Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

The last thing we want to hear is that our children are having “cookies” for breakfast…right?   But let’s be open minded to some of these so called “unhealthy words” because there are healthier alternatives to most foods we enjoy, just like there are healthy cookies!  They don’t have to be high is sugars, fats and other things we want to avoid in our breakfast foods….you can certainly make a healthy cookie option too.  This week St. Mary’s All Grade students enjoyed a healthy grab and go breakfast before heading into their exams; this included a healthy oatmeal cookie.  Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try for your KES Club or at home….they sound yummy!

Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oatmeal, uncooked quick
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional add-ins: 1/3 cup of raisins or cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together, oatmeal, bananas, vanilla extract, applesauce and cinnamon.
  3. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough in spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, and then flatten cookies into round shapes.
  4. Bake approx. 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden.  Remove from oven & let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack. Be careful, cookies will be very soft until they cool entirely.

*Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe retrieved from: https://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2014/02/healthy-oatmeal-breakfast-cookies.html

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

Blackberry Breakfast Bars

What could be better than a homemade breakfast bar to start your morning off right. Try this nutritious recipe that includes beans as a great source of protein. Prepare them ahead of time and refrigerate. Warm them in the morning to have a warm breakfast for the kids as they arrive to breakfast club. Serve with milk and fruit for a balanced breakfast.

Blackberry Breakfast Bars

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup – blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon – chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoon – maple syrup, pure
  • 15 ounce – cannellini (white kidney) beans, canned
  • 1/2 cup – applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup – coconut oil
  • 1 cup – oats, dry
  • 1 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/2 cup – almonds, sliced (depending on school allergies)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, squish a 6 ounce package of blackberries with a fork. Stir in 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup (the rest will be used later). Set this blackberry jam aside to congeal.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 325* F.
  3. Rinse and drain a 15 ounce can of white beans (cannellini or great northern). Add them to a blender or large food processor.
  4. To the blender or food processor, also add: 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, applesauce, melted coconut oil (or butter), rolled oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Blend until a batter forms.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of almonds and blend until combined, or just mix in if you want added texture.
  6. Pour 2/3 of the blender bean mixture into the prepared 8 x 8 inch pan. Spread it out evenly. You’ll want about 1 cup of batter set aside.
  7. Pour the blackberry jam on top of the bean layer and carefully spread evenly.
  8. Drop small spoonful’s of the set aside bean batter on top, covering evenly. Not all the blackberry jam will be covered and that’s okay. Optional: sprinkle extra almonds or oats on top for texture.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 325* F. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Cut into nine squares and serve cold or warm.

Recipe and Image sourced from: https://www.superhealthykids.com/blackberry-bean-breakfast-bars-recipe/

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

Food Safety at your KES Club!

Kids Eat Smart Foundation knows that safety is extremely important when handling food and aims to educate volunteers in food safety practices. All of our Regional KES Coordinators are trained with Food Safety and have the appropriate skills and knowledge to train volunteers in Food Safety practices.

Food Safety is the practice of proper handling and storage of food to prevent food borne illness. Food borne Illness is sickness caused by eating foods that are in some way contaminated. There are many things you need to do to ensure food is safe to eat.

Essential Steps to Food Safety:

  1. Handwashing
  2. Proper food handling/preparation
  3. Proper Food Storage

To prevent food contamination during preparation of meals at your KES Club:

  • Wash hands frequently – wash before, during and after food preparation. When you switch tasks in the kitchen wash hands. When dealing with raw meat wash hands frequently
  • Clean and sanitize food preparation surfaces and utensils before and after each use
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables well under running water and cut off any discoloured or bruised areas
  • Keep food at the appropriate temperature until it is ready to serve (cold foods less than 4°C and hot foods greater than 60°C)
  • Keep food covered as much as possible, especially if you are moving from one location to another (e.g. if food preparation area is separate from where food will be served)
  • Regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator to make sure it is less than 4°C
  • Store meats on the bottom shelf of your fridge to avoid cross contamination

Connect with your Regional KES Coordinator today if you have not received Food Safety Training with your volunteers.

For more food safety tips visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/topics/food-safety.html

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

Engaging Student Volunteers

Encouraging students to volunteer is a great way to get kids involved in our Kids Eat Smart Clubs.  Many students participate each day by helping prepare, serve and clean up our Breakfast Clubs. Many of our Clubs have students take a major role in running the club.  Allowing students to volunteer allow them to build many life long skills such as leadership, confidence, organization and responsibility. Our younger children are able to serve food and our older children are able to take on the responsibility of organizing menus, preparing specific recipes and developing volunteer schedules. Many of our older students are also able to build up volunteer hours they require to graduate. Another bonus is that they are able to complete our Food Safety Training presentation which gives them necessary food safety skills to be able to prepare and serve foods safely. Ask your students to assist in your KES Club today!

PWC students in Ms. Woolridge’s class put on their gloves and hairnets each day to help prepare breakfast for their schools KES Breakfast Club. Today they attended a  food safety training session with Janel….thank you, Ms.Woolridge’s class!

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

Banana Oat Baked French Toast

What could be more enjoyable then arriving at school to a delicious warm breakfast after slugging through wintery messy weather! For those schools that have access to an oven this recipe is a great one for you! You can also try this recipe at home.   Preparing items in bulk allows for easy service to a large number of kids.

Ingredients

  •  8 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  •  1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cooked oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Whisk eggs, milk, butter, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg together in a bowl. Stir bread cubes and bananas into egg mixture until coated; add oats to mixture and pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Recipe sourced from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/245145/easy-baked-banana-french-toast/ Image sourced from: http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2015/04/10/banana-oat-baked-french-toast/

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

Winter Fruit Salad

During this time of year access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables on a consistent basis can be hard. Bad weather for our Province can mean delayed boats, planes and trucks.  With these delays it sometimes leaves our grocery shelves looking bare. When access to fresh fruits and vegetables is an issue there are always frozen and canned alternatives to get us through.  If all of the fruit in this particular recipe are not available substitute for those that are. Peaches, pears, mandarins and pineapple are a common item found in the canned fruit section and are available all year round. Try this fresh salad at home or in your KES Club this week:

Winter Fruit Salad

  • 3 cups of cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup of peeled, quartered and sliced kiwis
  • 2 cups of mandarin orange or clementine segments
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Optional garnish: fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  • Place the pineapple, kiwi, mandarin oranges and pomegranate arils in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, honey and poppy seeds.
  • Pour the poppy seed dressing over the fruit and toss gently to coat.
  • Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

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

 

Sheet Pan Pancake Recipe

Sometimes standing over the stove and doing two pancakes at a time is not a great option for serving breakfast to a large group of kids at your Breakfast Clubs. This recipe is a great option for preparing breakfast in bulk, especially for a large group of people. Serving a warm breakfast on these cold winter mornings is an added treat for kids. Adding fruit and milk to the menu ensures kids are getting a balanced healthy breakfast. Try this recipe at home when entertaining a large group or at your Breakfast Club this week:

Sheet Pan Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup – butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup – milk
  • 1/2 cup – applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 large – egg
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 1 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt

Toppings:

  • 1/2 medium – banana
  • 1/2 cup – strawberries
  • 1/2 cup – blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425* F. Cover a 10×15 inch sheet pan in foil. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a microwave safe dish and brush half of it over the foil, coating evenly.
  2. In a medium bowl, pour the remaining half of the melted butter (2 tablespoons). Also add milk, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add this mixture to the wet mixture and mix just until combined.
  4. Pour the pancake batter into the prepared sheet pan and even the batter out. Top with half a banana, cut into thin slices, as well as 1 total cup of berries (we used half strawberry, cut into slices, and half blueberry).
  5. Bake for 13-14 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly risen and cooked through.

Serves 4. To serve 6, use a 17 x 11.5 sized sheet pan and make this recipe 1.5 times bigger.

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

Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet

Now that Winter is here having a warm breakfast at school makes KES Breakfast Club more important. Sitting around with friends enjoying a warm breakfast brings comfort to our kids. Try serving up this delicious Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet at your KES Club this year.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bar

Ingredients

Oatmeal:

    • 3 cups Rolled Oats (or Steel Cut or GF Rolled Oats)
    • 6 cups Milk (or Almond Milk or Water)
    • 1 teaspoon Salt

Oatmeal buffet toppings:

  • Fresh Fruit (Strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, frozen fruit, etc)
  • Nuts and Seeds (that are not allergenic in your KES Club)
  • Dried Fruits (Apricots, cranberries, raisins, coconut, cherries, etc)
  • Spices (Cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, vanilla, etc)
  • Vanilla yogurt or milk for some extra creaminess

Directions

  • Cook oatmeal according to package. Place ingredients in bowls with utensils and let students serve themselves, add toppings of choice and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: http://www.modernhoney.com/the-oatmeal-love-bar/

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

New Year = New Menu!

Happy New Year to all of our KES Club Coordinators and Volunteers!

The New Year means most of us are looking at our menus at home and at school to ensure we are making 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 want to make sure we are providing our kids with the healthy balanced meal they require to start their day off right.  Always  provide lots of fruits and veggies as well as milk and a healthy grain daily.

When we return to school let’s make sure we are serving the best menu we can. Check your menu’s to ensure you are serving a balanced breakfast that includes milk, fruit and a healthy whole grain!

For assistance with menu planning please contact your Regional KES Coordinator or call our office @ 722-1996.

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