Marty Davey

Marty Davey is a Registered Dietitian and has a Masters degree in Food and Nutrition from Marywood University. She became a vegetarian in 1980 when she discovered that the French didn't want our meat products due to factory farming methods. She began studying nutrition while cleansing her diet to a totally plant-based lifestyle. She has a private practice specializing in assisting clients transitioning from the conventional Western foods to a plant-based regime. Visit Marty's website →

More posts by Marty Davey

Lunch tips for kids of all ages.

For little kids – They love to open small containers. I bought some 2 ounce containers with lids and used them for a few slices of cucumbers, nut butter or tofu spread for dipping baby carrots, 2 small ginger snaps, a couple of grape tomatoes, grapes and a couple of walnuts. Every one was like a small present.

For children 6 to 10 – School lunch is short. Some schools have a snack time or a snack that can be eaten while in class. Sandwiches are great, but everyone wants hot food in the cold weather. Heat up a thermos with hot water. Heat up a soup or stew at the last minute. Drain the thermos. The soup or stew will stay hotter in the heated thermos. Put a napkin between the thermos and any cold items. Don’t forget something crunchy to go with it – crackers or celery work fine. For the snack – a small container of apple sauce with cinnamon, snack bar or celery with nut butter and raisins work great.

For children 11-13 – Have them make lunch with you. They are beginning to need their independence. It will also get them in the kitchen and learning how to feed themselves. Set some guidelines – protein source, grain, fruit and drink. With the fall weather, you can alternating soy milk with local cider. If they have after school activities pack a snack and include water to drink.

For Teenagers – getting them to eat lunch at all is a good trick. However, either make it at home with guidelines or ask what’s available at school. Most schools have a card to swipe for purchased lunch. You set the cash amount for the card. Many food service directors will allow for specifics on purchases, such as “school lunch items only.” This means they can purchase any items designated as lunch for the school and not a la carte items such as french fries. Have your teen make their lunch. They can shop with you or make their own list of foods for lunch. Again, you are teaching them ready to feed themselves. If they have after school activities pack a snack that includes a beverage so they stay hydrated.

Hungry kids are grumpy kids. At every age, packing or purchasing enough food and drinks is the key. When you including your children in the process the food packed will more likely be eaten.

Quick Snack Ideas for Kids

healthy snacksCreate a snack shelf for your child/children. They can reach it, and eat what is there until a time you set before meals. Ours closes two hours before dinner.

  • Apples, carrot and celery sticks and nut butter – you can make your nut butters if you have a food processor, it is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.
  • Dates ripped and rolled in coconut
  • Dates with toasted almonds inside
  • Store bought tofu salad on crackers
  • Carrot/Raisin salad with OJ concentrate, lime juice and sesame oil
  • Hummus with whole grain crackers or celery sticks
  • Guacamole with unsalted pretzels

Give Me the Flax

flax seedsMany of us hear about the health benefits of adding flax to our diets, but how do can that be accomplished. Of course it depends on your lifestyle, but since mine is pretty crazy I’ll give you some suggestions:

  1. First, I don’t take flax oil because it has a very short shelf life. Even in really good health food stores where you know the owner, you can get a bad bottle. Or you open it and don’t use it, and it goes rancid fairly quickly.
  2. Grind the flax instead; being a control freak, I want my flax to be cheap and fresh. I recommend purchasing an inexpensive coffee grinder and reserve it for flax grinding.
  3. Buy flax seeds, it doesn’t matter brown or golden, and keep them in the freezer or refrigerator. Grind as much as you will use in a week. For the three of us, I grind about a cup, and store it in an opaque container in the refrigerator.
  4. Flax does not change the flavor of food, so sprinkle it on your salad, oatmeal, soup and hide it burritos and lasagna.
  5. The recommended amount is two tablespoons a day so just use a little at a time throughout the day.
  6. If you are traveling, there are Flax Packs you can purchase in most health food stores. They sell two tablespoons of flax in a small bag. You can open them in the morning and put some in your smoothie, close them with a paper clip and use them with your lunch salad and toss on your sandwich, and you got the flax.

Purging May Cause Throat Cancer

throat examBarrett’s esophagus is a disease usually seen in adults over 40 with GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease] or acid reflux disease. Unfortunately Barrett’s disease significantly increases the risk of developing a deadly cancer in the esophagus. However, a teenager with the eating disorder, bulimia, may be fast forwarding the body into creating the conditions for Barrett’s by exposing the delicate cells of the esophagus to stomach acids meant for tougher intestinal cells.

Bulimia is defined as secretive excessive eating, or binge eating, followed by purging of this food  by forced vomiting. It is the vomiting that exposes the esophagus to repeated, unnatural stomach acid. Frequent  or habitual vomiting damages the cells in the esophagus, even after a relatively short time, causing the esophagus to stop reproducing esophageal cells and making intestinal cells instead.  The esophagus repair cells are actually stem cells which can create almost any cell in the body. To protect the esophagus from stomach acid the body makes intestinal cells. It is these intestinal cells in the esophogus which can open the gate for throat cancer.

Check out this article about a young woman with a short history of bulimia and how she developed throat cancer.