Healthy Holidays!

With the Holidays usually comes hectic busy schedules.  We are all trying to get everything done and accomplished before the big day arrives!  Sometimes as our households get busier, our well balanced meals fall to the way side.  During this busy time it’s more important than ever to be prepared and plan ahead!

Have a look at your holiday schedule for the month of December.  Look at the days you will be eating out and those days which you will be eating at home.  The only way to stay on track with healthy meals is to plan well in advance.  Plan your weekly menus and shop on Sunday’s for your whole week. Get the kids involved with the menu planning.  Make sure to develop balanced meals which include lots of fruits and veggies, a meat or alternative, a dairy or alternative and a healthy grain. Ensuring our meals are balanced is key to feeling fuller longer and avoiding unhealthy snacking throughout the day.

Most kids love tacos try this quick healthy supper recipe for a quick week day meal:

Turkey Taco Salad


  • 12 ounces ground turkey (this can be pre-cooked from the freezer!)
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups salsa
  • 1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 cups torn romaine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • Optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and crushed whole grain tortilla chips
  1. In a large skillet, cook turkey, peppers, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up turkey into crumbles; drain.
  2. Stir in salsa, beans, chili powder and cumin; heat through.
  3. Divide romaine among four plates. Top with turkey mixture; sprinkle with cilantro and toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.

turkey taco salad

Recipe sourced from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland & Labrador.

Serving up Fruits and Veggies at your KES Club!

Often times it’s a struggle to ensure kids are getting enough fruits and veggies.  Here at Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL we know the importance of including fruits and veggies with every meal.  We encourage all of our clubs to serve fruits or veggies on a daily basis. To see how many servings your child should be getting check out Canada’s Food Guide for number of servings per age range.

Here’s some easy ways to help add fruits and veggies to your meals:

  • Plate method. Fill half of their plate with fruits and veggies at every meal and snack.
  • Pump up the veggies. Add extra fruits and vegetables to dishes, even if they already contain/call for them in the recipe.
  • Substitute. Substitute fruits and veggies in any meal – they’re lower in calories than many other foods.
  • Stock Up. Always stock frozen and canned fruits and veggies for quick meal prep. Try to choose canned fruit and vegetables packed in water.
  • Steam & Flavour. Steamed vegetables make great sides. Add flavour with low-calorie or low-fat dressings, herbs and spices. Garlic is one of my favourites!
  • Grab & Go. Always have fresh fruits and vegetables in easy-to-grab places (a fruit bowl, sliced in the fridge, trail mix) – Sunday prep days can go a long way to increasing fruits and veggies in the diet!

With kids some days they may not like a particular fruit or veggie, sometimes serving it in a different way may encourage them to try it again. And remember – if at first you don’t succeed, just try, try againHoly Cross Junior High!Information sourced from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Breakfast on a Stick!

KES Clubs are always looking for new recipes – and here at KES we know that being creative always gets kids excited about healthy eating.  Anything in creative shapes or on sticks are always a hit with kids.  Try this recipe with any berries or whatever fruit you have on hand.  You can make French Toast ahead of time and freeze.  Simply thaw the night before and cut up in squares or special shapes in the morning.

All you’ll need:

French Toast & Berries

  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Eggs (usually one egg per slice of bread)
  • Milk, just a splash
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Whatever Berries you have on hand
  • Straws for the stick!


Recipe sourced from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.



Fundraising for your KES Club!

We encourage all of our KES Clubs to fundraise to help support costs of their programs.  Clubs can fundraise either financially or accept  in-kind donations such as food and supplies. Schools host many kinds of events to raise funds, collect food donations, or raise awareness within the school community about their KES Club.  Here are some ideas your school can host this year:

  • School Wide Yard Sale
  • Organize teachers vs. Students sports event and charge for admission
  • Charge admission at Spring Concerts – proceeds to support  KES
  • Host Silent Auction Events
  • Cram the Van, Stock the Cupboards, Grade level organized items for in-kind food item donations

Rennie's River Cram the VanRennie's River Cram the Van3

Rennie’s River in St. John’s recently hosted a Cram the Van event at their school where they were able to fully stock their KES Club Cupboards for months to come!

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fun After School Snack!

Serving creative menu ideas can encourage kids to try new things.  Sometimes store brand frozen yogurts can have a lot of added sugar.  Using ingredients you likely already have at your community centre KES Club or at home  – have these FroYo Bites on hand for those hungry kids as they head to their after school community centre or home from school.  Including fruit and yogurt checks off two of our Food Groups from Canada’s Food Guide, so this recipe is a well balanced snack.

FroYo Bites

For pink, blend together in a food processor or blender:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup strawberries

For purple, blend together in a food processor or blender:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup blackberries or blueberriesRecipe and
  • Using a piping bag or small spoon, scoop yogurt into a mold or ice cube tray.  Freeze until ready to eat.   Makes 10-12 ‘cubes’ of each flavor.



Image Sourced from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador

Serving Milk Daily!

We encourage all of our KES Clubs to serve milk on a daily basis. We want all kids to avail of milk each day to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need to grow and be strong.

For children and teens, Milk and Alternatives are great sources of the important building blocks for strong bones and teeth. And even though adult and senior bones don’t appear to be growing, milk products provide essential nutrients that work to keep bones strong. Healthy eating along with regular weight-bearing exercise such as walking or dancing can help to prevent osteoporosis, a condition which leaves bones weak, thin and more likely to break. Canada’s Food Guide recommends 2-4 servings of Milk and Alternatives per day, depending on your age.

Chocolate milk is usually of great discussion in our KES clubs; it has the same bone building nutrients as white milk (calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin), but it also has added sugars. We recommend that all KES clubs provide white milk most often, and that chocolate milk be limited and only used sparingly.

Serve milk at your KES Club and at home on a daily basis as a part of a healthy well balanced diet. For more ideas on nutritious menu ideas connect with your Regional Kids Eat Smart Coordinator or call 722-1996.

Information sourced from:

#ieatsmartNL - Virginia Park1

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Warm Up on those Cold Mornings!

What could be nicer then a hot nutritious breakfast to enjoy on these cold mornings! Enjoy this recipe at your KES Club or at home with a glass of milk for a balanced breakfast!

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

 Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oatmeal
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans for garnish; if desired (if no nut allergies)


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat butter until melted. Add steel cut oats and stir for 2 minutes to toast.
  2. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Add hot water and apple cider and stir, bringing to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to low; cook oats for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and stir in chopped apples and maple syrup. Continue cooking, uncovered for 15 minutes, or until oats thicken to your desired texture.
  5. Serve immediately and garnish with pecans, if desired. (if no nut allergies)

steel cut oats with apple and cinnamon

Recipe adapted from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.