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How to spice up National Nutrition Month for your kids

With March being National Nutrition Month, it can sometimes be difficult to get your kids to eat healthy. Here are some simple delicious ways to pack in the nutrition!

March is National Nutrition Month and it can sometimes be difficult to get your kids to eat nutritional foods. Chef Jenn Brower from Chartwells K12 joined us at 13 ON YOUR SIDE to show us some delicious ideas that your kids will love.

Apple Banana Strawberry Blenderless Breakfast Smoothie

Apple juice and bananas come together to make a refreshingly light smoothie

Yields: 1

Portion Size: 8 fluid oz

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: None

Total Recipe Cost (approx): $0.64

Cost per serving (approx): $0.64

Note: Blenderless smoothies can be prepped and assembled the day before and stored under refrigeration for fast 'out the door in the AM' readiness!

This recipe is a great idea to utilize your bananas that may of turned too fast for you to enjoy as a fresh fruit.


  • ¼ cup Apple Juice, 100%
  • 1 Banana, small, ripe (approx. 4 ounces)
  • 4 ounces Strawberry Yogurt, Low Fat


  1. Combine yogurt and apple juice in large bowl, stir until well mixed.
  2. Peel banana (s) and mash in a separate bowl.
  3. Tip-If making in large volume….approx. 25 oz (as purchased) of bananas=2 cups mashed bananas
  4. Add mashed bananas in small increments to the apple juice/yogurt mixture until completely combined.
  5. If making large batch, use a ladle (8 fl. oz) to portion into a serving cup.
  6. IF single serving, pour your smoothie into your favorite cup and its ready to enjoy!
  7. Chill or hold cold at 40 degrees f or lower until ready to consume.

Aztec Quinoa & Beans Bowl with Herbs

Steamed quinoa, fresh vegetables, beans and fresh herbs simmered in a savory broth of lime juice, honey, and soy sauce. 

Culinary Note - Prepare quinoa and brown rice in advance. Hold refrigerated for service. 

Yields:  4

Portion Size: 1 (2.25 cups)

Preparation Time: 20 mins 

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Total Recipe Cost (approx.):  $5.70 

Cost per serving (approx.):  $1.43


  • 2 cups Quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups Brown Rice, cooked
  • 4 ounces Corn, Whole Kernel, frozen
  • 1 cup Black Turtle Beans, Low Sodium, Canned, Drained/Rinsed
  • 1 cup Garbanzo beans, Canned, Low Sodium, Drained/Rinsed
  • 4 ounces Yellow Squash, Fresh, Diced
  • 7 ounces, Baby Kale, fresh chopped
  • 4 ounces Tomatoes, Fresh, Diced
  • 4 TBSP Water
  • 2 2/3 TBSP Soy Sauce, Low Sodium
  • 2  2/3 TBSP Honey
  • 4 TBSP Lime Juice
  • 1 1/3 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/3 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • 1 1/3 TBSP Cilantro, Fresh Chopped


  1. Prepare Quinoa & Brown Rice according to manufacture directions.  
  2. While Quinoa & Brown Rice are cooking, prepare rest of ingredients.
  3. Wash all produce items prior to processing.
  4. Toss together, corn, black beans, garbanzo beans.  Hold in refrigeration if not planning to use within the next 30 minutes.
  5. Prepare squash, kale & tomatoes.  Do NOT combine, keep in separate containers due to flavors & juices.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together water, mustard, honey, lime juice and soy sauce until fully blended.  
  7. Drizzle in Sesame oil, whisking quickly to be sure sauce is fully emulsified.  Chill if not planning to use in the next 30 minutes.

When ready to assemble each bowl prepare in the following method:

Saute together until mixture temperature reaches 165 degrees F:

  • ¾ cup of the bean mixture
  • 1.75 oz (by weight) kale
  • 1 oz (by weight) squash
  • 1 oz (by weight) tomatoes
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup brown rice

Once hot: 

  1. Add in ¼ cup soy-lime-mustard dressing and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until heated thorough.
  2. Bowl all ingredients into serving bowl and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Broccoli & Cheddar Biscuit Popover Sandwich

Hand held breakfast pastry made with whole grain biscuit dough and filled with a blend of broccoli & reduced fat cheddar cheese.

Note: Popovers can be prepped and assembled the day before and stored under refrigeration before baking.

Yields:  4

Portion Size: 1 x each

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 12-15 mins 

Total Recipe Cost (approx.):  $1.28 

Cost per serving (approx.):  $0.32


  • 2 each Biscuit, Dough, WG, 2.51 oz,
  • 1/2 cup Egg, Liquid, scrambled
  • 1 tsp Garlic, Fresh, Chopped
  • 2 tsp Parsley, Fresh, Chopped, Fine
  • 2-2/3 TBSP Onions, Red, Fresh, Chopped, Fine
  • 2 tsp Onions, Scallion, Fresh, sliced very thin
  • 4 TBSP Broccoli, Fresh, Florets
  • 2 ounce Cheese, Cheddar, Shredded


  1. Remove biscuits from freezer (if frozen) (1 biscuit makes 2 muffins). Place onto sheet pan with paper liner, cover & allow to thaw for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Wash all needed produce (including fresh herbs). Allow herbs to air dry before using.
  3. Small dice all onions & herbs.
  4. Combine liquid eggs, cheese, and vegetables.
  5. Cut each biscuit puck into 6 smaller pieces.
  6. Line muffin tins.
  7. Place 2 biscuit pieces in each tin, reserving 1 piece for the top of the "muffin" after it is filled.
  8. Portion 1/3 cup (just under 3 fl oz) of the egg/vegetable/cheese mixture into each tin, over the biscuit pieces. Use a teaspoon to quickly stir the contents of each muffin tin so all ingredients are combined, if you did not mix in bowl as a large batch prior to filling the muffin tin.
  9. Top the muffin/popover with the remaining biscuit piece.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7-9 minutes (high fan). Ensure doneness by inserting temperature probe into center of muffin to ensure 165 degrees F for 15 seconds has been reached and verified.
  11. CCP: Heat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for 15 seconds.

Thai Potato Cakes 

Thai flavored potato cake that makes for a great portable post exercise snack.

Culinary Note - While the potatoes are cooking you should prepare the Thai Lemongrass Mixture in Step 3. 

Yields: 4

Portion Size: 1

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $0.45

Cost per serving (approx.): $0.11  


  • 5 1/3 oz Potatoes, Baker 120 count, fresh
  • 3/8 tsp   Salt, Kosher
  • ¼ each    Lime, Fresh
  • ¼ tsp      Lemongrass, Fresh
  • 1 ¾ tsp  Scallions, Fresh
  • ½ tsp      Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp      Thai Style Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce
  • ¾ tsp AP Flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 TBSP of Egg, fresh liquid/fork mixed


Place washed potatoes (whole) into large pot, cover with water, and add salt. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes can be pierced wit ha fork (approx. 10-15 minutes). Drain potatoes and place back into pot (if removed to drain).

Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they have a creamy consistency. Allow mashed potatoes to cool slightly before adding additional ingredients.

Remove the zest from the lime(s), finely mince the lemongrass and thinly slice the scallions. Set aside for step 5.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs to combine cooled mashed potatoes. Add flour and gently stir to combine.

Fold into the potato mixture the ingredients prepared in step 3 (lime zest, lemongrass & scallions), as well as the Thai style Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce.

Form potato mixture into small patties/cakes about 2-3 inches in diameter and 1/2 - inch thick.

Heat oil in skillet and saute' until golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately or cool for a snack on the go.

***If you want to eat a meal, per each serving, prepare an additional egg in your favorite method (poached, shirred, fried, scrambled etc...) and add to the top of your potato cake once you have them prepared.

Fun facts:

Potatoes are gluten free! Easy to substitute them into your favorite pasta recipe.

Potatoes are the most popular vegetable in the U.S., are more energy packed than any other popular vegetable, with more potassium than a medium banana. There are over 4,000 varieties of potatoes and many of them come in different colors and shapes.

Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates for energy, which is something we all need to power us through the day. They are an especially good food for athletes as a pre-event energy snack or at any time of the day to maintain your body's energy stores. Post-event they can be combined with a protein source such as an egg, which will replenish energy and muscle. Whether for a snack or meal... potatoes are healthiest if eaten fresh and unprocessed with minimal toppings.

The United States produces a little more than 20 million tons of potatoes with Idaho being the largest producing state.

Michigan potatoes are big business for Michigan agriculture farmers, so it's easy to buy local potatoes in Michigan. MIPotatoes has a way to ID where your spuds come from on the bag tags in grocery stores. You can easily find the farm where your product is grown if from a Michigan farm. Check it out.

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