Joy Bauer | Creating Healthy Habits in the Kitchen | The Breakdown With Bethany

healthy habits by joy bauer the breakdown with bethany

Joy Bauer is one of the nation’s leading health authorities, and her name definitely suits her. She is the nutrition and healthy lifestyle expert for the TODAY show and the host of NBC’s Health + Happiness, and I got a chance to talk to her about one of my own parenting challenges: kids and food and how to create healthy habits.

In the interview, Joy offers up tips for healthy eating (hint: protein is key) and how to navigate the grocery store with kids. Her tips are invaluable! Check out the full interview below.

Joy Bauer | Creating Healthy Habits in the Kitchen | The Breakdown with Bethany | MomCaveTV

How To Stay Healthy

Bethany Braun-Silva:
Hi and welcome back to another episode of the Breakdown with Bethany. I’m Bethany Braun-Silva and today my guest is Joy Bauer. You’ve probably seen Joy on The Today Show where she’s doling out tips and tricks on how to stay healthy. We’re going to be talking about sending kids back to school and all the meal prep that goes with it. She’s also going to be sharing some healthy, easy meal recipes for parents and also telling us how we can navigate the supermarket stress-free. So stay tuned as we learn some healthy habits.

All right, well, Joy, first of all, I have to say I’m such a fan. I love your segments on The Today Show. I am constantly just trying to keep up with you, sort of aspiring to all your healthy tips and tricks. But I am a mom of two so sometimes that is incredibly hard, especially as we’re gearing up to head back to school. One of the things that send me into a spiral is having to prepare meals for two kids and I know you have some tips for that. So what do you have to say about meal-prepping as we head back to school?

Joy Bauer:
Well, so many people share the chaos of exactly what you described. And my kids are older right now. So I have three kids but oh boy, I vividly remember those hairy, scary moments like in the morning. Also, what are you going to make for dinner sort of thing? And I think the number one solution that is so incredibly helpful is to preplan. It’s a basic step toward creating healthy habits in the kitchen! So I’m just going to put that out there. And I know people are probably thinking, oh my God, another thing to put on the to-do list but I’m telling you, if you get ahead of it, it just makes life that much simpler and seamless and it’s going to be a game-changer for you for sure.

Making Eggs Fun

So today, I’m really excited because I’m here as the dean of the protein prep school talking about eggs. And eggs are so wonderful for a number of reasons. One, I think they’re universally loved. I personally can eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, a snack, and for dinner. And they have limitless ways to prepare them. There are so many different creative ways. I make frittatas all the time for dinner. I always have hard-boiled eggs in my refrigerator because it’s like the ultimate healthy snack.

And you should see what I do with hard-boiled eggs. I don’t just eat my hard-boiled eggs plain and my whole family follows suit. We put sriracha sauce on it. I dunk them in hummus, in guac, in all sorts of things. You can make them into egg creatures. I used to do that when my kids were younger because that presentation when it screams fun, makes the food that much more appealing.

Eggs Are Affordable AND Healthy

But one of the things I really want to mention when I talk about eggs is that right now with all of the pricing skyrocketing in the grocery stores, eggs remain one of the lowest cost, high-quality protein foods that will help everybody stretch their grocery store dollar. So that’s exceptional news to share. And again, there are so many great ways that you can prepare eggs. And we’ll talk about nutrition in a minute but I think saving money right now is such a front and center, big issue, for so many people. So I want to get that out there immediately.

And I’m assuming you love eggs. Do you love eggs?


Bethany Braun-Silva:
I do love eggs. And actually my next question, it was actually a really great segue that you mentioned is that whenever my kids are asking for a snack, I just say, okay, but it has to have protein. I’m not a registered dietician. I just know that protein, someone told me along the way that it’s good for us, it’s filling. I understand that protein is a very healthy habit. So tell us about why protein is so important. And then subsequently why eggs are such a good choice when we’re looking to give our kids protein.

Joy Bauer:
Protein is really important because it helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels. So if you’re eating something that’s all carbs, you’re going to get a spike in your blood sugar levels and it’s not going to last. But what protein does is it helps to steady out those blood sugar levels. So that means you have sustained energy. It’s also really important for growing muscles. And it helps to fuel every single cell within our body.


Another really important thing about eggs aside from the protein, it has choline. And choline is one of those nutrients that is key for brain development. It helps also with mood regulation. It helps with memory and cognitive function. And choline is actually housed in the yolk of the egg. So you have high-quality protein and you have choline.

And one other cool thing that I don’t think a lot of people realize, is that the bright yellow color of the yolk signals that there are also two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin which act together to help protect our little one’s eyes from the blue screen. And our kids are on computers and smartphones and iPads all the time. So this is really important.

There’s actually even a recent study that shows a beneficial connection to regularly taking in these two antioxidants. No one needs to memorize the names but they’re called lutein and zeaxanthin and improve academics in eight and nine-year-olds. So I thought that was a really, really important piece of research to mention.

Healthy And Easy

Bethany Braun-Silva:
Yes, absolutely. And so I’m actually pretty lucky because I have two kids and my six-year-old will eat hard-boiled eggs as is but my 10-year-old is quite picky and it’s been a challenge to get him to eat eggs or any other sort of healthy food. So can you give us some different ways to prepare eggs? Maybe easy recipes that we can use as parents?

Joy Bauer:
Yeah. So one of the things, I’m going to show you. People probably won’t be able to see this but what I’ve done here is, I took avocado toast … Avocado toast tends to be universally loved and has become a very healthy breakfast habit. And I put a sunny-side-up egg on top. And it makes it so beautiful because it’s so vibrant in color. You have the dark … My toast is wholegrain. So you have whole grain toast on the bottom, and also when you lightly toast any piece of bread, it has a lightish brown color so that means you could use whole grain bread and your kids will never know the difference. So this is a whole grain bread base. We have a nice brown. Then we have this beautiful green-hued avocado underneath. And then this yellow and white, sunny-side-up egg on top. And then you could put whatever sauces or dressings or dips that your kids like on top of that as well. I like heat and we’ve trained my kids to like heat too. So there’s a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes on top. But honestly, anything goes. So that’s one trick.

Pizza? From Eggs?

Another thing that I love to make and I’m betting your kids are going to devour this. I make a healthy (don’t tell the kids) breakfast pizza. So I call this my egg in a pan trick. I take an egg or two. For this one, I actually used two eggs. I whisked them up and then I put them on a heated skillet, about a 10-inch skillet. Then I put a wholegrain tortilla on top of that and let the eggs firm. You flip it over and then you build your pizza. A little marinara sauce, some part-skim mozzarella cheese. I have poultry sausage on top. I have some basil leaves for a little bit of visual color. And you cut it into little pizza triangles and your kids get to have pizza for breakfast but you know that it’s jam-packed with protein and the good stuff because you worked that egg right into the base.

Bethany Braun-Silva:
Oh my goodness, I love that. I’m definitely going to be doing the pizza, 100 percent. But actually, that leads me to my next question because we … Sometimes as parents, we have all the best intentions to feed our kids all the best foods and then we head to the supermarket and it just all falls apart. Especially if we’re shopping with our kids and they’re throwing in those cereals and everything like that. Do you have tips, for parents especially, when navigating that supermarket?

Preplanning = Healthy Shopping

Joy Bauer:
You need a list. You need to go in there with a list because I would do the same thing. If I just walked in empty-handed, I would impulsively start tossing everything right into my cart. So take the time, even if it’s for 10 minutes on a Sunday. But make it an official time within your week, sit down, pen to paper or you could type it up on the computer, and map out what the meals will be for the following week. A lot of times breakfast is just alternating between two things. You find two things that work and you just have those two options ready to go. But lunch and dinner tend to be much more challenging. So map out what you’re going to be making.

And sometimes what used to be helpful for me too is I would create theme nights. So for example, Monday would be Meatless Monday. Tuesday would be Tex-Mex Tuesday. Wednesday would be Stir Fry Wednesday. Thursday maybe Pasta Thursday. And so you have these themes for the week, bread themes. And then you detail in, each week you can change what the recipe would be and the ingredients. Pick healthy ones that your family enjoys. But it gives you some sort of a structure so you’re not starting from scratch and there are so many options and so many choices. Then when you see what your meals are for the week, you could create your shopping list, and then you could go.

Meal Prep Makes For Healthy Food Habits

And the first time will probably take a bit of time because this is all new to you but I’m telling you, once this becomes automatic memory and part of your routine, you will be able in a flash to develop that list. And a lot of times, the list is going to be the same things over and over and over again. Healthy habits. But the list is really, really important. And if there’s any chance you could get babysitting help when you go to the market and actually not take the kids, you’ll be in and out of the grocery store much quicker.

Bethany Braun-Silva:
I love that. It’s all about that prep like you said before. I mean Joy, this has been such an incredible, insightful conversation about creating healthy habits in the kitchen. Please tell us where we can learn more about everything you’re doing with eggs. Also, I hear you have a newsletter. Is that right?

Joy Bauer:
Yes, yes. So I hope everybody signs up. It’s a free newsletter. If you go to, all you need to do is put your email in and you’re done. Twice a week, you’re going to get delicious, simple, accessible, and healthy recipes right to your inbox. I also go over product picks that I love and yeah, it’s just chock full of inspiration and lots and lots of healthy, yummy recipes that anybody … Totally family-friendly and anybody could make. And for more egg recipes, everyone should head to because they have the answer to every single question that you have in your head.

Bethany Braun-Silva:
I love it. Thank you so much. This is really great. Really appreciate the time.

Listen to the episode as a podcast here:
photo of Joy Bauer, smiling in T shirt and text Creating Healthy Habits in the Kitchen Joy Bauer The Breakdown with Bethany MomCaveTV
Bethany Braun Silva

What do you think? Chime in!