- 1 cup (250 mL) of Mott’s Fruitsations Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 2 cups (500 mL) of large flake rolled oats, divided
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) of canola oil
- 2 tsp (10 mL) of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (5 mL) of ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp (2 mL) of salt
- ½ cup (125 mL) of chopped pitted dates (about 15 to 20)
- ½ cup (125 mL) of dried cranberries
1. Measure 1 cup (250 mL) oats into a food processor; process into oat flour.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Whisk apple sauce with egg, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add oat flour, whole oats, dates and cranberries; stir until evenly moistened.
3. Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop rounded portions of batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten tops slightly with the back of the scoop. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Makes about 18 cookies.
Tip: Stir in up to 1/4 cup (50 mL) nutritious, high-fibre additions such as flax, hemp hearts or chia seeds.
Many thanks to our partner for this delicious recipe!
- 1 cup (125g) Lulubelle & Co waffle mix (organic and gluten-free)
- ¾ cup (170 ml) milk or plant-based alternative
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 slice of Swiss cheese
- 1 large tomato
- Leaves of lettuce
- Salt, pepper and mayonnaise to taste
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the waffle mix together with the milk, egg and oil.
2. Preheat the waffle maker, pour the mixture in and cook for approximately 4 minutes. Makes 4 waffles.
3. Remove the waffles from the maker and place 2 on a serving platter (or 1 each on regular plates). Layer on the cheese, sliced tomato and lettuce, then salt and pepper to taste. Add mayo if desired. Top with the two remaining waffles.
Many thanks to our partner for this delicious recipe!
- 2-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 2/3 cup salsa
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 whole wheat flour tortillas (8 inches)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until heated through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Brush 1 side of tortillas with butter; place buttered side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture over half of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese.
- Fold plain side of tortilla over cheese. Bake at 375° until crisp and golden brown, 9-11 minutes. Cut into wedges & enjoy!
Advice from the On-the-Ground Experts at Deninu School, Northwest Territories
Oftentimes we hear that school breakfast coordinators want to introduce new, more nutritious foods to their menu, but they fear doing so because students are sometimes resistant to trying out new foods. That being said, there are ways around these obstacles, and we wanted to showcase a program who took on the challenge of introducing new, more nutritious foods in their program this year. The secret? Nutritious food can also be delicious food!
Meet Deninu School in Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories. Here, an inspired volunteer wanted to teach students that unprocessed and lightly sweetened, unprocessed, home-made foods can taste just as good (or better) than overly salted and sweetened processed foods. Some of the new foods introduced were egg frittatas, home-made granola, whole-wheat baking and bannock, baked potato wedges, veggies with home-made dips, and pancakes with pureed, frozen vegetables added to them. The school admits that in the beginning, the students felt the new foods tasted funny and were not sweet enough, but in very little time, their taste buds seemed to adjust and the kids quickly began enjoying them – especially when they saw older students or their peers enjoying them! Believe it or not, the veggies and home-made dip are now a program favourite at Deninu School!
So you are probably hoping for some tips on how to go about doing this in your program. Well, go no further! We asked Deninu School to help us out here seeing as they are the pros in this area:
- Serve and cut new foods into smaller portions for students to try. This way they fit into small hands, are less intimidating, and help to reduce waste.
- Make the names more interesting. When Deninu School introduced whole wheat French toast, they creatively called it ‘Quebec Pancakes’ which peaked student interest.
- Puree fruits and vegetables and add them to things like baking, pancakes, smoothies etc. If access to fresh produce is hard to come by – use frozen as a second choice, and canned (packed in water, not syrup), or preserved as a last choice alternative to fresh fruits and veggies.
- Accept that there will be some “whining” to start! Some students will be difficult and will try to get you to go back to the old foods. Deninu School’s advice is “you have to be a little thick-skinned and stick to the program”. Stay strong!
- Do bend a bit – sometimes the school will put out maple syrup, but they are starting to notice that the students are not using it much anymore.
We hope this story has inspired you to spice things up in the kitchen and introduce more nutrition into your programs. As we know, nutritious foods help students to focus in school and achieve success in life. Teaching and showing students healthier alternatives to delicious foods will help them to maintain health for years to come.
As always, please reach out to your Club Coordinator if you are looking to implement more nutritious foods into your program but are not quite sure how to start. We are always thrilled to hear from you!
Choosing the best nutritional options for your breakfast program can be tricky so that’s why we’re here to help! This month we are focusing on consuming whole fruits and vegetables rather than juice since they offer many more nutritional benefits than its counterpart, often containing added sugar.
On top of this, juiced fruit is:
- Not a whole food: in juice, the fruit structure has changed and chewing is not needed. Chewing is an important part of the digestive process leading to feeling full.
- Higher Consumption and Increased Sugar Intake: Did you know a cup of juice contains the same amount of sugar as a cup of soda?! Because juice is so concentrated you end up with a surprising high amount of both natural and typically sugars. Without the fibre of the whole fruit to help us feel full and help our body to balance blood sugar levels, we are left with a huge energy crash not long after drinking juice. Blood sugar spikes and crashes can negatively impact our body’s natural ability to know when it is truly hungry or full, which can often lead to overeating.
- Reduced Fibre: The skin and pulp of a whole fruit are viable sources of daily fibre, which are often removed during the juicing process. This reduces the nutritional value of the juice significantly, compared to whole fruit.
So while serving juice at your morning breakfast program is sometimes tempting, we encourage you to consider whole fruits as the more viable option! If fresh fruit is not as easy to access in your community, then frozen fruit is a great alternative and goes great in a morning smoothie! Canned fruit packed in water is another good option for when fresh fruit is not available (careful of added sugars here).
And as always, we are here to help if you have any nutrition questions or would like to brainstorm how to spice up your morning menu!
At this time of uncertainty across Canada, here are some tips for eating nutritious meals at low cost.
During this time, encourage children to get involved in planning and cooking of meals. It is a fun activity that passes the time and that can be a great learning opportunity!
- Plan your meals accordingly and only buy what you need. Work to plan your meals in advance, create a grocery list and only purchase what you need. This will limit mindless shopping at the grocery store. Check out the Dietitian’s of Canada Recipe E-book for easy, simple recipes.
- Aim for a balanced meal. Choose foods in accordance with Canada’s Food Guide. This means having all 3 food categories in every meal to ensure your meal is balanced and nutritious. Include fruits or vegetables, whole grains and a source of protein.
- Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen produce is usually just as nutritious. It is cheaper, readily available and usually sold in large bags. It can be used when cooking, making smoothies or as yummy toppings for oatmeal and yogurt.
- Choose different types of proteins. Dry or canned beans, canned tuna or salmon, tofu, nuts and grains are often cheaper and all great options to get adequate protein intake.
- Be creative with what you already have at home. Scan your fridge and cupboards to see what you have. Use apps or websites like SuperCook or My Fridge Foods to generate recipes based on limited ingredients. You’d be surprised at what you can use to create fun combinations!