Serving Fruit and Veggies in Your “Grab-and-Go” KES Club

It’s easy to think of ways to serve fruits and vegetables if you are serving a meal to children where they have a place they can set down and enjoy it. Unfortunately, this ideal situation is not possible for all our KES Clubs. If your KES Club is a “grab-and-go” Club we do still recommend that you serve fruits and vegetables to the students on a daily basis.

Below are some helpful hints on ways you can serve fruit and vegetables for your “grab-and-go” club:

  • Volunteers can pre-wash and prepare fruits and veggies such as grapes, orange slices, berries, carrots and celery and seal them in small baggies for the following day.
  • Small fruits and vegetables can be placed in muffin liners or Dixie cups so they are easy to carry.
  • Serving fruits such as bananas, apples and Clementine’s that are easy to grab and eat are great options.
  • Fruit cups in its own juice or water, requires no prep and are a great grab-and-go option.
  • If the Club has the facilities for storing foods, volunteers could make yogurt and berry (frozen) parfaits in disposable cups that the children can easily enjoy while walking to class.

I hope these suggestions will allow the children of your KES Club enjoy more fruits and veggies….enjoy!!


Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Accommodating Celiac Disease in Your KES Club

May is Celiac Awareness Month. Celiac disease is a condition in which people are unable to absorb nutrients such as proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals because of their inability to accommodate gluten in their diet. Gluten is a protein commonly found in wheat and other related grains. Breads, cereals, crackers, pancake mix, cereal bars and other grain products will likely have gluten in them.

At KES, our mission is to ensure that every school aged child has access to nutritious food; that being said just as we accommodate children who have allergies we also need to accommodate children with celiac disease. If you have a child that attends your KES Club and cannot eat gluten, the next time you shop make sure you pick up some gluten free products. Parents and caregivers can always give you suggestions on items to buy. Most large grocery stores now have a great selection of gluten free products.

Please keep in mind that some people are very sensitive to even the smallest amount of gluten and therefore separate cutting boards, toasters, pans, knives, etc will need to be used when you prepare the child’s meal. Below is a delicious gluten free muffin recipe…try it for your next special KES breakfast!

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin


– 1 cup brown rice

– ½ cup rice bran

– 1 ½ tsp baking powder

– 1 egg

– 2 tbsp vegetable oil

– 1 tbsp honey

– ¾ cup orange juice or water

– ½ cup blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine flour, bran, baking powder in bowl.  Stir to mix.  Add rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.  Spoon into lightly oiled muffin cups.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until brown.  Makes 9 muffins.

Recipe retrieved from:

Information adapted from:

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Choosing the right Smoothie!

With summer just around the corner, you will notice more and more fast food restaurants and coffee shops offering fruit smoothies as a beverage choice. Be aware that many of these “fruit smoothies” often have little real fruit and are packed with added sugars. To be cautious, you can always ask the serving attendant what they make it with….if fresh or frozen fruit is the majority of the ingredients than that’s great, but this is not the case most of the time.

Whether the smoothie is for yourself or your child, the best option would be to make the smoothie at home. Some ingredients that you can add to make a delicious, no sugar added smoothie, are:

  • Plain yogurt (Greek for a higher protein option)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Milk
  • 100% juice (try not to add more than ½ cup)
  • Fresh berries or fruit
  • Frozen berries or fruit
  • Kale
  • Ground flax (to help add some extra fibre)
  • Ice cubes (if you don’t use frozen berries and fruit)

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Spring has Sprung!

“Spring has sprung” and summer is getting near. With the snow gone (in most places of the province), flowers are starting to bloom and the grass is getting greener….the colours outside are just a pleasure to look at. There isn’t many weeks left before your KES Club will be winding down for the school year. In the spirit of the season, try to incorporate some of the beautiful colours of spring in your KES Club menu. If you haven’t already done so, try this easy but colourful recipe for the students you serve:

Bug Crackers


  •  Cherry tomatoes , red & yellowbug.cracker
  •  Cucumber sliced
  •  Cheese slice
  •  Small pretzels
  •  Round crackers


Slice the tomatoes and cucumber in half. Cut round circles out of the cheese using a cookie cutter. Poke the pretzels into the yellow tomato halves. Assemble your bug onto the cracker!

Recipe adapted from:

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Campfire Pizza for your May “24” weekend!

This weekend marks the first official weekend of camping in our province. For both adults and children, camping is always a great time to socialize and have fun with friends and just like every social event there`s always food involved.

The highlights of every camping trip are the friends, fun and food that accompany the campfire! Campfire treats are usually high in sugars, fat, sodium and more often than not lack nutrition. When camping this holiday weekend, try to “think outside of the box” and serve up some more non-traditional campfire treats for both the adults and the children. Below is a great recipe that the children are sure to enjoy:

Campfire Pizza


  • 1 flat
  • 3-4 tablespoons sauce
  • 1/3 cup cheese, grated
  • about 1/3 cup of your favorite veggies, chopped
  • low-fat meat options (ie. chicken breast, ham, pre-cooked lean ground turkey or beef)
  • fresh herbs, pineapple and/or olives, optional


  • Place all ingredients, buffet style, on an outdoor table near the campfire.
  • Pull out a sheet of foil that is at least twice as long as the length of your flatbread and place your flatbread in the middle.
  • Layer your ingredients on top of the flatbread starting with sauce, then cheese and toppings.
  • Wrap the Campfire Flatbread Pizzas in a sealed foil packet leaving room on top of the pizza so that the foil doesn’t rest on the toppings. Place on grill until the cheese is nice and melted. Open the packet periodically to make sure bottom of flatbread is not burning.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe retrieved from:

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador





Satisfying Snacks

When we hear the word snack, we often think of foods such as potato chips, chocolate bars, candies and other processed foods. Snacking doesn`t have to be unhealthy. These high calorie foods can certainly satisfy our needs temporary, but because they provide little nutrition such as protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals they can quickly leave our bellies with a feeling of emptiness and hunger and our bodies extremely fatigued.

Choosing the right snacks can be very important for our energy levels throughout the day, digestive systems and our caloric intake. When snacking, it`s always great to add a little protein. Protein allows our bodies to be satisfied and stay full longer.

Here are some delicious snacks that are nutritious, are a great source of protein and will leave you satisfied and energized for the day:

  • Apple slices dipped in peanut butter – for a more healthy option use natural peanut butter
  • Whole wheat crackers with low-fat hard cheeseapple.pbutter.snack
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Fruit and Greek yogurt
  • Half of whole wheat sandwich with low-fat meats
  • Boiled egg and veggies
  • Homemade trail mix made with dried berries, almonds, whole grain cheerios, etc

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Eating Local

The fifth annual Rooting for Health (RFH) event takes place tomorrow in five Kids Eat Smart Clubs throughout the province. RFH is a way to teach children the importance of healthy eating and the relationship with eating local foods in our communities. In keeping with this theme, I want to stress the importance and health benefits of buying local foods.

Locally grown foods are always fresh and taste great. They have little additives and provide us with a great source of vitamins, minerals, and high quality proteins. One of the other benefits to buying local is that in many cases, depending on where you buy your food, you can often speak to the farmers themselves and ask questions about the foods you are buying instead of reading it on a package.

Throughout our province we can buy various produce (fruits, berries and vegetables), dairy products, eggs and meats locally. Many of our local farmers begin their season in May and run through October and November. Right now, although the air is still cool and snow remains on the ground, in some places of the province, there are still local foods that you can purchase. Dairy products, eggs and meats can be purchased all year around. For the most part, produce is available late spring, all summer and early fall.

All year around, but especially now and in the months to come is the prime time to buy local. Get out there and visit your local farms, farmers’ markets, road-side stands or even the local grocery stores….you’ll be sure to find some delicious local foods!

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Lunch Box Mini Blueberry Muffins

Are you tired of adding the same treats to your child’s lunch box day after day? Instead of the usual yogurt, berries, granola bars, jello-cups or other packaged treats, why not make some muffins? Children love muffins and they love blueberries; try making these delicious, but healthy, mini blueberry muffins that will add a special treat for your child’s lunch box. They are the perfect size and your child will be sure to love them!

Mini Blueberry Muffins


1 1/2 cups oat bran

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon blueberry.bran.muffins

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup skim milk

1/3 cup honey

1 medium banana, mashed

1 large egg

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


1) Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat 24 nonstick miniature muffin cups with cooking oil spray. 2) In a medium bowl, combine bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another medium bowl or in a blender, combine the milk, honey, banana, egg, olive oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. 3) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in one-third of the liquid mixture. Using a spoon, stir until smooth. Add remaining liquid mixture and stir just until combined. Add blueberries and stir again, but do not over mix. 4) Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake about 8 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed gently in the centers. Do not overbake. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the cups. Serve warm or cool completely on the rack.

Recipe adapted from:

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Watermelon Pizza…Yum!

Tired of serving the same fruits? Why not put a creative spin on the traditional “pizza surprise” and add some colour and flavour by combining delicious fruits. Try the recipe below at home or your KES Club, the children, no matter the age, will love it!

Watermelon Pizza


    • Watermelon
    • Strawberry Jam
    • Slices of banana, kiwi and strawberries
    • Other berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
    • Shredded coconut (optional)


Slice watermelon into thick pizza shaped slices. Add a very thin layer of strawberry jam to the watermelon so that the fruit will stick. Add slices of banana, kiwi and strawberries. Add the other berries to the top of the watermelon slices. Sprinkle with some shredded coconut (optional). Please keep any allergies in mind.


Recipe adapted from:

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador