Why Canada needs to make sure kids don’t go to school hungry – By Andre Picard

Check out this powerful article from today’s Globe and Mail:


Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Stocking up on Frozen Fruits

Sometimes I get down and out at the end of the week when I have fruit left over in my fridge that we just haven’t gotten around to eating throughout the week – even a Dietitian can have rotted fruit in her fridge by weeks end! 🙂

My quick fix if I can catch the fruit in time would be to throw it all in a blender add some yogurt and ice cubes and enjoy a delicious and refreshing smoothie. Another source of fruit I like to have on hand is frozen. For those weeks when you just can’t get to the supermarket or your trying to be a bit more savvy with your money why not opt for a big bag of mixed frozen fruit!

Frozen fruit is just as nutritious as fresh and can be used in a variety of different ways. It’s also an excellent option for breakfast clubs and households in more rural areas as it allows you to always have fruit on hand and enables you to serve up fruit on a regular basis. Here are some ways to incorporate frozen fruits into your breakfast menu:

1. Frozen Berry Smoothies

2. Adding them to Cereal

3. Adding them to a Yogurt Parfait

4. Adding them to whole grain baked muffins

5. Adding them to whole grain pancakes or waffles

Having a variety of frozen fruit on hand during the school year will make increasing those fruit servings with your kids all that more easier!

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Back to School Shopping – Lunch Box Tips

With back to school just around the corner most moms and dads are in the hustle and bustle of back to school shopping. The list of coarse seems never ending with clothes, shoes, books, and so on and on and on. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when shopping for your kids lunch bags and other essential items to keep lunches safe and making lunch time options a breeze:

1. Ensure you’re buying an insulated lunch bag that keeps cold foods cold until they are ready to eat.

2. Either purchase freezer packs or use frozen juice boxes or yogurt tubes in the lunch bag to keep those cold foods cold.

3. Containers, containers, containers – you can never have enough – this allows for easy packing of snacks and lunches with fresh whole foods and allows you to serve up the pre-cut fruit, yogurt with granola and fresh veggies  for lunch rather than opting for the pre-packaged snacks that may have added sugar, fat, and salt.

4. Insulated bottles that keep drinks nice and cold or even opens up the option of serving soup and allows the soup to stay warm until lunch time.

Having these items on hand along with those healthy lunch time ideas will help make the hectic school morning rush all that more organized for preparing a healthy lunch for your kids.

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Getting Smart when Choosing Grains!

Grain Products are one of four important food groups in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.

Get the most nutritional value – go for the whole grain.

For good health, make at least half of your grain choices whole grain each day. Whole grains include all parts of the grain kernel – the bran, germ and endosperm. The more a whole grain is refined during processing, the more nutrients are lost.

Choose foods with “whole” in front of the grain in the ingredient list. For example, whole grain wheat or whole rye flour instead of wheat or rye flour.

Pump up the Fibre in your Breakfast Menu

When making pancakes, muffins or cookies from “scratch” or a mix, add grains such as flaxseeds, rolled oats, wheat germ, oat or wheat bran, as well as chopped nuts, dried fruit, or frozen blueberries for more fibre. Try substituting whole wheat or barley flour for all-purpose flour when baking. Check out this delicious and easy pancake recipe to try at home or in your KES Breakfast Club:

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Original recipe makes 10 pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour                                                          
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg                                                                 

  • 1 cup milk, plus more if necessary                                                                          

  • 1/2 cup blueberries


  1. Sift together flour and baking powder, set aside.  Beat together the egg, milk in a bowl.  Stir in flour until just moistened, add blueberries, and stir to incorporate.
  2. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray.  Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake.  Cook until bubbly, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Turn, and continue cooking until golden brown.

Information & Recipe sourced from: www.dietitiansofcanada.ca & www.allrecipes.com

Choosing the Right Cereal for your Breakfast Club

Many Kids Eat Smart Clubs are serving up cereal for breakfast as it is quick, easy and a nutritious option to serve. Hot and cold cereals can be a good breakfast choice and adding some fresh fruit on top can make it all that more nutritious. In choosing cereal with fresh fruit and milk we are ensuring we are getting a variety of foods from three of the four food groups from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.

When choosing cereal for your Breakfast Club look for cereals with low sugar and high fibre. So from a previous post Tackling the Nutrition Facts Table follow this simple rule when reading labels.

Read the % DV The % DV helps you see if a specific amount of food has a little or a lot of a nutrient. fact-fiche-choose-eng

**Rule of thumb: 5% DV or less is a little 15% DV or more is a lot.

Keep this rule in mind when walking down that endless aisle of breakfast cereals.

Here’s a quick list of healthy cereals that a Kids Eat Smart approved:

All Bran Flakes
General Mills Cheerios
General Mills Multi-Grain Cheerios
Kelloggs Mini Wheats
Oatmeal Crisp Almond
Post Honey Bunches of Oats
Post Shreddies
Post Shredded Wheat
Quaker Life
Special K Red Berries

If you have any questions regarding cereals and if they are Kids Eat Smart approved contact your Regional Kids Eat Smart Coordinator for more information. Check out our Website for contact info @ old2018.kidseatsmart.ca

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Breakfast Burrito Bites

Sometimes getting kids to eat breakfast can be a struggle. Whether it’s a small child who just isn’t hungry in the morning to a teenager that would rather sleep a little longer in the morning than eat. We have all had our days where getting everyone fed can be a challenge. The bright side is that your child’s school could be serving up a delicious option like the following recipe at their Kids Eat Smart Club!

Incorporating fun bite sized options for kids and an easy grab and go option for the teenagers can be key to getting them to enjoy a healthy start to the day. Try adding this balanced recipe item to your Kids Eat Smart Club menu or at home:

Breakfast Burrito Bites

  • 3 TBL chopped bell peppers
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, or spray pan with non stick cooking spray
  • 3 eggs (whipped slightly in a bowl)
  • 1 TBL. water
  • 2 (8 inch) Whole wheat tortillas

Cook peppers with oil or cooking spray. Remove peppers from pan.  Cook egg/water mixture over hot skillet, without scrambling them.  Move egg inward to cook although through, and flip, so you have a large “fried egg”.  Cut in half.  Place one egg on each tortilla.  Add peppers to the center of your tortilla and roll up.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.superhealthykids.com/healthy-kids-recipes/finger-food-breakfast-burrito-bites.php

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

From Field to Table

Kids Eat Smart knows the importance of teaching kids where our food comes from! When eating a healthy diet it’s always important to include whole real foods from the food guide which can include things that come from our very own fields such as: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, lettuce, root vegetables, meats, eggs, etc.

Each year Kids Eat Smart hosts a “Rooting for Health” day during Nutrition month to help teach kids in our Kids Eat Smart Clubs about where their food comes from. We host events in different schools throughout the province and bring local foods and local farmers along to share their knowledge and practices with the kids.

With Farmer’s markets becoming ever more popular here’s some info on some of our very own market’s throughout the province:

St. John’s Farmers’ Market

When: Saturdays, June – December
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: Lion’s Club Chalet (behind the Remax Centre), Bonaventure Avenue

Visit http://stjohnsfarmersmarket.org/ for weekly lists of vendors and performances.

Grand Falls-Windsor Farmers’ Market

When: Saturdays, June – fall
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: 14 High Street

Fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, beef, berries, and crafts. Visit the market online at https://www.facebook.com/GrandFallsWindsorFarmersMarket

Fogo Island Farmers’ Market

When: Saturdays, July – fall
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: Fogo Central, next to the Credit Union

For more information contact Winston Osmond: osmond.winston@gmail.com or (709) 270-0748.

Salmon Cove Community Market

When: Saturdays, monthly (August 10, August 24, September 28, October 19, November 9)
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where: Salmon Cove Community Centre (Fire Department) located on the main highroad just before the road to the Sands, Route 70

For more information or to become a vendor visit: https://www.facebook.com/SalmonCoveCommunityMarket

Happy-Valley Goose Bay Community Outdoor Market

When: Saturdays, July – October
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: CNA Gym, 219 Hamilton River Rd. (The market has relocated to the CNA gymnasium until further notice.)

Fresh produce, crafts, jewellery, baked goods, home based business products and more! For more information visit www.facebook.com/communityoutdoormarket

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Egg sandwich on the Run!

Some of us are already in the mind set of thinking about the morning rush that the school year will bring. Something I know helps ease my stress is making a plan and preparing ahead. With this in mind here’s a recipe to add to our menu ideas for those busy mornings.

You can use whole wheat tortillas, bagels, English muffins, toast… you name it!  You’ll need….

1 egg
Glass container
Your choice of bread item

Spray the bowl with cooking spray, then crack the egg into it and whisk with a fork.  Cover and microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute.  You might hear the egg popping as it cooks!  That’s normal and don’t be scared.

While the egg is cooking, pop your bread item into a toaster or toaster over to warm it up.  When both items are done, put the egg (which will cook in a circular shape!) onto your bread, then add your salsa, cheese, and any veggies you want to add.  Throw an apple into your bag, and your breakfast is ready!

Adapted from: www.allrecipes.com

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.