Tuesday 26 February 2013

Coming Soon...

Coming up in less than a week it will be March. Not only is this the beginning of Spring, March is Nutrition Month. This is a chance for schools to highlight healthy eating, active living and promote the well being of your students. There are plenty of ideas to use this month long theme and reap the benefits of attentive, happy and healthy students.

  • Make announcements - get kids thinking about healthy eating first thing in the morning. Make questions and have the kids answer them each day, provide trivia or just interesting facts.
    • Examples:
    • "Bananas are eaten more than any other fruit in the world. There are over 500 types! If you eat a different banana every day, it would still take you almost a year and a half to try every type of banana. Enjoy them at meals or for a quick snack." (source: Healthy Schools Newsletter) 
  • Promote your nutrition programs - Promote the importance of healthy eating by encouraging kids to attend your breakfast or snack programs. Advertise a bring a friend day or have them invite their parents or grandparents to join them for breakfast
  • Try out a whole school campaigns - Raise awareness of Nutrition Month in the entire school with activities or challenges.
    • Examples:
    • Recipe Contest - students can submit their healthy recipes and finalists can prepare their recipes and students can sample and determine the winner.
    • Fruit and Veggie Challenge - have classrooms submit the serving of fruits and vegetables eaten each day to graph the results. The winning classroom could get a prize for most fruits and vegetables eaten during the month of March. 
  • Be sure to include information about Nutrition Month and any campaigns you are running in your school newsletter, website or outside on the signs.

  • Have your Public Health Nurses involved and get them to help with healthy eating campaigns or activities.
There are so many resources, lesson plans and ideas out there surrounding Nutrition Month - get creative and get your students to bust out of their winter blues with eating nutritious foods!

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Taste the Rainbow

We've all heard the Skittles version of Taste the Rainbow, but try your own twist on colourful eating with fruits and vegetables like they're doing at Victoria Public School.

Victoria Public School serves snacks to their entire school population three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Their snacks include nutritious fruits and vegetables, cheese and crackers, granola bars, fruit cups and breakfast bars.

During the month of February students will be eating their way through the Rainbow! Each Wednesday, students will be eating and dressing in colours of the rainbow. With the help of the Healthy Living Team, students are excited about getting their fruit and vegetable servings while staying stylish!

Yellow - Bananas
Orange - Oranges
Green - Grapes
Red - Apples

Four primary students show their love of the orange by dressing in their best orange clothes and getting ready to bite into the fruit.
Great work Vikings!

Monday 11 February 2013

Save with Coupon Christine

A friend of mine introduced me to Coupon Christine. If you have not stumbled upon this great site yet, I highly recommend you take a look.

She takes time to look through all the weekly flyers and find the best buys for produce and other groceries. So if you don't have the time to do that yourself, she does it for you! Here is the link to the week of Feb 8 - 14th. It is printable too.

There are also tons of great saving tips or coupons you can search. So if you're looking for a great deal, look here.


Tuesday 5 February 2013

Fantastic Flapjacks

On February 12th, people will be eating pancakes for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. It's Pancake Tuesday. This is a great opportunity to promote your nutrition program or use it as a fundraising opportunity.

Invite families, businesses or community groups to enjoy homemade pancakes with students throughout the school day. Have those that are able to attend donate $2 with funds to go toward your nutrition program.

Below I've included a recipe you can use. You can make this savoury or sweet, depending on what you're craving.

You can also cook the pancakes in a muffin tin. Add your favourite toppings such as: bacon, sausage, banana, blueberries, apples, etc.

Pancake Bites
Picture and recipe can be found here
Recipe taken from Skinny Taste

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
2 eggs
2 cups + 2 tbsp milk (2% or 1%)
2 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Don't overmix.

If using muffin tins: Spray the muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

If using a griddle: Heat to medium. Lightly spray and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. Flip when edges start to bubble. Makes approx. 14 pancakes.

These also freeze and reheat well.

Instead of syrup, serve the pancakes or pancake bites with fresh fruit or a yogurt topping.

*Remember that OSNP guidelines state:

- Pancakes be served one time per week or less.
- Only small amounts of butter or syrup be used, but not both

Monday 4 February 2013

Food of the Month

Trying to find fruits or vegetables every month that are available in Canada during the winter months can be a little difficult at times. There isn't exactly local fresh produce bursting at the seems this time of year. Thank goodness for greenhouses. Cucumbers are readily available all year round and are one of my favourite veggie snacks.

One of my favourite snacks as a kid was sliced cucumbers. They can be eaten plain or for a little extra tang, soak sliced cucumbers with viengar in a bowl. Add salt and pepper for taste. Yum!

Taken from Healthy Kiddo Snacks
Cucumbers are great in salads, wraps or sandwiches due to their mild flavour. Here are a few ideas for sandwiches using cucumbers:

Top a cracker with cheese and cucumber. Simple and delicious. Plus it includes 3 food groups!

Taken from Nabisco World
Another fun recipe to try with students would be making the "bread" the cucumber for sandwiches.
Slice a cucumber into rounds. Spread spreadable cheese or cottage cheese on one half of the round. Add toppings such as deli turkey meat, cheese or tomato. Top the cucumber round with another slice of cucumber. The fun of this snack recipe is kids could make their own with their favourite veggies or other toppings. Get creative!

Taken from Cooking with my Kid
Cucumber Boats - along the same lines as spreading celery with goodness, you can hollow out cucumber and fill the vegetable with cottage cheese or even greek yogurt.

Taken from Susie Freaking Homemaker

 Another great way to try cucumber is as Tzatziki.

This recipe was taken from Foodland Ontario

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Cucumbers, shredded and squeezed dry
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) granulated sugar
Salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients together.

Enjoy the dip with veggies or in a pita or sandwich instead of mayo or butter.

Picture from Foodland Ontario

Friday 1 February 2013

Fundraiser Friday

Happy February!

I cannot believe that January has flown by so quickly and we are already in the second month of 2013. It is important to keep promoting and making students aware of your nutrition program. If your school has a student council or student leadership group, get them involved. Have them make posters about healthy snacks, good nutrition and being active. Have them hold activities in support of your program. When students participate in these theme days have them donate a loonie or toonie to give to your nutrition programs. Examples could include:

- crazy hair day
- pajama day
- hat day
- school spirit day
- a dance
- movie night

All of these are simple ways to get small donations from your school community and perhaps generate greater support if you get the word out about your program.

Taken from University Heights