Vitamin D in the Winter Months!

Calcium and Vitamin D are two main nutrients we all need in our diet for healthy growth and development, especially in children. Calcium helps us build and maintain strong bones and teeth, very important for growing children attending our clubs!  What many people don’t realize is that one of the main roles of vitamin D is to help absorb the calcium in our bodies from the foods we eat.  In turn, eating calcium rich foods can be of no benefit if your body does not have the vitamin D it requires to help you absorb it.  Since vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” and we live in a climate that we get limited sun exposure throughout the year, we may have to consume a little bit extra of those foods that are a good source of vitamin D.

We encourage all of our KES Clubs to serve milk daily but here are some other ideas to help ensure we are getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods in our KES Clubs, and at home.


  • milk, cheese, yogurt
  • fortified orange juice (labels will say this)
  • spinach, turnip greens
  • salmon, beans, almonds

Vitamin D:

  • milk, yogurt, eggs (specifically the yolk)
  • margarine
  • fortified 100% orange juice
  • pork, salmon, trout, tuna

Smart Snacking in School & On the Go!

Preparing snacks and having them ready to go makes healthy snacking easier for parents and children.  By having healthy snacks on hand, we are all less likely to snack on the more tempting items we may have in our cupboards.  The rule of thumb for smart snacking is to include 2 of the 4 food groups from Canada’s Food Guide.  This will help us meet the recommended daily servings each day.  Here are a few items to have stocked in your fridge, and cupboards, for quick and healthy snacking.  These are great items for recess and easy to grab so you can have them on hand for an after school snack.  Happy Snacking!

  1. Yogurt with berries
  2. Lean meats with pretzels
  3. Cheese cubes and fruit
  4. Apples and peanut butter (for at home if no allergies)
  5. Graham crackers & yogurt
  6. Cut up hard cheese and whole grain crackers
  7. Popcorn and fruit cup packed in water or 100% juice
  8. Frozen fruit for smoothies with yogurt
  9. Strawberries and whole grain cereal with milk
  10. Apple sauce cup with pretzels

Information adapted from:

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


Serving Fruit Daily in our KES Clubs!

Here at Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL we know the importance of including fruits and veggies with every meal.  Often times, it’s a struggle to ensure kids are getting enough fruits.  We encourage all of our clubs to serve fruit on a daily basis. This can be fresh, frozen or canned.  Serving fruit daily allows us to ensure we are getting the right amount of servings each day. Some kids are able to try fruit they may not have tried before. Many of our KES Clubs serve smoothies which is a fun way to serve fruit!  Try this smoothie recipe at your KES Club this week:

Triple Berry Smoothie

Serves 3 cups

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup red grapes
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries


  1. Place all ingredients into the blend until desired consistency, and serve.

Recipe adapted from: 

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

Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet!

Nothing says “Good Morning” like a warm bowl of oatmeal. We tried an Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet yesterday morning at one of our KES Clubs and it was a hit with the kids! All you need is a few simple ingredients, a stove top and some crock pots to keep the oatmeal warm while serving. Such a simple recipe brings a delicious warm breakfast on these cold “almost” winter mornings.

Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. The food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats. If you’re not eating oatmeal for breakfast, you’re missing out on a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to your body first thing in the morning.

To make sure you include at least three of the four food groups for your breakfast – top your oatmeal with fresh or frozen berries and enjoy a glass of milk on the side!

Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet 

  • Quick oats
  • Blueberries (frozen or regular)
  • Strawberries
  • Raisins
  • Honey

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quick oats and stir. Transfer quick oats to crock pots to serve and add milk as needed for consistency. Add toppings as desired. (follow directions on package for water and milk amounts for the quick oats).

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

Serving Milk Daily at your KES Club!

We encourage all our Kids Eat Smart Clubs to serve milk daily!  Milk on your menu is a great way to ensure students are getting the appropriate servings from Milk & Alternatives on Canada’s Food Guide.  We want to ensure a balanced breakfast is served each morning at our KES Clubs and this includes fruit, milk and a healthy whole grain.  Most of our KES Clubs are able to take advantage of the School Milk Program offered by The School Milk Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. The School Milk Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is a non-profit organization and their goal is to ensure milk stays available, and affordable, to the children in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are proud to partner with School Milk Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador throughout the school year.

Some clubs serve milk in their smoothies as a fun way to include milk on the menu.  Try this smoothie recipe at your club this week.

Blueberry Smoothie with Milk


  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup milk
  • Ice cubes


  1. Peel and chop banana into slices.
  2. Combine blueberries, banana pieces, 5 strawberries, milk in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add ice cubes in blender and blend again on high speed.
  4. Pour smoothie in glasses and serve.

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

Volunteering at Your Child’s KES Club!

We currently have 254 KES Clubs here in our Province, which are run by more than 6,200 volunteers each and every school day.  We know our KES Breakfast Clubs would not run without the support of these dedicated parents, grandparents, students, teachers, business’s and local community members. We encourage parent volunteers in all of our schools as it is a great way to start your day with your child. What could be better then volunteering side by side with your child in the morning. Usually duties would include:

    • Preparing toast, cutting apples, pouring milk
    • Serving breakfast to the kids
    • Cleaning up after breakfast

Connect with your child’s school and KES Club Coordinator today to get involved!  If mornings don’t work for you, shopping is another option as well as being involved with fundraising plans for your KES Breakfast Club.

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

Rainbow Pancake Tacos!

This fun recipe was featured in our November Recipe box and is a great menu item to try at your Kids Eat Smart Club this month.  We like to see fruit served daily at our KES Clubs and serving it in fun ways is a great way to get kids excited about healthy eating.  This recipe might just be a twist on the regular fruit and pancakes you serve regularly. Whichever berries or fruit you have on hand can work!

Rainbow pancake tacos
– Fruit of your choice (avoiding school allergies)
– Yogurt
– Pancake mix

Make pancakes as per your usual recipe. Fold pancakes and scoop fruit into center to create a taco shape. Pancakes hold their shape better if they are allowed to cool slighting in a folded position.

Adapted from: :

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

Homemade Applesauce!

The weather is changing which means mornings may be cold and gloomy, but what could be a better way to start your day then a warm homemade apple sauce?  With simple whole ingredients, you can make a delicious apple sauce from scratch.  This recipe could be an easy addition to your KES Club for cold fall mornings!

Homemade Applesauce 

    • 6 McIntosh or other tart apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 Golden Delicious or other sweet apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • ¼ cup water
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Combine apple pieces and water in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
  3. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the apples are very soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes.
  4. Mash the apples to the desired consistency and stir in cinnamon.
  5. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipe adapted from:

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