Fun Fruit and Granola Cups

These delightful little fruit and granola cups are a great addition to a backyard party or a picnic in the park.  These are great for little fingers and serving fruit in fun and creative ways gets kid excited about healthy eating.  These cups are a great way to introduce new fruits to kids – have kids help prepare and sprinkle on different selection of fruits they may like!

Fruit and Granola Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if needed, not quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons natural smooth almond butter
  • your favorite yogurt (for filling, 2-3 tablespoons per granola cup)
  • chopped/sliced fresh fruit (for topping)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Lightly grease 9 muffin cups in your muffin pan. Parchment liners can also be used.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, add rolled oats, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon, and salt; mix together.
  4. Add maple syrup and almond butter to a small pot on low heat. Whisk together until warm and both ingredients are runny and have combined together. You don’t want the mixture to be hot, just warm.
  5. Add almond butter mixture to oat mixture and stir to combine. Be sure the all of the oats have been coated with the wet mixture.
  6. Divide mixture evenly among the 9 muffin cups. Using a small piece of parchment paper, press oat mixture into the bottom and up sides of each muffin cup. The mixture does not have to come all the way up the sides of the muffin cups. Be sure that there are no gaps or holes on the bottoms.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and crisp.
  8. Allow granola cups to cool completely in muffin pan.
  9. Once cooled, carefully remove by using an icing spatula or a butter knife. Do this gently to avoid having the granola cups crumble.
  10. Fill with your favorite yogurt and top with the fruits you have on hand.

Recipe and Image sourced from: Fruit and Yogurt Granola Cups – Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Recipes (delightfuladventures.com)

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian.

Carrots with Homemade Veggie Dip

Carrots are one of the top five crops grown here in Newfoundland and Labrador with the others being potato, turnip, cabbage, and beet.  Carrots are a source of fibre and vitamin C. They are also high in beta-carotene, which your body can turn into vitamin A.  Vitamin A is important for normal growth and development.  It also keeps your eyes, skin, and immune system healthy.

Local fresh raw carrots are delicious on their own or paired with a homemade veggie dip.  Here is a delicious one for you to try.

Homemade Veggie Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise made with olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl and store covered in refrigerator.
  3. Serve cold with fresh vegetables.

Recipe and image sourced from https://www.rachelcooks.com/dill-vegetable-dip-skinny/

Lori Warford-Woolgar, MSc, RD is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Blueberry Coconut Bark

Newfoundland and Labrador is known for its delicious wild blueberries.  Many of you may have secret locations where you pick blueberries each year.  Blueberries are a source of fibre and vitamin C, and are the highest in antioxidants among the most commonly eaten fruits and vegetables.  Antioxidants help protect your cells and reduce disease risk. This simple Blueberry Coconut Bark recipe is super healthy to make with your freshly picked, tasty blueberries.

Blueberry Coconut Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped pistachios

Directions:

  1. Blend coconut and coconut oil in a food processor or high-powered blender for 5-7 minutes until smooth.
  2. Scoop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and press down, so that it’s smooth. It should fill up about 1/2 of the cookie sheet.
  3. Lightly press fresh blueberries and chopped pistachios into the bark.
  4. Put in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours. Break apart into large chunks for serving.

Recipe and photo sourced from https://www.blueberrycouncil.org/blueberry-recipe/blueberry-coconut-bark/

Lori Warford-Woolgar, MSc, RD is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Strawberry Watermelon Slushie

Kids are always wanting something cool and refreshing during those hot summer days.  Corner store or restaurant slushies are usually packed with sugary syrup.  Opting to make homemade slushies allows you to control the ingredients and create a healthier option.  Just add frozen fruit and a few simple ingredients.

Strawberry Watermelon Slushie

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place first 3 ingredients in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Add ice; process, covered, until slushy. Serve immediately.

Recipe and image sourced from: Strawberry Watermelon Slush Recipe: How to Make It | Taste of Home

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian.

Raspberry-Banana Breakfast Taco

Sometimes it’s a struggle with kids to know what to serve for breakfast. Serving something fun like this breakfast taco can get them excited about a healthy option.  Serve this for breakfast on a regular morning with the kids or at a special backyard brunch!

Raspberry-Banana Breakfast Taco

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:

 Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, canola oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

  1. Preheat a griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease griddle. Pour batter by 1/2 cup measurements onto griddle; cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown. Turn; cook until second side is golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese and yogurt. Spread over pancakes; top with banana and raspberries. Fold up

 

Recipe and image sourced from: Raspberry-Banana Breakfast Tacos Recipe: How to Make It | Taste of Home

Kristin Hedges is a Registered Dietitian.

Food – Bringing us Together

As March draws to a close and Nutrition Month 2020 ends, I thought it fitting to reflect on this year’s nutrition month theme – MORE THAN FOOD. This theme was meant to get us thinking not only about the food we eat but about how and why we eat.  Food is often what brings us together.  As we now spend more time at home with our family, more than ever we are planning, preparing and eating together.  And if you are not able to physically be with those who are closest to you, you may be doing it all virtually.

As you go about your day in the kitchen, I hope you remember all the great teaching moments you can have with your children.   Most of all, I hope you enjoy spending time with your children, sharing old memories and creating new ones.  Attached is a picture of my son, Dylan, who made these easy no-bake energy balls that are not only nutritious but incredibly delicious.  On the other side of the kitchen, my daughter, Emma, and I were busy making chocolate chip cookies.  All things in moderation, I say.  All things in moderation.

Energy Balls

Ingredients

1 cup raw whole almonds

1 cup peanuts

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup raisins

2 Tbsp Pure maple syrup

1 Tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse together almonds and peanuts until they are finely ground.
  2. Add dates, raisins, maple syrup and cinnamon; pulse until thick sticky dough forms.
  3. Using a tbsp roll mixture into balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until they are chilled.

These energy balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

This recipe has been used with permission from Dietitians of Canada.  Get easy to understand information on food, healthy eating and disease prevention along with award-winning recipes at www.unlockfood.ca.

Cooking – A Skill for Every Age

The age of your child will determine what they can do to help in the kitchen.  Matching their skill level with cooking duties will help instill a sense of pride and accomplishment.  It is also a great way to teach them about nutrition and food safety.  It also provides an opportunity to teach subjects, such as language, math, and science, jut to name a few.  Check out our last blog Family Fun in the Kitchen to find out more.

Here are how cooking skills are broken down by age.

Four-year-olds can:

  • Wash fruits and veggies
  • Stir ingredients in a bowl
  • Help you pour liquids
  • Tear lettuce
  • Grease pans
  • Open packages

Five to six-year-olds can:

  • Chop fresh herbs with child-friendly scissors
  • Cut soft foods with a dull knife
  • Toss salads
  • Measure ingredients
  • Set the table
  • Peel oranges and soft-boiled eggs
  • Open packages
  • Stir cake and muffin mixes

Seven- to eight-year-olds can:

  • Pour muffin and cake mix into pans
  • Spoon and shape cookies
  • Beat ingredients with a whisk
  • Mash potatoes or other vegetables
  • Make sandwiches
  • Find ingredients in the cabinet

Nine- to 12-year-olds can:

  • Open cans
  • Use the microwave
  • Prepare kid-friendly recipes
  • Shred cheese
  • Peel vegetables
  • Use an oven with supervision
  • Use a knife with supervision
  • Stir sauces
  • Help with clean up
  • Help with meal planning

Breakfast preparation is a great place to start teaching, as there a many simple yet healthy breakfast recipes to pick from.   Here is a breakfast burrito recipe my family enjoys making and eating, regularly.

Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients

2  Eggs

1 Tbsp Milk

2  Green onions, chopped

½  Red or green bell pepper, diced

Pinch each salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Shredded cheddar cheese

2  Small whole wheat tortillas

 

Directions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in onion, pepper, salt and pepper
  2. Spray a small non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium low heat. Pour egg mixture into skillet and as egg begins to set, use a spatula to gently push cooked portions to the centre. Tilt pan to allow uncooked eggs to flow into empty spaces.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese and cook for 1 minute or until eggs are set and cheese is melted.
  4. Divide egg in two and place each half onto a tortilla. Roll up to enjoy.

This recipe has been used with permission from Dietitians of Canada.  Get easy to understand information on food, healthy eating and disease prevention along with award-winning recipes at www.unlockfood.ca.

Family Fun in the Kitchen

Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, cooking with your kids can be a fun-filled way to spend quality time together.  It also provides great teaching opportunities.  From the science of baking soda to the social importance of working together to achieve a common goal, cooking is MORE THAN FOOD.

Here are some other teaching moments for the kitchen.

Health: What makes a balanced meal or snack?

Language: How do you read a recipe or write a grocery list?

Math: How do you measure ingredients and work with fractions?

Science: What will happen when you boil an egg or make bread?

Social studies: What food is grown in Canada and around the world?

Food skills: How do you stir, chop, knead, pour and scoop?

Social skills: How can we work together, take turns and share utensils?

Try this simple and delicious breakfast quesadilla recipe that received 2nd place in a kid’s recipe challenge.  Happy cooking!

Breakfast Quesadilla

Ingredients

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 whole wheat flour tortilla

2 Tbsp diced red sweet pepper

2 Tbsp shredded applewood smoked cheddar

Directions

  1. Spray small non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add egg and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes or until large curds set. Remove from heat.
  3. Lay tortilla on work surface and spread scrambled egg over half of the tortilla.
  4. Sprinkle with pepper and cheddar. Fold over tortilla to cover.
  5. Heat non-stick skillet over medium low heat and toast quesadilla, turning once for about 2 minutes or until golden on both sides.
  6. Cut in half to enjoy.

 TIP

You can add some more colour and veggies to the quesadilla by chopping 1/2 cup of baby spinach leaves and stirring it into the eggs while cooking or sprinkling it over top of the peppers before toasting the quesadilla.

This recipe has been used with permission from Dietitians of Canada.  Get easy to understand information on food, healthy eating and disease prevention along with award-winning recipes at www.unlockfood.ca.