The Best Choices When Eating Out: Italian Restaurant Edition

The Best Choices When Eating Out: Italian Restaurant Edition

By Leda Tello, Registered Dietician at LBU


Your family should spend quality time together around the dinner table. It may not always seem like a good idea to eat at an Italian restaurant, but if you follow our tips, it can be.

Minestrone soup

This filling vegetable soup is a wonderful way to get a range of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It can be prepared with a range of vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, as well as legumes like beans or lentils.


This traditional hors d'oeuvre is made by spreading garlic on toast and topping it with tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and salt. It's an easy way to prepare tasty fresh vegetables.

Caprese salad

Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil are used to make this salad, which is topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It's a nutrient-rich choice that is light and refreshing.

Chicken or fish alla puttanesca

This dish is made with tomatoes, olives, capers, and anchovies. It is often served with pasta, and this will increase total calories of the dish.

Pizza with vegetable toppings

Instead of high-calorie meats and cheeses, try topping your pizza with vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, and onions.


Arborio rice, a short-grain Italian rice, is used to make risotto. It is cooked in broth and frequently combined with vegetables including peas, mushrooms, and asparagus. It's a creamy, filling dish that has some protein and healthy carbs.

Despite being examples of nutritious foods, the foods in the above list should all be consumed in moderation. Particularly during supper, portions at restaurants are excessively large. Look at the internet menu before going out to eat so you can choose a dish that will meet your daily calorie needs.


For more information, please contact:

Leda Tello, RD, LD, CDCES

Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

(214) 540-0303

Nutrition for Optimal Health: Eating for Preventive Care

Nutrition for Optimal Health:

Eating for Preventive Care

By Leda Tello, Registered Dietician at LBU

The prevention of chronic diseases and the maintenance of good health both heavily rely on nutrition. Consuming a nutritious diet that is well-balanced can enhance general well-being and advance optimal health. Here are some recommendations for healthy eating:

1.  Consume a range of fruits and veggies

Make an effort to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, such as berries, dark leafy greens, and colorful produce. These foods include significant amounts of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help stave off chronic illnesses.

2.  Pick whole grains

Whole grains, like quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal, are nutritious sources of fiber and other essential nutrients that can help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables: Aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, including dark leafy greens, berries, and colorful produce. These foods are high in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help prevent chronic diseases.

3.  Include lean protein

Eating lean protein, such as chicken, fish, and legumes, can help build and repair muscles, promote satiety, and keep blood sugar levels stable.

4.  Limit processed foods

Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, and they can contribute to chronic health problems. Try to limit your intake of processed foods and opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead.

5.  Control portion size

Consuming more calories than necessary might result in weight gain and other health issues. It's critical to consider portion proportions and strive for proper serving sizes.

6.  Hydrate

A healthy weight and numerous bodily processes depend on adequate water intake.

7.  Beware of added sugars

Overconsumption of added sugars can cause type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain. Recognize any hidden sugars in your processed food.

8.  Plan ahead

You may keep up good eating habits by making a meal plan, going grocery shopping, and cooking at home.

To maintain a balanced diet, keep in mind that consuming a range of nutrient-dense foods in reasonable amounts is more important than following severe restrictions. You can create a customized food plan that is suited to your unique requirements and health objectives by consulting with a licensed dietitian.

For more information, please contact:

Leda Tello, RD, LD, CDCES

Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

(214) 540-0303


The Key to a Balanced Diet for Kids

The Key to a Balanced Diet for Kids

Ana Gurrola, Healthy Living Promotora and Leda Tello, Dietitian/Nutritionist


Eating a balanced diet is important for everyone, but it is especially critical for children. A variety of nutrients are necessary for growing bodies and developing brains to function effectively. In order to meet a child's nutritional needs, a balanced diet must contain a range of foods from all food categories in reasonable portions. We'll talk about how to give kids a balanced diet in this blog.

1.  Include a variety of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are essential sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and should make up a significant portion of a child's diet. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Include a variety of colors, such as green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow fruits, and red and purple berries.

2.  Choose whole grains

Whole grains are a good source of fiber, which is important for maintaining digestive health. Choose whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, and rice instead of refined grains. Whole grains also provide important nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, and zinc.

3.  Include lean protein sources

Protein is essential for growth and repair of body tissues, as well as for immune function. Choose lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, beans, and tofu. Limit processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats, which are high in sodium and saturated fat.

4.  Limit added sugars and salt

Consuming too much added sugar can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. Avoid added sugars for infants and toddlers and limit it for children ages 2 – 18 to less than 25 grams (six teaspoons) per day. Avoid sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice. Instead, offer water, milk, or unsweetened beverages. Limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day (even less if younger than 14) to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

5. Encourage healthy fats

Fats are essential for brain development and hormone production. Choose healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon. Limit saturated and trans fats, found in fried foods and baked goods.

6. Model healthy eating habits

Parents play a critical role in shaping their child's eating habits. Set a good example by eating a variety of healthy foods yourself. Offer a variety of healthy options and allow your child to choose what they want to eat. Don't force them to clean their plate or use food as a reward or punishment.

A balanced diet for children is one that restricts added sugars and salt and contains a range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. Little children can build lifetime healthy habits and avoid chronic diseases by being encouraged to eat healthily.

Nutrition Classes at LBU

Here at LBU we teach a monthly nutrition class for parents, Healthy Living for Kids. In this Zoom class, we will learn about the importance of nutrition and how it helps our bodies grow, develop, and stay healthy.

For more information, please contact:

Ana Gurrola - CHW
Asthma and Healthy Living Promotora
(214) 540-0303 ext. 2315

Leda Tello – RDN, LD, CDCES
(214) 540-0303


The Best Choices When Eating Out: Mexican Restaurant Edition

The Best Choices When Eating Out: Mexican Restaurant Edition

By Leda Tello, Registered Dietician at LBU


Who doesn't enjoy Mexican food? Tacos, chiles, avocados, flautas, enchiladas, etc. Every bite is different because to the flavors and ingredients. There are a few dishes that are typically seen as healthier than others when dining at a Mexican restaurant. Some good options include:

Grilled fish or chicken

These are lean protein sources that are lower in fat than many other options.

Tacos al pastor

These tacos are made with marinated pork and pineapple, which is a healthy and flavorful combination. Recommended serving: 1 – 2 tacos.


These are made with grilled vegetables, chicken, or shrimp and are a great option for those who want to eat more vegetables.

Black or pinto beans

Beans are a great source of fiber and protein, and they can be a healthy alternative to meat. Try to avoid refried beans.

Salsa and guacamole

These are both healthy options for toppings, they are high in nutrients, but watch the portions, salsa can be high in salt, and there are 180 calories in ½ cup of guacamole

Avoid fried food (churros, nachos etc.)

It's also important to keep in mind that traditional Mexican food frequently contains a lot of sodium, so it's a good idea to watch how much salt you eat. Additionally, watch out for toppings like cheese, sour cream, and others that could add a lot of calories and fat.

Please be aware that restaurant portions are very enormous, particularly during dinner. Before dining out, look over the online menu to select a dish that will satisfy your daily calorie requirements.


For more information, please contact:

Leda Tello, RD, LD, CDCES

Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

(214) 540-0303

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