Pediatric Health Centers

Category Archives: Nutrition

Written by: Taylor Weber, MS

As the holidays are quickly approaching, it is easy to fall into the trap of sugary sweets and treats that can spike your blood sugar levels. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and if you have diabetes, you know that temptation is everywhere during the holidays. Don’t let the temptations get you off track. Try these tips & tricks to help you manage your diabetes:

  • Don’t skip any meals in order to make room for the feast, it will be harder to control your blood sugar levels, you’ll be hungrier & most likely over eat!
  • Enjoy a healthy snack BEFORE all of the festivities begin to protect yourself from over eating.
  • Instead of over filling your plate, try enjoying smaller portions of a few favorites while sticking to the healthier side dishes, such as the vegetables to help curb your appetite.
  • Limit the savory toppings for your main course, such as the gravy, butter, sour cream, etc.
  • Slow it down while eating, you’ll feel fuller quicker and will be less likely to over eat.
  • Focus on fresh fruit for dessert instead of indulging on cake, cookies, and pies.

If you are struggling with diabetes, don’t let the holidays get you off track. All it takes is a little preparation and some extra planning. Just stay on top of your blood sugar, check it more often, and follow these tips & tricks to help you manage more easily during the next upcoming months. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Wellness Wednesday Workshop on Old School Health Treatments presented by Titiana Huzien, Nutrition Intern

Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the treats, we can be festive while still eating our veggies – Try these Halloween Stuffed Peppers!


  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup  quinoa
  • 1 can  black beans, drained
  • 1 can  diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
  2. Hollow out the bell peppers by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds, then rinse. For a festive jack-o’-lantern look, cut out triangles as eyes and a mouth with teeth.
  3. Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.
  4. Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes to soften.
  5. Place the cooked quinoa in a large pot over low heat. Add the black beans and diced tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid has evaporated.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out bell peppers, filling to the top.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the bell peppers are soft but the filling isn’t too dry.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe from

Presentation by Titiana Huzien, Nutrition Intern and Taylor Weber, M.S., Nutrition & Wellness Educator

Written by: Titiana Huzien, Nutrition Intern

You’ve finally quit the dessert-after-dinner habit, so there is no way you’re eating too much sugar? Well, while cutting out the common sugar villains like candy and cake is a huge leap, there are lots of other ways that sugar likes to hide. This includes everything from high fructose corn syrup found in some of your favorite foods, to your favorite juice to even that “all natural” protein bar.

So, what exactly is sugar? Well sugar is known as a carbohydrate in its simplest form. There are two main sources of sugar: Natural and processed. Natural sugar is found in whole, natural foods. The fruit considered as the food group closely linked to natural sugar, but vegetables such as carrots, beets, squash, zucchini, and onions also contain some natural sugar. Examples of natural sugar include the sugars found in dairy products, fruit, and vegetables. Processed sugar is sugar that’s been tinkered with in some way and extracted from its natural source. Examples of processed sugar include white cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and agave.

Some common sources of hidden sugars include granola & cereal, protein bars, yogurt, breads/gluten free breads, pre-made sauces and dressings, nuts and seed butters, non-dairy milk, and protein powders.

On average, adults should eat no more than 90 grams of total sugars and less than 30 grams of free sugars. Added sugars should take up less than 10% of your total calorie intake each day. Men should not eat more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar (36 grams) and women should not eat more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar (25 grams).

What are some signs that you may be eating too much sugar? These signs can include:

  • Craving for sugar or carbs
  • Lack of energy and tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Dull taste buds
  • Foggy brain
  • Skin problems
  • Eye wrinkles
  • Mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Toothaches / cavities
  • Stomachaches & imbalanced gut flora

In order to cut back on sugar intake, try to cut back on the amount of sugar you may regularly add to foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, and cereal, replace sugar-sweetened beverages with sugar-free or low-calorie drinks, and compare food labels and select the products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. When baking, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by a third and try replacing sugar in recipes with extracts or spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, almond or vanilla. Finally, replace sugar on cereal or oatmeal with fruit.