Posts Tagged ‘MyPlate’

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!

A Birthday on a Plate

My Plate Birthday Icon

Birthdays are symbolic in any household, but sometimes the birthday celebration can come from the plate itself.  On Sunday, June 2 MyPlate celebrated their 2nd birthday, and rather than sending the usual gift all wrapped up in a bow, their birthday wish is to increase healthy balanced plates across the country.

The USDA’s MyPlate icon emphasizes fruit, vegetable, grain, protein foods, and the dairy food groups to help families and individuals think about building a healthy plate when it comes time to preparing meals.  While MyPlate provides the framework for a healthy meal, they also provide the recipe inspiration to succeed.

Their Pinterest account is filled with delicious and comforting recipes that bring to life the idea of the MyPlate icon. From breakfast to dinner and protein to vegetarian, there is a recipe for every occasion. Dinners like Salami and Mushroom Pizza and Five Spice Turkey Burgers are perfect for the entire family to gather around this summer.   However, as we all know some of the best recipes are what we whip up from the ingredients in our own pantry.

MyPlate has partnered with The Mushroom Council this summer in “Swap It or Top It” a mushroom based recipe contest encouraging you to create, taste and inspire with mushrooms this summer. Categories range from a blended mushroom dish, replacing a portion of meat with finely chopped mushrooms to a MyPlate burger featuring whole grains, lean protein, fruit, vegetables and dairy.  Not only will the winning recipe receive bragging rights, but a grand prize of $5,000.

Whether you’re inspired to follow a MyPlate recipe or create your own, here’s to a savory and healthy summer ahead.

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!

Check Out "OurPlate:" Curried Chicken with Raisins and Mushrooms

Earlier this year, the USDA announced new Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with MyPlate, the accompanying visual tool that demonstrates what a healthy meal should look like. The most salient detail is that half the plate is filled with fruits and vegetables.

Any mushroom fan knows that the challenge to fill half his or her plate is made easier by cooking with mushrooms. They taste delicious with nearly any meal you pair them with and add heaps of nutrients to your plate.

In fact, it’s so easy, we teamed up with the Produce for Better Health Foundation (you might know them as the masterminds behind Fruits & Veggies More Matters) and dished up a plate of our own.

Introducing: Curried Chicken with Raisins and Mushrooms

This delicious one-pan recipe will become a fast family favorite. Savory chicken and mushrooms balance well with the sweetness of red peppers and raisins in a scrumptious, nutritious dish. You should know that scrumptious is not a word we use lightly.

Whip up this recipe tonight and then show us the mushrooms on your plate. Tweet us a picture of your plate or post it on our Facebook wall today through October 24th and you could win a Back to the Roots Mushroom Growing Kit! With this kit, you’ll have mushrooms at your fingertips to easily add more veggies and nutrients to your meals. One winner will be selected daily so get cooking.

We also challenge you to enter the Fruits and Veggies MyPlate Makeover Challenge. You will receive a coupon or prize just for entering and will be in the running to win a $100 grocery card!

Visit our Cooking Corner for more mushroom recipes that can help fill half your plate with vegetables.

Curried Chicken with Raisins and Mushrooms

Yields: 4 servings

Preparation Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 ½ tsp olive oil, extra virgin or virgin
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz), diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups sliced fresh white mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, cut to ¾” squares
  • 2 cups chicken broth, lower sodium
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid raisins
  • 2 cups instant whole grain rice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp curry powder


Heat olive oil in large sauté pan. With heat on medium-high, place chicken in pan and cover with lid. Cook chicken about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and peppers to pan and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth. Gently mix in raisins, rice and curry powder; bring to boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until rice is done; fluff with fork and let sit 3-5 minutes before serving.

Time-saving ideas: Purchase sliced mushrooms, fresh or frozen bell pepper strips and diced chicken.