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PostHeaderIcon 2nd Annual Healthy Families, Helping Kids with PFK and Meijer

Disclosure: This is a post written by me and any opinions expressed are my own. I may or may not have received compensation for my services.

Many families are thinking about eating healthier as the new school year commences. I know that the schools state that the lunches are “healthy” but, after spending many lunch times with the boys last year, I am not happy with them eating it. I do humor Royal sometimes and let him get it because he asks. I am happy you tell you that Produce for Kids wants to help kids eat healthfully at home AND in the classroom.

Produce for Kids is teaming up with Meijer stores for the second annual Healthy Families, Helping Kids campaign to raise money for local health and nutrition-based classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org.

Last year, the campaign raised more than $169,000 and supported 652 classroom projects throughout the country. Beginning Sept. 2 to Sept. 28, the joint campaign will help raise money for classroom projects that encourage healthy relationships with food. The more produce Meijer shoppers add to their shopping lists, the more hope they can give to local children. All participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers at Meijer stores will make a consumption-based donation DonorsChoose.org.

Shoppers should be on the lookout for Produce for Kids signage, featuring characters from the popular Sprout® television show,The Chica Show, in the produce section of local Meijer stores. There, they will be directed to visit www.produceforkids.com for even more Ideal Meals recipes, tips and solutions to help shoppers keep their families healthy for back-to-school and year-round.

Below are some fantastic delicious ALL NEW recipes that will keep the whole family nutritiously fed from breakfast to dinner:

Breakfast in a Flash!

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes


½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup fat free milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 egg
1 banana, sliced
½ cup blueberries
2 tsp. caramel dip
1 Tbsp. pecans, finely chopped


  1. Sift flours, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add milk, oil and egg, and mix until moistened.
  2. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat; spray with cooking spray. Spoon ¼ cup pancake mixture onto skillet. Add sliced bananas and blueberries, and cook 2-3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until done.
  3. Top with pecans and drizzle with caramel dip.

Suggested Sides for a Complete Meal:

  • ·        A glass of 100% pomegranate juice

Lunchtime Chowtime
Hearty Turkey & Kale Chili

Serves 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ Tbsp. chili powder
1½ Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (15 oz.) low-sodium black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) no salt added corn, drained
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups kale, tough stems removed, chopped
1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 cup unsalted tortilla chips, crushed


  1. Add turkey, onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, tomatoes, black beans, corn, broth and kale to slow cooker, and cook on low 8 hours.
  2. Top with Greek yogurt and tortilla chips.

Suggested sides:

  • ½ cup mandarin oranges
  • 1 Buddy Fruits pouch

Dinner Delights

Sausage & Veggie Gnocchi

Serves: 4
Cook Time: 30 minutes


Sausage Gnocchi:
1 pkg. (16 oz.) gnocchi, cooked according to package directions
1 jar (26 oz.) low-sodium pasta sauce
12 oz. pork kielbasa, sliced into ½” rounds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 bell peppers, seeded, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch (6 cups) kale, tough stems removed, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Nutty Green Beans:

¼ cup pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed


Sausage Gnocchi:

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add kielbasa and cook 3-4 minutes, or until heated through and lightly browned. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
  2. Return skillet to heat; add peppers and onion, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Add kale, tomato and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender and tomato juices have reduced. Turn heat to medium-low; add pasta sauce and heat.
  3. Mix gnocchi with pasta sauce and top with kielbasa.

Nutty Green Beans:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place pecans single layer on baking sheet and bake 5 minutes. Stir, return to oven and bake 3 minutes, or until pecans are slightly browned and aromatic. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Turn up oven to 400°F.
  4. Toss green beans with olive oil. Spread on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender, stirring halfway through. Toss with toasted pecans.

Suggested Sides for a Complete Meal:

  • ½ cup mandarin oranges
  • A glass of lowfat milk

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