Tiny Foods for Big Nutrition

This is a guest post by Rachel Neifeld, RD, CDN CDE she works as a clinical dietitian, freelance writer, and nutrition spokesperson specializing in endocrine, obstetric, geriatric, and sports nutrition at a major medical center in New York City. We met at a meditation class and I’m thrilled that she’ll be contributing to the Wellness section!


Whether looking to lose weight or simply optimize health, it’s not always about eliminating foods but actually adding more in!

Adding healthy fats found in foods such as avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds in place of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, crackers, and chips, can have a significant positive impact on many aspects of health. Swapping that not-so-nutritious bag of corn chips for a handful of trail mix can improve heart health, aid in weight control, and promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, and digestion.

One especially easy way to reap the benefits of these healthy fats every day is to include chia, flax, hemp seeds, and wheat germ in meals. All it takes is a sprinkle to benefit from the healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals these nutrition powerhouses provide. The great part about these seeds and, in the case of wheat germ, grain components, is that they can be easily incorporated into the foods that many of us eat on a regular basis such as yogurt, cereals, smoothies, salads, and baked goods such as muffins and pancakes.   Not only do they provide healthy fats but also offer hefty doses of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even protein. Chia and hemp seeds are such great sources of protein that they can even substitute eggs in recipes by mixing one tablespoon of seeds with three tablespoons water.

Adding in a spoonful to any meal will up the satisfaction factor which may help curb hunger and aid in weight loss efforts.   It doesn’t take much to benefit from these health-boosting effects so try to add a spoonful in to one of your meals or snacks every day.   These healthy meal additions may be tiny but they are proof that big nutrition can come in small packages!

This pancake recipe from Self Magazine incorporates both flax and chia seeds for a super nutrition boost.


-1 cup rolled oats
-1 cup 2-percent-fat plain Greek yogurt
-2 eggs
-2 teaspoons chia seeds
-2 teaspoons flaxseed
-Vegetable oil cooking spray
-1/2 cup sliced strawberries
-1/2 cup blueberries
-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


In a blender, pulse oats until finely ground. Add yogurt, eggs, chia and flaxseed, and process until batter is combined but seeds remain intact. Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute; coat with cooking spray. Working in batches, cook 6 pancakes until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Divide pancakes between two plates and serve topped with berries and maple syrup.

Tips: Shelve those instant or steel-cut oats—only rolled will yield the right texture. Check whether your skillet is the right temp by dropping in a bit of batter. It should sizzle but not scorch.



4 Responses to Tiny Foods for Big Nutrition

  1. Love Rachel’s tips to incorporate these super foods into our daily routine. As someone with autoimmune issues, I have been working on adding more of them into my diet.


  2. marianne says:

    Excellent tips for adding a nutritional boost without much effort. I can’t wait to try the wheat germ on salads and chia and flax seeds in my morning smoothies. Also want to try that great sounding pancake recipe – Thanks for a great article, Rachel!

    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      That’s such a great idea! I love Rachel’s article and am so thrilled that I’ll be sharing more of her advice!

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