With school now in full swing, it’s time to talk brain food. As parents we know that one major role parent’s play on a daily basis is setting their children up for success – from helping them with their homework to ensuring they are receiving all the essential nutrients to keep their brains firing throughout the long school day!
As parents, we find ourselves working against the clock to get kids out the door, while ensuring they have a healthy lunch, and one they will eat too!
Grain Farmers of Ontario have teamed up with the Healthy Grains Institute and registered dietitian, Cara Rosenbloom, as a part of the Good in Every Grain program. A program geared to help fill lunchboxes across the province with healthy, balanced meals that the kids will have reason to be excited about.
Cara has created some delicious, simple and nutritional recipes that I am thrilled to share with you. The recipes are the perfect addition to your child’s lunch box, and provides the foundation for a well-rounded, healthy meal.
Did you know?
- Whole grain products provide great nutritional value. They contain fibre, B-vitamins and minerals that are necessary nutrients for growth and development.
- A balanced meal should include: whole grains, vegetables & fruit and protein.
- Cara recommends the balanced plate approach: fill your plate, or lunch box with: half vegetables or fruit, a quarter protein and a quarter whole grains.
- Get kids excited about their lunch by giving it a cool name & using bright colours.
- Grains are local: there are 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers right here in Ontario!
Whole Grain Pizzadillas with Tofu Ranch Dipping Sauce
These easy lunchbox fold-overs are a cross between pizza and quesadillas, and a great replacement when your kids get bored of sandwiches. Paired with the creamy tofu ranch dip and assorted vegetables, they’ll be a huge hit at lunchtime.
– 2 tbsp sodium-reduced tomato sauce
– 2 whole grain wheat tortillas (6 inch rounds)
– 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella or soy cheese
– 2 tbsp finely chopped sweet peppers
– 1 small mushroom, thinly sliced
1. Spread tomato sauce on one tortilla.
2. Sprinkle cheese, sweet peppers and mushrooms over sauce.
3. Top with second tortilla.
4. Cook in non-stick pan over medium heat turning over once until golden brown and cheese is melted, 4-5 minutes.
5. Let cool and cut into wedges.
6. Serve with tofu ranch dipping sauce.
Tofu Ranch Dipping Sauce
As a dip, dressing or sandwich spread, this wonderful condiment will soon become a staple in your fridge. With the piquant and savoury appeal of ranch dressing, kids will love to use it as a dip, and you’ll be confident knowing that unlike commercial dressings, it’s not high in calories,
fat or sodium!
– 12 oz. (350 grams) silken tofu
– ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
– 3 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
– ¼ tsp garlic powder
– ¼ tsp salt
– ¼ tsp pepper
1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth.
2. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
3. Serve with assorted vegetables for dipping.
Cara also has a wonderful recipe for the perfect Graniac Mediterranean Lunch Box. You can watch the video below to learn how to make a delicious soy hummus. Alternatively, I have also shared the recipe on the blog so you can reference it for later.
In this unique version of hummus, traditional sesame seed tahini is replaced with the equally “nutty” taste of soy butter. Bonus: it’s now school-safe for classrooms where nuts and seeds are restricted.
– 19 oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
– ¼ cup silken tofu
– ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
– 2 tbsp soy butter (such as Wowbutter)
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 tsp ground cumin
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– ½ tsp salt
– ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. In a food processor, add chickpeas, tofu, lemon juice, soy butter, oil, cumin, and garlic.
2. Process until smooth.
3. Add salt and pepper, adjusting to taste.
4. Serve with whole grain pita crisps and vegetables for dipping.
Whole Grain Pita Crisps
These crispy, whole grain, baked chips add super crunch to lunch and are perfect for dipping. Look for pitas made from whole grain whole wheat flour to boost the fibre and nutrient content of these crisps.
– 1 whole grain pita (6 inch), cut into 2 halves
– 1 tsp mild-flavoured oil, such as corn or soy
– 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. (previously on line 5)
2. Open the pita carefully so it does not tear.
3. Brush the inside of each half with oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garlic.
4. Cut each half of pita into 8 triangles using a knife or pizza cutter.
5. Bake about 7 minutes, or until triangles are golden and crispy.
For access to more great recipes and tip-based stories from Cara, check out the Good in Every Grain website.
Grain Farmers of Ontario would like to to give Domesticated Momma readers a chance to test out their great recipes and tips, so they have provided me with one Good Grain Lunch Box Bundle ($100 value) to giveaway to one lucky reader. This bundle includes:
- A new colourful & compartmented lunchbox
- A gift card to Metro grocery store ($50)
- WOW BUTTER, a delicious soybean –based alternative to peanut butter
- Good in Every Grain gear, including a folding water bag, buttons & kid shirts