Series – Healthy Choices with Rising Food Costs!

Another great option that some people never think of is serving dried fruit as a daily fruit serving.  Many kids love dried raisins or dried cranberries so why not try them out at home or at your KES Club! Dried fruit is made by taking the water out of the fruit by sun drying or using a special machine called a dehydrator. Since the water is removed during drying, this also means that the natural sugars in the fruit are concentrated.

Did you know?

  • One Food Guide serving of dried fruit is ¼ cup (60 mL).
  • Dried fruits are part of the Vegetables and Fruit food group in Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Dried fruits can be a source of antioxidants in the diet. Dried apricots and peaches are also important sources of carotenoids, which your body turns into vitamin A.
  • Prunes, raisins and apricots also contain iron.
  • Many dried fruits are also a source of fibre.

Dried Fruits to try: Raisins, Craisins, Apricots, Prunes, Banana Chips

dried fruit

Information and Image Sourced from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL.




Series – Healthy Choices with Rising Food Costs!

Another way of choosing healthy options with rising food costs is serving frozen fruits and veggies more often.  Frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets.  Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.

At your KES Club and at home choose frozen fruits more often and serve up smoothies on a regular basis.  They are quick, easy and nutritious.  Try freezing any left over fruit you may have left in your fridge at the end of the week as well, and keep them in stock for serving up smoothies each week. Try this nutritious smoothie today and ensure you are getting your daily fruits and veggie servings despite rising food costs!

Berry Banana Wake Up Shake!


  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup low fat yogurt


In a blender, liquefy fruit with a small amount of the milk. Add remaining milk and yogurt; blend until smooth. If shake is too thick, add extra milk or soy beverage to achieve desired consistency.


Recipe sourced from:

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

Series – Healthy Choices with Rising Food Costs!

With food costs on the rise we are getting more and more questions from our KES clubs on what they should be serving when it comes to fruits and vegetables.  Over the next week we will be releasing a series of blogs to inform you on how to ensure we include fruits and veggies on your KES Club menus as well as at home, despite the rising food costs in our supermarkets.  There are many alternatives to fresh fruit and veggies and we would like to take you through them to ensure we are all still getting our daily intake of fruits and veggies according to Eating Well With Canada’s Food Guide.

Although fruit and vegetables costs are on the rise within our urban centres this is something some of our rural KES Clubs deal with on a regular basis.  Sometimes during the winter months access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a common problem throughout our Province, but especially in rural areas . For this reason we always have suggestions for alternative ways to serve fruits and vegetables in these instances.

Packaged fruit cups, fruit sauces or canned fruits and vegetables are a great alternative to fresh fruits and vegetables all throughout the year.  Packaged or canned fruits and vegetables have the same nutrient content as fresh but we need to be sure we watch the labels for the following key things:

  • Ensure fruit cups or canned fruits are packed in water or it’s own fruit juice
  • Choose fruit sauces that have the least amount of ingredients on the label as possible
  • Ensure vegetables are packed in water and choose low sodium versions

Check out our next blog this week for more tips and tricks to enjoying healthy food choices despite the rising costs.

packaged fruit cups

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



Fun Snow Day Recipe!

Ever wonder what to serve your kids on a snow day?  Try this neat and healthy recipe with the kids on your next snow day.  Getting the kids involved in making healthy food fun  is key to having them enjoy the fruits of their labour. Serving these foods in creative ways can allow kids to try new things and enjoy new foods.

Healthy Snowman Snack for Kids


  • Craisins or Raisins (whatever you have on hand)
  • Semi-soft Cheese Rounds (or any cheese cut in circles)
  • Thin Pretzel Sticks


Place items on plate and have kids create their snowmen!

finished snowman square

Recipe and Image Sourced from:

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

Exam Time = Crunch Time!

With many of our students preparing for midterm exams throughout the province in the coming weeks, they may be feeling very overwhelmed and busy. Often the first thing to fall to the wayside when we are busy is eating!

Research shows students can concentrate better on a full stomach, so eating breakfast during this stressful time is all the more important.

Providing Breakfast Club during exam time can be one of the most important times to provide breakfast.  We encourage all clubs to keep breakfast service up and running all throughout the year but especially during this time.  Students need this nutritious start to the day more than ever during this busy and stressful time.  Offering a simple grab and go menu could be a great option for these mornings.

Sample Grab-and-Go Menu:

  • Apples, Bananas, Clementine’s
  • 250ml Milk (1% or 2%)
  • Yogurt Tubes
  • Bags of Whole Grain Cereal
  • Cheese Strings
  • Granola Bars (no chocolate coverings, or chocolate chips)

Remember, our students need fuel for their minds, during exam time!!

#ieatsmartNL - St. Michael's

Kristin Harris is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation

Getting Organized !

One of the most essential characteristics of a successful KES Club is being organized. Many of our clubs organize their week supplies in containers and have them ready to go for the week.  This way volunteers can easily grab the bins and place them out for breakfast service.  Shopping ahead and planning menus is key to the organization of any club.  Have volunteers sort granola bars, cereal bars, baggies of cereal in tubs for easily grabbing.  As well in the fridge for store your fresh fruits and veggies in bins, and organize juice beverages for easy access (unwrapped and ready to go).

Check out this schools way of keeping organized:

tubsKristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart NL.


Fun Cosmic Fruit Wrap

Ensuring our KES Clubs serve fruit daily is something we strive for all of our clubs to do.  Serving fruit in creative ways can help encourage children to try new fruits.  If ever there is a time where you have extra fruit on hand why not try chopping it up for a fruit salad or serving it as fruit wrap.  Try this fun recipe at your KES Club this week:

Fun Cosmic Fruit Wrap:

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  1. 4 whole wheat tortillas
  2. 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or light cream cheese
  3. 1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
  4. 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  5. 1 nectarine, pitted, sliced
  6. 1/2 cup grapes, sliced
  7. 1 cup granola


  1. Spread Greek on each tortilla and top with pineapple, strawberries, nectarine, grapes and granola.
  2. Roll up and cut in half.


Recipe and Image sourced from:

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

New Year = New Creative Menu!

The New Year means most of us are looking at our menus at home and at school to ensure we are making more healthy choices.  We all want to ensure we are providing our bodies with the best fuel possible to help us lead a strong and healthy life.  At our KES Clubs we need to ensure we are providing our kids with the healthy balanced meal they require to start their day off right.  Always ensure we provide lots of fruits and veggies as well as milk and a healthy grain daily.  One of the most popular menu items we serve in our KES Clubs are smoothies, kids love them!  At KES we encourage our Clubs  to serve  smoothies as it’s a great way to ensure kids are getting their daily fruit intake.

Add this smoothie to your weekly KES Club menu – we guarantee kids will love Smoothie Day at your KES Club!

Berry Fun Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients (serves 10)
  •  10 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries, or cherries
  •  3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  •  2 cup 100% orange juice


Recipe adapted from:

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL.