Family-Friendly Fare: Kid-Approved Recipes and Snacks for Picky Eaters

For parents and caregivers, finding food that a toddler, young child, or even a particular teenager will enjoy and that’s healthy can be a huge headache. Indeed, chefs of the family know that there are few things more frustrating than preparing a meal for the family only to have a child turn up their nose at it. Fortunately, all hope is not lost—it is possible to create nutritious, nurturing meals and snacks that kids and adults both enjoy. To help you with both recipe ideas and your shopping list, turn to Nick’s of Clinton.

What to Focus on When Choosing Snacks

When choosing snacks for a child, there are a few different considerations to keep top of mind:

  • Nutrition. Most parents want to provide their children with food that is packed full of nutrients. For all humans, eating a balanced diet that offers fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates is important, but for growing brains and bodies, it’s especially vital. When you think about snacks for your little ones, some nutrition musts are:
  • Energy-dense. You want what you’re feeding your child to nourish them and keep them full and provide plenty of energy. Energy comes from calories, but not all calories are the same. For example, refined sugar will burn off quickly and leave your child feeling drained—and may have numerous other deleterious effects. A high-protein snack, on the other hand, can serve as a source of energy that provides a more constant, reliable source of fuel for your child.
  • Unprocessed. More and more research is being published on the health impacts of processed food. Whenever possible, resist the temptation to just give your child a bag of chips or something wrapped in plastic with additives.
  • Balanced. Most experts agree that healthy eating involves balance between the food groups and the major macronutrients (fat, protein carbohydrates). In other words, don’t just give your kid fruit all day long, or just give them dairy, etc. Try to keep snacks more versatile, which will be beneficial for health and keeping your child’s interest. 
  • Safety. Depending on the age of the child that you’re feeding, safety could be an issue. Choking risk is greatest for children ages four and under, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the highest-risk foods (like hotdogs, grapes, nuts, etc.) and avoid these for children in this age group. 
  • Ease of eating. For many families, being able to eat while on the go is a critical aspect of maintaining schedules. Whether it’s a snack on the way to school or soccer practice, food that your kid can eat while in the car, walking, or transitioning from one activity to the next is key! As such, consider snacks that can be easily kept in a reusable bag and consumed without a lot of mess or utensils. For example, pudding probably isn’t the best, as it requires a spoon and is messy when spilled. 
  • Kid appeal (i.e. tastiness!). Being able to provide food that is safe, easy and relatively mess-free to consume, and nutritious all while passing a kid-approved taste test is the biggest challenge for parents. While sugar should never be added to kids’ snacks, keep in mind that healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nut butters) and reasonable amounts of salt can really improve flavor without compromising health quality. 
  • Your resources (budget, time). Finally, as a busy parent, you know yourself best when it comes to how much time and money you reasonably can afford to allocate to snack preparation. Keep these in mind as you navigate the recommendations below. 

Easy Kid-Friendly Snacks

Now that you’ve read up on some of the things you should be looking for in kid-friendly snacks, here are a few recipes that fit the bill. They’re healthy, safe for most age groups, easy to transport and consume on the go, are yummy, and are easy to prepare.

  • Egg bites. Grab some eggs, chop up some spinach, garlic, and any other veggies you want, and cheese (option!). Mix all together in a mixing bowl, pour into a greased muffin tin, and cook at 350 degrees until cooked through (about 20 minutes). Pop out and eat warm or cold! Great for breakfast, too. 
  • Seaweed wraps. Grab a package of sheets and add some mashed avocado and whatever else your child may love. Cooked salmon is a great option, but so is cheese, scrambled egg, or even some roasted veggies. 
  • Sweet potato sandwiches. To make these, cut a sweet potato into circular coins, about ½ thick. Spread out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees. When finished, allow to cool and then make “sandwiches” by filling two pieces with nut butter and mashed berries, or cheese, avocado, pulled meat, etc. 
  • Smoothies. A smoothie is an easy thing to make and great for a child to enjoy in a cup with a lid and straw in the car. Focus on fruit and don’t be afraid to add some greens! Use a full-fat milk of your choice as the base instead of juice. 

Start Your Shopping Today

To get everything you need for your healthy, kid-friendly snacks, head to Nick’s of Clinton. Our team is here to assist you in finding everything you’re looking for. And if you don’t feel like cooking, we have plenty of pre-made options, too! For questions, give us a call at 301-843-4825. 

10 High-Fat Foods That Are Actually Good for You!

Are you avoiding all food containing certain amounts of fat? If so, that could be a mistake. Many people once shied away from high-fat foods due to health concerns. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that saturated fats account for less than 10% or less of total daily calorie consumption. 

However, some saturated fats may not be as harmful as others. And other full-fat foods could be more beneficial than their fat-free or reduced-fat counterparts. This is because those foods are usually lower in carbs and sugars and are less processed. 

Healthy fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Including these foods in your diet adds flavor to your food, creates a sense of fullness, aids memory and hormone function, and can assist with the absorption of certain nutrients. 

So, which high-fat foods should you eat? Here is a list of ten high-fat foods that are actually good for you. 

1. Fatty Fish

If you want to eat beneficial high-fat foods, stock up on some fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, and herring. Either canned or fresh, these options are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat two servings of fatty fish weekly. 

2. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has a lot of benefits, provided you consume it in moderation. Just 100g of 70-85% dark chocolate contains over 42g of fat as well as other nutrients such as calcium and potassium. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium and flavonoid antioxidants, which can have cardiovascular and cognitive benefits

3. Seeds

It’s easy to dismiss seeds as food items that don’t matter. But, even though some of them are high in fat, they can be beneficial. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seeds like hemp, pumpkin, flax, sunflower, and chia are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which can help with inflammation. 

4. Avocado

Avocado is one of the top high-fat foods to add to your list. The food is high in a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, which may play a role in cancer prevention and offers anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocados are also high in fiber and a great source of potassium. 

5. Eggs

Even though they are high in fat, eggs are an excellent source of protein. Egg yolk contains choline, a B vitamin that supports the body’s brain, liver, muscle, and nerve functions. It also contains vitamin D and other phytonutrients. One study revealed that up to one egg daily could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

6. Tree Nuts

Nuts are a delicious and portable snack. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, nuts can lower your risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Choose raw or roasted nuts whenever possible. 

7. Olive Oil

Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, vitamin K, and vitamin E, which are excellent for heart health. Research suggests that consuming olive oil and replacing butter, margarine, dairy fat, and mayonnaise with an equivalent amount of the food can lower the risk of cardiovascular and heart disease. 

8. Greek Yogurt

About 60% of the fat contained in full-fat Greek yogurt is saturated. There may also be about a gram of trans fat included, which isn’t a problem unless you notice partially hydrogenated oil listed on the label. You’ll get the most benefits from full-fat, grass-fed yogurt as opposed to flavored or low-fat options. 

9. Cheese

Most people love cheese but avoid it due to weight concerns. But cheese is packed with good nutrients like protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese also boosts the body’s butyric acid levels, which can lead to higher metabolism. As with everything else, consume in moderation. 

10. Nut & Seed Butter

You can use nut butter, such as peanut or almond butter, and receive the benefit of eating these foods in a spreadable form. However, they can be high in calories, so be sure to read the labels first. That said, a serving of nut butter can provide a healthy amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. 

Get High-Quality and High-Fat Foods at Nick’s of Clinton

At Nick’s of Clinton, one of our goals is to support our customers in their dietary journeys. Our family-owned and operated grocery store stocks everything you need to create fresh, healthy, and satisfying meals, from the finest meats to the freshest produce. We also have many pre-made meals and an incredible selection of beer, wine, and spirits. 

We offer the highest level of customer service and affordable prices. Whether you need suggestions or a little direction, we are always available to help. Give us a call at (301) 843-4825 or visit our store in Waldorf today. 

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Meal Prep for the Week

If you’re ready to spend less time in the kitchen, have healthier meals, and save yourself some stress over cooking, you’ll probably want to try meal prepping. Meal prep can range from preparing and cooking entire dinners for the next week to simply putting together the ingredients for each day’s lunches or breakfasts. 

Prepping your meals in advance might sound like a huge chore. But, once you have a system in place, it can save you a ton of time and frustration. Here is a beginner’s guide to how you can meal prep for an entire week. 

1. Decide on a Meal Prep Strategy

Your goals and schedule will likely determine what meal prep method will work best for you. There are several options:

  • Make-ahead meals — If your time for cooking meals during the week is limited, you can prepare them entirely in advance, so they only need to be reheated. 
  • Ready-to-cook ingredients — If you’d rather cook your meals just before you serve them, you can prep the ingredients (chop vegetables, marinade meat, etc.) in advance to reduce prep time.
  • Batch cooking & freezing — This is when you prepare multiple “batches” of a recipe so you can freeze some to use as meals in the weeks or months to come. 
  • Individual portion meals — If someone in your family has dietary restrictions or certain preferences, you can prepare individual meals for that person in advance.

2. Write Out Your Daily Menus

Once you’ve figured out your ideal meal prep type, it’s time to start planning. You can’t prep anything if you don’t know what you’re going to cook. Sit down and create a menu for a week, several days, or whatever time frame you choose. 

If you’re new to meal prepping, choose some dishes you’ve cooked frequently in the past to get started. Keeping things simple in the beginning will reduce your stress and make this entire process more manageable. As you get more comfortable with meal prepping, you can broaden your horizons. 

3. Take Inventory and Shop

With your menu list on hand, make a list of every ingredient needed to create your dishes. Then, do the following:

  • Take an inventory — There’s a good chance you already have a lot of the items you need in your kitchen pantry. Before heading to the grocery store, take an inventory of what’s in your kitchen and refrigerator. This can save you a lot of money and reduce waste. 
  • Build your grocery list — Based on what’s left, create an efficient grocery list that is organized by department (dairy, meat, produce, etc.). Doing this can help you navigate the store quicker. 
  • Get the right containers — Don’t forget to stock up on some quality containers to store your prepped meals. This can include plastic containers and Ziploc freezer bags. 

4. Prep Meals and Store

Now, it’s time to prep and store your meals. Here are some tips to make your meal prep go faster. 

  • Start with the foods that take the longest time to cook, like rice.
  • If two recipes require the same ingredients, like chopped tomatoes or onions, prep those items at the same time and divide them as necessary. 
  • To avoid having to repeatedly wash your cutting board, cut all raw meat first. Then, wash the board and cut other items. 
  •  For the best quality, freeze foods like casseroles, soups, cooked grains, and chilis. If you don’t freeze them, many ingredients will only stay fresh for around three days in the refrigerator. 

5. Enjoy the Benefits of Your Meal Prepping

The whole point of meal prepping is that it will make your life easier. With some practice, you’ll soon discover a strategy that fits your needs and works perfectly for you. Whether you decide to prep every meal, just dinners, or something else, the effort you put into this will pay off in more free time, cost savings, and even some healthier meal choices. 

Shop for Your Meal Ingredients at Nick’s of Clinton

Once you’re finished with your weekly meal prep, it’s time to stock up on the ingredients to create those delicious items. Nick’s of Clinton provides a one-stop shopping experience for all your grocery needs in the Waldorf area. 

Our family-run business has been serving the local community for over 50 years. We offer a full-service meat and deli department as well as an extensive selection of beer, wine, and spirits. We also offer a signature line of Nick’s products, including sauces, seasonings, and pastas. Visit us today or give us a call at 301-843-4825.

Spring Fruits and Vegetables: A Guide to Seasonal Produce

As you think about the health and wellbeing of both yourself and your family, what you eat is a big part of that. If you’re planning your menu—either for regular weeknight dinners or for a special event you’re hosting—incorporating seasonal produce is a win for everyone. Here’s a guide to seasonal produce in Maryland, as well as an overview of what you should know about the benefits of eating seasonally—

Why Buy Seasonal Produce?

Buying seasonal produce is good for you, your local economy, and even the environment. Some of the top benefits of buying seasonal produce include:

  • More nutrients. Did you know that eating produce that’s in season provides more nutritional value than does eating produce that’s out of season? When fruit and vegetables are picked before they are ripe, they lose nutrients every day from when they’re picked to when they’re ready to eat. Seasonal produce, on the other hand, is picked when it’s freshest and after reaching ripeness due to optimal growing conditions rather than artificial conditions or even additives, which means there’s a higher level of antioxidants and less nutrient loss. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables may also be less inflammatory than eating produce that’s out of season, too. And of course, all those extra nutrients means that eating seasonally is tastier as well! 
  • Supporting local businesses. One of the top benefits of eating seasonal produce is that when you eat what’s grown in your community, you’re supporting local farmers and suppliers. By supporting local businesses, you’re helping to reduce consolidation in the food industry and give your local economy a boon—a win-win for everyone. 
  • Environmental benefits. In some cases, eating what’s grown near you and what’s in season may have benefits for the earth, too. When you eat locally, food doesn’t have to be shipped as far, which results in emissions reductions. The food may also have been grown in a way that’s more sustainable and minimizes the use of chemical fertilizers and weed control inputs, which helps to protect the soil and the ecosystem (and may be better for you, too!). 
  • Opportunity to try something new. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables also allows you the opportunity to mix up your menu and get out of the routine of eating the same old thing every night. More diversity in your diet is good for you and allows you the opportunity to get new nutrients that you may be missing, and is also fun! If you’ve been looking at a few new recipes but don’t know where to start, picking a few seasonal items to feature is a great option!  

What’s in Season in the Spring in Maryland?

Early-season vegetables in Maryland include leafy greens, like spinach, lettuce, and arugula; herbs like mint, parsley, and thyme; asparagus; peas and pea greens; rhubarb; parsnips; and sometimes even some early-season strawberries (although strawberries are most likely in late spring/early summer). You can find a full list of what’s in season and when on this handy chart provided by the state of Maryland.

And don’t worry—if you miss out on getting some spring produce, there’s a lot to come during the summertime. Maryland produces apples, pears, cherries, cantaloupes, melons, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, onions, watermelon, raspberries, peaches, collard greens, eggplants, and much, much more. Eating locally is easy and delicious! 

Get the Freshest Produce at Nick’s of Clinton

Not only is eating seasonally good for you, tasty, good for your local economy, and good for the planet—it’s also easy, too! When you shop at Nick’s of Clinton, you’ll find the freshest produce straight from local suppliers. Nick’s of Clinton is proud to offer fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables that are always high-quality. And not only will you find the in-season produce you’re looking for, but all of the other pairings and fixings you need for the perfect meal, too. We carry high-quality meats and seafood, pre-made foods, popular brands of packaged items, and wine, beer, and liquor too. Shopping at Nick’s is convenient and makes planning for all of your springtime meals easy and enjoyable.

Stop By Nick’s of Clinton Today

If you’re looking for something specific or have a question about our fruits, vegetables, or other products, please stop on in or give us a call directly. Serving the Maryland community since the early 1970s, we’re passionate about providing great products and great customer service. Get help finding everything you need today. We look forward to seeing you! 

The Rise of Plant-Based Diets — Vegan and Vegetarian Meal Planning Ideas

There are many different eating philosophies you can embrace. You might choose one or another out of necessity or a desire to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. One that is backed by a lot of scientific research is plant-based eating. If you’ve decided to follow a plant-based diet, here’s what that means, what it can do for you, and a list of meal-planning ideas for vegan and vegetarian options. 

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

Definitions of what is considered a plant-based diet are somewhat vague. There are several interpretations of what fits into the plant-based diet category. For example, vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean diets all qualify as plant-based diets. No matter which one you choose, you’ll find that your options have grown significantly due to the popularity of these diets. Health concerns and even worries about global warming have led more people to embrace eating habits that focus more on plant-based proteins instead of animal ones. 

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

If you’re considering a plant-based diet, here are some of the benefits of choosing this type of plan:

  • More fiber — Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are high in fiber, which is something that about 95% of us don’t get enough of. Research shows that there are tons of benefits to eating more fiber, like a lower risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and healthier body weights. 
  • Weight loss — Research shows that people who adhere to a plant-based diet tend to have lower body fat percentages. A high-fiber diet can help you feel satisfied and still allow you to lose weight. 
  • Lowered health risks — Many people who choose plant-based diets end up eating more fiber, which can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. 
  • Easy-to-fix protein sources — Plant-based diets give you an incredible number of options for simple and no-cook protein sources. Lentils and dried and canned beans are healthy protein options that you can keep on your shelf. Seeds and nuts as well as whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, are other healthy and simple options. 

Grocery Shopping for Your Plant-Based Diet

You might hear some experts advising you to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store to get the healthiest options. While it’s true that the outside aisles are where you’ll find produce and some dairy items, there are a lot of nutritious fools you’ll want for your plant-based diet located in the store’s inner aisles. There you’ll find things like oats, brown rice, and quinoa as well as nuts and seeds, canned and dried beans, and frozen vegetables and fruit. Here are a few items to put on your plant-based diet grocery shopping list:

  • Whole grains — Higher in fiber and protein, whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and wheat pasta are excellent options. 
  • Nuts and seeds — Add some walnuts, chia seeds, flax, almonds, and nut butters to your list to use as snacks and in your favorite recipes. 
  • Legumes — Dried or canned, lentils and beans are some of the best sources of fiber and protein. 
  • Fruits and vegetables — Whether you choose fresh or frozen, make sure you stock up on fruits and vegetables to make a part of every meal. 
  • Soy — Edamame and tofu are great high-protein soy options. 

Some Vegan and Vegetarian Meal Planning Ideas

Fill up on your favorite meals that provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Here are some options that are simple to make. 

Vegan Breakfasts

Vegan Lunches

Vegan Dinners

Vegetarian Breakfasts

Vegetarian Lunches

Vegetarian Dinners

What about snacks and desserts, you ask? Here are a few options:

Nick’s of Clinton Can Help With Your Meal Planning

At Nick’s of Clinton, we’re here to help support any type of diet you choose. Our community grocery store has everything you need to create a delicious vegan or vegetarian menu for tonight or the coming week. We have the freshest produce and an amazing selection of high-quality cheese and dairy items. We also offer healthy pre-made meals for days you don’t want to cook yourself. To learn more about our store, give us a call at (301) 843-4825 or visit our Waldorf location today. 

Healthy Eating Tips to Kick Off the New Year

As we enter the new year, there’s no better time than the present to think about how to be the best version of yourself. Part of unleashing your full potential is improving your mental and physical health. One of the best ways to start feeling healthier is to rethink your food choices. At Nick’s of Clinton, we’re here to help you meet your healthy food goals. Here are some healthy eating tips to kick off the new year—

  1. Start with Small, Achievable Changes

When making any changes in your life, whether to your diet, exercise plan, or other elements of your routine, it’s important to start small. If you try to do it all at once, you’ll overwhelm yourself and are more likely to fail. For example, if you ultimately want to give up desserts, cut out dairy, eliminate gluten, stop drinking, and only eat at home, you should start with a small, modified version of one of those goals. So, if you want to stop eating sugar, maybe you begin by limiting yourself to two desserts a week. As you achieve small goals, you can start adding on other changes. 

  1. Have a Goal

Those small steps that you take like the ones listed above should all be in pursuit of a bigger goal. While wanting to “lose weight” is a great goal, getting more specific about why you’re choosing to eat healthy can help you maintain your motivation. For example, do you want to eat healthy to be in better shape to play with your grandkids? Or to be able to do a walking tour when you retire and take a trip to Europe? Or to reduce the amount of pain and discomfort you feel getting out of bed in the morning? 

  1. Know What’s “Healthy”

Before you start your journey on the path to healthy eating, you should start with learning what’s healthy and what’s not. Unfortunately, too many products that are advertised as healthy are full of preservatives, chemicals, and are highly processed. The best things that you can eat are unprocessed whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and fish and meat. Try to buy things that are fresh and raw, and avoid foods that come in plastic or in a box as much as possible. Always read labels and watch out for ingredients you haven’t heard of or can’t pronounce. 

  1. Remember It’s Not Just About Food

While healthy eating is a huge part of improving your health overall, remember that you won’t achieve great health by healthy eating alone. Exercise is also a big part of physical and mental health, as is taking time for yourself to reduce stress. Meditation and deep breathing can be a positive addition to your healthy eating plan. Health is holistic. 

  1. Make Going to the Grocery Store a Habit

One barrier to healthy eating is the temptation to eat out. Another obstacle is being too time-crunched to get healthy food and prepare it. As such, in order to meet your goals, you’ll need to make going to the grocery store on a regular basis a habit. When you go to the store, be prepared with a list. Meal planning in advance for the week is a great way to get organized and hold yourself accountable to your goals. 

  1. Get Help from the Start

Making a change in your life can be challenging, and there’s no doubt that eating healthy is one of the biggest challenges there is. Getting help from the beginning with your goals can be a great way to set yourself up for success. Ask a friend or a family member to join you in your journey and help hold you accountable. You can even join a group challenge with co-workers or neighbors!

Nick’s of Clinton Is Here to Help

At Nick’s of Clinton, we’re here to support you in your goal to adopt a healthier eating plan. Our grocery store has everything that you need to start eating better today, from the freshest product to the finest meats and everything in between. We also have healthy pre-made meals that are great for a day that you don’t have time to cook yourself. And with weekly specials, shopping at Nick’s is affordable, too. To learn more about our store or ask a question about products we carry, feel free to reach out to us by phone at (301) 843-4825. We open at 9:00 a.m. on the weekends and 10:00 a.m. on the weekdays. We look forward to seeing you! 

A Week of Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

When school is back in session, that means it’s time to start packing lunches again. Filing an entire week with delicious and nutritious lunch items that your kids will eat can be an ongoing challenge.

Assembling lunches can be harder than it seems, especially if you have fussy eaters and want to keep things reasonably healthy. Ideally, a nutritious lunch will include 1-2 servings of protein, at least one serving of whole grain, and one serving each of fruits and vegetables. So here is a week of back-to-school lunch ideas that your kids will be sure to love.


Pasta Salad on a Stick

This pasta salad on a stick recipe is fun to make and just as enjoyable for your kids to eat. Here are your ingredients:

  • 8 bamboo toothpicks
  • 8 cheese tortellini
  • 8 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8 (1 inch) cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 artichoke hearts (cut in quarters)
  • 8 thin slices of salami
  • 4 pitted black olives (halved)

Boil a small pot of lightly salted water, cook the tortellini until the pasta floats to the top (1-2 minutes), and drain. Then, thread your pasta on a stick in any order you wish — 1 tortellini, 1 salami slice, 1 tomato half, etc. Repeat.

Here are some additional items you can add to your child’s delicious lunch:

  • 1 cup pretzels
  • ½ cup avocado slices
  • Grapes
  • Mandarin orange


Sushi Sandwich Rolls

Kids love to pretend to eat like adults. While some kids might like actual sushi, we aren’t suggesting you get that fancy with your lunch prep. Instead, you can “roll up” fun and healthy ingredients in sushi-like rolls that your kids will love.

Start by flattening a piece of bread with a rolling pin or just using a whole wheat tortilla. Spread with peanut butter or cream cheese. Then top with meat, cheese, veggies, or fruit. Finally, roll them up and slice them to resemble sushi pieces.

Here are some additional items you can add to create a well-rounded lunch:

  • Sliced green apples and walnuts
  • ½ cup strawberries or blueberries
  • ½ whole grain muffin


Chicken Salad Wraps

Here is an easy chicken salad wrap you can make for kids who get tired of sandwiches. In a large bowl, combine:

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light mayo
  • ¾ cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced green grapes
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Place about ½ cup of the chicken salad mixture onto the side of a tortilla/wrap and roll your tortilla up tightly. Slice the wrap in half.

Here are some other items you can add to your child’s healthy lunch:

  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • 1 cup dried banana chips
  • 3 cups of popcorn


Buffalo Chickpea Pinwheels

This vegetarian lunch option is also delicious and filling. Combine and blend in a food processor 1 16-oz can chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 3 tbsp buffalo sauce, ¼ cup vegan mayo, and ¼ tsp onion powder. Spread the mixture onto two large flour (whole wheat is ok) tortillas. Roll them up and chill for several minutes before slicing them into bite-sized pieces.

Here are some other items you can add to this yummy lunch:

  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup celery sticks with almond butter


Lunch Box Quiche

These simple lunch box quiches are delicious and made from mini taco boats. You can ask your kids what ingredients they like, so they’ll be more likely to devour them. Start with ten taco boats or mini pie shells. Mix five eggs, ⅔ cup mozzarella cheese, and any fillings you want (fam, tomato, chicken, spinach, etc.). Pour your mixture into the boats and bake at 200 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

You can create a perfect Friday lunch by adding these items:

  • ½ cup trail mix
  • 1 cup tomato and cucumber salad
  • ½ whole wheat pita

Do Your Back-to-School Lunch Shopping at Nick’s of Clinton

When you’re shopping for your children’s lunches, you want the best and most affordable ingredients. For over 50 years, Nick’s Supermarket has been proudly serving the local community by delivering a full-service experience. Our business was built on a foundation of delivering superior quality products and the highest level of customer service.

When you shop at Nick’s, we provide one-stop shopping for all of your grocery needs, including a full-service deli and meat department and Nick’s signature line of products. Stop in and visit us today or give us a call at (301) 843-4825.

Portion Sizes – What Does a Serving Look Like?

No matter what kind of food you enjoy eating, how much of it you consume matters. Even if you eat nutrient-rich food, it’s a good idea to stay mindful of what you eat so that you can maintain a balanced diet. 

But how are you supposed to keep track of what’s going into your body? Is it by portion sizes or serving sizes? In many cases, these are two different measurements. Here’s what you need to know about these two measurements and how you can make sense of creating healthy portions. 

What is a Serving Size?

A serving size is a standard measurement of food that you’ll find on a nutrition fact label of most packaged foods. For example, depending on the food in question, a serving size might be stated as 1 slice, 1 cup, 10 g, or some other common measurement. 

What is a Portion Size?

A portion size is simply the amount of food you eat. It may or may not be equal to a serving size. It could be more or less. 

How Serving and Portion Sizes Have Changed

Few people have a strong understanding of how much food they really eat. And portion sizes have increased dramatically in recent years, leading to problems like obesity and other serious health concerns. 

According to an American Heart Association study, adults today consume 300 more calories on average daily than they did in 1985. Portion sizes have continued to grow over the past four decades. And Americans eat out more than they did in the past. Even the size of some packaged food, like bagels and cookies, has grown substantially, impacting serving sizes. 

What Does a Healthy Portion Look Like?

It’s important to note that serving sizes listed on nutrition labels are not a recommendation of how much you should eat. Instead, they are a benchmark for measuring and comparing the nutritional value of similar foods. So, if you compare two cans of green beans side by side, you can look at the nutritional value per serving. 

A healthy portion is probably going to vary based on your nutritional needs. So, one person might eat four crackers out of a box, which is the listed serving size, and another might eat five or six. 

A portion is simply how much food you choose to eat at one time, which is subjective. So, how do you know what a healthy portion looks like? Whether you’re cooking food or just putting it on your plate, you can use a few visual tools to measure your portions. 

  • An average-sized fist will be about the same as a 1 cup. This is an appropriate portion size for whole fruit, cooked or raw vegetables, and fruit juice. 
  • A tennis ball is about the same size as a ½ cup. This is also equal to about 1 ounce for food items like pasta, oatmeal, and rice. 
  • The palm of your hand or a deck of cards is about the equivalent of 3 ounces. This is an appropriate portion size for chicken, beef, fish, and other meats. 
  • The tip of your finger, or the size of a postage stamp, is about the same as a teaspoon, which is a good measurement for things like oils and other fats. 

Deciding How Much to Eat or Drink

Serving sizes listed on Nutritional Facts labels can easily be misconstrued as advice. Understandably, it’s difficult to determine the right amount to eat or drink, especially since everyone’s body is different. Here are a few tips to help you figure out the best strategy:

  • When eating out, try choosing smaller portions when available or splitting your meal in half.
  • Use tools like the National Institutes of Health Body Weight Planner to help you balance your activity levels and caloric intake.
  • Refer to the Nutritional Facts Panel on the food you purchase to understand the nutritional value of each serving. 
  • Eat slower to allow your stomach to adjust to your body’s hunger cues. In time, you’ll realize that your hunger is satisfied with less food than you think. 
  • Emphasize quality over quantity with your food choices. When you savor delicious food and beverages, they’ll be more satisfying. 

Get Delicious and High-Quality Food at Nick’s of Clinton

The right portion and serving sizes are more appetizing when you have delicious food on your plate. At Nick’s of Clinton, we offer the meat, dairy, produce, and other foods you want. Nick’s offers a full-service meat counter and deli as well as some of the tastiest prepared foods in the area. 

Visit our store today or contact us with any questions. We look forward to being a part of your healthy eating journey. 

Tips for Grilling Vegetables

Grilled vegetables can be delicious when prepared properly. They can also be kind of gross or a bit
of a mess if you don’t use the right approach. It’s ok if you’ve only used your grill to cook meat in the past. Maybe it’s time to expand your horizons and broaden the options on your dinner table. Here are some tips for grilling vegetables that will produce the best results.

Types of Vegetables that are Ideal for Grilling

The good news is that you can probably grill just about any type of vegetable. Grilling releases the food’s natural flavors and can put nice “char” on it that gives it an additional kick. Some of the favorites that work well on a grill include:

  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Yellow squash and zucchini
  • Corn
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Mushrooms

Cutting Your Vegetables to Get them Ready for Grilling

The trick to successfully grilling vegetables is to avoid cutting them too thin. Thicker cuts won’t cook too quickly or fall through your grill’s grates. Here are some cutting tips for those popular vegetables:

  •  Onions — Grilled onions are deliciously sweet! Peel them first and then either quarter
    them into small chunks or cut them into ½” thick rounds.
  • Potatoes — Cut large potatoes into ½” cubes or leave small fingerling potatoes as-is.
  • Bell peppers — Either cut your bell peppers into long ½” strips or simply cut them in half.
  • Yellow squash and zucchini — Squash and zucchini have a lot of water content, so they
    can be easy to overcook. Cut them into either ½” rounds or long ways using a mandolin
    with slices at least ½” thick.
  • Corn — Shuck your corn cobs, and they will be ready to place on the grill!
  • Brussel sprouts — Cut off the ends and remove the outer leaves. Then, cut them in half.
  • Mushrooms — Grill portobello mushrooms as-is. Smaller mushrooms can be cut in half.
    Seasoning Your Vegetables for Grilling

Most vegetables could benefit from some simple seasoning before you place them on the grill. One
recommendation is to lightly coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and some garlic powder. You can also add some other fun seasonings like balsamic, street corn seasoning, or different marinades according to your tastes.

How Long to Cook Vegetables on the Grill?

The cooking time for your veggies will vary depending on how thick they are sliced, how you are
grilling them, and your level of heat. That said, here is a rough guideline for some different types of vegetables:

  • Onions — Quarters should be grilled for about 15-20 minutes, but round slices will only
    take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Potatoes — Potatoes will usually take about 20-25 minutes to cook on the grill.
  • Bell peppers — Grill ½” strips for about 3-4 minutes per side and halves about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Yellow squash and zucchini — Grill these veggies for about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Corn — Corn takes about 15-20 minutes to cook on the grill. Make sure you are rotating it.
  • Brussel sprouts — Depending on how you cook them, brussel sprouts will cook in 10-20 minutes on the grill.
  • Mushrooms — Mushrooms take about 8-10 minutes to cook on the girl and will require flipping.

Different Methods for Grilling Vegetables

What types of vegetables you are cooking and the materials available to you might determine how
you approach your meal preparation. Here are several options for grilling your vegetables:

Directly on the Grill

Large veggies, like corn and large chunks of onion or bell pepper, can be placed directly on the grill. Season them first and cook for about five minutes over medium to medium-high heat before flipping.

Foil Packets

If you have small vegetables, like mushrooms or brussel sprouts, foil packets are an excellent option for grilling. Preheat your grill to medium or medium-high and then place your foil packets on the grill for about 20 minutes. Poke a few holes in the top.

 Grill Basket

Similar to foil packets, a grill basket will protect your veggies from falling through the grates. Preheat your grill to medium or medium-high, and then cook your veggies for roughly 20 minutes, stirring or flipping them about every five minutes.

Vegetable Kabobs

Finally, a favorite way to grill vegetables is by making veggie kabobs. Make sure you combine
similar-sized veggies on your kabobs and then turn them halfway through cooking.

Choose Nick’s of Clinton for Your Grilling Needs

Now that you know how to grill delicious vegetables, it’s time to go shopping. Nick’s of Clinton offers the highest quality products at the most affordable prices in the area. For over 50 years, our family has offered the community a family-oriented shopping experience, a unique alternative to the massive chain stores.

We welcome you to come in and check out our fresh produce, high-quality meats, and signature
seasonings and sauces. We’d be happy to help you with product selection and provide preparation
tips if you need them. Visit or contact us today!

Healthy Breakfast Alternatives

Some of the most common items we fill up on to start the day are not the healthiest choices. They can be full of white flour or sugar and have little to no nutritional value.

But your morning meal is supposed to be one of the most important ones of the day, setting you up for success or putting you on the wrong path if you make poor choices. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to those popular packaged and surgery foods that will leave you feeling full and give you plenty of energy to start the day.

Here some healthy breakfast alternatives to put on your next shopping list:

Breakfast Smoothies
Breakfast smoothies are all the rage. Veggie and fruit smoothies are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and they taste great. One of the best things about smoothies is that you can customize your concoction to suit your particular tastes and needs.

Most people begin with a base, such as coconut water, almond milk, or fruit juice, and then add in their favorite fruits and veggies. You can create a smoothie that is sweet, tropical, savory, or some combination of those flavors.

If you tend to get hungry mid-morning, you might want to try a filling but healthy breakfast like muesli. This is a fiber-rich food that expands in your stomach and makes you feel full. It is also packed with vitamin B, which will give you plenty of energy to launch you into the day.

You can prepare this meal by combining ½ cup of water with ½ cup of muesli until it is cooked. You can then add fruit, honey, or other toppings to your taste.

Fruit Topped Yogurt
If you are not eating yogurt for breakfast, you are missing out on something healthy and delicious. Yogurt is low in calories but is loaded with protein, vitamins, and probiotics.

Greek yogurt is the best choice because it is generally lower in sugar than other options. If you want to sweeten plain yogurt, you can top it with granola, fresh berries, or honey.

Eggs are probably the ultimate breakfast food. Why? They keep you full, are loaded with protein and antioxidants, and are incredibly versatile.

You can fix eggs a variety of ways and combine them with just about anything to make a tasty meal. Whether they are fried, poached, scrambled, or hard-boiled, you can combine them with some toast or fresh fruit for a balanced and healthy breakfast.

Almond Butter and Banana Toast
Toast is always an excellent breakfast choice that is loaded with vitamins and fiber. You can improve on that age-old tradition by adding potassium to your toast. Banana toast will give you the benefits of fiber as well as regulate stress and improve mood. Top it with almond butter, and you will have some additional energy to start your day.

Chia Pudding
It might sound weird but hear us out. Chia pudding is a delicious alternative to regular pudding that is rich in fiber, omega-3’s, and antioxidants. You make by soaking chia seeds in a liquid that turns into a pudding-like mix. You can also add things like vegetables and non-dairy milk to your mix and top it off with fresh fruit for a creamy and delicious morning treat.

If you are not a fan of traditional or hot cereal, consider giving quinoa a try for breakfast. This super grain contains a ton of protein, iron, and fiber, and is probably one of the healthiest foods you can find.

Granted, many people complain that quinoa lacks flavor. But it is incredibly filling, making it an ideal breakfast food. You can add flavor with items like maple syrup and fresh fruit to create a natural and wholesome meal.

Granola is an excellent choice if you want to get away from some of those sugary boxed cereals. But be sure to choose your granola wisely.

Avoid artificial granola that has sugar additives and, instead choose a product that is organic or has all-natural ingredients. Once you have found the perfect granola, you can eat it like you would cereal or mix it in your yogurt.

Oatmeal with Fruit
Oatmeal is a traditional breakfast food that deserves your attention. It is both nutritious and fulfilling. You can create a nearly endless combination of oatmeal goodness by combining the food with milk, syrup, and other natural sugars like fresh fruit.

Get the Highest-Quality Products and Freshest Ingredients

If you would like to make breakfast a healthier and more enjoyable meal, Nicks of Clinton can help. We offer some of the freshest ingredients in the area as well as some unique and high-quality products for any meal.

In the world of big box stores, our team has worked extremely hard to offer our customers the personalized service they deserve. We look forward to serving you at our Gateway Plaza location, or you can give us a call at (301) 843-4825 with any questions.