Serving up a Variety of Healthy Foods!

We often get questions at Kids Eat Smart NL about what to serve and Club Coordinators looking for sample menus.  We like to keep our menus simple and offer variety as much as we can.  We follow the recommended servings as per Canada’s Food Guide. On our menus we like to see fruit and milk daily as well as a healthy whole grain. Keeping your menu simple but adding a variety keeps kids excited and coming back for more at your Breakfast Club. When planning your menu you always keep allergies, at your school, in mind. Below is a sample 2 week menu that has lots of variety but simple ideas:

Day Week 1 Week 2
Monday · Cheerios

· Milk

· Orange

· Waffle

· Yogurt tube

· Banana

Tuesday · Whole wheat toast

· Hard Cheese Cubes

· Apple slices

· Milk

· Shreddies

· Milk

· Canned fruit in juice

Wednesday · Oatmeal

· Milk

· Melon chunks

· ½ whole wheat bagel

· Apple

· Milk

Thursday · Whole wheat english muffin

· Strawberries

· Boiled egg

· Milk

· Whole wheat english muffin

· Hard cheddar cheese

· Blueberries

· Milk

Friday · Shreddies

· Milk

· Canned fruit packed in water

· Fresh fruit cup

· Yogurt

· Multigrain Cheerios with Milk

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

Grab & Go Menu Ideas

Sometimes our KES Club volunteers struggle with menu items they can easily serve, that are easy to grab and go and are nutritious. 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 sit down and enjoy it. Unfortunately, this ideal situation is not possible for all our KES Clubs. We have many fantastic menu items at our KES Clubs that kids simply grab-and-go.

Below are some helpful hints on ways you can serve fruit and vegetables for your “grab-and-go” KES 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 small cups so they are easy to carry.
  • Serving fruits such as bananas, apples and clementines 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 your KES 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.
  • Cheese cubes cut up and placed on a napkin are also a great grab-and-go option.

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

 

 

Restocking your KES Cupboards!

Many of our KES Clubs are busy preparing menus and restocking cupboards.  When planning and picking up your groceries for your KES Club you may want to make a list of “must haves”.  In addition to the food items on your menu, it’s also important that you have the following on hand to start fresh for the new school year:

    • Hairnets
    • Disposable gloves
    • Cleaning supplies
      • Dish detergent
      • Wash cloths
      • Dry cloths
      • Sanitizing solution (whichever one is recommend by your school)
    • Napkins
    • Disposable bowls, cutlery, cups (if you use this at your KES Club)

Good luck with your shopping, we look forward to visiting all of your KES Clubs again this year…see you soon!

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

Menu Planning is Key!

Getting back to school means getting organized.  Menu Planning and Shopping Lists are two key components to organizing your KES Club for this school year.  It’s a great idea to get the kids involved in Menu Planning for your Club.  You can ask them what healthy foods they enjoyed last year and what they would like to see this year.   You can use a copy of the weekly menu planner attached to start your menu planning today!

When planning KES Club menus, you want to see fruit and milk served daily and a healthy whole grain.  Serving fruit in a fun way is always a great idea to get kids excited about healthy eating.  Introduce smoothies as a fruit choice – it’s always a hit with the kids.  For assistance with Menu Planning or for some creative menu ideas, connect with your KES Regional Coordinator and stay tuned to our Nutrition Blog throughout the year for some healthy and creative recipes.

Sample Menu Template

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

 

Why is Breakfast so important?

We always hear “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and here at Kids Eat Smart NL we see why every school day.  When students are fueled with a healthy breakfast we can see the impact first hand how it affects a child.  Breakfast at our Kids Eat Smart Clubs are so important for many reasons….. proper nutrition is a critical component to healthy development, breakfast helps to ensure kids are able to concentrate in class and our Clubs provide a safe and nurturing environment to allow kids to socialize with their friends and teachers before the school day begins.

For more information on healthy eating and general nutrition questions you can access the newly launched Dial-A-Dietitian service  available to all residents throughout the province, people can dial 811 for free, confidential, and easy access to the trusted advice of a registered dietitian. Dietitians are available to speak with callers from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Dietitians are also able to respond to email inquiries. Your questions can be sent directly to a dietitian using the Dial-A-Dietitian link on the www.yourhealthline.ca website.

To ensure you are serving a balanced breakfast at home and at your Kids Eat Smart Club include at least three of the four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide.

Here is a Breakfast menu we use at our KES Clubs.  Remember Good Eating = Good Thinking!

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

Back To School Ready!

For most of us, back to school means back to a regular routine. When preparing book bags and closets for back to school don’t forget your child’s lunch box along with your fridges, freezers and kitchen cupboards. Here are a few tips to stock up and stay on budget with easy healthy items for breakfast, recess and lunch on those busy school mornings.

  • Prepare meals so that you have extra food on hand throughout the week. ie. make an extra batch of pancakes or French toast to freeze for breakfast, make large batches of soup or chili to freeze for lunches, and make large batches of pasta dishes with extra veggies to freeze for dinner.
  • Pick up bulk fruits and veggies: prep them when you return from the grocery store and put them in small baggies or containers so that they are ready to go for breakfast and snacks.
  • Purchase kid friendly (easy to open) containers for packing school lunches & recess.
  • When packing recess and lunch think – 2 food groups for recess and 4 food groups for lunch.
  • Ensure when packing lunches you keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

Try these few tips to be more prepared and organized for the school year to come.

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

Loaded Cucumber Cups!

Including vegetables with each meal and snack is so important. Vegetables are sometimes not the favorite when it comes to kids.  Serving veggies in fun ways can get children excited about them.  This is a great snack for kids as it also includes egg so we can be sure they are getting enough protein throughout the day. Eggs are a great source of vitamins, minerals and protein.  Having boiled eggs on hand is a great way to make recipes like Loaded Cucumber Cups quick and easy. Try this recipe at home this week:

Loaded Cucumber Cups

Ingredients

  • 4 large – egg
  • 2 medium – cucumber
  • 1/4 cup – mayonnaise, light
  • 1 teaspoon – mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon – paprika
  • 1 medium – carrot

Directions

1.Place eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Heat over high. Once boiling, turn off heat and allow eggs to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water, peel and place in a bowl to cool.

2.Meanwhile, cut cucumber into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces, removing the ends so that all pieces are able to sit on a flat surface. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the center of the cucumbers, enough to be filled.

3.Mash eggs with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and paprika. Fill cucumber cups with egg salad.

4.Peel and cut carrot into small sticks. Serve with cucumber cups.

Recipe & Image sourced from: https://www.superhealthykids.com/cucumber-cups-2/

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

All Veggie Nachos!

Summer snacks are always a big one for kids – from When is snack time? to What are we having for snack? It’s important to ensure kids are well nourished with all the fun summertime activities keeping them busy each day. Including fruits and veggies with snacks is key as it allows kids to get more servings of fruits and veggies in throughout the day.  A balanced snack includes 2 of the 4 food groups.  As kids are growing, snacks are that much more important.  This is a great snack to amp up your veggie intake this week:

All Veggie Nachos

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers (a combination of yellow, red and orange), seeded and cut into triangles
  • ¼ Cup light sour cream
  • 1 Teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced
  • ½ Cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Mexican blended cheese

Directions

  1. Place the bell pepper “chips” on a plate.
  2. Whisk the sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle the bell pepper “chips” with the sour cream sauce and the cucumbers, tomatoes, avocadoes, and cheese to form veggie nachos.

Crunch and enjoy!

Recipe & Images sourced from: https://www.thedailymeal.com/recipes/all-veggie-nachos-recipe

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

 

Egg Salad Pinwheel Wraps

Sometimes parents struggle with what to give kids for lunch at summer camp that’s quick, easy and healthy!  Eggs are sometimes forgotten about when it comes to a great source of protein.  From Canada’s Food Guide, eggs are a source of Meat & Alternatives and provide an excellent source of protein as well as many essential vitamins and minerals.  Boil eggs in advance and have them ready to pack in camp lunches in the morning.  Pinwheel wraps are always a great hit with kids as they are fun and easy to pack and prepare.  When your child gets to camp in the morning ask the councillor to refrigerate your child’s lunch.

Try this recipe this week for camp this week:

Egg Salad Pinwheel Wraps

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) light mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sweet relish
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 small flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Gently stir eggs with mayonnaise, relish, mustard, salt and pepper. Store, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
  2. Line each tortilla with lettuce leaf and spread egg salad over top. Tightly roll into a log, similar to a jellyroll. Cut each tortilla into 6 pinwheels. Package snugly, in an airtight container, so the pinwheels hold their shape.

Recipe and image sourced from: https://www.eggs.ca/recipes/egg-salad-pinwheel-wraps

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

 

Healthy Homemade Lemonade!

A simple glass of lemonade turned a child into a hero, a community into a giant and a province into a land where good prevails.   We think about the Denine family today and we think about Nevaeh’s friends at Goulds Elementary and send you our sincere and deepest condolences.   Today we honour one special little girl who has inspired the good in all of us by sharing this recipe for a healthy homemade lemonade.

Healthy Homemade Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Directions

  1. Blend or shake or stir all the ingredients to combine.
  2. Enjoy! Keep in the refrigerator.

Recipe sourced from: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/fruit-sweetened-lemonade/

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