Friday, November 07, 2014

Healthy School Lunch Ideas from the Grain Farmers of Ontario {giveaway}

Two months into the school year. Are your kids getting bored with their lunches yet? Are you running out of ideas for healthy and tasty lunches that will actually get eaten? Raising my hand over here. Boo is going to drive me mad with his picky eating. We've definitely fallen in to a rut, and I'm looking for some inspiration. I have lots of options for the sides, since he loves fruit and cheese. But the main course is proving challenging. I need to get good protein into him!

The Grain Farmers of Ontario have a public education campaign, Good in Every Grain, and as part of the initiative they've teamed up with the Healthy Grains Institute and Registered Dietitian and mom, Cara Rosenbloom to help fill lunchboxes across the province with healthy and balanced meals that children can get excited about. Cara has developed some simple, tasty and nutritional lunchtime staples that create a balanced meal: Whole Grain Pizzadillas with Tofu Ranch Dipping Sauce and a Grainiac Mediterranean Lunch Box. Cute names right? That novelty can help appeal to kids too.

I like that the Grainiac Mediterranean Lunch Box includes a nut-free hummus.  Cara's recipe uses soy butter in place of the usual tahini paste (sesame seed), making it school-safe, while maintaining a nutty taste. A serving of this hummus provides 7g of protein, so I think I'll whip some up this weekend and see what Boo thinks! Protein and whole grains go a long way in sustaining energy through the school day, which is critical for attention and learning.


In this unique version of hummus, traditional sesame seed tahini is replaced with the equally “nutty” taste of soy butter. Bonus: it’s now school-safe for classrooms where nuts and seeds are restricted.

Makes 8 servings (each serving is 1/3 cup)

19 oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
¼ cup silken tofu
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp soy butter (such as Wowbutter)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, add chickpeas, tofu, lemon juice, soy butter, oil, cumin, and garlic.
Process until smooth. Add salt and pepper, adjusting to taste. Serve with whole grain pita crisps and vegetables for dipping.

Note: If you use canned beans that contain added salt, omit the ½ tsp of salt in the recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/3 cup serving): 156 calories, 6 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 150 mg sodium, 4 g fibre.

Here is Cara preparing this recipe and discussing nutrition with one of her mom clients:

Food for thought:

  • Whole grain products provide great nutritional value. They contain fibre, B-vitamins and minerals that are necessary nutrients for growth and development.
  • A balanced meal should include: whole grains, vegetables & fruit and protein.
  • Cara recommends the balanced plate approach: fill your plate, or lunch box with: half vegetables or fruit, a quarter protein and a quarter whole grains.
  • Get kids excited about their lunch by giving it a cool name & using bright colours.
  • Grains are local: there are 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers right here in Ontario!
You can learn more by visiting the Grain Farmers of Ontario at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto from November 7-16. On Saturday, November 15, from 1-2pm, Cara Rosenbloom will be joining them at their Growing Connections trailer to answer any nutritional questions you may have. Be sure to drop by if you're visiting that day!

You can connect with the Grain Farmers on Facebook at

A Giveaway

Courtesy of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, one of you will be winning a Good Grain Lunch Box bundle ($100 value), including:
  • A colourful, bento-style lunchbox 
  • A gift card to Metro grocery store ($50) 
  • WOW BUTTER, a delicious soybean –based alternative to peanut butter 
  • Good in Every Grain gear, including a folding water bag, button & kid's t-shirt
Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EST, November 25. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post has been brought to you by the Grain Farmers of Ontario. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to know you're reading! What's on your mind?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...