Food Insight's blog

A Mindful Approach to the Holiday Party Buffet

With the holiday season in full swing, the festive e-vites have already flooded your inbox. Whether it’s a party with co-workers, a dinner with friends, or an eventful family gathering, the holidays are a wonderful time to relax and spend time with the people that you care about most.

How to Build a Healthy Plate at Holiday Parties

The thought of maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season can seem daunting, even to the most seasoned nutrition experts. But one way to ensure you stay on track and eat a well-balanced dinner at your holiday dinners this year is to focus on one main goal: getting a good mix of different foods.   

In order to help you balance your plate at upcoming gatherings, I challenged myself to follow the MyPlate guide to building healthy meals at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year.

How to Talk to Your Cab Driver About Nutrition

After my third year of a PhD program in nutrition science, I was getting pretty used to fielding questions about nutrition from grocery store cashiers, taxi drivers, casual acquaintances, friends, family members, and really anyone else who asked about my career and got an honest answer from me.

But even after years of practice, I still struggled to answer some of the most common questions: what should I be eating? Should I be worried about this new study? Do I need to avoid preservatives, artificial colors, carbohydrates?

Better Know a Dietitian: Meet Alyssa

Every day, we at the IFIC Foundation are working hard to bring you great content by qualified experts. But who are these experts toiling away? In our series "Better Know a Dietitian" (or an expert in nutrition, food safety, or agriculture), we introduce you to the smart folks who make sure that you've got the very best information in food safety, agriculture, and nutrition.

The (not so) Secret Nutrition Perks of Our Favorite Holiday Foods

It’s time again to enjoy all of our favorite holiday food traditions. While loading up on pie and green bean casserole, it’s easy to feel like this time of year is one indulgence after another. But the holiday season isn’t just about treating yourself. A lot of our favorite holiday foods have serious nutrition benefits. Let’s take a look at some holiday classics that are more than just delicious.

The Science of Anti-Caking Agents

I grew up learning to love the science of food while watching my parents cook. My mom is known for her chocolate chip cookie recipe. When we made this recipe together, my first task was always to start measuring out all the ingredients. Her recipe is fairly basic and has a few different powdered ingredients. I’d try and get everything measured out as quickly as possible so she was not waiting on any ingredients to add. Some of the ingredients like baking soda or salt turned into a “hockey puck” and were very difficult to break apart and measure.

A Pumpkin Spice Latte Remix

While the pumpkin spice latte is synonymous with the fall, we’ve remixed this fall favorite as a smoothie recipe that you can quickly make for a delicious and nutritious drink. In addition, this recipe also includes healthy ingredients like rice milk, pumpkin, oats and coffee for busy mornings or mid-afternoon slumps to give you the energy you need to power through your day.

The Benefits of Preservatives in Our Food

On Sunday mornings, you make your grocery list before heading to the store. It is easier to get your fill of fresh produce and healthier foods by performing this simple task.

As the days pass, you make your meals. Almost inevitably though, by Thursday evening, you are exhausted, and it unsurprisingly becomes pizza or Chinese take-out night. Then, ingredients that should have been Thursday’s meal sit in the fridge or on the shelves until you find the vigor to cook again. Sound familiar? Luckily, preservatives help keep that food safe until you are ready to prepare your next meal.

How Hydrocolloids Make Our Favorite Foods Taste Better

What makes gelatin snacks jiggle? How does the chocolate in my chocolate milk not sink to the bottom? If any of these questions ever crossed your mind, you have already been exposed to the wonders of hydrocolloids!

Hydro–what-oids? Hydrocolloids.  They are the jiggle of your gelatin snacks and the whip in your cream.

By definition, hydrocolloids are a colloid (particle) mixed in water (hydro). These particles are what provide the right viscosity, texture or structure to many foods you likely consume on a daily basis.

Healthy Eating on Campus: 101

Imagine that the minivan is packed with fresh twin XL sheets and too many plastic drawers and bins to bother counting. You get to campus to unload and before you know it, your teary-eyed family drives away leaving you on your own. With this moment comes a new-found independence and the responsibility of making your own decisions for the first time- including decisions about what to eat!