by Karin LaRonde
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studies have shown that good nutrition helps keep children focused,
their energies high, and their moods balanced, all of which are
factors that promote learning. The day should begin with a quick
(take-along if necessary) breakfast, move into a nutritious lunch,
offer up an energy-packed after-school snack and round out with
a well-balanced dinner. Smoothies and shakes are a nutritious
and quick was to start the day.
Muesli is a super-nutritious and quick start to the day...
2 cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons wheat bran
¾ cup nugget cereal
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
½ cup raisins or dates
1 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, apples, papaya)
½ cup chopped nuts or seeds (pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts,
almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds)
all ingredient in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight
container for up to 4 weeks. To serve place 1/3 cup of muesli
in a bowl and add ½ cup milk, yogurt, soyamilk or applesauce.
Stir and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
DATE BREAKFAST BARS
Sneak in some Beta-carotene with some carrots
¾ each unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup dates
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrot
oven to 350 . In large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon
and baking soda. Stir in dates. In a separate bowl, whisk together
eggs, sugar and oil. Stir in carrot. Pour over dry ingredients
and stir until combined. Spread into greased 8x8 square pan and
bake for 40 to 45 minutes Let cool on rack before cutting into
time to start thinking about packing school lunches again. This
ordeal always presents a challenge for parents and kids alike.
Parents want to provide their kids with nourishing meals that
will keep them healthy and thriving through the afternoon. Kids
want to bring lunches that will be the envy of all their friends,
and that they can eat quickly enough to have some time left over
for the playground. Perhaps if kids and parents prepare the lunches
together the food may actually be consumed at lunch time. (Although
we can't guarantee by whom.) Most kids love "interactive"
food: dipping fruit, vegetables, crackers or bread in sauces and
spreads; assembling miniature cheese and cracker sandwiches; or
making tiny fruit kebabs on toothpicks. Give them some choices
from each food group, and allow them to mix and match for a nutritionally
balanced lunch. Here are a few suggestions: Fruits and vegetables
should be small and easy to eat, like grapes, cherries, small
plums, blueberries, melon cubes, baby carrots, cucumber slices,
bell pepper wedges and lightly steamed broccoli florets. Beyond
sliced bread, try crackers, pita bread, corn bread, muffins, baked
tortilla chips, mini bagels, tortillas or even pasta salad. For
protein, there's good ol' peanut butter, but the kids might also
enjoy hummus, bean dip, sliced cheese, yogurt, cold cuts, tuna
salad, egg salad or a thermos full of chili.
serving tuna, egg or chicken salad, mix in shredded carrots, apples,
zucchini, bell peppers, raisins, nuts-anything to add nutrition
and fiber without adding lots of empty calories. With such a hearty
and nutritious lunch that you know your kids will love, you can
even feel good about slipping a cookie or a brownie into the bag.
School lunch will never be boring again!
BRAN CHEDDAR MUFFINS
These tasty muffins can feed hungry appetites any time of day
1 cup whole bran cereal
1/4 cup milk
1 cup peeled, cored and sliced apple
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
oven to 375 . Grease one 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper
liners. Combine the bran cereal, milk and apples. Mix well. Beat
in the vegetable oil and egg. Combine the flour, baking powder,
salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. Make a well in the center and
stir in the wet mixture. Add the shredded cheese and mix until
just moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for
15 to 20 minutes.
FRUIT & NUT BREAD
Double this recipe and freeze one for later
¾ cup quick cooking oats
1 ¼ cups low-fat buttermilk
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried fruit of your choice ( raisins, cranberries, currants,
½ cup pecans
oven to 325 . Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium sized
bowl. Mix well and set aside. Combine the flour, brown sugar,
baking powder and soda in a large bowl and mix well pressing out
any lumps. Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and stir until all
ingredients are moistened. Fold in fruit and nuts.
grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan. Spread batter in the pan and bake
for 40 or 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Turn
the loaf onto a wire rack and cool before slicing.
LaRonde at 675-3197 operates "Eat Well" and can be found
at the Charlottetown Market on Saturdays.
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