Karen Avila M.S.R.D.,CPT
Nutrition and Wellness Coach
Call 617-435-6295

Healthy Karen

Healthy Kidz
Parents know that the road to lifelong health and prevention starts with healthy eating habits and plenty of exercise.  On this page you will find delicious recipes and tools to help your kids achieve healthy eating habits.

The Importance Of Breakfast Before School

Im not sure about you... but in my house mornings are hectic.  My kids can be sleepy and grumpy most mornings insisting "I'm not hungry" as I try to get them fed before we get out the door.  In desperation I had to create healthy, simple, appealing, quick  and conveinent breakfast ideas to make sure they are fueled for school.  Here are some practical suggestions/recipes to ensure that - even in a rush - your kids get a good breakfast before they're out the door:

First you should know kids need to be fueled with slow-burning carbohydrates (also called low glycemic index foods), such as oatmeal, bran cereals. whole wheat bagels and toast, rather than faster burning carbs (high glycemic index) such as sugary cereals or toaster pastries.  Slow burning carbs are the ones that will help maintain their concentration and attention throughout the morning and keep them fueled longer.

Try these ideas:
* Whole grain cereal topped with fruit (Cheerios,  Frosted shredded wheat, Raisin Bran are a few high fiber choices)
* Whole grain waffles- top with peanutbutter/ almond butter and bananas or strawberries
* Oatmeal-  top with cinnamon and apples
* Whole Wheat Bagels with light cream cheese and fruit
* Shredded cheese on a piece of whole grain pita or wrap, microwave for 15-20 seconds
* Smoothies- made with yogurt, bananas and peanutbutter (I call this "monkey juice", its more appealing to my kids) add a piece of toast with some chia jam on it (recipe in Healthy Living section)
* Chobani Champions - These are high in protein and flavorful- Greek yogurt for kids.

Prepare these recipes in advance for a healthy grab-an-go breakfast!

​Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

These cookies have NO flour and NO sugar!  All natural oats, bananas, and applesauce to give them natural sweetness!  My kids won't eat oatmeal, so this is a great way to get oats into them.
Makes 12 Big breakfast cookies

*1 1/2 cups oatmeal, quick or old fashioned~ uncooked
* 2 ripe bananas, mashed with fork until creamy
*1 c unsweetened applesauce
*1/3 c raisins or dried cranberries 
*1/4 cup chopped walnuts
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1 tsp cinnamon (or more, to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix vanilla & cinnamon into the applesauce.

Blend applesauce mixture with all other ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes

Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies into rounds

Bake approx. 30-35 min, or until golden and done

Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 min, then move to cooling rack.  

Store in covered container and enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon snack


Having trouble getting your kids to eat veggies! Try these kid friendly Cauliflower Poppers.  Yumm!
* Raw cauliflower
* Roasting pan
* Optional barbaque sauce

Cut cauliflower and spread out on the roasting pan.  Turn the oven on to 400 degrees (no need to preheat) and stick the pan in there for 30-50 minutes.  Then set the oven to "high broil" and broil for 2-3 more min, depending how crispy you like it. ( I usually turn the oven off after this and leave the cauliflower inside for another 20 or so min)  Serve with your favorite bbq sauce or ranch dressing, for dipping.