The Real Food Dietitians’ Jessica Beacom Shares Kid-Friendly Foods and Tips


This week is Every Kid Healthy Week, promoting sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-awareness programs in schools. The initiative comes at a critical time. Today, nearly 40% of children’s diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats. And only 21% of youth age 6-19 eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according to the Prevention Institute.

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Jessica Beacom

In honor of Every Kid Healthy Week, we’ve asked Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of The Real Food Dietitians, to share her tips on healthy eating habits for kids and families.

Pete’s Living Greens: As a dietitian, what is the biggest challenge to get kids to eat healthy? 

Jessica Beacom: In households where there is access to less healthy snack and meal options in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the former will almost always win which is frustrating for parents who want their kids to eat healthy. Gradually removing the processed and packaged foods from the home (and not bringing them back in with the next shopping trip) decreases the number of choices available for snacking so that healthier foods can take the main stage. 

PLG: Most families are constantly on-the-go. What are some easy ways parents can continue to offer healthy options despite busy schedules?

JB: Taking time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers for on-the-go snacking makes healthy eating on-the-go so much easier. Adding small packages of nuts, jerky, single-serve nut or seed butter, dried coconut flakes, deli meat and organic cheese or yogurt for protein and healthy fats is easy to do and can save you from meltdowns and decreases the temptation to turn to fast food meals or less healthful pre-packaged snacks. 

Simply Nourished's Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Simply Nourished’s Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

PLG: What is your advice to parents who have picky eaters?

JB: Don’t force anything. Implementing a “No, thank you” bite policy is key because it means your kids need to try everything at least once. If they don’t like it, don’t sweat it. Don’t bat an eye and don’t make a fuss about it. Often this is what kids want from us…a reaction. A hungry kid will eventually find something they like and eat it up. And it’s okay if they eat just broccoli at dinner because over the course of the week their food choices will balance out. Another benefit of the “No, thank you” bite is that you can prepare foods you like (but know your kids won’t be crazy about) provided you also offer something that you know they’ll like better (provided they’re still great choices). This is a great way to introduce your kids to more exotic meals like curry, stir fry, chili, new vegetables, salads, etc.

Simply Nourished's Curry Chicken Salad on a white long plate
Simply Nourished’s Curry Chicken Salad

Here are a few family-friendly Real Food Dietitans recipes picked especially for our Pete’s Living Greens followers by Jessica. They even include one of our favorite ingredients: butter lettuce!

Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps 

One Dish Chicken Fajita Bake 

Curry Chicken Salad 

Pomegranate Mixed Greens Salad 

Kid-Friendly Snacks for Summer Vacation


GARD091H-FruitVeggieMonthThere are many reasons to celebrate during this time of year—many schools break for summer, weather gets warmer and the days are longer. Summer’s joie de vivre nature makes it tempting to pick up fast and pre-packaged food so that you carry on doing what you love most, spending time with loved ones. We’re here to help. Whether the kids have day camp, you’re hanging out by the pool or traveling to the lake house, try these quick, nutritious snacks that will satisfy the whole family. Another reason to prepare healthy meals is its National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. For an adult with a 2,000 calorie diet, one should eat 2 cups of fruit and 2- 3 cups of vegetables per day.

Colorful whole fruits and vegetables arranged in a beautiful way will entice your finicky little ones to take a crack at tasting new food. Try Carlsbad Craving’s Poppy Seed Chicken Fruit Salad with Butter Lettuce. The dish contains bright whole nutrient-rich foods from strawberries to avocados. Plus, it has the perfect edible vessel, butter lettuce, and can be packed in the cooler and eaten on-the-go.


Champneys-Watercress-BluebSmoothies are also great morning, noon and night meals that have a multitude of vitamin and minerals. This Watercress, Blueberry and Pineapple smoothie doesn’t contain any additional sugar or dairy but the fruits in the beverage will satisfy your resident sweet tooth. From vitamin A to zinc, watercress’s superfood powers have you and your family covered.

Summer wouldn’t be the same without ice cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making Ideas in Food’s Homemade Watercress Ice Cream. If you prefer your greens to be subtle in your treats, take a cue from Paleo Mom’s brownies with the hidden se6a00d83451f83a69e20115705f5361970b-picret ingredient—butter lettuce.


By integrating more fruits and vegetables into your daily snacks and meals, you can help shape better eating habits for your whole family. Who knows, your youngster may even ask for a second helping!


Greens Abound in Easter and Passover Meals


This week all over the world, families and friends will gather to celebrate Passover (April 3-11) and Easter (April 5). Cooking a special meal for your loved ones can be stressful, but with a bit of planning, you can calmly create delectable dishes that your guests will remember for years to come.

One of the Passover traditions is the Seder dinner. The word Seder means order in Hebrew, which refers to 15 rituals that are Greens dipped in salted water as part of the Seder Dinner ritualperformed during the Passover Seder meal. One of those rituals is the dipping of a green such as watercress in a dish of salt water before eating. These greens symbolize the coming of spring and suggest the perpetual renewal of life.

Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Watercress serves as an excellent side dish to the traditional Seder brisket. Try Food Network’s Butternut Squash and Watercress Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; it will add color and crunch to the dinner. Or, if you’re a garlic lover, try Six Burner Sue’s Wilted Watercress with Garlic Chips.

Rack of Lamb with Watercress
Cooking channel Recipes: Michael-Symon

The Christian holiday also has an abundance of symbols and rituals, one of the most popular being the lamb. In past centuries, it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. Ironically, not so fortunate for the lamb, as it’s become a traditional staple of the holiday meal. We recommend this Rack of Lamb with Watercress, featured last month on our Lettuce Be Fresh Blog.

If you have little ones, you’re sure to have a visit from the Easter Bunny who may be able to sway your youngsters into eating more vegetables–at least for the holiday. Hop into the kitchen and whip up this nutritious salad that will have your children cheering for more.

Easter Bunny Salad (Originally on the Lettuce be Fresh Blog in March 2011)

(6 Servings)
• 3 cups cottage cheese
• 2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
• 2 granny smith apples, diced
• 1 to 2 tbsp. honey
Combine everything and chill. Serve over a bed of Living Butter Lettuce

Happy Easter and Passover from Hollandia Produce L.P.




Wishing you a wonderful spring holiday season from our family to yours! Share your holiday meal photos with us via Instagram and Twitter @livegourmet

Get your Green on this St. Patrick’s Day!


Ring in this St. Patrick’s Day by getting your green on! There’s no need to sacrifice taste for nutrition during this sometimes raucous holiday.

Acai Bowl with Living Watercress

Top o’ the morning to you! Start your day off right by tossing a handful of Pete’s Living Greens Upland Cress or Organic Watercress into your AM smoothie or Acai bowl. Nourished With Grace’s recipe will keep you going during the long day of festivities. Plus, watercress and upland cress contain high levels of vitamin C, helping keep your immune system strong whether you brave the brisk air during a parade or party into the wee hours.

If you are planning a tame evening with friends, take a cue from the Irish for your dinner menu. Guinness Risotto with Shrimp and Watercress from is a sophisticated dish that balances the iconic Irish brew with the emerald, peppery superfood. If your proclivity is a bit stronger, prepare Watercress Soup with Whiskey Cream from Food Network. Who said leafy greens and libations don’t go together?

For a kid-friendly affair, try Food Network’s Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage-Rolls.  For a twist, swap the veggie for Pete’s Living Greens Butter Lettuce. You’ll be finished preparing this no-fuss meal before the grown-ups can say “sláinte” (pronounced “slaan-sha” and Gaelic for “good health”) as they clink their glasses of Guinness together. After dinner, have the family reuse our plastic clamshells that hold living butter lettuce to make homemade St. Patty’s Day stencils. Go to and Enchanted Learning for a few pointers and simple shamrock templates. May the luck of the Irish be with you as you prepare delicious and nutritious fare for your loved ones!

Back to School Lunchbox Recipe

Lunchbox recipe with butter lettuce
Photo provided by Yummy Mummy Kitchen

School is back in session and this means its time for Moms (or Dads!) to start getting back into the routine of making school lunches for their kids. Prepared school lunches can be so bland and boring. The same ham and cheese sandwiches can become tiring, you know? Thankfully, Marina Delio from Yummy Mummy Kitchen is here to help.  In a recent blog post, she provides delicious kid-friendly recipes to make for school. One of our favorite lunchbox ideas was her Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps. The idea looks great and easy to make! We do suggest you use our Living Butter Lettuce (instead of romaine) for a fresh crisp your kids will enjoy.

Here is what you’ll need for the Egg Salad:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce
  • 1 baguette or 8 slices sandwich bread

For Marina’s complete lunchbox ideas, visit here:

We’re curious, how are you incorporate Living Butter Lettuce into your kids meals?

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Butter Lettuce Smoothie with Bananas, Strawberries, Avocados

Butter lettuce smoothie kid friendly recipe photo
A Live Gourmet customer in California, sent this photo of her daughter enjoying the butter lettuce smoothie!

One of our Live Gourmet customers from California sent us this great banana and strawberry based smoothie with Live Gourmet living butter lettuce in it.  As our customer’s photo indicates, even kids will love it!

Banana, Strawberry, Avocado Smoothie Recipe:

Blend ingredients, enjoy!

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The Best Lettuce for Chinese Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Salad Recipe with Living Butter LettuceWhat’s the best lettuce for turkey lettuce wraps!? Live Gourmet living butter lettuce of course! Today’s recipe is based on a popular Chinese recipe! It consists of five–spice powder, which includes star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. The recipe also calls for fresh herbs and chestnuts for added taste and texture. And what makes these wraps even more great is that they only take 30 minutes to make. These Chinese turkey wraps make 4 servings and here’s what you’ll need to make them:

The best lettuce for lettuce wraps
Photo provided by user on

• 1/2 cup(s) water
• 1/2 cup(s) instant brown rice
• 2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil
• 1 pound(s) 93%-lean ground turkey
• 1 tablespoon(s) minced fresh ginger
• 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced• 1 cup(s) water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
• 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoon(s) hoisin sauce
• 1 teaspoon(s) five-spice powder
• 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
• 2 head(s) Living Butter Lettuce, leaves separated
• 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh herbs,  such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
• 1 large carrot, shredded

For the complete preparation instructions, just click here:

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Butter Lettuce, Bacon, and Tomato (BBLT) Chicken Wraps

BBLT Chicken Avocado Wraps
Photo Courtesy of Wish-Bone

What do slices of crispy bacon, fresh butter lettuce, and bright red tomatoes give you? A great BBLT sandwich. Today’s recipe takes it even further in flavor by incorporating chicken, slices of avocado, Wish-Bone’s Light® Honey Dijon Dressing, and Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise. Don’t forget the absolute must, Living Butter Lettuce, which catches all of those flavors for you. Wrap that up in a whole wheat flour tortilla, and let the good times roll!

This recipe will make 4 servings:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Wish-Bone Light® Honey Dijon Dressing
1 Tbsp. Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise
4 (10-in.) whole wheat flour tortillas
2 cups thinly sliced Living Butter Lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked

Shout out to Wish-Bone for the inspiration and for the complete instructions, head over to this recipe page:

Red Butter Lettuce, Asian Pear, and Mint Salad

Red Butter Lettuce, Asian Pear, and Mint Salad
photo via

Red Butter Lettuce adds a fun color and a great taste to any salad. It’s also rich in the vitamins and minerals that you and your kids need to stay healthy and happy. It can often be hard to get kids to eat healthy. So today we bring you a sweet and minty salad that may just do the trick. Full of yummy pears and tastebud tingling mint, this salad, from master chef Martha Stewart, is sure to delight.

In addition to making a great salad, today’s recipe includes a fantastic champagne dressing which can be used with many other salads as well. You’ll also have the option of making some delicious parsley toasts to go along with the salad. As with the dressing, this recipe is very versatile and can be combined with lots of others to great effect.

Here’s what you’ll need to start things off:

Red Butter Lettuce Grown by Live Gourmet
Live Gourmet Living Red Butter Lettuce
  • 2 heads Live Gourmet Red Butter lettuce, torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 Asian pear, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Parsley Toasts (optional)

  • 1 baguette (about 14 inches long), cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

For complete preparation instructions, click on these links: Salad, Dressing, Parsley Toasts.

How do you cook with Red Butter Lettuce in your kitchen? We want to know!
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Bona Fide Lemon Grass Beef Skewers

Lemon Grass Beef Skewers
Photo from

Today’s recipe is a adaptation of one of Martha Stewart’s recipes. If you’re a vegetarian, unless you’re planning on cooking for carnivores, stop reading now. This recipe contains meat and lots of it. One quarter pound per serving, to be precise. Big chunks of beef are the foundation of this hearty meal, while lemongrass/fish sauce marinate and a slice of lime add a little tang to the mix. Last, but certainly not least, a single Living Butter Lettuce leaf provides a bed for all the ingredients and guarantees you get some real green with your meal. This recipe is fairly simple and absolutely delicious, perfect both for weeknight dinners and special occasions.

Here’s what you’ll need to make 4 servings:

  • 1 leaf Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce, per serving
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, stalks bottom 4 inches only, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb boneless sirloin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed (about 1 ounce)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal (optional)
  • 1 fresh mint sprig, per serving (Try Living Mint from North Shore Living Herbs)
  • 1 sprig of basil, per serving
  • 1 lime wedge, per server, for squeezing

For the complete instructions, just head over to this recipe page:

What recipes do you use Living Lettuce in at home?
Tell Live Gourmet about it and you could be the topic of our next blog!
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