Healthy Summer Meals – PediaCast 407

Show Notes


  • Liz Weiss visits the studio as we explore healthy summer meals. Liz is a registered dietician, food blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, cookbook author and all-around family nutrition expert. We’ll consider healthy options for summertime eating, including family meals on the go, picnics and grilling out. We hope you can join us!


  • Healthy Summer Meals
  • Family Meals on the Go
  • Picnics
  • Grilling Out
  • Liz’s Healthy Table




Announcer 1: This is PediaCast.

Announcer 2: Welcome to PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents. And now, direct from the campus of Nationwide Children's, here is your host, Dr. Mike.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to PediaCast. It is a pediatric podcast for moms and dads. This is Dr. Mike, coming to you from the campus of Nationwide Children's Hospital. We're in Columbus, Ohio.

It's Episode 407 for June 13th, 2018. We're calling this one "Healthy Summer Meals". I want to welcome everyone to the program. 

We are returning our focus at healthy eating. It's an important topic for families at any time of the year. But as we head into summer, there are unique challenges for getting the family together at the table and eating healthy meals during the school-is-out warm weather season. 

We know that sitting down and eating as a family, it's an important thing to do for many reasons. We'll explore some of those reasons today. And we'll consider the obstacles and the barriers that stand in the way of eating as a family in the summer. I'll also consider some practical ideas for overcoming those barriers.


And then we'll get down to practical advice for eating healthy as we sleep in late, grab family meals on the go, picnic and grill out. I have an excellent guest joining me as we consider eating healthy family meals in the summer. 

Liz is here from the popular website Liz's Healthy Table. She is a registered dietitian, a food blogger, a podcaster, a YouTuber, cook book author, and all-around family nutrition expert. So, we're excited to have Liz join us and offer her unique expertise to the conversation.

Before we connect Liz with the studio, I have something new and, in my mind, very exciting to tell you about. You know, in addition to the podcast, PediaCast is on several social media channels including Facebook, Twitter. And those are the places where we've been most active sharing content not only from this show but lots of other pediatric content and family parenting advice sort of stuff. Also on Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

And we post each week's show so you can find it easily and again share other child health and parenting content, especially on Facebook and Twitter, that I think would be useful for families.


This summer, I'm going to continue to connect with you on those places. And if you haven't connected with me, Dr. Mike, also look for PediaCast on Facebook and Twitter, please consider doing so. I really love hanging out with all of you and chatting and sharing in those forums. And the more folks we have connected, the better we can support one another as we raise our children or help raise other people's kids.

Maybe our grandchildren, for example. For those of you who didn't do it quite right the first time around and want another shot at it. No, just kidding.


The reason I'm bringing all of this up is because we've launched a new social media channel, PediaCast is now on Instagram. But what I'm doing in that space is a little different than the other channels. I've always shared on the podcast glimpses of my family's life. You know, from vacations and weddings to illnesses and surgeries and other trials and tribulations because we're family here. And my family has its many ups and downs, joys and problems as your family.

So, as an extension of our common experience of living day-to-day as parents, regardless of the age of our kids , whether they're babies or young adults, we have a lot in common, a lot to share. And so on Instagram, I'll be sharing insights into the daily living of my family and just what's going on with me, Dr. Mike, during day-to-day activities. 


So, I'll be interested in seeing and hearing how your family is also getting along as we connect up in Instagram, what fun stuff you're up to, what troubles you're against.

So, let's connect and share a little more personally on Instagram. If you haven't already joined me there, simply search for Dr. Mike or PediaCast and let's connect. Of course, if you hang out on Facebook and Twitter, let's connect there as well.

I don't have a social media team, it's just me. And I'd love to get to know all of you a little better through social media. 

All right, before we connect Liz with the studio, I do have a couple reminders for you. It's easy to get in touch with the program if you have a content topic that you would like us to cover. Something particular, illness, injury, any other parenting topic is fine. 

If you have a question for me, you want to point me in the direction of a news article you might have seen, really easy to get in touch. Just head over to and click on the Contact link.

Also, I want to remind everyone. The information presented in every episode of our program is for general educational purposes only. We do not diagnose medical conditions or formulate treatment plans for specific individuals. If you have a concern about your child's health, be sure to call your doctor and arrange a face-to-face interview and physical examination. 


Also, your use of this audio program is subject to the PediaCast Terms of Use Agreement, which you can find at 

Let's take a quick break. And then, I will be back with Liz from Liz's Healthy Table. She's going to talk about healthy summer meals for families. It's coming up right after this.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Liz Weiss is a registered dietitian. She is a food blogger and podcaster, cook book author and family nutrition expert. You can catch her content on the Internet by searching for Liz's Healthy Table. And as we journey through our interview today, we'll share exactly what you can find, where you can find it. And, of course, I'll put lots of links for you in our Show Notes. But first, let's give a warm PediaCast welcome to food and healthy family meal time guru, Liz Weiss. Thank you so much for being here today.


Liz Weiss: Hey, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, I really appreciate it. So, tell us just kind of an overview of Liz's Healthy Table and the many resources that you provide.

Liz Weiss: Sure. Well, I am a registered dietitian. I'm a mom of two. So I've been on the mealtime trenches for a long time, more than I'm going to admit to you right now. And so, if you come over to the Liz's Healthy Table, you'll find a blog filled with all sorts of family-friendly recipes. 

And I have also like a search index there, so you can just click on Recipes and then you can get all sorts of recipes. Lunch, there's dinners, snacks, desserts, you name it. Everything's healthy. It's all delicious.

And then, I also have a podcast also called Liz's Healthy Table. And I record and launch every other Wednesday. And it's very food-focused with the nutrition edge, of course. And I have all sorts of guests on the show, kind of like what you do. And my goal is to just to help people eat a healthier diet.


Dr. Mike Patrick: That's fantastic. And the Liz's Healthy Table podcast is part of the Parents On Demand Network, which PediaCast is also a part of that. And just some recent shows you've had, "Microbiome Makeover". And we're going to talk more about the microbiome as we proceed. 

"Fast Family Dinners", "Eat Your Vegetables", "Pressure Cooker Craze", "Cutting Back on Sugar", "Cooking on a Budget", just really lots of very practical show topics for moms and dads. 

Liz Weiss: Right. And you know, another episode was "Going Meatless More Often". I did an episode on eating pulses which are things like beans and legumes. So yeah, there's kind of something for everyone. 

So, I really encourage people to head on over and check me out. And I guess we found out about each other through Parents On Demand, which is a fantastic resource for parents. So, I'm glad I'm part of the network and that you and I met.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yes. And you have a YouTube channel as well, so folks can watch you cook.

Liz Weiss: They can watch me cook. I do Facebook Live, I'm kind of all over the place. I'm on my Instagram, I do Instagram stories. And yeah, I do sleep every night, but I kind of try to do it all just to get all these good information out there to the public.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yes. And we'll put links to all of these places and resources, the website, the blog where the recipes are, the podcast, YouTube, social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, all that in the Show Notes for this episode, 407, over So folks can find you very easily in all of those places. 

So, let's start with the just family meal time, the concept of eating around the dinner table as a family. Or maybe it's not always at the table, but eating together. Why is that important?

Liz Weiss: There are so much research to back up the benefits of eating meals together. And so, if you think about gathering around a table or wherever you're going to gather, it could be a picnic blanket, when you're together as a family, you're really connecting. 


And as a parent, you're role modeling good eating habits. So, there are so many benefits including the fact that kids who eat a lot of family meals, frequent family meals, end up eating more fruits and vegetables and less junk food. They end up having a healthier body weight, less disordered eating. And we know with teens, they experience less stress in their lives. And kids do better in school when they have frequent family dinners.

So there are lots of benefits to the body, to the mind. And, of course, you can establish a lifetime of really cool memories just from gathering your family together frequently.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. Now, there are lots of obstacles that keep families from gathering at the table, and some of them are particular for the summertime. What are some of those obstacles that keep us from eating together?

Liz Weiss: The most common obstacle or barrier is conflicting schedules. And if you're a parent of teens, you know that those teens are running in a million directions. But also, in today's world, parents are working. And so between kids running and doing activities and parents working, it's hard to gather everybody at the same time.

So that's barrier number one. Other common barriers are things like just picky eating. If you have a kid who is picky and that parent is constantly frustrated, at a loss at what to put on the dinner table, it can really put a damper on family meal time. So picky eating, different taste preferences among kids, that's a common obstacle or barrier. 


So, let's see. What did we got into? We got into schedules. We got into picky eating. And oh, just even things like the television. I mean, just think about that. 

When I talk about families eating together, I mean without the cellphones, without the TVs on, because that's a big distraction. And then, you're really not connecting. And you're not able to role model good eating habits when everybody's going to stare at the screen. So eating without the distractions, that's super important.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Absolutely. And for some of us, it can become a problem of just knowing what to cook. We need some ideas and some skills. And then that's where a site like yours come in with some recipes and really helpful hints on how to do this in a healthy way. 


Liz Weiss: Yeah, when you're at a loss from what to make for dinner, so really, what I tell parents is keep it simple. Don't overcomplicate your lives. If you have five recipes that you know your kids love, then make them over and over again, why not? Just make them healthy.

Let's say your kids love tacos. My boys love tacos. It doesn't mean it have to be beef tacos every Tuesday, Taco Tuesday. It could be fish tacos one weekend. It could be chicken tacos. It could be a bean-based taco dish one week.

You can kind of shake it up, but you can stick to a theme. It could be build-your-own-pizza night one night of the week, and you just set out a bunch of toppers and let everybody get creative. 

So, you don't have to necessarily follow a recipe. You can just use recipes for inspiration and then just kind of go with what your family loves, and then kind of tweak it a little bit. And add a little bit of adventure as you kind of go through that process.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You've mentioned that schedules being kind of barrier to getting everyone to eat at the same time. Do you have any strategies for helping families overcome that particular barrier? I mean, it's a hard one, right? 


Liz Weiss: Oh my gosh, it's a really tough one. Couple of strategies, number one, if you make mealtime a priority and you say, "You know what, as a family, we're going to eat dinner together three times a week. I know we're running in a million directions but that's kind of our priority."

Get it on the calendar. When it's on the calendar, you're more likely to stick to it. But also be flexible. It doesn't have to be dinner. It can be breakfast. That can count as a family meal. It can be a picnic on the weekend. It can be Sunday brunch. 

So give yourself a break, get flexible. And then also, something really important, if you are a traditional family with mom and dad on the table, and one of those parents is working late every night, even if one parent is at the table, that still counts as a family meal. 

There could be a caregiver, a grandparent, just an adult. You want to have adults there. You want to have everybody coming together. It could be a neighbor. 

So give yourself a little bit of flexibility. Make it a priority, and then cut back on activities if you need to. That's kind of a last tip.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, sure. Also, do you recommend that kids get involved in the whole process of preparing dinner? So from shopping, making the menu, then going shopping, and then even participating in the cooking in sort of age-appropriate way. But is that another way to perhaps get everyone together for a meal?

Liz Weiss: That's one of the most important things you can do. If you include your kids at every step in the process, you're going to get more buy-in, especially if you have a finicky eater. So if you include them in the meal planning, you ask them, "What's your wish list? What do you want to add?" "We're having soup on Monday night, what kind of soup should we make?"

And so, you include your kids in the planning process. You include them in the shopping, taking them to the farmers market or the supermarket. Sometimes, when I'm at the supermarket, I see that little kid sitting there in the cart. And they're staring at mom or dad's cellphone when they should be holding an eggplant or holding an apple. 

So use the supermarket as an opportunity to introduce beautiful foods to your kids. And then, when you get home, include them in cooking. And it could be something as simple as ripping lettuce leaves for a salad or whisking up a dressing in a little mason jar. 

But you want to definitely include your kids in the kitchen. Get them focused. They're your little assistants.


And then, they're going to be more likely to want to eat what's for dinner because they have been involved in every process. And then of course, with my boys, as they got older, clean up and setting the table and emptying that dishwasher. Boy, that dishwasher drives me crazy. As they get older, they can be involved in every aspect of meal planning, all the way to clean-up. 

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that's great advice.

Let's switch gears here a little bit. And we had mentioned the gut microbiome in the beginning of our time together. And it's something that we've talked about from time to time on this podcast. But for folks who may not be up to speed, just remind us what is the gut microbiome and why is it important.

Liz Weiss: Well, if you think about your body, you think, "Oh, I'm a human," right? But in reality, you're actually more bacterial than you are human. That's hard to kind of grasp psychologically.

Dr. Mike Patrick: It sure is.

Liz Weiss: But it's about ten to one. You're mostly bacterial. All right, get over it. And so, if you think about the bacteria that live on you and in you, the majority of them live in your gut, in your large intestine. 


So the microbiome is this community of microorganisms that live primarily in your gut, and it's mostly good bacteria. Yeah, bacteria can be good. And there's other organisms there, too. But those trillions and trillions of bacteria that live in your gut play a really important role in your health.

Everything from keeping our immune system in tiptop shape to keeping your mood, feeling good. I mean, your gut and your brain are connected. You know when you're nervous, you're so scared, and your stomach hurts. I mean, think about it, your gut and your brain are so connected. It's those bacteria that play an integral role.

So the bacteria play a role in your body weight, your immune system, your digestion. In every aspect, they even metabolize nutrients for you. They break things down for you. So that it's so important to have a healthy and a robust and a diverse microbiome. 


Dr. Mike Patrick: And this is accomplished through what we eat, correct? 

Liz Weiss: Well, it's what we eat and it's our lifestyle. If you play in the dirt, if you're out gardening, and you have a nice organic garden in your backyard, a lot of those microorganisms live in the soil. If you have a pet, you might have a healthier microbiome than me. I don't have a pet. 

So a lot of the microbes live outside in the world, which is why it's important to go outside and play and be in nature. But yeah, our diets play a really important role because certain foods contain healthy bacteria. 

And those foods specifically are the fermented foods. Things like yogurt and kimchi, kefir, which is sort of like a yogurt in cream, a sauerkraut. But it's got to be the fresh sauerkraut, not the kind you get in the can.


So those foods are naturally rich in probiotics, those good bacteria. But more importantly, and this is a cool thing I think a lot of people haven't learned yet, and that is that all these microbes, all these good bacteria that live in your gut, they have to eat, too. 

And they love to eat fiber rich foods. They love fruits and vegetables. They love whole grains. They love beans. They love fiber. That's what they thrive on. 

So when you eat plant-based diet, lots of fruits and veggies, and whole grains and beans and nuts and seeds, when you eat all those whole healthy plant foods, you feed your gut. Those are called probiotics. They feed the bacteria.

So you really are doing your body a favor every time you eat those fruits and vegetable that we always talk about. Keeps the bacteria really going strong. We want to focus on that.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. For folks who have more interest in this whole idea of the gut microbiome and really looking at food in a sense as medicine, because if the foods that we eat can affect the gut microbiome, which in turn affects our health, it's an important concept to think about food as medicine.


And in Episode 387 of PediaCast, I'll put a link to it in the Show Notes for this episode, 407, over at But I did an interview with Dr. Maria Mascarenhas from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. Ala Shaikhkhalil from here at Nationwide Children's. And we talked really in more technical details about how the microbiome affects health, and we sort of introduced the Mediterranean diet. 

And I know that your podcast also has several episodes on these concepts. So folks who are interested, there's lots more resources out there to learn more about this.

Liz Weiss: Yeah. And I actually did a show with Sandor Katz who is the nation's leader on fermentation, how to ferment foods. And I learned how to make sauerkraut, which is really fun. 

And then I had Brierley Horton on my podcast a few weeks ago from Cooking Light magazine. Their whole June issue was all about gut health. That was really cool. And they had a lot of recipes that were filled with probiotics foods and probiotic foods, kind of a one-two punch. 

So we talked a lot about that on the show, and it was just so fascinating. I think this is really the frontier of nutrition, if you will. That's kind of the next big step. 


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yup, absolutely. So let's switch gears up again and really get to some practical advice for ideas of healthy summer eating for families. What are some ideas you have? Let's start with breakfast. What are some ways that families can get a healthy breakfast in the summer?

Liz Weiss: Okay, well, you know, we always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it really is. You've been sleeping all night. You need to kind of get your body revved up and you need to fuel it in the morning, especially with protein foods. 

And you want to distribute your protein, by the way, evenly throughout the day. So, don't forget about breakfast. That slice of toast, this is not going to hold you over. So for breakfast, I'd like to recommend things like parfaits, where you layer Greek yogurt, any flavor, with your favorite whole grain cereal, fresh fruit. 

So berries are in season right now. Any fruit that you love, and then maybe some toasted walnuts rich in Omega 3, that's a good start. And you can start the day off with a parfait.


You can do it an omelette, a cheese omelette. But what are you going to stuff into it? You want to add maybe some black beans, a little bit of salsa, kind of a Tex-Mex layered. You could saute up some baby spinach. So you want to make sure that you're getting plenty of those protein rich foods in the morning. So think fruits and vegetables and whole grains. 

You can make a smoothie, too. For a smoothie, 100% fruit juice, or you can use milk. You can add Greek yogurt, richer in protein than regular yogurt, banana, fruit, kind of sky is the limit. 

So plenty of ideas for breakfast. And if you're on the go, I've got a great recipe on my website for grab-and-go granola bars made with nuts and dried fruit and whole grain cereal. It's a great thing to grab and go.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, yeah, and that's great for breakfast and snacks, either one and really easy to put together. Some other recipes I found at your site that look delicious and I'm eager to try them out, the Banana-Mango Overnight Oats. That look like a really good one. 

Liz Weiss: Oh my gosh, I was so addicted to overnight oats for awhile. I tend to go to this. I'm like a little kid. I go to these food jacks and I was so into the overnight oats for awhile. And I loved them in the summer because you prep them the night before. 

So it's going to be oats and some kind of liquid. So it could be juice or milk, for example, almond milk, whatever your favorite milk is. You can add yogurt, you can add chopped fruit, you can add nuts. And just let it sit there overnight within a mason jar. And in the morning, yummy breakfast to serve. And you can just grab that if you're on the go as well. 

So overnight oat's a phenomenal way to get the day going and to kind of get revved up. 

Dr. Mike Patrick: And you have Peanut Butter Crapes with Strawberry Sauce, Gorgeous Green Smoothie Balls, other versions of the overnight oats, strawberry peanut, for example. So just lots of recipes that folks can check out at Liz's Healthy Table.


What about lunch? And in particular, we do a lot of picnic lunches. And even if it's not like formal picnic, but we're just putting a meal together because we're going to soccer practice. And we're going to have sort of a picnic meal before practice starts or in between practices or something, or games.

What are some ideas for a healthy on-the-go lunch during the summertime for families?

Liz Weiss: I have so many ideas. Let's see. Okay, so let's think fruits and veggies. So, I would love for people to take something like watermelon. We know kids will love it and turn that into a salad. You could do a sort of classic watermelon, cut it up into little cubes with cheddar cheese and mint. What a surprise for kids to be like, "What's that? Yum, it's so good." 

You could do a salad with either whole grain, brown rice, or even wild rice. And then add, you name it, any vegetable that you love. You could add some baby kale. You can dice up some bell pepper. You could add some chickpeas to that, a pulse. That's great, again, full of fiber.

And you can make a little vinaigrette with a little bit of olive oil or lemon juice. And any fresh herbs will do. So salads, think about salads. Or even like instead of doing chicken salad or making that usual turkey sandwich, open up a can of boneless, skinless pink salmon, drain it, flake it, and mix it up with a little bit of low-fat mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt. A little bit of maybe shredded carrot in there and you've got a salmon salad that you can use in a pita pocket or a whole wheat bread. 


And I love salmon because it's rich in Omega 3. It's so important for brain health, heart health. We want to be eating two seafood meals a week. So look at lunch as this opportunity for getting more seafood in the family's diet. 

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah. I noticed a lot of your lunch-type recipes incorporate avocado. Are you a big avocado fan? 

Liz Weiss: My favorite food in the world. The overnight oats, yes. I love avocado. And just today with my son, we had sort of an open-face sandwich where I toasted up whole wheat bread. We took some avocado, back of a fork, kind of smashed it on to the toast. So we made an avocado toast. But then, we added for ham and egg and a little bit of arugula and some cheese. And he had a great lunch.

And so, avocado is so versatile because it's great on sandwiches. You can add it to a smoothie or smoothie ball. You can slice it up for just a regular sandwich. You can add it to omelette. So yeah, I'm a huge avocado fan. It's got a healthy monounsaturated fat in it. It's got fiber in it, lots of nutrients. 

So if you're like me and you're obsessed with avocado, yeah, definitely add that to your diet as much as you can.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that sounds really good. And if your kids haven't had avocado before, it's always a great time to introduce it. 

Liz Weiss: Guacamole. That's kind of the gateway to avocado. And I don't know any kids who don't love guacamole with chips. Or even better yet, dice up or slice up some bell peppers and make up like boats out of it, and kids could just scoop up the guacamole and eat all those bell peppers. 

So you're getting guacamole. I eat, it's a fruit actually, technically, the avocado, and then the bell peppers or baby carrots. So yeah, think fruits and veggies 24/7.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And again, all these recipes are available at Liz's Healthy Table, the website. And then, Peanut Butter Smiley Faces, I haven't thought about that. Those look really good.

Liz Weiss: You have been all over my website. I love that. So you take whole wheat English muffins, toast them up. And you know how kids love it when you make those English muffins pizzas, where you just have a little pasta sauce and some cheese. But what I do here is you can spread it with some peanut butter, or you can use almond butter, whatever you like. 

And then, take some fruit and cut it up, such that you can make these smiley faces. So you could slice up strawberries and those can be like two big eyes. You can use blueberries and make a big smile. You can use a little orange wedge and make a smile out of that. So slicing up some grapes. 

So yeah, the Peanut Butter Smiley Faces are seriously cute. And I haven't tried that out on my 19-year-old recently, but I just might do that because everybody likes to be a kid now and then, right?

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. That's why it caught my eye.



Dr. Mike Patrick: Now, in terms of snacking, I supposed if you're having a nutritious breakfast and you have a planned nutritious lunch, and you're going to have a dinner, really, you don't need the snack quite as much, right? Although some kids graze, and you can even say, part of their meal for a snack. 

But what are some other ideas for snacks in the summertime that are quick and easy to go?

Liz Weiss: I will say that snacking is sort of this thing where people just sort of eat mindlessly. And some people, kids especially, consume about 25% of their calories from snacktime alone. So, as a dietitian and a mom, I'm always really mindful of snacking because I want to make sure it counts towards my family's nutritional wellbeing. 

And so, make snacks count. Think of them as a mini-meal. So snacking, the sky is the limit. Carrots and hummus dip is a great snack. Cheese sliced up on whole grain crackers. Making a great smoothie for your kids is a great way to get a little snack in. Any fruit, fruit is like fastfood.


So think about what's missing in your family's diet. Is it fruits and vegetables? All right, that's what we're having at snacktime. 

Do you want to get more beans in your family's diet? Well, drain and rinse a can of black beans. By the way, you'll wash away 40% of the sodium when you do it. And then take a whole wheat flour tortilla or regular flour tortilla. Add a little bit of low-fat shredded cheese, some black beans, some corn kernels. Heat it up in the microwave and you've got a little quesadilla to go.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. One of the recipes I saw, another one that caught my eye. There were many. The White bean and Roasted Garlic Dip. We're big garlic fans in our house.

Liz Weiss: Oh, that's a good one. And roasting garlic is like a totally cool science project for kids. So, in that recipe, I explained how to wrap to garlic in tin foil, drizzle with a little olive oil to begin it, and just slow roast it. And it really sweetens it up.

I'm not a raw garlic person, but roasted garlic, I love it. And then, you puree it with a can of lima beans or white beans and some olive oil, lemon juice. And you got this delicious homemade dip that your kids will go crazy over. 


And kids do love dips, and it's a great way to get them to eat more veggies because you set out a platter of vegetables. You have that delicious dip, and then you go off and do your thing. And when your kids are hungry, they'll eat it all, I promise.

Dr. Mike Patrick: And the crisp veggies I think is such a good idea because you like that crunch. I think that's one of the joys of dipping pretzels or potato chips, is that crunch that you get. But you can get that with raw vegetables.

Liz Weiss: Yeah, and some kids love raw veggies. And they don't love them when they're cooked. I think it's a texture thing. For me, I love nothing more than roasting summer vegetables, whether it's broccoli and cauliflowerette, I just toss with some olive oil, and then sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. And then just put it on a baking sheet 425 and roast it till it's crisp tender. I kind of toss it halfway through. Keep an eye on it. 

You can do the same thing with little diced sweet potatoes. Like you name it, any summer veggie in the oven is so delicious.


I have been obsessed lately with roasted radishes. Now, I will say, I'm no radish fan. I feel like radishes have this really intense, almost peppery flavor. But when you take a radish and you wash it, and you cut off the greens. And you slice it in half and toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you put that flat upside down on a baking sheet. And then just blast it in the over at 450 for 15 minutes, those radishes get sweet and juicy. And I'm telling your right now, that's my new food jack. I love it. I love roasted radishes. 

Dr. Mike Patrick: I got to come home and try this, like right now. 


Liz Weiss: You do. You do. And you know, I made them last night. I stuffed a little bit of fresh rosemary before they went in the oven and I toss that with the radishes, and the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. And they're so good with that rosemary in there. Just a little hint of rosemary. When it comes out of the oven, let them cool a little bit. They're going to be really hot. 

And then, your kids are going to eat them like candy. And that is a promise. I make that promise to you and your listeners right now. 


Dr. Mike Patrick: That's great. The super strawberry yogurt pops, those look really good, too. 

Liz Weiss: Yeah, any popsicle. If you want to make a homemade popsicle, and what kid does not love a popsicle? Then you want to blend it up just like you would a fruit smoothie. There's juice in there, typically maybe some yogurt, some strawberries, maybe some banana. And then, you pour that mixture into your popsicle containers. Into the freezer they go, and then you have homemade pops. 

When I was growing up, my mom used to do that with orange juice. We would just have orange juice pops. And it was so refreshing in the summer. 

So we're going to kind of rev it up by blending in some yogurt for protein and then more fresh fruit for all that good fiber and all those good nutrients.

So you as a parent feel really good about giving your kid that popsicle, right? No artificial colors or flavors, no added sugar. It's just the real thing, right? Just all natural whole food, good for your gut, everybody's happy.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that really sounds terrific. One of my favorite things about summer is getting outside and grilling. Because here in Ohio, we have some not-so-pleasant winters. It's a little more difficult to get outside and grill, especially when there's snow on the ground. But there's lots of ways that you can incorporate cookouts and grilling for a healthy family meal, right? 

Liz Weiss: It's so much fun to eat al fresco. It sounds so fancy. And kids, because they're so creative, they really thrive on this sort of theme nights. If you're having Taco Tuesday, or Pizza Friday, whatever. But on the weekends, little lazy day in the summer, and you cook outside and you set the table outside, it's so much fun for kids. And the grill is just like this great place to bring new foods, new flavors, good nutrition to your family. 

So this summer, because I'm in New England, Dr. Mike, and I can relate to your miserable Ohio winters. Our winters here in New England are just as miserable, I promise. And so in the summer, we love to cook out. And so, I love grilling vegetables. 


And if you have like a little grill basket, you could dice up zucchini. Just slice it into rounds. Bell peppers, mushrooms, just pop those into a grill basket. And again, drizzle with some olive oil first, a little salt and pepper. And that's great on the grill.

I've been doing kebabs recently. I made a kebab a couple of weeks ago where I took pork. I took a pork loin roast, like a pork roast. Really lean, pork is lean. They sell lean cut pork now. Great source of protein, great source of B vitamins. And I cut this roast up into cubes. And I use those on the kebabs with bell peppers and zucchini. And then, I just marinated it first like an Italian dressing. 

Oh, my gosh, those kebabs were so good. I think that's going to be new favorite for this summer. So you're getting a great lean protein, but then you're also getting all these veggies with it. And it's super fun for kids to kind of pick everything off the kebab stick and now you have this really yummy dinner.

Dr. Mike Patrick: That's our plan tonight. We have kebabs with veggies, although we are using steak. But you can get lean cut of steak, right?


Liz Weiss: You can get lean cut of steak, lean cuts of beef, absolutely. Pork, chicken, fish, a little tough around the kebab because it's so delicate. But I love to grill salmon in the summer where I will say, I do all the prep in the kitchen and I send my husband outside. He's like grill master in my house. It's just, I don't know, I'm not good at the grill, but I'm so good behind the scenes, you know. 

But the kebabs are really great, super fun. I was actually on the pork website and they have all these tutorials on how to grill pork because you don't want to overcook it. You don't want to overcook any protein food because then it's not going to taste as juicy and delicious.

And so, when you watch a little tutorial video, you're like, "Oh, I can do that." That's the beauty of the Internet, right? It's all out there for us to learn and experiment with new foods that we may never have cooked before. 

You can even grill Halloumi cheese. It's this really firm cheese, and that's something kind of interesting and different to cook on the grill. So experiment, portobello mushrooms, I love those on the grill. If you're a vegetarian, it's meaty and delicious. 


Dr. Mike Patrick: You're talking about not overcooking protein on the grill. And what really changed it for our family was we're starting to pay attention to the internal temperature of the meat as you're cooking it and getting it off the grill as soon as it hits what you're after. Don't go up above that temperature. It really makes a big difference.

Liz Weiss: Yeah, and again, that's where the Internet comes in. You can Google and say okay, I know pork for example is, you can cook it to 145 up to about to 160. And those cooking temperatures have changed over the years, the recommendations. So we don't want to overcook our protein for sure because that's not going to be tasty if it's dried out. So you have to do a little bit of experimentation and get it just right.

And then I do have one of those meat thermometers, and you can just get them at the supermarket. In that way, it takes the guesswork out of it.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Exactly. And you can do fruit on the grill, too. We do peach wedges on the grill mat, drizzled with some honey, and those are just delicious on the grill.


Liz Weiss: Oh, you're a man after my own heart. And you could also grill pineapple. I have not then, but I want to do this summer. I want to do corn on the cob. I'm going to be grilling corn on the cob this summer. That's been on my to-do list for awhile.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that's great. And then I wanted to give a shoutout. And I found this on your site, but Polly and Rachel from the Thriving Home blog, they have a book called Freezer to Table. And in that is the cheddar chive burger, and boy, that looked good.

Liz Weiss: Okay, I'm going to tell you this right now, and I am not making this up. Their burger is the best burger I have ever made in my life. It's made with lean ground beef and they add tons of herbs, and they add some shredded cheese to it. And I am telling you, I made those last summer, because I had them on my podcast. We did a freezer cooking episode. And I made their burgers. Oh my god, they were so good. 

And they also have a flank steak recipe in the book with the chimichurri sauce. You put a lot of fresh herbs. But easy, it sounds really fancy but it was easy. 

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that sounds great.

Liz Weiss: Oh yeah, that was definitely good.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And we'll put a link to that podcast episode. I think it was Episode 11 that you had them. And the book, and their blog, and all that as well. 

Liz Weiss: Yeah, one of my favorite episodes. Just, oh my gosh, they're just the queens of their kitchens. And their cooking style is right aligned with mine because it's all about balance. 

I don't do the fad diet thing on my website. I understand that people have all different food preferences, and there's so many different diets today people can follow. But they tend to be very sort of mainstream. But again, very fruit and veggie and whole grain, very plant based. But I like to include all foods in the diet. It's all that balanced piece. You got to just balance it out.

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, yeah, absolutely very important. So really do appreciate you stopping by and talking to us today. I'm really hungry now because I haven't had lunch yet. So I got to grab something to eat. And then, we're doing kebabs tonight for dinner, really excited about that. And maybe on Instagram, I'll put a picture of our kebabs.


But, your website, Liz's Healthy Table, you got recipes, a blog, a newsletter, cookbooks, coloring books for kids. And of course then, there's the podcast and you're on YouTube. All the social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. We'll put links to all of these things and places in the Show Notes for this episode, 407, over at, so folks can find you very easily.

So Liz Weiss, registered dietitian, family nutrition experts from Liz's Healthy Table, thank you so much for joining us today. 

Liz Weiss: Well, it was great to be here. And I will say, with the coloring books, which I forgot to mention before, they are downloadable. And if you're looking for a fun summer activity, getting your kids coloring and cooking because they are coloring cookbooks, really unique, I would encourage everybody to check those out. And just have some fun with them over the summer because the living's easy and nobody has to do a homework. So go ahead and color and get creative and get into the kitchen this summer.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, and not only for your kids, but coloring is fun for adults, too.

Liz Weiss: Well, they're the Mandala designs and they're easy enough for kids and adults. And it's just soothing and relaxing to color in those Mandalas. So yeah, check them out. They're really super fun to download, and like I said, they're coloring cookbooks, so you could just get creative at so many levels. 

Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that sounds wonderful. 

Well, thank you once again for stopping by.

Liz Weiss: Thanks for having me. It was great to be here.



Dr. Mike Patrick: We are back with just enough time to say thanks to all of you once again for taking time out of your day and making PediaCast a part of it. Really do appreciate that. 
Also, thanks to our guest, Liz from Liz's Healthy Table. I really appreciate her stopping by and sharing her expertise on healthy summer eating family meals. We do appreciate her input in the program.

Don't forget, you can find PediaCast in all sorts of places. We're in the Apple podcast app, also iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and most mobile podcast apps. 

We also have our landing site at where you'll find our entire archive of past episodes, all 407 of them. Also, our show notes for each episode which include all the links that we talked about, including those we discussed today. Transcripts, written transcripts of many of the programs are available there as well as our Terms of Use Agreement, and our contact page if you would like to get in touch and suggest a topic idea, or ask a question, point us to a news article. Whatever it is that's on your mind, let us know, and we'll try to get your thoughts on the program.

We are also a part of the Parents On Demand Network at It's a collection of podcasts for moms and dads. That includes PediaCast along with many others. And in fact, Liz's podcast, Liz's Healthy Table is also a part of the Parents On Demand Network.


And another one you might be interested in is the Preschool and Beyond Podcast with Mike Dlott. He's a preschool director and covers lots of topics that are interesting and helpful for parents of preschoolers. Just some recent episodes include "The Importance of a Quality Pre-K Experience", "Early Entry to Kindergarten", 
"Let them Eat Dirt?", which is an interview with Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, author of book by the same name, "Learning to Self-Regulate", and "Who's the Boss?".

So lots of good preschool type topics for you. Again, that's Preschool and Beyond podcast which is part of the Parents on Demand Network. Also, Liz's Healthy Table, and of course, PediaCast is part of that, too. You can find all of these programs and many more at


Don't forget, we're also on social media, so PediaCast is on Facebook. We're on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest. And as I mentioned in the show intro, we're on Instagram now, and not so much sharing pediatric and parenting information there. Really more personal, what's going on in my family's life. So let's connect there and we'll see what's going on in your family's life and just sort of share back and forth.

We'll also give you some picture into the studio as we interview guests who stop by in person, not just the ones on phone, and to give you a little bit of a better idea of what the studio and PediaCast looks like here on the campus of Nationwide Children's and what I'm up to in my personal and family life as well.

Don't forget, we appreciate it when you not only share the show on social media, but also, when you tell others face to face. So your family, friends, neighbors, babysitters, daycare workers, anyone who has kids or takes care of kids. 

And, of course, that includes your child's pediatric medical provider. Please do let them know about PediaCast so they can share this evidence-based pediatric podcast for moms and dads with their other families and patients in the practice. 


And while you have your provider's ear, please let them know we have a program for them as well. It's called PediaCast CME. The CME stands for Continuing Medical Education. It's similar to this program. We do turn up the science up a couple of notches and offer free Category 1 Continuing Medical Education Credit for those who listen. Shows and details are available at the landing site for that program, which is

It's also available in Apple podcast app, iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and most mobile podcast apps. Simply search for PediaCast CME. 

Thanks again for stopping by and until next time, this is Dr. Mike saying stay safe, stay healthy, and stay involved with your kids. So long, everybody.


Announcer 2: This program is a production of Nationwide Children's. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on PediaCast.time on PediaCast.

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