Back to School Edition:
How learning to cook, healthy lunches, and your public library can change the future.
It's back to school time and many families are working out routines for getting back into the swing of school and work schedules. Preparing and packing lunches can be a chore, but also a great opportunity for teaching children about the importance of balanced nutrition. School nutrition programs are also making strides to improve in-house school meals, with more fresh fruits and vegetables being offered with lunches, farm-to-school programs, and the removal of vending machines. However, getting kids involved in making healthy choices for themselves is an essential part of changing their increasing risk for developing serious illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease. And any age is the right age to begin learning.
There are many great resources for families who are interested in learning or re-learning ways to improve diets, spend time together with constructive activities, or simply get more ideas for tasty ways to enjoy fresh foods. Our favorite resource for families is Chop Chop Magazine. It is a relatively new publication from a non-profit organization, and supported by a host of foundations and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
From their website: "ChopChopKids is an innovative non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and teach kids to cook real food with their families. We believe that cooking and eating together as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics."
Another great website with fun, interactive kid's cooking videos and games is produced in the UK by BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/i-can-cook
The Chattanooga Public Library has a fantastic website for finding online resources, searching for books, and event notifications, among other things. There are multiple locations throughout the city where friendly librarians are ready to help you find the books you need. Halle Henderson, librarian (and local food enthusiast), from the South Chattanooga Branch was happy enough to put together two helpful articles with cooking and local food related resources:
Here is a great article with the Library's favorites among vegetable cook books: http://chattlibrary.org/content/eat-your-veggies As our librarians like to say, "If you carrot all about what you eat, peas lettuce help you turnip these and other vegetable books. They can’t be beet."
Last but not least, If you are not returning to school this week, and would like to make the most of the rest of your summer, click here for a great list of some summer-fun cook books.
This week's recipes:
From the archives:
Try these two recipes as muffins (reduce cook time to 30-40 minutes). They can be frozen and used as a nutritious, quick addition to school lunches.