Looking for fun-lovin’, Valentine’s Day, healthy snack ideas?

Try Sweetheart Pinwheels or Cupid’s Love Potion!iStock_000012329589XSmall

Sweetheart Pinwheels Recipe

4 (6 inch) soft whole-grain tortilla shells
low-fat strawberry cream cheese
4 Tbsp. strawberry jam.

Directions:

  1. Spread cream cheese to the edge of each tortilla.
  2. Spread 1 Tbsp. of strawberry jam just down the center.
  3. Roll the tortilla up so that the strawberry jam runs the length of the roll.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for 50-60 min.
  5. When ready to serve, slice across the roll into 1-inch bites so they look like a pinwheel.

Download more healthy snack ideas like these, here.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Healthy Kids Challenge!

Holiday Pinwheels Recipe

December 5, 2013

Take the Healthy Holiday Challenge: Help kids set a goal to choose healthy snacks during the holiday season, and join them in meeting the challenge!iStock_000012951071XSmall
How?

1. Refresh your minds…
about why it’s important to choose healthy holiday snacks.

Utilize these printable tips to help get you started:

Curb Impulsive Holiday Snacking and

Explore What Influences Holiday Food Choices

2. Energize your bodies…
with this recipe, which you can make together with the kids.

Holiday Pinwheels (print this)

Serves: 4

4 (6-7”) whole grain tortillas

4 oz. fat free cream cheese

1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp tomato paste

4 oz. finely shredded low fat cheddar cheese

1-2 green peppers (to make 1 cup finely chopped)

knife, spoon, cutting board

Directions:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water before handling food or utensils.
  2. Rinse the green peppers, then finely chop to fill 1 cup measure.
  3. Blend cream cheese and tomato paste together in small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Place a tortilla on the cutting board and spread 1 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture on top.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped green peppers and 1 Tbsp shredded cheese on top and roll up.
  6. Cut each wrap into 4 serving pieces. Use spatula to place them on
  7. Have kids clean up work area and utensils with warm soapy water. Rinse with clean water.

Come back next week for 2 more holiday challenge ideas to help you and the kids you lead stay on track with your Challenge!

While most of our work centers around schools and youth programs, we always look for ways to link the messages back home where kids and parents make family food decisions. Enter our Partner in Health, relish, iStock_000012076767XSmallwhose relish for Moms aims to help parents and kids cook together, eat together, and plan better meals together seven days a week, three meals a day, one bite at a time. Today we are thankful for not only their commitment to kids and families, but also for these amazing family dinner ideas, and you surely will be, too!

15 Family Dinners You Can Make In Under 15 Minutes – From our Partner in Health, relish: “We’re big fans of easy homemade meals on weeknights…so we invite you to take these short-cuts—from pastas and soups to stir fries and salads…”

Easy and Kid-Friendly Weeknight Dinner Menus – “When you’re in a pinch, look to one of these four balanced menus, perfect for weeknights, plus a mouthwatering list of go-to one dish dinners that kids will love.”
And just in case you’re wondering…yes, we do have our own collection of recipes! The HKC Taste and Learn Recipes book contains 36 quick and easy recipes from all 3 Balance My Day™ curriculum books, which have been modified and compiled for home use. And, they’re available in both English and Spanish to meet your needs. Take a peek at this Mighty Milk recipe for an example. Let us know if you have questions or would like to order!

Healthy Kids Challenge helps kids eat, move, and enjoy healthy balanceThank you for participating in the Healthy Kids Challenge Eat Right with Color Challenge during National Nutrition Month 2011. Every weekday of March we have posted on Twitter a new daily color-eating challenge. Our “final four” are here for you. (Coincidentally, the NCAA Final Four is this weekend, but that’s another blog post…)

Week 5 – March 28-31, 2011

1. Try veggies in a veggie – stuffed peppers – for a great tasting snack or side dish. See Del Monte’s healthy recipes for ideas!

2. Canned Counts. Open up a can of veggies or fruit and enjoy for a healthy afternoon snack!

3. Delicious Dessert. Plan to eat fresh or canned fruit for dessert after every evening meal, instead of high fat or sugary options.

4. Dip It. Plan to snack on fresh veggies and add a tasty low-fat dip.

Remember, if you completed the Eat Right with Color Challenge and you tell us about it, you can enter to win a “colorful” prize! Leave a comment here or email tammy@healthykidschallenge.com !

kids learn tasty green peppers recipe

Kids learning tasty ways to eat green bell peppers

Congrats on making it through week 4; you’re in the home stretch! Here are this week’s Eat Right with Color Challenges for March 21-25, 2011:

1. Color Champions! Increase your kids’ fruit and vegetable intake by trying any one of the tasty winning recipes from last year’s Stirring Up Health Recipe Contest.

2. Eat Right with White. White foods have colorful nutrients too! Kids can try mushrooms and onions on top of a grilled steak, a fresh garden salad, and sliced bananas.

3. Fresh, frozen or canned: It’s easy for kids to eat an additional serving of veggies at dinner tonight. Try an easy Del Monte recipe with added veggies.

4. Go Green! For lunch kids can enjoy a leafy green salad before they eat anything else.

5. Change the texture: Use pureed fruits (berries, apples, peaches, pears) to top kids’ pancakes, French toast or waffles! So different and so yummy!

Hang in there for the final four challenges next week! 

We’d like to shine the spotlight on our partner Lifeway Foods for their amazing support of nutrition education for kids during their coast-to-coast 25th Anniversary Tour. Their blog post We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1986! gives just a glimpse of the fun atmosphere surrounding the 25th Anniversary celebration! Kicking things off is a fabulous cross-country tour, an 11-week, non-stop party from coast to coast, celebrating everything fun and funky about the 1980s.

What’s YOUR favorite 80′s memory? We’ve got some staffers who grew up in the 80′s and they’ve shared just a few: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Boomboxes and cassette tapes, and BIG Hair and side ponytails! Add your own favorites on Lifeway’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LifewayKefir!

The tour kicked off last week at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Now the retro road trip is hitting the road, with plans for weeklong stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Boston. The party will culminate in New York City, with Lifeway Foods Executives ringing the NASDAQ stock market closing bell in Times Square on May 16.

Health-conscious families, college students, and fitness enthusiasts alike are invited to the free festivities, which will celebrate the 1980s with an awesome modern twist. Activities include

  • pedaling the customized human-powered blender bike, blending tasty Lifeway Kefir smoothies
  • taking a blast-from-the past 1980s-styled photo using green screen technology
  • participating in digital games
  • enjoying Foursquare check-in prizes and
  • sampling Lifeway’s healthy and delicious lowfat flavors, including new Birthday Cake flavor!

In addition to throwing this totally rad party to commemorate 25 years in business, Lifeway Foods will donate a total of $25,000 to Healthy Kids Challenge. The goal is to have guests in each city generate 2,500 minutes of pedal power on the human-powered blender bikes within the week. For every minute a guest pedals, Lifeway will donate $1 to the organization. Lifeway’s donation will enable us to expand the number of schools and youth organizations we can support with our nutrition education programs in the ten cities the anniversary tour visits.

According to Edward and Julie Smolyansky, CFO and CEO of Lifeway Foods, respectively,

“We are beyond excited to reach this milestone in our company history and celebrate with a national 80s themed anniversary party! Because kefir is a nutritional beverage loaded with probiotics, calcium and protein, Healthy Kids Challenge is the perfect partner for Lifeway Foods as we are both focused on nutrition and the importance of living a healthy life.”

We are thrilled that Lifeway Foods has chosen Healthy Kids Challenge as the beneficiary of their generous donation. Together we can make a difference in young people’s lives!

Want to see if the tour will be in a city near you? Check out our map here.

To stay updated on Lifeway’s 25th Anniversary mobile tour, “Like” Lifeway Kefir on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifewaykefir or follow Lifeway on Twitter @lifeway_kefir.

Red and purple fruits and veggiesCongratulations on making it through week 3 of the Eat Right with Color Challenge. Here is a summary of this week’s daily challenges. Remember to keep it up on the weekends! You’re halfway there!

1. Veggie Fresh. At the market, make it a point to purchase some fresh vegetables on sale and eat them for a meal within 24 hours.

2. Color your snack with calcium. Try low-fat cheese and apple slices, use blended low-fat cottage cheese as a veggie dip, top canned fruits with low-fat yogurt, or drink a glass of low-fat milk.

3. Canned on hand? Eat a can of veggies from your pantry. Keep a good supply using Del Monte’s handy pantry list.

4. Be Creative! Combine different fruit and veggie colors and flavors. Strawberries/bananas, tomatoes/peppers, or pineapple salsa.

5. Nature’s Fast Food. Carry home-made fruit snack packs when traveling or on the go!

Coming up next week are colorful recipe and texture challenges…

yellow and white colored corn

White and yellow colored corn on the cob

Welcome back to Healthy Kids Challenge Eat Right with Color Challenge! How did you color your daily diet this week? Was it easier than last week?

Week 2 – March 7-11, 2011

1.Rate Your Plate! Find out how you rate when it comes to making daily meal choices. http://www.eatright.org/NNM/content.aspx?id=5334

2.Color your plate with whole grains & explore the variety! Try barley, brown rice, bulgur or quinoa; in a soup, side dish or salad.

3.Fruit Snacks. Try fruit as part of one snack each day. Choose from your favorite fruit – fresh, frozen, canned or dried!

4.Veggies PLUS. Eat an additional serving of veggies for dinner every day; Del Monte’s Recipes for Wellness make it easy!

5.Healthy Dessert Alert. Have applesauce, fruit cocktail, or canned peaches for dessert.

Remember the weekends count too! Here’s what to do: Pick one of this week’s challenges and repeat it on Saturday. Repeat it again on Sunday, or pick another for Sunday. It’s simple!

Coming up…canned veggie ideas and more!

The time to act is now. We all have a role and a responsibility in healthy school meals even if we aren’t the cooks in the kitchen! Anyone at school can take at least one action today:

1. Make your voice heard.

  • Comment on the USDA’s proposed changes to nutrition standards for school meals at www.regulations.gov. If you want to review the proposed changes, click here. A press release from USDA also outlines the changes which include MORE fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat and fat free milk; and LESS saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and calories.

2. Make one simple change.

  • The HKC best practice,School Foodservice Makes a Healthy Impact, shows that a simple menu addition of Ranch dressing and raw veggies can increase healthy veggie choices made by kids at lunch! Don’t think it’s that simple? Just start the conversation and you might be surprised what’s possible yet today!

3. Share a Tray of the Day for Success at School.

Many, many more steps exist, but I hope you can start where you are today!

Disney CIGNA Healthy Kids Challenge Walk Through the Pyramid

Get in on the action at the Walk Through the PyramidTM during the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend Expo. Thousands of families will get to actually walk through the food pyramid, learning healthy food choices and getting some activity at the same time! Healthy Kids Challenge® and presenting sponsor CIGNA are partners with the goal of educating families about making healthy behavior a priority and to help children integrate these habits into their everyday routines.

Even in the rain and freezing temperatures last year, CIGNA employees’ families were among Walk Through the Pyramid participants who waited in line for the experience.

“My kids were there and loved the Healthy Kids Challenge experience. They wore their pyramid bracelets the whole weekend!” Patty Caballero, CIGNA

CIGNA and Healthy Kids Challenge have collaborated for several years, working together to develop and implement programs that drive behavioral changes in many important settings where kids and families live, learn, work and play.

This year one of our Healthy Kids Challenge staff will join the CIGNA running team at the races as well! Tiffany ran her first marathon at Disney World in 2008 (see previous post), and this year she has accepted an even greater challenge – she is racing Goofys Race and a Half Challenge.

We at Healthy Kids Challenge acknowledge Tiffany and all the CIGNA runners for truly making healthy behavior a priority for themselves and their families! Of course showing off a Mickey or a Goofy medal will be fun, too!

Remember to participate in the Walk Through the Pyramid and meet our “Goofy Challenger” from Healthy Kids Challenge!

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