Kids and the Kitchen

The new Canada’s Food Guide was released this year. Unlike the previous food guide, the new food guide highlights the importance of how we think about food because “healthy eating is more than the food you eat”.  Healthy eating is also about why we eat and how we eat.  And the best way to enjoy what we eat is by surrounding ourselves with friends and family.

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner there will be many feasts with friends and family. Kitchens every where will be busy preparing special meals and baked goods.  And whether it is our home kitchen or our Kids Eat Smart kitchen that is buzzing with excitement, there is sure to be little chefs eager to help. So, roll up their sleeves, wash their hands, and let them dive in because there is no better way to teach children about healthy eating than to have them help in the kitchen.  It will also help them build their self-confidence, learn about cultural and family traditions, and explore new foods and flavours.

Here is a kid-created oatmeal cookie recipe that is a healthier alternative to many of the traditional oatmeal or chocolate chip cookie recipes that are out there.  It also has hints of Christmas spice; a taste of things to come.

Soft Oatmeal Raisin Delights


1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ cup softened butter

⅓ cup packed light brown sugar

1 Large egg

2 tbsp fancy molasses

1 ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 ¾ quick cooking oats

1 cup raisins

¾ cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)

1 ½ tsp vanilla


  1. In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and molasses until combined.
  4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and applesauce into the butter mixture (add 3 parts flour and then 2 parts applesauce).
  5. Stir in oats, raisins, almonds, if using and vanilla.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls (15 mL) onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.

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

The new Canada’s Food Guide can be found at

Hello Sunshine!

Sometimes all we need is a fun summer shape to get kids excited about eating a healthy snack.  If we have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand the possibilities are endless.  You can make whatever comes to mind and even get the kids creative minds to help make them.  The more colorful the plate the better.  When we ensure our kids are getting a variety of fruits and veggies each day we are providing them with so many essential vitamins and minerals that they need to grow.  Try a fun plate like this one today:

Hello Sunshine Snack


  • Yellow pepper
  • Red pepper
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Orange


  1. Cut peppers, celery and carrots in slivers to allow for letter shapes
  2. Slice kiwi for the letter O
  3. Cut pineapple in slivers for the rays of sun
  4. Slice orange for sun
  5. Place together as picture below and serve!

Image sourced from:

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

Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites!

Creative snacks are key to providing kids with enough nutrition on these long summer days.  This recipe is great for a hot summer day snack.  Most times kids are looking for a treat to cool down and these are ingredients you may already have on hand. You will need some time in the kitchen to prep these ahead of time. Try this recipe at home this week.

Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites


  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup blueberries


  1. Line a 10″ x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure the paper is larger than the sheet pan to create a lip up the edges
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine yogurt with vanilla extract and honey
  3. Spread the yogurt onto the baking sheet to create a smooth, even layer. Use the back of a spoon.
  4. Add blueberries
  5. Freeze a minimum of 3-4 hours. Must be frozen solid.

Slice into 9 pieces and enjoy! If it breaks apart – that’s ok!

Recipe adapted from:

Image sourced from:

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

Packing for Summer Picnics!

The key to packing a healthy picnic lunch is being prepared.  Think lots of fruits and veggies!  It doesn’t need to be complicated – it just takes a little prep work beforehand to get it together.  Wash and prep your fruits and veggies by slicing, chopping and placing in Tupperware containers.  You’ll also need a few ice packs to place in the picnic basket or lunch bag to keep things nice a cold.  The best thing is the kids will be so hungry they will gobble up pretty much anything you give them! Here a few simple ideas to pack for you next picnic:


  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon wedges
  • Honeydew melon cubes
  • Cantaloupe cubes
  • Apple slices
  • Orange slices


  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Cucumber slices
  • Sliced peppers or mini bell peppers
  • Snap peas
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Baby radishes
  • Guacamole or hummus for dipping

Protein Foods:

  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Boiled Eggs

Whole Grains:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain pita

Image and Recipe sourced from:

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

Fruity Frozen Yogurt Bites!

Kids are always looking for ways to cool down on these hot summer days.  This a fun recipe to get kids excited about a healthy treat.  Simple ingredients and a simple recipe.  Kids will be sure to gobble these up.  It’s important for kids to keep hydrated and nourished when playing in the sun all day long.  Try this fun snack this week:

Fruity Frozen Yogurt Bites


  • 5 containers (6 oz each) yogurt – choose a variety of flavors
  • 6 tablespoons each: raspberries, diced mango, diced pineapple, diced kiwifruit, blueberries


  1. Place paper baking cup in each of 30 miniature muffin cups. Spoon 2 tablespoons yogurt from each container into baking cups, filling 6 miniature cups from each container.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh fruit on top of each miniature cup of yogurt to match colors: raspberries on the strawberry yogurt, pineapple on the lemon burst yogurt, mango on the French vanilla yogurt, kiwifruit on the Key lime pie yogurt and blueberries on the mountain blueberry yogurt.
  3. Place muffin pan in freezer about 2 hours or until firm. Remove paper baking cups when ready to serve. Enjoy!

Recipe & Image sourced from:

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

Summer Salsa!

Over the summer months we sometimes have more time to prepare fresh recipes from scratch.  When preparing recipes from scratch, we can always control what we put in our foods.  Sometimes with processed items, there are added ingredients that increase the sodium, sugar and saturated fat content.  Preparing homemade items can allow us to control exactly what we have in our recipes.  Try this homemade summer salsa this week:

Summer Salsa

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans sweet white corn
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • pinch salt


In a large bowl, stir together corn, beans, onion and red pepper. Stir in rice wine vinegar, and season with salt. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.

Recipe & Image sourced from:

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


Fresh Summer Coleslaw!

With many backyard bbq’s and summer celebrations – salads are always on the list!  Rather than purchase pre-made salads, homemade salads allow you to control the ingredients you are using.  Sometimes pre-made salads are higher in saturated fat, sodium and sugar, all nutrients we want to try and limit in our diets.  Try this homemade coleslaw for your next backyard party.

Healthy Coleslaw


  • 3 cup coleslaw
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup vinegar, cider
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain, low-fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground


  • Add coleslaw mix to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, yogurt, salt and pepper. Add to veggies. Mix well to fully coat. Chill in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Recipe & Image sourced from:

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

Fruit Sushi!

With all the extra running around on these nice summer days, kids are more often looking for snacks throughout the day.  Ensuring we have healthy items on hand for snacks is key.  This is a fun and easy snack the kids are sure to love.  Get them in the kitchen for this one to help them prepare. When kids help prepare foods they are more likely to eat them.  Try this recipe this week:

Fruit Sushi


  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • sliced bananas
  • sliced strawberries


  1. Roll out slice of whole grain bread with a roller.
  2. Spread a think layer of cream cheese over bread.
  3. Slice bananas and strawberries thinly and place in center of bread.
  4. Roll bread like a sushi roll. Slice in 4 sections. Serve & Enjoy.

Image and Recipe sourced from:

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

Grilled Veggies on the BBQ!

Summer time families are looking to have something quick and easy for supper.  The kids are wanting to stay outside as long as they can, so a backyard BBQ is a great way to enjoy as much time outside as we can.  Veggies on the grill are a tasty and easy to cook.

You’ll need a piece of tinfoil and a handful of your favorite veggies to make a variety of delicious recipes all summer long. Try this easy recipe this week with your BBQ meal:

Cooking en papillote (veggies in tinfoil on the grill)

Take advantage of the frozen large vegetable mixes because they’ll cook more evenly.

What you will need :

  • Barbecue
  • Aluminium foil
  • ½ bag of your choice frozen vegetables
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil or butter
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • your choice of seasoning


  1. Put the vegetables on a rectangular piece of tinfoil.
  2. Add oil or butter, salt, pepper and seasoning, if using.
  3. Cover with a second piece of tinfoil. Seal tightly.
  4. Cook on the bbq preheated to medium-high or in the oven preheated to 450oF (230oC) for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables chosen.

Recipe & Image sourced from:

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

Don’t Forget The Veggies!

Vegetables are a great snack for the kids to enjoy.  We know veggies are more likely eaten by kids when offered with some kind of dip. Some dips that are great with veggies include ranch, sour cream and hummus.  This recipe is a fun twist on nachos – try this recipe with the kids for a fun movie night this summer!

All Veggie Nachos


  • 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 cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 3 tablespoons grated Mexican blended cheese


  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.
  4. Crunch and enjoy!

Recipe & Image Sourced from:

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