Healthy options for School Lunch and Halloween treats

Call it a “recipe for success!”

Today on Indy Style, Jenni Browning, Director of Communications and Wellness, ADAI (American Dairy Association Indiana), teaches us about National School Lunch and the importance of feeding hungry bodies and fueling minds, so kids can concentrate and learn in the classroom: (along with some healthy Halloween treats…. see below!)        

  • Children spend a good portion of their time in school and that is why it’s important they are getting all the nutrients they need at school lunch. The people who create the menus and cook the food are ‘nutrition magicians’ because they are tasked with making food taste great with restricted budgets and certain fat, sugar and sodium guidelines.
  • You can help at home by being a great role model and offering and eating a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups to your children. This is what is being done in schools as well.
  • People, including children, are more interested about how their food is raised. Schools are creating gardens that implement the ingredients in their lunches. They are buying local when they can. One thing that is always local on a kid’s tray at lunch is milk. Milk travels less than hundred miles and can be at the school in 48 after leaving the farm! It also has three of the four nutrients of concerns (that children aren’t getting enough of) Vitamin D, Potassium and Calcium.
  • 2nd to athletes, chefs and farmers are one of the most sought-after guest speakers at schools.

Recipe for the Herb yogurt dip for the veggies:

Recipe for the Siracha Chicken Salad Wrap:

Recipe for the fruity yogurt popsicles:

Recipe for the Asian Slaw:

Fun Halloween Themed Snacks:

  • Melting Witch Yogurt Cup
  • Banana and Chocolate Chip ghost
  • Tangerine Pumpkins
  • Ghost Pizza
  • Mummy dog fingers
  • Cheese sticks
  • Chocolate milk

Some Healthy Tips:

‘Real’ food first.  On Halloween night, feed your kids ‘real’ food before they go out and hit the neighborhood streets.  An extra-nutritious dinner before trick-or-treating will help decrease their appetite for sweets once they get home. A meal filled with nutrient rich foods like milk, lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is the way to go!

Can Trick or Treating really be exercise?   Believe it or not – yes it can! Make sure children get enough physical activity to burn off excess calories.  Trick-or-treating can be a fun way to incorporate walking.  Plan a few extra loops around the neighborhood. This can tire out kids and prepare them to hit the sack when they get home!

Set Limits.  Set boundaries with your child on how many pieces of candy they’re allowed to eat on Halloween night.  The ‘come home, dump out all the candy and have at it’ method is not the best. Allow your children to make their own selections, but tell them they can only pick a few pieces.

Why not milk?  Serving chocolate milk after trick-or-treating is a great, healthy treat.  It gives kids their chocolate fix that they so desire on Halloween night.  You can even warm up the chocolate milk for a great hot chocolate drink.

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