food aller­gies, know­ing what foods prompt these aller­gies is crit­i­cal to avoid­ing them. Due to the grow­ing num­ber of food aller­gies in the coun­try, the FDA passed a set of reg­u­la­tions in 2004 requir­ing that all pack­aged foods be labeled with a food allergy warn­ing when the ingre­di­ent list includes at least one of the top 8 com­mon aller­gens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shell­fish, soy, and wheat.

 

At Whole­some Tum­mies, we have devel­oped an online Allergy Pro­file sys­tem that allows our cus­tomers to fil­ter menu items accord­ing to these 8 pri­mary aller­gens.  We have also elim­i­nated the use of peanuts and tree nuts from our menu alto­gether.  ** Please note that most WT Café loca­tions do cook in kitchens with shared equip­ment, mean­ing we can­not guar­an­tee that our foods have not been exposed to these aller­gens.  Specif­i­cally for chil­dren with severe food aller­gies, we do rec­om­mend tak­ing extra pre­cau­tions. Try as we may to keep our menus as healthy and diverse for as many chil­dren as we can, WT Café is likely not a good choice for extreme cases.  **

 

Owner of the WT Café of South Hen­nepin County, MN, Bill Stelle, has a great deal of expe­ri­ence with food aller­gies as his daugh­ter suf­fers from sev­eral. He has found that steer­ing away from processed foods that may con­tain aller­gens has actu­ally guided his fam­ily in the direc­tion of a health­ier lifestyle and smarter food choices. This is the prover­bial sil­ver lin­ing for a prob­lem that is becom­ing more and more com­mon given the chal­lenges of our cur­rent food supply.

 

To learn more about our approach to food aller­gens and how they relate to your child, please click here. Of course, you can always send us an email or con­tact your local WT Café. Remem­ber, it’s more than lunch, it’s a movement!