Do you have a picky eater at home? It’s always a challenge to get kids to eat healthy, but studies have shown that if you involve your child in the meal prep, they are more likely to eat what they prepare. Plus it gives them something productive and fun to do during times while they are homebound.
In this video, Juliauna (age 5) makes Zucchini Pizza Boats with just a little help from her mom. And, at minute 2:31 you can see how much she loved what she made.
FoodHero.org is a fantastic website where you will find kid-approved, budget-friendly and healthy recipes. Plus you will also find meal ideas and shopping tips. Funded by Oregon SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education), they help Oregonians improve their health by increasing their consumption of nutritious foods.
Their website makes it easy to search for recipes that incorporate foods you already have in your home with a section where you can search recipes by ingredients. While supervision by a parent or caretaker is necessary for cutting and cooking, many of the recipes are easy for kids to make with very little help or direction. They also have coloring pages to help your children learn about the ingredients they are using.
You could say that 2020 has been quite a year with the triple challenge of Covid-19, wildfires and food insecurity for communities across Oregon. Following in the tradition of giving thanks, we’re highlighting people and organizations in the dairy community who have given generously to make a positive difference this year. Join us in saying #Thanks4Giving to these community heroes.
Thanks4 Helping Schools in Need // This year hunger impacted many communities throughout Oregon. We’d like to say #Thanks4Giving to Safeway/Albertsons and GENYOUth whose “Help Feed Families During the Crisis” campaign generated $450,000 in emergency grant funding for Oregon schools to aid them in distributing free, nutritious meals to children during the school year.
“The support from Safeway and Albertsons has shown how communities can rise up and come together to support the needs of children.” said Alex Singer, Nutrition Services Director for Central School District in Independence/Monmouth.
Thanks4 Clearing the Air // We’re also thankful for Darlene Sichley of Abiqua Acres, who cared for her community during the recent wildfires by procuring 72 much-needed air filters to help clear unhealthy smoke from their homes so that her neighbors could breathe more easily.
“We may have had some difficulties, but the power of the community of helpers is greater than the fear and is the brightest light of hope,” said Darlene in a recent issue of Cowsmopolitan.
Thanks4 Helping Communities with Hunger // Incredible generosity makes for an incredible community. When Sarah Marcus of Briar Rose Creamery heard about hunger in her community, she donated over 250 lbs of their delicious, handcrafted Fromage Blanc cheese to the YCAP Food Bank.
Thanks4 Community Teamwork // And thanks to the team at Rickreall Dairy, who decided to pay things forward on their farm’s 30th anniversary by giving away over 400 bags of groceries, including fresh milk and meat from their farm, to their community.
“We just pray that this random act of kindness will give everyone the hope they need as we all struggle through these crazy times,” said Rickreall owner, Louie Kazemier.
Thanks4 Caring for First Responders // Oregon has no shortage of farmers who want to give back. Derrick Josi, of TDF Honest Farming in Tillamook, called on his 400,000+ Facebook followers to support their local first responders during the wildfires earlier this year. His call to action resulted in a Tillamook coffee shop receiving over $1,000 to cover breakfasts for firefighters working to save homes and dairy farms threatened by the Pike Fire.
On behalf of the Oregon dairy community, we’re thankful for you! When you buydelicious dairy products, you support local dairy families, communities and businesses throughout the state. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!
Searching for free school meals in your area? Run out of recipe ideas? Looking for ways to exercise at home? Anthony Newman has got your back.
Anthony Newman, former NFL player and Oregon Duck, tackles health issues for kids and teens in our short video series, “Staying Healthy with Anthony Newman.”
Where to Find Free School Meals
Anthony Newman shares information on where to find free school meals in your area. Free school meals are available to ALL kids and teens age 1-18. Not just those in school. No ID or registration is needed at pick up. And they’re delicious and healthy!
Self-care is an important part of staying on track while staying at home. Anthony shares information on the importance of sleeping, eating well, and how kids can establish a healthy routine during this time.
Feeling lonely or disconnected? Anthony provides tips on how to cultivate a positive attitude while staying safe and socially distancing.
Food Hero Smoothie Recipe
Who likes smoothies? You will after watching this video! Anthony shows you how easy it is to eat healthy at home with a recipe from Food Hero, a website chock-full of easy and nutritious recipes kids can make at home.
In Oregon, there are more than half a million people who do not get enough to eat, and more than 194,000 of them are children. An estimated 1 in 6 kids nationally lived with food insecurity heading into the pandemic, and now it is expected to be closer to 1 in 4 as more households are struggling with declining income or unemployment.
In partnership with GENYOUth, a national nonprofit that creates healthier school communities, Safeway and Albertsons and other contributors are funding grants to supply much-needed resources for meal distribution and delivery. Nationally, more than $10 million has been deployed in emergency funding supporting more than 8,600 schools.
From soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, to protective gear for food service sanitation and safety, this equipment will ensure that children continue to receive the nutritious meals they need.
“Our meal program has provided nearly 200,000 meals free of charge to the children in our community over the last 6 months,” said Alex Singer, Nutrition Services Director for Central School District in Independence/Monmouth. “The support from Safeway and Albertsons has shown how communities can rise up and come together to support the needs of children.”
Through donations at the cash register, the Nourishing Neighbors program raises awareness, engages volunteers and raises funds to support innovative and effective programs throughout the country. The program ensures every child in America has access to nutritious food. It is part of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, which has invested over $1 billion in communities nationwide since 2001.
“I truly hope our customers know that when they say yes at the PIN pad, they are helping children in their very neighborhood receive immediate and much needed hunger relief,” said Gineal Davidson, President, Portland Division of Safeway Albertsons.
Oregon’s dairy community loves what they do. They work hard every day caring for their land and animals, and providing your family with essential nutrition.
During this pandemic, food heroes including farmers, processors and grocers are working hard to get products to you, from farm to fridge. But don’t just take our word for it, here they are in a short video to tell you themselves.
While things have not been perfect, and this world looks extremely different than it did a few months ago, Oregon’s dairy community has rallied together to make sure everyone gets the food that they need, through your grocery stores, to your schools, and through Oregon’s food banks.
So whether you need essential nutrients found in dairy products, or just come good ol’ comfort food, dairy farm families across the state, like the Lancaster family, Heimerl kids, Wismer triplets, Krahn girls, processors Darigold and Tillamook Creamery, Darleen from Guernsey Dairy Mama and Derrick from TDF Honest Farming want you to know “we’ve got you covered.”
Quinoa, kale, Brussels sprouts, tamales, green smoothies. These are all foods you might find in a trendy restaurant … or on a lunch tray in your local school cafeteria.
School lunches are fast overcoming their stereotypical reputation as bland and uninspired through some creativity and innovation by school nutrition professionals. On this National School Lunch Week, let’s take a look toward the future.
If you’ve ever tried to concentrate on something when you’re really hungry, you’ll understand that students don’t perform at their best without a nutritious lunch, which they won’t eat unless it tastes good. Schools are committed to providing great food in their cafeterias, and it can be challenging to be innovative when there are so many considerations, including:
• Making it tasty for a wide range of food preferences
• Making it easy to eat in a short period of time
• Cost and budgetary concerns
• Regulations and nutrition standards
• Allergies and dietary restrictions
• Sourcing and availability
• Food safety, storage and logistics
• Limiting food waste
Schools and school districts may operate differently, yet they share the common goal of providing meals their students actually want and will eat. These meals fuel students with the needed nutrients to grow and think. Improving menus can take some creativity, and that’s why culinary training events have proven so popular over the past nine years in Oregon.
Jessica Visinsky, a Registered Dietitian and trained chef, travels the state to teach child nutrition professionals about new recipes, knife skills, menu requirements and strategies to promote healthy eating. The trainings are sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs, and are offered at no cost to the schools.
As a result, school nutrition professionals are preparing more scratch recipes, often from the Oregon State University Food Hero program. Check out Food Hero for recipes that can be made at home and with kids. Students have responded positively. Many also explore farm to school opportunities to include seasonal fruits, vegetables and other local foods year-round.
The school lunch of the future will likely include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Some are taking a serious look at plant-based diets and some are looking at local, sustainably sourced center-of-the-plate proteins such as seafood and beef. These are all complemented well by the nutrition provided in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Restrictions will continue for sodium, sugar and unhealthy fat, driven by science and recommendations from USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
You don’t have to gaze into a crystal ball to see the future of school lunches is looking bright. On this National School Lunch Week, we salute all of those who work so hard to put nutritious and delicious foods on our students’ trays. Thank you!
Since 1937, June has been designated as a special month to celebrate milk and all things dairy. National Dairy Month is an annual tradition that recognizes the contributions the dairy industry has made to health and happiness around the world.
Oregon has a lot to celebrate, and what better way to kick things off than World Milk Day? After all, milk is Oregon’s official state beverage. On every day of June, we served up some cheesy, dairy-themed jokeson social media. As an example, this was one of the crowd favorites: Why was the dairy farmer the slowest player on the baseball field? You’d be slow too if your jersey weighed 1,000 pounds!
There were several dairy events and observances throughout the month as well. Cloverdale dairy farmer Ron Hurliman served as Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade in Tillamook. With more than 120 entries, the parade is a centerpiece of the June Dairy Festival alongside the Tillamook County YMCA Milk Run and the Tillamook County Rodeo. You can read all about the festivities in this special insert from the Tillamook Headlight Herald.Capital Press also had this special section for June Dairy Monthwith several great stories.
We sponsored the Milk Carton Boat Race in partnership with the Royal Rosarians, the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassadors, Darigold and many others. A Rose Festival tradition since 1973, the family-friendly event features kids, adults and teams racing across a pond on boats that float atop empty milk cartons and milk jugs. KGW television’s Drew Carney highlighted the event on his Sunrise showand KATU’s Katherine Kisiel was an event announcer.
At the national level, a running theme throughout the month involved dairy’s contributions to fighting food insecurity and child hunger. The “Real Love Convoy” brought Undeniably Dairy branded trucks to New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Cleveland for media opportunities and public events featuring dairy. This included an appearance with spokeswoman Laila Ali and dairy farmer Katie Dotterer-Pyle on Good Morning America. Locally, we helped promote summer meals programs in Oregon with this special video featuring Oregon’s Fuel Up to Play 60 spokesperson Anthony Newman.
While National Dairy Month may be over, we’ll continue to celebrate dairy year round. Oh, and did we mention that July is National Ice Cream Month? Stay tuned for a fun announcement on National Ice Cream Day (July 21)!
When students from Armand Larive Middle School attended a Culinary Workshop in Umatilla, hosted by Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, they saw their school nutrition professionals in action. This post debuts a great new video they created to share their experience.
The Culinary Workshop is one of six regional workshops offered to school nutrition professionals throughout Oregon to help improve child nutrition programs. “I want to make sure we have a variety of foods represented, because these folks help make the menus for schools,” said Chef and Registered Dietitian Garrett Berdan.
Many of the recipes used for this workshop are from Food Hero (www.foodhero.org) , an online resource with shopping hints, cooking tips and videos, to help Oregonians improve their health with affordable and healthy recipes.
While attending the workshop, Armand Larive Middle School students interviewed, taste-tested and even gave their feedback on the finished recipes to re-cap the day. This is one of many video projects they have done with video equipment provided through a Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a school nutrition and exercise program launched by the National Dairy Council and the NFL to improve health and encourage today’s youth to live healthier lives. Grants are available to qualified K-12 schools to jump start healthy changes in the school environment.
“The students worked really hard on editing this,” said Angie Treadwell, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator. “There was lots of footage to sort through, and I think it was a really good experience for them in many ways, especially in gaining a deeper understanding of school food service.”
As one of the many examples showing how the experience is paying off, Armand Larive Middle School’s Ashley Treadwell received Honorable Mention in the National Scholastic Press Association Individual Award Contest for her video story titled “Cooking Class.”
Food Hero has a wealth of easy to make, nutritious recipes to liven up your summer days. Here is an easy summer lunch idea for the kids … or yourself.
Dietitian’s Tip: This recipe is a great addition to a healthy diet serving up dairy protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Come up with your own combination using different fruits and vegetables.
4 medium whole wheat tortillas
1 cup grated cheese (try cheddar, jack, or pepper jack)
1 cup pear slices (fresh or canned/drained)
½ cup finely chopped green or red peppers
2 tablespoons minced onion (green, red, or yellow)
Lay two tortillas on two plates.
Divide the cheese between the two tortillas.
Divide the pears, peppers, and onion between the two tortillas.
Top with remaining two tortillas.
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium (300 degrees in an electric skillet). Place one quesadilla in pan. Cook 2-4 minutes, or until bottom of quesadilla begins to look a little brown.
With large spatula, gently turn the quesadilla over and cook the other side until a little brown, 2-4 minutes.
Gently slide quesadilla onto a plate. Cook the second quesadilla.
Cut each cooked quesadilla into 4 pieces and serve.
Per serving: 250 calories, 8 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 400 mg sodium