Friday, May 27, 2011

Whole Grain Wednesdays- Recipe Finder

Happy Friday everyone!  Since I have been posting new whole grain recipes every Wednesday, I thought today that I would make a list of links to all of the recipes in case you missed any:

Rachel's Banana Bread

Mexican Bulgur

"Fried" Green Rice

Toasted Cheese Logs

Quinoa Salad

Cranberry Wild Rice Salad


Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Granola Cookies

Oatmeal Banana Waffles

What's your favorite whole grain?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whole Grain Wednesdays: Oatmeal-Banana Waffles

Today's recipe features the whole grain oats!  Oats are a great grain, because they not only have the benefits found in all whole grains , but they also contain a special type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan.  Research has shown that eating beta-glucan can help you lower your blood cholesterol levels.  Beta-glucan is also beneficial for people with diabetes because it can help stabilize blood sugar levels. 

I like this recipe because it is quick, easy and delicious!

Oatmeal-Banana Waffles (adapted from Potpourri magazine)
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups water
1/2 banana, peeled
2 Tablespoons powdered milk
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend all the ingredients in a blender on high until smooth.  Heat a waffle iron on high until hot.  Coat the waffle iron with cooking spray.  Pour batter onto the waffle iron and cook 10 minutes or until browned.  Repeat until all batter is gone.

Crediting information:  Makes 18 servings.  Each serving creditable for 1 bread/bread alternate at breakfast or snack for 1-5 year old children.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whole Grain Wednesdays- Granola Cookies

Here is blast from the past, a cookie recipe that was first published by Wildwood back in 1994!  Use a low sugar variety of granola in these cookies, or use the granola recipe that follows to make your own.  These are creditable, but count as a "sweet" (limit sweets to twice per week).

Granola Cookies
1/2 cup honey*
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups low-sugar granola

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the honey and butter together until creamy, add vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients, then stir in the granola.
Drop by teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies
*Do not serve honey to children under the age of one year.

Creditining information: Makes 36 servings, each serving meets the bread/bread alternate requirement at snack for 3-5 year old children.

3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
1/2 cup chopped nuts*
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit*
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons canola oil
5 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Spread the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Tip:  It is best to rotate the cookie sheet once during the cooking time for more even cooking.

*can be a choking hazard for children under four.
**do not serve honey to children under the age of one year.

Crediting information:  Makes 31 servings.  Each serving creditable for 1 bread/bread alternate at breakfast or snack for 3-5 year old children.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summertime Beverages

One of these days it will get hot (I hope)!  So now is the perfect time to think about refreshing beverages to serve to your children that don't include a lot of sugar.  The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines indicate that added sugars contribute an average of 16% of the total calories in American diets. A shocking 36% of those calories come from sugary drinks such as soda, energy drinks and sports drinks!  This is a bad deal for kids because evidence has shown that our bodies don't "count" liquid calories in the same way as solid food calories.  So, when we drink a lot of our calories, we don't compensate by eating less later.  There are several studies that have shown that children who drink more sugar-sweetened beverages have higher body weights than those who don't.

So what are some options for liquid refreshment?  Water is of course the best choice.  It has no calories and offers our bodies the best rehydration.  If your kids don't like plain water, don't resort to giving them Kool-aid or other nutrient-poor drinks.  Try crushing up a few blueberries or strawberries and adding the juice to their water.  It will give it a little bit of natural color!  I have also had success with freezing blueberries or grape halves in ice cubes and floating them in water for a colorful beverage.  Placing cucumber slices and orange slices in a large pitcher of icy cold water is also quite refreshing.

Don't forget fruit smoothies when you are looking for a thirst-quenching snack.  Smoothies can be quite nutrient-rich if you stick to yogurt or milk and frozen berries, bananas, and other fruits.

Do you need a little help convincing older kids that might be drinking too much sugar?  Try this Interactive Beverage Guide to Sugars.  It is a fun game that helps kids see how much sugar they are getting from the beverages that they drink every day.

Do you have any favorite nutritious summer drinks?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Minute Menu blog for child care providers

Did you know that Minute Menu has a special new website (  full of useful information for child care providers?  You will find some recipe ideas submitted by providers (unfortunately they do not include crediting information), child care forums, a child care marketplace and more.  Here is a post on their blog about food dyes that I like a lot.  You can also "friend" them on Facebook to be alerted to new information on their website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Online Tool For Your Kids

Do your kids like playing games on the computer?  If you are looking for a computer game that teaches kids something about nutrition, you should check out the  ZisBoomBah website.  Three cartoon ants, Zis, Boom, and Bah help kids make healthy meal choices.  The "Pick Chow" game on the website lets kids drag different foods onto a plate to create nutritious meals. If they are registered on the site, kids can even send the healthy meal suggestion that they create to their parents!   Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign recently chose the Pick Chow Tool as the best online tool  to help end childhood obesity.   The website also has recipes, a blog and other healthy cooking resources.