by Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Summer is almost over. Goodbye to that relaxed schedule that allows for random bursts of activity at a moment’s notice and hello to that school schedule that is unyielding and routine. Ah routine— boring, yet at the same time routines can be comforting and productive. School schedules allow for a bit more routine at home and that certainly includes meal planning.  As a “seasoned” dietitian, I’ve seen lots of education materials over the years and as recently as two years ago, I came across one of my favorites thus far. It’s a basic list of fruits and vegetables with a check-off line in front of each (See list on the right side of the next page). This nutrition education tool is simple but promotes action and education, which is why I like it. I am providing you with a copy of this education tool-tweaked and modified a bit. Clip these out or simply use them here in this article and encourage the kids to pick some new fruits and veggies to add to the menu.

This is a starter tool, which can then lead to trying fruits or vegetables for either the first time or a second time in a new way. For example, beans can be eaten as a side item, in a soup or, as is the case of this recipe, a dip—Enjoy!

Bean and Salsa Dip

The salsa adds flavor to this dip.  Serve with baked tortilla chips or raw veggies.  Use a hot salsa for more kick.

1 (16 ounce) can fat-free refried beans

3/4 cup salsa, thick and chunky

4 tablespoons shredded Mexican cheese

Mix the beans and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover, venting the lid, and cook on high until hot (about 1 minute), stirring a couple times during cooking. Add the cheese at the end. 

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 2 tablespoons)

Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 24, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium, 200mg, Carbohydrate 4g, Fiber 1g, Protein 1g.

Recipe modified from: Quick & Healthy Volume II, 2nd Edition, © 2009 Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D. (,

Kim’s note:  If “extra” time allows homemade corn chips can be a special treat.  They are definitely worth the time if you have it to spare.

Garlic-Cumin Chips

6 corn tortillas

½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. salt

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine seasonings in a small bowl.  Spray each side of the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle evenly with the seasoning (one side only).  Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges and transfer to a baking sheet.  Bake until lightly browned (keep an eye on them as they burn quickly).

Serving size: 6 chips

Kim’s nutrition list


How many have you tried?

• Star your favorites

• The ones you want to try

__ Artichoke

___ Asparagus

___ Avocado

___ Beets

___ Bell Pepper

___ Broccoli

___ Cabbage

___ Carrots

___ Cauliflower

___ Celery

___ Corn

___ Cucumber

___ Dried Beans

___ Eggplant

___ Green Beans

___ Jicama

___ Kale

___ Mushrooms

___ Okra

___ Radish

___ Spinach

___ Squash

___ Sugar snap peas

___ Sweet potato

___ Tomato

___ Turnip

___ Zucchini


Natures Candy

• Star your favorites

• The ones you want to try

__ Apple

___ Apricot

___ Banana

___ Blueberries

___ Blackberries

___ Cherries

___ Cranberries

___ Cantaloupe

___ Fig

___ Grapes (green, red, purple)

___ Grapefruit

___ Honeydew Melon

___ Kiwi

___ Mango

___ Nectarine

___ Orange (try different varieties)

___ Papaya

___ Peach

___ Pear

___ Pineapple

___ Plum

___ Pomegranate

___ Raspberries

___ Star fruit

___ Strawberries

___ Watermelon

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at To search for specific recipes go to You can also watch the segments at


This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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