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SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative
CABOT, Vt., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With the end of August inching closer, it is once again time for parents and kids alike to trade long, relaxed summer days for hectic, early school-time mornings. An involuntary bargain, but inevitable nonetheless. While the summer has its perks from the perspective of a children's health advocate - an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, sunny days perfect for swims, bike rides and outdoor play - it also has its setbacks. The lack of routine produced by the abandonment of the classroom can foster bad habits like skipping breakfast, or overindulging in late night desserts. Back to School season is looming, and the registered dietitians at Cabot Creamery Cooperative, the farm family owned dairy cooperative widely known as the makers of the "World's Best Cheddar," think with it, comes the perfect chance to refocus, and make healthy eating part of your family's routine.
"With kids heading back to school, it's especially important to fuel them with healthy food all day long," says Sara Wing, Cabot Registered Dietitian. "That means starting every day with a healthy breakfast, packing a nutritious snack and helping make healthy lunches a reality. And fortunately, these same tips apply to parents and adults as well."
Here are our top back to school healthy eating tips:
Choose balanced breakfast options that include a source of lean protein. Try adding Greek-style yogurt or cottage cheese to smoothies, scrambling eggs with cheddar cheese for a breakfast burrito or serving a low-sugar, whole grain cereal with low-fat milk. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller longer.
Pack a balanced snack. Instead of just sending snack crackers, add a snack-size slice of cheese – like Cabot's Serious Snacking 3/4oz. bars - or pair an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein and healthy fat.
Create a lunch that's both healthy and satisfying. Kids like fun! So if you're packing a lunch for your child, get creative. Mix plain Greek-style yogurt with powdered ranch dressing to create a healthy dip that will make veggies fun to eat. Build sandwiches on whole wheat bread and use a cookie cutter to cut into fun shapes.
No matter the time of day, it's important to make healthy, nutritious food easily accessible to avoid grabbing less nutritious snack foods. To help parents get the right mix of foods necessary to fuel their kids, or themselves, through a long day, Cabot's registered dietitians developed the Brown Bag Builder, which outlines the correct servings of grains, veggies, protein, fruit and dairy in a healthy lunch. The Brown Bag Builder is available online at http://www.cabotcheese.coop/pages/health/brown-bag-builder.php.
Ingredients: 11/2 tablespoons olive oil 4 large garlic cloves, minced 2 cups chopped green bell pepper 1 cup (1/2-inch) pieces zucchini 1 cup (1/2-inch) pieces yellow summer squash 1 cup diced red onion (Vegetables above can be substituted with 5 cups frozen vegetables) 2 teaspoons ground cumin Salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 4 ounces Cabot Jalapeno Light Cheddar or Cabot Pepper Jack, grated (about 1 cup) 4 (9- or 10-inch) flour tortillas (burrito-size) 1 cup shredded roasted chicken 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant and lightly colored, about 30 seconds. Add pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and onion and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with cumin and continue stirring until vegetables are tender but not soggy, about 2 minutes longer. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Place beans in large bowl; mash into coarse puree with fork. Stir in cheese and reserved vegetables.
5. Place tortillas on work surface. Spoon one fourth of vegetable filling down center of each, then top with one fourth of chicken and sprinkle with one fourth of cilantro.
6. Roll tortillas up around filling. Arrange seam-side-down on baking sheet. Cover loosely with piece of foil.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until filling is just heated through. To serve, cut each burrito into two or three sections.
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients (through wheat germ).
3. In small bowl, lightly beat egg whites with fork; stir in yogurt, butter and extract. Add to dry ingredients, stirring well to combine.
4. Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until set all the way to center and lightly browned on top. Let cool and cut into bars.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.