Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Welcome 2014 with a Happy and Healthy New Year Party

As our afterschool program came to a close in 2013, we had a healthy holiday party with our Grandview Elementary students and families.  To celebrate the new year in a healthy way, here are a few ideas that you can easily do at home or in your classroom.  

Make some fresh juice.  At our party, we loved the juice created by Knowledge Hudson and Knowledge Divine of Juice Up 412:  Ready, Set, Juice!  

Looking for protein and veggie packed dish? One that's vegan and gluten free? Try a tofu scramble. Gail made a delicious version of this recipe, and our kids loved it.  One of my favorite comments from a satisfied student was, "This is better than chicken! Can I make it at home?" 

Tofu Scramble by Gail:
1 lb firm or extra firm tofu: (if you care for your eggs soft then you may want to try a soft tofu or silken firm tofu).
1 tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Half green pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T vegetable broth
1 T poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 c (1/2 stick) Earth Balance margarine
8 oz Daiya cheddar cheese
1: Melt margarine in large skillet over medium heat
2: Add vegetables and sauté 2mins (except tomato)
3: Add tofu breaking up with hands, using wooden spoon to break-up further
4: Add the spices along with a small amount of water; stir well to incorporate
5: Add cheese and tomato; mix well until cheese melts
Serve with bread, home fries, biscuits or pancakes
Add or substitute other vegetables such as zucchini or broccoli.

To get in the spirit, make a fun snack.  It's still bitterly cold outside, so warm up with an indoor snowman.  Our friends from SWSG made this "snowman" using bananas, pretzels and tiny chocolate chips.  You can use a bit of marshmallow fluff to  help the chocolate chips stick to the bananas, but it's not necessary.  They also created a healthy choices game.  To make your own game you'll need poster board, markers, adhesive magnets and cut-outs of healthy and unhealthy food.  Once you've put your board together, students can take the cut-out images of food and place them on the side of the board they think best describes that food.  This game is a great way to talk with your students or your kids about healthy choices. 

Just like a farmer's market, you too can display an arrangement of beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables.  Our students had a hard time choosing just how many fruits and vegetables that they wanted to try. 

What's a party with out a little trail mix? Carma from Farm to Table Pittsburgh, helped our students create their own mix using dried fruits and nuts. With so many options, you can create endless versions of trail mix. 

We also engaged our creative side by making gingerbread man ornaments, getting our faces painted by Cynthia of Face Paint Pittsburgh and mixing beats with Andrew and Meredith of the Hilltop Computer Center. 
A special thanks goes out to Eat'n Park for supporting our health and wellness initiatives at Grandview Elementary.  Here's to a happy and healthy new year!





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