Make Popcorn a Healthy Snack

By Shaquasia, Albert & Nicole

Are you trying to #ChangeOneThing? Here at EATWISE we practice what we preach so we wanted to give you some quick and easy tips to make small changes in what you eat, which will lead to better health.

Popcorn is a good example of changing an unhealthy snack into a healthy snack. A “regular size” movie theatre popcorn can have 1,200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat! Try our microwave popcorn hack to healthy, whole grain popcorn quickly and easily. Just pour 2 tablespoons plain popcorn kernels into a paper lunch bag, fold over the top twice and microwave for about 2 minutes (or until popping slows to a few seconds between pops). This popcorn has only 30 calories per cup and is full of fiber!

If plain popcorn doesn’t appeal to you try adding (to add pour the seasonings into your paper bag and shake!)

  • A small amount of olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper
  • Hot sauce and a dash of coarse sea salt
  • Nutritional yeast, a vegan source of vitamin B-12, for cheesy flavor
  • Chop herbs like rosemary and thyme super small and sprinkle over popcorn

Invite your friends over for movie night and serve them your healthy, homemade popcorn. It will taste so good they won’t even know they are making a healthy change!

Have a #ChangeOneThing tip for us? Tweet it and include #ChangeOneThing or #EATWISETEENS!

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Cookie Monster rhymes about the importance of eating more than just cookies. Source:

EATWISE this year
makes me wanna cheer.
Healthy foods everyday
makes me wanna say hurray!
Lessons on culture, lessons on fuel
in our presentations everyday at school.

we do it.
Teach it,
we preach it.

Unhealthy food?
No we don’t eat it.
Sugar and school foods
slow down my mood.

thanks for your time
hope you enjoyed this rhyme

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A Healthy After School Snack

What would Valentine’s Day be without a sweet treat or two? This year, indulge guilt-free with a delicious—and nutritious—cookie recipe!

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Avocado Cookies


  • 1 cup peeled, mashed avocado flesh (about 1 avocado)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz chocolate chips


  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Beat sugar, honey and oil until light and fluffy
  3. Gently beat in avocado until blended
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into sugar mixture; mix well
  6. Stir in oats and coconut, then fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  7. Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet; bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.
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Our Shop Healthy Summer

EATWISE Shop Healthy

EATWISE Summer interns display freshly organized produce baskets.

This summer our EATWISE interns partnered with the DOH’s Shop Healthy initiative. They went to bodegas in the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx and assisted in making small changes that would both encourage and make it easier for New Yorkers who shop at those stores to make healthy choices. These changes included placing fresh fruits and vegetables at the front of the store, removing ads for tobacco, alcohol and sugar sweetened beverages, moving water so it was eye-level in the drink coolers and advertising healthy lunch specials, which included a sandwich on whole-wheat bread, fruit and a bottle of water. This is what a couple of our interns had to say about the experience.


By Christel Solomon and Aubrey Allen


This was our first summer working with Shop Healthy and it was an amazing experience! It felt as if we made a difference one step at a time. Even though not every change we made was big, they made a big difference to the community because we helped to make healthy produce more available.


We went into Shop Healthy expecting that we would have a hard time working with the store owners, since we were just kids who wanted to make changes in their stores. We didn’t know what the outcome would be, but in end it was very successful and the store owners were very excited and also cooperative with us in helping to accomplish our mission of making it easier for their customers to make healthy shopping choices.


We had tons of fun with our fellow interns moving the water up to eye level, putting up price tags for the produce, decorating and arranging the fruit to make the healthy options more eye catching. It wasn’t always easy to convince the store owner to move items, such as moving the water up so that is the first thing people see, but by working together we were able to come to an agreement. When we told the store owners that making these changes would help their community and increase their store profits they were eager to make the changes we suggested.


Shop Healthy has been an outstanding experience and it felt as if we were giving back to the community. The changes we made in the bodegas brought us back to what we have learned in our EATWISE internship and through Change One Thing, eat more fruit and vegetables, choose whole grains over refined grains and drink water. Even though the changes were small, we made a major change for the community.

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Eating healthy? Not easy, but worth it.

Beyonce eatting an apple

How often do you see celebrities promoting whole fruits and vegetables?
Screen grab from Let’s Move

by Emilio De Los Angles

There are lots of things that can impact the way you determine and view what you eat and your activities. Today the media is used to introduce us to the latest fad diets and weight loss pills. We are being influenced to consume cheap food with low nutrition content. This also includes the stereotypical personas shown to us on those ads or commercials. These portrayals only make us narrow our notions of what we can eat and do.


But let’s go back one step, let’s talk about you and your goal of becoming more healthy and stronger. The easiest way to start is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, lean proteins, and reading the nutrition labels of the products you are going to consume! Obesity is increasing in America, this means that people are beginning to experience the side effects of an unbalanced diet. These include heart problems, cholesterol, and diabetes. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to give more effort and time to be more cautious for the sake of my health?”. You will often find yourself blocked by the lack of support, and the confusing nutrition labels, but you can do it if you want it. Make sure your circle of friends and family knows about your decision and if they value you they will give their support. “Am I ready to begin eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and reading nutrition labels carefully?” If your answer to both of these questions were yes, I congratulate you; you are taking a step that will take you far in life.

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No, Seriously. Eat Breakfast!

no, seriously. eat breakfast!


By Russell, Nehemah, Annum

Do you eat breakfast every day? A granola bar or an apple in the morning can make all the difference! Breakfast kick starts your metabolism for the day. Do you know what breakfast means?  Breakfast literally means when you “break your fast” from the night before.

Breakfast helps to increase concentration.  Breakfast also increases your energy to seize the day. One drawback of skipping breakfast is eating too much later in the day. This leads to weight gain.  Studies have shown kids who eat breakfast do better in school than kids who don’t. There are many examples of ideal breakfast foods.  Some of these are (but aren’t limited to): milk, oatmeal, eggs and fruit. Basically breakfast should be high in carbs, rich in nutrients and low in fat. Although it may be tempting, don’t have an energy drink or double shot latte. The caffeine may give you energy but it doesn’t have the nutrients you need for a well rounded breakfast. Also, it probably has lots of added sugars, which you definitely don’t need.

Having breakfast everyday isn’t hard, a little bit of time and effort beforehand can help you make the breakfast you need for the day. Don’t have enough time?  The easiest thing to do is to buy a healthy breakfast, like an apple and yogurt.

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It’s Time to Change One Thing

The #ChangeOneThing truck

Eating healthy all the time can seem like a major lifestyle change, but we’ve simplified it for you: Change One Thing. Instead of trying to change your whole diet overnight, choose instead to Change One Thing each day. Choose a glass of water instead of a soda with your lunch, or choose a ripe summer peach as a snack instead of a bag of chips. Changing one thing is something you can control in the moment and will eventually lead toward a lifelong habit. By changing one thing you’re  working to improve your health and overall lifestyle without denying yourself the joy of eating the foods you love.


To help teens in the movement to Change One Thing, Food Bank for New York City has rolled out their Change One Thing truck. It’s the big blue truck with the orange slices handing out free healthy snacks; keep an eye out for it in your neighborhood! Although it may look like an ice cream truck the Change One Thing truck provides snacks that are healthier and equally enjoyable. And did I mention they’re also free! Snacks include sunflower seeds and dried fruit, and you’ll also get a free recipe booklet designed just for teens. The truck can be found at recreational centers, basketball courts and pools throughout New York City until the end of the summer. To find out where the Change One Thing truck will be today follow @FoodBank4NYC on twitter, locations are announced daily.


If you’ve seen the Change One Thing ads on buses or at bus stops around New York City, heard advertisements on the radio or seen the Change One Thing truck driving though your neighborhood, join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #ChangeOneThing.


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Summer Time, Summer Meal



When I think back on summers growing up as a child in New York City I remember eating and enjoying summer meals with my friends and family. I didn’t realize that my family and community were the target audience for Summer Meals. There was plenty of food in my house, and my family and I were hardly hungry for meals. However, since I lived in a low-income community, we were the target population for the summer meals program- whether our pantries at home were stocked with food or empty with dust.


I enjoyed summer meals because it was a different spin on school lunch. I appreciated the subtle changes made to meals that recognized the summer season. For example, children were given the drink option of orange juice as well as the standard milk and sometimes fruit pops or ices were given as dessert. The Summer Meals program is a great way for children who consume the majority of their meals at school to continue to get healthy meals even when school is out and they no longer have access to school lunch. The highlight of it all was being able to enjoy a balanced lunch with my friends from school while enjoying the freedom of summer.


Fortunately the Summer Meals program continues today, and free lunch and breakfast is available for all children in New York City. To find out more about participating Summer Meals sites in your neighborhood call 311 or text “NYCMeals” to 877-877.

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Find Your Fitness Match

Practice Zumba on the West Harlem waterfront.

Practice Zumba on the West Harlem waterfront.

by Zoe Cooper-Caroselli

It’s summer in New York City and there’s no better time to get in shape! We know that eating a balanced diet and living an active lifestyle contribute to our overall good health but sometimes it can feel like getting to the gym is just too hard. Whether it’s a mental barrier or a financial one – hello, gym memberships can be pricy! – I’ve found that one key to staying active is to find your fitness match. There are so many ways to get out there and move your body and when you find an activity you actually enjoy doing you are much more likely to stick to your fitness routine in the long run. For me that’s yoga; take me to the gym and tell me to lift weights and five minutes in I’ll be whining about heading home, take me to a yoga class and I’m a happy girl!


Finding your fitness match doesn’t have to be expensive. I started my yoga practice by taking free yoga classes in Bryant Park and Prospect Park. Lucky for you, there are hundreds of free fitness classes offered in all five boroughs throughout the summer. Ask about free trial memberships or introductory rates at gyms or yoga studios in your neighborhood and check out Shape Up NYC to find free fitness classes near you. Find your fitness match and get moving!

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