Friday 28 September 2012

Metro Green Apple School Program

Do you like healthy eating?
Want a chance to win $1000?

If you answered yes to the above questions, this is for you!

Submit an idea aimed at promoting healthy eating before December 31, 2012 to Metro Green Apple School Program and you could win!

Please click here for more information. Good luck!

Thursday 27 September 2012

Thermos Product A Day Giveaway

 Thermos Product a Day Giveaway 

You can enter once a week until October 4th, 2012 for a chance to win one of 31 prize packs. Each prize pack is valued at $54. 94 and includes:

  • one copy of "freshalicious®: think fresh * live local * eat healthy"
  • one Thermos® vacuum insulated stainless steel food jar
 Click HERE to enter. Contest closes October 4, 2012.

Monday 24 September 2012

Keeping it Fresh

To get the most out of the fruit you buy here are some tips to keep them fresh, crisp and juicy. Nobody likes it when fruit goes bad. I've included a list of fruits that are best kept in the fridge and how long they should be able to last once they are ripe. Remember these are just guidelines, use your best judgement.

  • Apples 3 - 4 weeks (*Apples cause other fruits/vegetables to ripen faster. Keep them separate)
  • Blueberries 1 - 2 weeks
  • Grapes 5 - 7 days
  • Mango 5 - 7 days
  • Melons 7 - 10 days
  • Nectarine 3 - 5 days
  • Oranges 2 - 3 weeks
  • Peaches 3 - 5 days
  • Pineapple 3 -5 days
  • Plums 3 -5 days
  • Strawberries 3 -5 days
  • Watermelon 2 weeks
Some fruits need to ripen first on the counter before they should be placed in a fridge. These include mangoes, melons, nectarines, peaches, bananas and plums. 

Most fresh fruit lasts longer if you keep them in their original packaging. There are now plastic bags and special containers with vents to help keep fruit fresh longer. They work great for grapes, blueberries, cherries or strawberries.

Another option is to freeze fruit. Frozen fruit is great to use in recipes for smoothies or muffins. Most fruit will last in the freezer for up to 1 year.

For more information on keeping your fruit fresh visit Eat Right Ontario.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

This is Egg-cellent

World Egg Month is in October and is fast approaching. I wanted to share with you a great opportunity for your class to 'egg-sperience'. Egg Farmers of Ontario have an exciting chance for you to win a visit from an egg farmer to your class and learn about all things egg! With all the negative attention that eggs have been getting as of lately I think it's important to shed some light on the world of egg farmers.

You can learn more information here and enter the contest.

Good luck!

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Do you know the Muffin Man?

Yes, I do know the muffin man and he LOVES this recipe I'm about to share with you. I found this recipe from the Foodland Ontario website. It was simple to make and it's a great breakfast treat. I made it last night and it received great reviews from some tough critics and was a hit in the office. If you have the facilities at your school I highly recommend this one!

*Note: After making these muffins I think applesauce in the place of the eggs would be amazing. I've included the recipe with this substitution. If you wish to use the original please click the link above or below.

Happy cooking (and eating!)

Apple Crumb Spice Muffins 

(adapted from: Foodland Ontario)

  • Protein: 4.0 grams
  • Fat: 8.0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 32.0 grams
  • Calories: 218
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 16 - 20 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

    Spice Crumb:
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 5 tsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil

  • Batter:
  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ground ginger
  • 2 medium Ontario Apples
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) vegetable oil

Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or spray using nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Spice Crumb:
In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in oil just until mixed. Set aside.

In medium bowl and using whisk, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and ginger until well mixed.
In large bowl, whisk together apple sauce, yogurt and oil until blended; stir in flour mixture just until combined. Core apples and peel; chop into pieces no larger that 1/2-inch (1 cm).
Fold apples into mixture until evenly distributed. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with spice crumb. Bake in 375 F (190 C) oven until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, 16 - 20 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or let cool completely on rack.
(Muffins will keep stored in airtight container for a couple of days.)

Caution: These will disappear quickly. You may want to double or even triple the recipe!

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Let's Get Saucy

Since the apple is the food of the month for September, I took it upon myself to do a little product review of a delicious, simple and beloved treat by many - Apple Sauce.

The grocery list has some different brands of apple sauce I thought I would compare and let you choose the winner. Although, I'm not sure there is a clear winner in this instance.

 As you can see, these products are identical. They are also approximately the same price. They both taste great. Not too sweet and you taste the apple. Each can be purchased as shown above in individual portions or in a large jar.

In this case, I would give the PC brand the edge only because it is available in a variety pack of individual portions. This is usually the most cost effective approach - buying in bulk. Both brands are available in different flavours. The PC brand is available in Apple, Apple-Cinnamon, Apple-Mango and Apple-Strawberry . The Our Compliments brand is available in Apple, Apple-Cinnamon, Apple-Raspberry, Apple-Blueberry, Apple-Strawberry, Apple-Field Berry and Apple-Peach.

PC Products are available at:
No Frills
Real Canadian Superstore
Valu Mart

Our Compliments Products are available at:
Price Chopper

However, if you prefer homemade apple sauce (who doesn't?). Here is a great recipe you can quickly do in the slow cooker. Try making this with a class of students. They love being involved and your classroom will smell great as this cooks!

Crock Pot Apple Sauce (adapted from

Servings: 12 • Size: 1/4 cup Calories: 65.9 • Fat: 0.2 g • Sodium: 0.6 mg • Fiber: 2.8 g • Sugar: 12

  • 8 medium apples (Use your favourite kind or a variety.)
  • 1 strips of lemon peel - use a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water (or more)
  • 3 inch cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp)
  • 5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked) (or less)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Peel, core, and slice the apples. Chop the apple slices into smaller pieces to cut down on cooking time.

them in the slow cooker.
the cinnamon, lemon, water, vanilla (if using) and brown sugar.

crock pot to low and cook for 4-5 hours.
apples occasionally, apples will slowly become a delicious applesauce. 
cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Mash the apples or use an immersion blender or hand mixer to
until smooth.
Makes 3 cups.

This apple sauce can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for several months!


Monday 10 September 2012

Benefits of a Nutrition Program’re thinking about starting a nutrition program? Great! 
There are a lot of benefits to having a breakfast, lunch or snack program. Yes, nutrition programs can be a lot of work. On top of your already hectic life schedule, you have to find volunteers, shop for healthy groceries, report on your programs and do prep work. Wait! Before you go running for the hills, you need to know, there has been TONS of research to support the benefits of such a program. Please consider the following: 

  • In Ontario, about 20% of students go to school without having eaten breakfast (Dairy Farmers of Ontario, 2010). 
    • Children who feel hungry result in lower math scores and are more likely to be absent and tardy (Breakfast for Learning, 2011). 
    • Students who eat morning meals at least 3 days a week achieve higher grades (Feeding our Future, 2011). 
  • There are a variety of reasons children may come to school without having eaten. Including dual working parents, involvement in early morning extracurricular, long bus rides, oversleep, financial problems or they simply aren’t ready to eat in the morning. 
    • It is essential for all students to have access to a healthy breakfast or snack. This is why OSNP programs are universal. 
  • According to Statistics Canada, one in four Canadian children is overweight or obese. Obesity results from a variety of things. Among those are junk food, genetics and inactivity. 
    • Consistent consumption of breakfast and nutritious snack choices results in better overall health including a lower BMI and lower likelihood of obesity in the short and long term (Breakfast for Learning, 2011). 
Starting a healthy nutrition program in your school could be a first step to improving the lives of well-deserved children.

The Ontario Student Nutrition Program (OSNP), along with many other programs across Southwestern Ontario provides assistance and opportunities for students to have greater access to nutritious food. A healthy and nutritious start to a student’s morning can make all the difference. As well as getting the proper nutrients to fuel their bodies throughout the day with healthy snacks. 

The math is simple. 
Benefits > Drawbacks


Wednesday 5 September 2012

Something to think About

Kristy Duncan (MP for North Toronto) wrote an article on the need for a Canada wide school nutrition program. Despite Canada being a developed country, our students do not have access to a pan-Canadian nutrition program.

Her article highlights some of the statistics for the Toronto area but all over Canada students are in need of proper nutrition. In London and Middlesex area, students have snack or breakfast programs to ensure they are fully fed. In the 2011-2012 school year, London and Middlesex programs funded by the Ontario Student Nutrition Program fed on average 7,260 students daily. There were 73 schools that received this funding and over 1,000,000 meals were served. These 73 schools are only a small percentage represented of the school population. Nutrition programs could not be possible without the dedication and generous donations from other organizations. These include, but are not limited to, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, Breakfast for Learning, The Maycourt Club and other community business and members.

These organizations work together to provide our youth that are not only hungry but need access to healthy choices. All of these donations could not be put to use without the tireless efforts of hard working volunteers. In our area, volunteer commitment added to over 20,000 hours! The stigma that nutrition programs are for the poor is an old-fashioned view. We all need food and these programs help students make smart and nutritious choices.
    Please take the time to read Kristy Duncan's article here and leave comments. It is important for us all to realize this is not a cost but an investment in our children's future.

    Monday 3 September 2012

    Fall Into Autumn

    Every month I will be highlighting a fruit or vegetable including recipes and snack ideas. Using the Food of the Month for inspiration, why not try these for your own program to get the students enthusiastic about trying new fruits or vegetables. 

    For the month of September, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the fruit of the month is the APPLE!

    I'm sure we’ve all heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Some of the many health benefits (highlighted above) prove that apples are not only a tasty snack but great for us! So dig in and make a crunch today.
    You know you want to...

    Wash and enjoy apples as is or try these fun snack ideas for your home or your nutrition program.

    To keep cut apples from going brown, use an elastic to hold the apple together.  

    (Taken from 

    Top Triscuit crackers with a slice of  cheddar cheese and an apple slice.
    (Adapted from

    Cut apples into slices and cheese into triangles. Assemble into a sailboat using toothpicks.
    Adapted from

    Cut apples into slices and slice grapes in half. Use toothpicks to assemble into a car!
    (Adapted from
     Be sure to check back this week for a great recipe. Trust's office approved!