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Barbara's News & Events

Not everyone knows about Barbara’s, and we love when our fans spread the word! Please tell everyone you know about us. In the meantime, check out a little help we’ve received getting the word out from the press & media. For media inquiries contact Natalie Terashima, RKPR

Spooky Ingredients and Candy Swaps

Posted on November 16, 2017


Just about everyone loves Halloween—there’s plenty going on from trick-or-treating to all kinds of costume parties, and of course, there’s the candy. Scary creatures and haunted houses are to be expected, but no one should have to deal with spooky ingredients in their foods and beverages!

It can be a challenge for your clients to recognize and avoid unhealthy ingredients in the foods they buy, especially when they appear in seemingly healthy options. It’s reasonable to assume that a food advertised as “natural,” “healthy” or even “organic” is good for you. Unfortunately, that’s not always true.

We all need to check the ingredient labels on food packages each time we buy it. Food manufacturers often change ingredients and may not note the change on the package. If product labels claim things like, “Now lower in fat” or “Improved,” or variations of similar wording, these phrases are signs to check the ingredients. When food producers lower the fat content, for example, they typically add more salt, sugar, and/or additives.

Parents should be aware of ingredients that sound like a chemical experiment or that are represented by acronyms. For example, preservatives such as TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) can cause nausea and vomiting; BHT/BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene) are possible carcinogens; polysorbates can suppress the immune system; and potassium sorbate can cause allergic reactions and DNA damage.

Artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners often are part of so-called healthy foods, such as nutrition bars, whole-grain cereals, fruit juices, and frozen foods that claim to be good for you. Remember: the more processed the food, the more undesirable ingredients it likely has.

When it comes to Halloween treats, your clients can avoid spooky ingredients and try dozens of non-candy options that are great for parties and to please their little goblins at home. When preparing these or other treats, organic ingredients are preferred! Barbara’s has perfect healthy treat options that kids can make themselves, such as Snackimals Banana Roll Ups and Chocolate Peanut Butter Puff Balls. Alternatives to Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters include temporary tattoos, stickers, LED finger lights or glow sticks, or mini packages of raisins, dried fruit or pretzels.

Wishing everyone a safe, fun-filled and healthy Halloween!

Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters

September Is Better Breakfast Month!

Posted on November 16, 2017

Parents typically think of September as the time when their kids go back to school, but it’s also known for something that is closely related: Better Breakfast Month. It can be challenging for parents to convince their kids, and especially teens (up to nearly one-third skip this critical meal), to take time for breakfast, yet the benefits are well worth it. For example, kids who eat breakfast:

  • Are less likely to be overweight or obese. Carrying excess weight is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and other serious conditions.
  • Consume less saturated fat, another risk factor for heart disease.
  • Have more energy and better concentration, which translates to improved scholastic performance and mood.
  • Have better overall health.

Time is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to getting kids to eat breakfast. Kids like to hit the snooze button and delay getting up until they barely have enough time to get dressed and out the door. Sufficient sleep is critical for your client’s growing kids, so slight adjustments in going to bed and waking up may be necessary to allow time for breakfast.

Everyone will be happier and less stressed if breakfast is quick and easy, as well as delicious and nutritious. Fortunately, there are numerous options that fit the bill and can be enjoyed at home or on the run. Examples include:

  • Scrambled tofu or eggs, with fresh bell peppers, mushrooms, and sea salt. It takes a little extra time, but is well worth it!
  • Monkey Trail Mix, made with dried fruit, protein-rich seeds, and Puffins cereal. Perfect pocket food that kids can enjoy on the way to school.
  • Breakfast muffins, breads, and bars. Parents or kids can make a batch or two of breakfast muffins, breads, or granola bars the night before, so they will be ready for noshing in the morning. Barbara’s whole-grain, naturally sweetened, GMO-free cereals are the featured ingredients in these breakfast treats that are perfect for the whole family, including: Apple Honey Puffins MuffinsSnackimals Cereal BarsBarbara’s High Fiber Bars, and Builder Banana Bread.

Don’t forget smoothies, which can pack an incredible amount of nutrition in a single glass. The Tropical Shredded Smoothie provides fiber from Barbara’s Shredded Wheat Biscuits, while the Puffins Power-up Smoothie Bowl can be enjoyed in a glass or bowl, topped with fresh fruit. Feel free to add a scoop of protein powder to help balance blood sugar.

Make September and every month Better Breakfast Month!

Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters

The Whole Truth about Grains and GMOs

Posted on November 16, 2017


Grocery store shelves, TV ads, and internet popups frequently explode with foods based on refined, processed grains. It’s no wonder why it can be a challenge to convince some clients to include whole grains, and especially non-GMO (genetically modified) whole grains in their diet.

Yet, if they knew what they and their families are missing by passing up non-GMO whole grains, they just might change their minds and shopping habits. For example, refined processed grains have been stripped of their bran and germ, leaving behind a mere shadow of their original natural nutrition. The bran and germ are an abundant source of B vitamins, protein, fiber, antioxidants, copper, magnesium, iron, and zinc. When your clients eat whole grains, they are helping reduce their risk of developing heart disease, obesity, digestive disorders, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

If clients argue there are not enough whole grain choices, they may be shocked at the list. What’s important is for them to look for “whole grain” on the product label. Words such as “100% wheat,” “multigrain,” and even “organic” do not mean the food contains whole grains. Those that do, however, say “whole-grain corn,” “whole oats,” “whole rye,” “millet,” “quinoa,” “buckwheat,” “brown rice,” “cracked wheat,” “triticale,” and “100% whole wheat flour.”

Why ask your clients to choose non-GMO whole grains? Because we don’t really know the human health impact of ingesting foods that have had their genetic makeup altered. Since certified organic whole grains and other foods are not allowed to contain GMOs, consumers should look for USDA Organic labels on their whole grain food selections, or the Non-GMO Project Verified label.

Are non-GMO whole grains tasteless and boring? Far from it! The delicious options offered by Barbara’s are just one example. From Barbara’s wide selection of breakfast cereals to its tasty snacks and sweet desserts, the common thread is non-GMO, whole grain ingredients. Clients who are new to the whole grain scene can whet their appetites by trying some of these treats and the dozens of recipes using these products.

The world of non-GMO whole grains is vast, and there are scores of recipes to try and enjoy. Whole grains can be used in everything from breads and desserts to soups, salads, snacks, main entrees, and side dishes. Once consumers are introduced to these nutritious, delicious whole grain foods, there could be no turning back!

Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters

Red, White and Barbara’s

Posted on November 16, 2017

Charcoal Grill Coals & Vegetable Skewers

Memorial Day may mark the beginning of the vacation season for you and your clients, but the 4th of July is when summer really blasts off (literally!) for most. Independence Day is traditionally a time for the five Fs: friends, family, fun, fireworks, and food. Your clients can handle the first four, but we’d like to pitch in on the food ideas with some heart-healthy suggestions for the remainder of the summer.

If your clients like meat, make sure they look for hamburgers and hot dogs without antibiotics or added hormones. Grass fed or organic meats are a terrific option. If they’re looking for a meat alternative, I recommend grilling wild salmon with a side of veggie kabobs. Salmon is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and easy to make. Simply marinate one-inch thick salmon steaks in your favorite marinade (I love San-J’s Asian cooking sauces), grill over medium-hot charcoal 4 to 6 minutes per side, and serve with lime.

Make your veggie kabobs colorful and healthy! Cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper slices, white mushroom caps, and purple eggplant squares serve as the perfect lineup and provide heart friendly nutrients. Simply brush the veggies with marinade and grill your kabobs alongside the salmon.

Instead of potato salad, have your clients try a quinoa salad with roasted cherry tomatoes. Quinoa is an easy-to-prepare grain that’s also a complete protein and a great source of heart-healthy nutrients: magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and fiber. The tomatoes provide lycopene (an antioxidant) and other nutrients. For the dressing, use the juices from the tomatoes and add a squirt of lime juice.

Beverages can be good for the heart as well if you make a batch of iced green tea with lemon slices and fresh mint. Green tea (my go-to brand is Bigelow) is a super source of catechins, plant nutrients shown to possess cardiovascular (and weight loss!) benefits.

Keeping the young ones busy by having them make their own Snackimals Banana Roll Ups is fun and easy. It has just four simple ingredients—Barbara’s Vanilla Snackimals, bananas, whole-wheat tortillas, and peanut butter.

For the adults, a variation of Barbara’s Peaches and Crème Dessert Shots is a fun choice. Substitute holiday-appropriate berries (blueberries, strawberries, boysenberries, raspberries) for the peaches.

Wishing all of you a safe and heart-healthy summer!


Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters

Healthy Family Travel Tips

Posted on November 16, 2017

family with children at the airport

School is almost out and so are the road maps, suitcases, and lists of vacation destinations. The busiest family travel and vacation time of the year is finally here, and you’ll want your clients’ vacations to be as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. That includes making sure everyone has healthy, nutritious snacks and meals while they’re on the road, in the air, and at their final destination.

Be sure to emphasize to your clients that preparation is key. With just a minimal amount of planning, your clients, and their families, can steer clear of fatty, sugary, empty-calorie foods and snacks and completely enjoy their food choices. They can even save money at the same time!

In the car: There’s nothing like an old-fashioned road trip! Be sure to recommend they bring along a cooler for water and all of their favorite snacks, including fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, and ready-made dips such as salsa and hummus. Also be sure to recommend that they prepare and pack a few snack mixes for the trip, including Yale Puffins Snack Mix or Barbara’s Mornings & Spoonfuls Fun Mix. They can put them in an airtight container so they’ll be ready for the road!

On a plane: Most airlines no longer offer anything more than ho-hum little packaged snacks, and buying everyone something from the concession stands prior to boarding can quickly put a dent in their vacation budget and their promise to eat healthy. Why not ask them to pack a few delicious treats in their carry-on bag, such as Shredded Spoonfuls Seasoned Snack Mix, Barbara’s Cheese Puffs, or Barbara’s Puffins Fun Mix? They can pack them in a sealed container to go through security so they can snack in style during the flight!

On foot and on the beach: Hiking, sightseeing on foot, and visiting the beach are vacation modes in which your clients will want to travel light while also enjoying some great energy foods. Barbara’s Better Granola Oatmeal Bars and Snackimals Cereal Bars are packed with protein and are easy to tote along. Be sure to emphasize the importance of bringing along plenty of water in reusable water bottles.

Eating out: Today’s technology has made it easy to investigate dining out options while on the road and once they’ve reached a new destination. Your clients can use their smart phone, tablet, or laptop to check out menus online, search for local farmers markets for fresh produce, and find grocery stores that offer healthy choices.

Here’s wishing you and your clients a healthy and delightful vacation and travel season!


Posted in Nutritionist Newsletters