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Nutritious and Fun Breakfast: Banana in a Blanket

Perfect for breakfast or shared as a snack, this delicious, hearty little recipe is sure to please!

Ingredients

  • 1 six-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter or cream cheese
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon granola

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Lay the tortilla on a plate and spread the entire surface evenly with the nut or seed butter or cream cheese.

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Peel the banana and place on one edge of the tortilla.

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Sprinkle with granola.

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Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top.

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Roll the tortilla to wrap the banana in the “blanket.”

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Slice in half, serve and enjoy!

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Bento Box Mania!

What is a bento box?

Bento box lunches have been increasing in popularity among families with preschoolers and school-age children. Google the term “bento box lunch” and you will find a wealth of resources, including blogs, Pinterest pages and online retailers selling basic and whimsical options. If a parent is artistic, the child’s lunch can become a work of art.

Why does it work well for school lunches?

Bento boxes work well for school lunches and snacks because they protect food in a sealed container and keep food groups separate. If you have a picky eater who does not like foods touching, a bento box may keep your child happy. Parents can have fun creating different lunchtime masterpieces. Bento boxes are also economical because they are reusable and help keep plastic snack and sandwich bags out of landfills.

What are the nutritional benefits of bento boxes?

Bento boxes are appealing because they provide a creative way to add a variety of foods to a child’s lunch while keeping wet foods separate from dry foods. By introducing different, healthy foods early in your child’s life, he or she may develop a preference for those foods as well as a more diverse palate. You can also turn the preparation of the bento box into a learning activity by asking your child what each food is, where it comes from, how it’s made and so on. Engaging your child in the experience may help to build and reinforce a child’s love of diverse, nutritious foods while fostering a love of learning.

What can I put in my child’s bento box?

The options are endless, but here are some ideas:

  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs;
  • A mini-bagel sandwich with almond butter, jelly or another spread;
  • Sliced strawberries, blueberries and kiwis;
  • Cheese cubes;
  • Pretzels;
  • Sliced grapes;
  • A muffin;
  • Mini-pita sandwiches filled with cheese and pepperoni;
  • Sliced pineapple;
  • Celery and carrot sticks;
  • Cucumber slices;
  • A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll;
  • Veggie chips;
  • Rice molds;
  • Chickpeas and black beans;
  • Raisins and chocolate chips;
  • Sandwich rounds with ham, cheese and avocado.

Enjoy making bento box lunches!

Five Ways to Discourage Children from Lying

Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers five ways to discourage children from lying.

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  1. Keep your cool when your child lies. Try to say ‘Oh,’ or ‘Okay,’ to give yourself some time to think about what to say next. Something like ‘I wonder what happened to the flowers’ works better than ‘Whoever did this had better tell the truth (‘or else!’ is implied).’ This strategy makes it easier for children to be truthful and improves your chances of hearing the truth later as they will feel less intimidated.
  2. Calmly, try to help your child understand why he lied and what he can do next time to avoid lying.
  3. Explain to your child that it’s okay to make a mistake and that she doesn’t have to lie about it. Also remember to praise your child for admitting that she made a mistake. Lying lessens when it’s safe to tell the truth.
  4. When you are on the fence about whether or not to believe your preschooler, err on the side of believing that your child is telling the truth. Or his version of it. After all, imagination is a powerful and creative force that might cause a child to tell a lie that he thinks is true. For example, a child might claim that there is a monster in the closet when that obviously isn’t true.
  5. Be aware that you are under constant scrutiny and that the ‘innocent’ white lie that you can’t make a donation to a charitable organization because you don’t have any cash, for instance, will be noticed by your child. Set a good example and remember that the truth starts at home.

Honey & Cranberry Sandwich!

Are you looking for an easy snack or breakfast option? Check out these delicious honey & cranberry sandwiches! Click here for the video!

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Ingredients:

  • Whole grain bagel or bread
  • Seed- or nut-based butter
  • Dried cranberries
  • Honey

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Spread seed- or nut-based butter on one half of a mini whole grain bagel or slice of bread.

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Then, drizzle on some local honey.

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Top it off with a sprinkle of dried cranberries.

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Serve the sandwich with a glass of almond milk or orange juice. For added flavor and crunch, you can place a few slivers of apple on top. Makes a great snack or easy breakfast!

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Enjoy!

Top O’ The Graham!

Here’s a cheery snack to satisfy your little one’s hungry tummy! Click here for the video!

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Ingredients

  • Non-fat yogurt (any flavor)
  • Graham crackers
  • Banana slices
  • Dried cranberries

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Break a graham cracker in half so you have two squares.

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Spread a spoonful of yogurt on one of the graham cracker squares. (Try it out with key lime flavored yogurt for a St. Patrick’s Day treat!)

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Top with a banana slice and dried cranberries.

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Repeat and enjoy!

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Apple Snacks!

Apples are child-friendly, healthy snacks (they are fat, sodium and cholesterol free!). They are a great addition to school lunches and can also be used in a variety of recipes! Spruce up snack time with these easy and delicious apple snack ideas. Click here to watch the video!

Lil’ Dippers

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Crushed peanuts or sliced almonds

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Cut the apple into wedges. Dip each piece in the nut or seed butter.

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Then dip the apple wedge in the crushed peanuts or sliced almonds.

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Enjoy!

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Crunchy Hazelnut Wedges

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Low-fat granola

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Cut the apple into wedges. Smear each piece with hazelnut spread.

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Then sprinkle apple wedge with granola. Substitute peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter) for hazelnut spread if you’d like. Also, feel free to add raisins!

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Enjoy!

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POLAR BEAR SNACKS

Whip up some winter fun with these delightful (and easy) polar bear snacks! Click here to see how these recipes are made.

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Polar Bear Yogurt Bowl (Great for breakfast!)

  • 1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3 slices of banana
  • 3 fresh blueberries

Scoop one cup of vanilla Greek yogurt into a small round bowl.

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Place two slices of banana at the top of the bowl for ears.

Place one slice of banana in the middle of the bowl for a muzzle.

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Place one blueberry on the middle banana slice as a nose and the other two blueberries just above the muzzle as eyes.

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Polar Bear Toast (An awesome afternoon snack!)

  • Slice of whole grain bread, toasted
  • 3 slices of banana
  • 5 fresh blueberries
  • Cream cheese

Spread cream cheese on a slice of whole grain toast.

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Place two slices of banana at the top two corners of the toast for ears.

Place one slice of banana towards the bottom center of the toast for a muzzle.

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Place one blueberry on each banana slice and add the other two blueberries just above the muzzle as eyes.

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Polar Bear Pudding Cup (Dessert, anyone?)

  • 1 vanilla pudding cup
  • 2 slices of banana
  • 2 chocolate chips
  • 1 HERSHEY’S KISS

Open a vanilla pudding cup.

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Place two slices of banana at the top of the cup for ears.

Place two chocolate chips upside down into the pudding below the banana slices as eyes.

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Place the HERSHEY’S KISS in the center of the pudding below the eyes as a nose.

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Eat up and enjoy!

 

 

Fishing for Crackers

Fishing for CrackersSpruce up snack time with this easy, healthy and fun snack!

Ingredients:

  • Carrot sticks
  • A bowl of hummus or veggie dip
  • Goldfish crackers

Dunk the carrots into the hummus or dip. Then put some goldfish crackers on a plate and use the carrot stick to “catch” the crackers.

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus RecipeSpice up snack time with this quick, easy and, most importantly, yummy black bean hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 15-oz can of black beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

Drain black beans. In a blender, puree all ingredients, adding water if necessary. Season with salt to taste. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

Four Ways to Encourage Gratitude

072O2495Teaching children how to be grateful is important. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four tips on how to encourage gratitude.

  1. Regularly express your own thankfulness verbally. Saying things such as “We are very lucky to have grandma nearby” or “I’m thankful to have a son like you in my life” or “Your dad made that so easy for all of us” can help demonstrate the appreciation you have for the people around you.
  2. Express gratitude behaviorally. Take a casserole to a neighbor who has been kind or needs some extra help for whatever reason—even better if the children help you make it. When the hand-me-down toys end their cycle, make a thrift store run with the children in tow.
  3. Make generosity part of your family’s routine. When seasons change, collect clothes from everyone’s closet to donate or take canned goods to the local soup kitchen.
  4. Take the children along on community fundraising activities, runs, walks, etc. Explain to them why this matters to you. Make sure your children meet the organizers and understand the purpose; if it’s personal, it’s remembered.