Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Lunchtime Challenge’

Fight Summer Boredom with Kids in The Kitchen

Grilled Portabella Pizza
 

In April we were thrilled to introduce the “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” launched as a part of First Lady Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. Working in cooperation with the USDA, MyPlate, Epicurious and the US Department of Education, the First Lady urged kids to get creative and submit their favorite MyPlate inspired healthy lunch recipe. Last week the fifty-four winning recipes of the “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” were announced and the aspiring chefs who submitted the winning entries were invited to the White House’s annual “Our Kids” state dinner.

Even though this year’s challenge is over, including kids in the preparation of meals can act as a great cure for summer boredom. With summer vacation in full swing, your kids may have entered the dreaded “Mom, I’m bored” phase. Instead of racking your brain for activities to keep them occupied while you cook, throw an apron their way and engage them in meal prep.

Is your child a finicky eater? Fear not! Kids are not only more likely to try new foods when they’ve helped prepare them, but are more likely to continue healthy eating practices if they are instilled early on. A couple of evenings in the kitchen could spark a lifelong appreciation for nutrition-packed mushrooms.

Without the looming deadlines of homework or athletics practice, this summer is the perfect time to share your favorite tasty mushroom recipes with your little ones. Swap mushrooms into your child’s favorite dish for a fresh take on an old favorite. We love using grilled portabellas as a healthier alternative to pizza crust. Make sure to check out our Pinterest board for even more Kid-Friendly Mushroom recipes.  Inviting children to help you whip up a healthy meal is not only a load off of your shoulders, but can become the foundation for a lifetime of health consciousness.

The USDA is a great resource for kitchen activities for kids. Here are just a few benefits for parents who involve their children in cooking:

  • Quality time spent with kids and their parents/caregivers
  • The opportunity for kids to learn how to cook
  • Kids are more likely to eat new foods that they’ve helped prepare.

Remember to put safety first when little ones are in the kitchen. Bubbling pots and sharp knives are hazards that require close adult supervision. In addition, encourage kids to wash their hands in warm soapy water before starting on your favorite recipe.

Bring your kids into the kitchen to cook your favorite mushroom dishes and enjoy the extra quality time with your loved ones! Here’s a few of our favorite recipes to get the ideas flowing!

The Second Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Brings Kids (and mushrooms) to the Kitchen

 

Part of the beauty of childhood is the joy that comes from experiencing news flavors, textures and ingredient combinations for the very first time. The memories surrounding these ingredients and dishes are never forgotten, but carried along as we grow into adults. However, parents across the country face the obstacle of getting their kids to take that first bite. The solution is as simple as getting your kids in the kitchen before the meal even begins. In coordination with the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, the USDA, MyPlate, Epicurious and the US Department of Education, the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is taking kids beyond the lunch table and placing them in the kitchen.

The contest runs between April 3 – May 12 and is open to children between the ages of 8-12. Contestants are invited to enter their best original lunch recipe inspired by MyPlate. One winner from every state will be invited to a special “Kids’ State Dinner” in Washington D.C. this summer. As an added bonus, a few kids might actually get to see their dishes served during the dinner. Following the MyPlate guidelines, the recipe should feature the five food groups. In addition, fruits and veggies should fill half the plate, along with whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.

Mushrooms’ versatile nature makes them the perfect ingredient to fuel your inspiration for a variety of meals.Their natural texture makes diced mushrooms a perfect ingredient to blend with meat in kids’ favorite dishes, such as Sloppy Joes. More nutrition and delicious flavor is a win with parents and kids alike. The MyPlate Pinterest account is filled with mushroom recipes from Mushroom Stroganoff to Veggie Burritos. Of course, what better guidance could you find than other kids? An entire digital cookbook of last year’s winners can be found here, with winning recipes for a heavenly lunch wrap filled with quinoa, veggie pizza topped with mushrooms and a macaroni casserole.

What are you waiting for? Turn tonight’s dinner into a winning dish!