Now that our kids are back in school, we can pretty much count on them bringing home coughs and sniffles. So we’ve got to get a leg up on building immune support from within. Did you know that sixty percent of immune cells live the digestive tract? So when we support our gut health, we create a powerful opportunity for the body to effectively fight germs.
In addition to germs, we need to protect our guts from environmental chemicals and GMOs in our food. A great way to do this is to get plenty of fiber into our diets, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. Eating plenty of vegetables provides vitamins and fiber for digestive regularity and is another great way to purge toxins. But if your kids are picky, how can you make veggies more appealing?
Choose seasonal veggies for the most flavor and nutrition. Winter squash is in season and there are so many varieties to choose from including butternut, acorn, spaghetti and pumpkin. Other fiber-rich fall favorites include turnips, parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes. You can roast them with butter and salt, blend them into creamy soups, or pair spaghetti squash with meatballs for a hearty meal.
Add some crunch. I can get my whole family to eat Brussels sprouts if I peel the leaves on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil and pumpkin seeds; bake at 400 F for 15 minutes until lightly crispy.
Stock up on heirloom tomatoes. Believe it or not, heirloom tomatoes are in season through September. They not only taste great in tomato sauces and gazpacho, but I pack them like candy into lunch boxes—no dressing required!
To help ensure your kids are getting enough daily fiber, use this fast fiber fix: Add a scoop of gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified and organic certified Regular Girl into a smoothie, juice or yogurt, and you’ll be rocking and rolling! Unlike some fiber supplements that turn into gloppy messes when mixed with liquid, Regular Girl blends invisibly into foods without changing their taste, aroma or texture. And because it is a blend of prebiotic fiber and probiotics, it feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut to help support a healthy digestive system throughout the winter months.
About the author: Esther Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS, is an Integrative Dietitian and bestselling author of Cavewomen Don't Get Fat; Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous; Secrets of Gorgeous; and The Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous Project. She currently maintains a busy private practice in Connecticut where she prescribes whole food diet therapy and supplement protocols to heal and reverse chronic illness.
Esther is also the owner of Esther Blum, LLC—a concierge wellness consulting firm that cultivates and curates boutique, one-of-a-kind, experiential events for both small and large companies. Her services have been in demand at corporate special events, wellness retreats, day spas, and private parties.
Widely respected as an industry expert, Esther was voted Best Nutritionist by Manhattan Magazine. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, the Today Show, A Healthy You with Carol Alt, the ISAAC show, ABC-TV, FOX- 5's Good Day NY, and Fox News Live. Esther is an in-demand authority frequently quoted in E!Online, In Touch, Time Magazine, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, In Style, Bazaar, Self, Fitness, Marie Claire, and Cosmo.
Esther received a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Simmons College in Boston and is a graduate of New York University, where she received her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition. Esther is credentialed as a registered dietitian, a certified dietitian nutritionist and a certified nutrition specialist. She is also a member of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, Nutritionists in Complementary Care, and the Connecticut Dietetic Association.