Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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When Wellbody Blog posted readers for advice on how to eat healthy when you're eating out with kids, we received many wonderful tips as well as a this request: Please interview parents who raise slender children and share with us on Wellbody Blog about their staples, their food, their snacks, and how much they eat, regarding desserts, etc. Thank you a lot.LaurelandLucas

Many thanks to Laurel Swartz, mother of 12-year-old Lucas Fultz, for writing in to share her tips on meal planning, crock-pot cooking and the importance of eating fruits and veggies.

My son is twelve years old and he has never been overweight. He always has at least three meals a day, with a healthy snack thrown in on most days. He is home-schooled, in part so that he has a balanced diet. I still give him the foods he likes, but he can't have dessert unless he finishes his fruit and veggies.

My approach has never been denial of anything in particular, so no foods are off limits. However, I have taught him the importance of eating healthy foods so that he is getting the most nutrition from what he eats. We eat mainly organic foods and we don't have soda pop or too many snack foods on hand (other than fruit) to maximize nutrition benefits. Meals tend to be well-thought out events.

Since I am a personal trainer, nutrition is very important to me. I like to share nutrition facts with my son. We have gone over the food groups and how important fruits and vegetables are in your diet. I told him that it is best to try to balance protein, carbohydrates, and fats carefully and he has learned what groups each food falls into. I also told him that there is a place for every food, but fruits and vegetables remain the highest priority since they are packed with vitamins and minerals. I also don't limit his choices, encouraging him to try new foods and eat what he likes.

I chose to start eating primarily organic foods because I read a few articles that stated that kids could reduce their toxicity levels greatly by eating organic food. I am also conscious of where the fruits and vegetables come from, sometimes choosing conventional local produce instead of organic. It all depends upon what is in season.

I choose different colors to serve during the day. I always try to include as many colors of the rainbow in our diets as I can. With variety comes a spectrum of nutrition, too. I also don't like to just grab things on the go. If it is not quality food, it doesn't seem to be worth consuming. Quality definitely trumps quantity. I cook at home most days of the week, and when we do eat out, we choose sustainable and local foods from reputable restaurants. We limit processed foods and I create tasty meals with wholesome, fresh ingredients.

I think the most important thing about meals and meal preparation is giving it the time necessary to make good decisions. Instead of just rushing through the process of cooking, think ahead. Using a crock pot or setting the oven on low for a few hours are good techniques to give care and thought to what you are feeding your family. I feel that nutrition deserves a great deal of respect and everyone should use it as a means of preventing problems later on instead of just thinking about what to eat quickly in the moment.

Thank you, Laurel! Stay tuned for sample meals and snacks from Laurel as well as her recipe for slow cooker chili.

Wellbody Blog loves this busy middle-schooler's healthy snack strategy!


On grocery day, she washes and cuts up her favorite fruits and veggies (grapes, carrots, peas, strawberries, blueberries, purple cauliflower, baby corn) and stores them in reusable cartons in the refrigerator. Then, every morning on the way out the door, she grabs a pre-made snack container from the frig and stows it in her backpack for fresh and healthy munching whenever she needs a bite.SnackBoxes

This charming video took a first-place winner in the USDA's Fruits & Veggies Video Challenge. Congratulations! Watch the video

Did you know that a whopping 48 percent of all adult eating happens BETWEEN meals?

UWSNACKINGUW students chat about snack choices - Hartman Food Broadcasting

What are we munching, where, why and how much does it cost? In this on-campus video clip by Hartman Studios, University of Washington students share their snack fantasies, tips on buying and packing snacks and economical places to shop for snack supplies.


Visit Wellbody Academy’s Cafedium to use the Customized Calorie Budgetizer. It will help you calculate a balance between the calories you eat and drink (including snacks) and the calories you expend during daily activities.

Stay tuned to Wellbody Blog  for a jazzy demo about packing healthy snack-to-go boxes for students (or anybody!) on the move. 

Healthy habits can be hard to maintain when we are bombarded with invitations to get off track. This catchy two-minute video shares some eye-opening facts--the answers to the quiz--about how the food industry targets children.

How much does the food industry spend every year to market to children younger than 11?

a. $700,000

b. $7 million

c. $70 million

d. $700 million

How much does the food industry spend annually to market to adolescents?

a. $10 million

b. $100 million

c. $1 billion

d. $10 billion

What are the top three producted marketed to kids?

a. Carbonated beverages

b. Breakfast cereals

c. Fast-food restaurants

d. baby carrots

Check out the Influence Decoder in Wellbody Academy's Wellbody Hall to explore how advertising influences your food decisions. Did you know every year the food industry spends more than $1.7 billion marketing to adolescents and children?

Raves for Else's mom's Almost Paleo Pancakes from the 'tween sleepover crowd!PaleoPancakePaleo Pancakes©Paula Bock

"Almost" because Else's mom subs in whole wheat flour for some of the almond meal, but if you're going all Paleo, you can use all almond meal or mix with coconut flour. 

The almonds in the recipe add protein, the blueberries and grated apple bring soluble fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. No sugar or refined flour! Read how the DNA in ancient tooth tarter gives clues about modern diseases linked to processed sugar and flour. 

Else's Mom's Almost Paleo Pancakes

1 C almond meal
1 C whole wheat or oat flour (To go gluten-free, use 2 C almond meal and no flour or 1 C coconut flour)
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
3 eggs
1 C coconut milk
2 T coconut oil (melted)
1 apple, grated
1 C fresh or frozen blueberries (can substitute any fruit in season).

Mix all ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased skillet. Turn when small bubbles appear. Serve with more berries and a drizzle of thick coconut milk.