Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Breakfast Smiles

Today I am highlighting some wonderful volunteers over at Prince Charles Public School. Their breakfast program runs every morning, Monday to Friday from September to June from 8:30am to 9:00am. This is their 7th year in operation and it is so fantastic to see the community take part in serving nutritious breakfast and lunch to over 80 students. This year already they have served over 4500 meals to deserving students.

Dillon Consulting Group brings supplies and prepares breakfast twice a month. Rotary Club of London also prepares delicious pancakes once a month. 

Kudos to Martin, Muriel and Braam from Dillon Consulting for bringing breakfast smiles to students at Prince Charles.
Keep up the great work!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Brain Food

Health promotion is an important part of any nutrition program. Parents, teachers, volunteers and all those in education know how crucial it it to not only offer nutritious choices but to educate young minds about a healthy lifestyle.

The most recent issue of Professionally Speaking, the magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers featured 6 great resources called Appetite for Learning you can use in your school. These resources are highlighted below, along with some local suggestions you can use in your classrooms or schools.

This website features many tips and tools for teachers with K to 8 students. Sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, you can book free workshops, download resources for your classroom or find online games for students.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada offer free and ready to use presentations and resources for teachers you can download or order. Who doesn't love free stuff?

Teaching kids how to grow and prepare food for themselves is an important part of healthy eating. There are organizations that will come into your classroom free of charge to get kids excited about cooking and eating healthy foods. 
Active Chefs - this program is for students in Hamilton, Peel and Halton.
Growing Chefs - this program is based in London and offers a variety of programs for different grades.

The Ministry of Education offers tips and tools to help make your school healthier. There is also information on a pilot project called Eating Well Looks Good on You. In partnership with the Food Network's David Rocco, Real Food for Real Kids and Foodland Ontario, this program delivers nutritional recipes using fresh locally grown food. Check out some of the recipes here.

Eat Right Ontario has developed Bake it Up - a collection of healthier recipes for bake sales. Use these recipes for fundraisers or try them at home.

Andrea Curtis, a Toronto based writer has written a book titled What's for Lunch? How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World. Her website also features teaching tools within the Ontario curriculum.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Food of the Month

This month Apples for the Teacher, is highlighting a "Pearfectly" delicious fruit. This fruit is in season right now and the most popular in Ontario is the Bartlett. Have you guessed it yet?

That's right, it's the pear!

Pears are a great fruit to eat raw but also cook or bake nicely. If you don't like the skin, don't peel the pears until you are ready to eat or use. Here are some pear themed recipes I've rounded up that would be great to use to introduce students to trying pear if they haven't before.

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 Try slicing a pear and serving it with cottage cheese for dipping. The cottage cheese or soft cheese can also be spread on a cracker and topped with a pear slice.

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Halve a pear and core it.
Mix together chopped nuts, seeds, cereal or trail mix with honey.
Spoon the mixture into the hollowed out pear.

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Thinly slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 2.5 or 3 hours at 200 degrees F. Feel free to season the pear slices with your favourite seasoning like cinnamon or nutmeg.

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 Using a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle your favourite kind of cheese. Cover the cheese with pear slices. Roll up the tortilla and eat as is, or microwave until the cheese melts. Cut the rolled tortillas into slices to serve.

Pear Salsa
Recipe adapted from: Foodland Ontario

  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  • 1 Sweet Orange Pepper, diced
  • 2 firm but ripe pears, cored and diced
  • 2 tbsp Red Onion, minced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (approx)
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In bowl, combine tomato, orange pepper pears, basil or cilantro, red onion, oil, vinegar and seasoning. Serve with pita chips or on top of crusty bread for bruschetta.