We wrap up the school year with a simple, delicious (and simply delicious) Banana Cream Pie Smoothie. What a perfect treat.. sweet, easy and refreshing. Enjoy this often on those long summer days when the kids are in the mood for a cold and yummy treat. They may not care that it’s loaded with bone building and energy-boosting nutrients, but we know you do. Happy Summer!

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harira_beauty-88Harira is a traditional soup from Morocco. Students made this delicious dish fit for “whole grain heroes” by using whole grain spaghetti instead of the angel hair pasta.

You’ll find the recipe for Harira on page 17 of the Winter issue of ChopChop – if your child hasn’t brought their copy home yet, you can find the recipe here. It’s um, um good!

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All vegetables are good for us, but some are Very Special Veggies. The Very Special Veggies are the red and orange vegetables, the dark green and leafy vegetables and the dried beans and peas. 

The students learned that red and orange vegetables and the dark green and leafy vegetables could also be called the X-Ray Vision Vegetables because they are so good for eyes! 

 The also learned that dried beans and peas are Protein Powerhouse vegetables.  They are high protein and iron to keep muscles and blood strong.

Then the entire class got to try two recipes from the Fall Chop, Chop magazine using a few of the Very Special Veggies:  Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Roasted Chickpeas.

Think kids won’t eat tofu? Cook it up with a bit of curry powder, soy sauce and garlic, then add carrots and spinach and you’ll change your mind! Our last cooking cart activity of this school year featured  Tofu Scramble  from the Spring issue of ChopChop. Students devoured it… and then asked for more.

The recipe works well with any veggies you have on hand. Try it at your house!

Source: ChopChop Magazine

In the latest Food $ense lesson students identified calcium rich foods that they enjoy and tasted the Monster Smoothie recipe from the latest issue of ChopChop. The smoothie includes many calcium packed foods –  kale, yogurt, almonds and calcium fortified orange juice –as well as apples, bananas and blueberries.  Students loved it! 

Source: ChopChop Magazine

In recent weeks, kids have enjoyed making their own “Homemade Instant Oatmeal”, a recipe featured in the winter issue of ChopChop magazine. It’s simple, less expensive and better for you than store bought. It just takes a few minutes to whip up a week’s worth. Make additions or changes to suit your families tastes.


Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons
Food Processor or Blender (Adult Needed)
Airtight Container
Heatproof Bowl


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1⁄4 cup dates or date pieces
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (if you like)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.

  1. Put 1 cup oats, the dates, brown sugar (if you like), cinnamon, and salt in the blender or food processor. Turn the blender to medium, and blend until the oats are powdered. Make sure the top is on tight, so you don’t spray the powder all over the kitchen!
  2. Add the rest of the oats and then turn the blender or food processor on and off (this is called “pulsing”) until the oats are mostly broken down. You may need to stop and shake up the blender jar if the oat powder at the bottom is stopping the blade from moving.
  3. Store the mixture in an airtight container or plastic bag up to 3 months.
  4. For each bowl:
    ½ cup oatmeal mixture
    ¾ cup boiling water (adult needed)
    Milk or plain low-fat yogurt (if you like)
  5. Put ½ cup oatmeal mixture in a heatproof bowl.
  6. Pour the boiling water over it, stir, and let stand for a minute. Stir again, add a few spoonfuls of milk or plain low-fat yogurt, and serve right away.


For extra goodness, add dried fruit, cut-up fresh fruit, or nuts.

Nowadays, there is a befuddling number of choices in the breakfast cereal aisle. In our current Food$ense lesson, students are taking a close look at popular breakfast cereals in terms of added sugar, sodium and fiber, the best choices being those with less sugar and sodium and more fiber. The results are often surprising! Some popular cereals have almost 4 teaspoons of sugar in a ¾ cup serving while others have none. Sodium and fiber content varies greatly too.

As a follow up, we are challenging students to find a cereal they like that’s low in sugar and sodium, and high in fiber, and to record the results and the name of the cereal and return it to school. Please help your child find a cereal they enjoy that is low in sugar and sodium and high in fiber.

Our next cooking activity will feature Homemade Instant Oatmeal from ChopChop magazine’s winter 2011 issue. It’s healthier, cheaper, and just as quick as what is sold in stores.

For more information on specific cereals marketed to children, you can visit www.cerealfacts.org.