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Better-for-you meals from breakfast to dinner

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(Family Features) Whether you’re encouraging loved ones to start a new wellness kick or looking to add new ideas to an already-nutritious menu, families at any stage of a journey toward better health can use newfound favorites to bring fresh flavors to the table.

These dishes from Milk Means More provide an all-day assortment of deliciousness from breakfast to lunch and dinner so you can bring everyone together for tasty, nutritious meals no matter the occasion. Dairy foods, like the low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese found in these recipes, are fundamental to good nutrition.

Constructing a better-for-you menu calls for a balanced diet with a variety of foods to get essential nutrients. This balance is important for maintaining healthy gut and immune function while optimizing overall wellness.

Start by ramping up your family’s breakfast with these slightly sweet Mini Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Cinnamon-Maple Topping for a protein-packed way to start the day with a healthy addition of fresh berries.

Fusion cooking is on the menu at lunchtime with the spicy-sweet combo of Cajun-seasoned chicken mingling with mango and pungent blue cheese in these Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas. Finally, finish the day with Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes – an easy-to-make family meal ready in 30 minutes.

Find additional better-for-you recipe inspiration at MilkMeansMore.org.

Mini Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Cinnamon-Maple Topping

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings:6

Topping:

  • 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (fat free, 2% or 5%)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (fat free, 2% or 5%)
  • 1/2 cup milk (skim, 2% or whole)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • oil
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or chopped fresh strawberries
  1. To make topping: Stir yogurt, syrup and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To make pancakes: In mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk, butter and vanilla. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until combined (batter should be slightly lumpy).
  3. Scrape batter into large plastic food storage bag. Oil nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat. Cut off about 1/2 inch from corner of plastic bag. Squeeze batter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, onto hot griddle. Cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when bubbles form on surface of pancakes and edges are slightly dry.
  4. Serve warm pancakes topped with cinnamon-maple yogurt and sprinkled with berries.

Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon or halibut fillets, cut into 4 serving-size pieces
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 18-by-13-by-1-inch (half sheet) baking pan with foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Place fish pieces, skin side down, on one side of prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining pepper. Lightly press feta cheese on top of fish. Pour tomato mixture on other side of prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  4. Place salmon on serving plates. Spoon tomato mixture over top.

Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas

Recipe by Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Sauce:

  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or lime juice

Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large whole-wheat pita rounds (or 6 small), halved
  • 1 1/2 cups spring greens
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 ounces)
  1. To make sauce: In small bowl, stir yogurt, honey and juice. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To make filling: In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook and stir chicken with seasoning in hot oil 4-6 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from heat. Stir in mango.
  3. Fill pita pockets with greens, chicken mixture and blue cheese. Spoon yogurt sauce on top.


SOURCE:
United Dairy Industry of Michigan

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Empower yourself with nutrition know-how

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(Family Features) Eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and proteins is a crucial first step toward a healthy life.

Even with hectic schedules and convenience foods readily available, it’s important to incorporate habits like regular family meals and meal planning so you have a variety of better-for-you snacks and recipes on hand. Also important is leading by example and modeling healthy eating habits to help improve overall nutrition for you and your family members, especially children.

If you are looking for ways to make nutrition fun, the experts at Healthy Family Project, along with its fruit and vegetable partners, are offering an online nutrition resource center as part of Mission for Nutrition 2024.

Geared toward dietitians, nutrition professionals and anyone involved in nutrition education, the resource center is a one-stop shop to make nutrition education fun and inspiring, featuring more than 600 dietitian-approved recipes; tips to pick, prepare and store more than 50 fruits and vegetables during every season; a podcast, e-cookbook and monthly newsletter; and free downloadables, infographics, activities for kids and more.

Dietitians and nutrition professionals can sign up to receive this year’s Mission for Nutrition kit, which is full of resources to use in classrooms, in-store with customers or wherever they’re supporting nutrition education. Available by request only, the kit includes a roll of “I’m a Healthy Eater” stickers, seasonal counter cards, mini magazines, demo ideas, a Healthy Family Project spatula and additional resources and information from produce partners.

As part of the mission, the partner brands are making a donation to improve access to fresh produce in schools through the Foundation for Fresh Produce.

To find more resources, tips and recipes to encourage proper nutrition, visit HealthyFamilyProject.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
Healthy Family Project

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EDIBLES

Get creative with Easter sweets

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Kid-friendly crafts that bring loved ones together

(Family Features) Holiday hams and deviled eggs may take center stage at Easter gatherings, but edible crafts offer a reminder of the magic of the season that’s found in moments spent together. Simple recipes that call for a dose of creativity are perfect ways to bring the kids to the kitchen, made even easier when all that work leads to sweet treats.

While plastic eggs may have led to a decline in good, old-fashioned egg-dyeing, there are still fun ways to bring crafts back to Easter celebrations. Consider these Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops, which call for little ones to help dip seasonal shapes in chocolate, use cake molds and more.

Children of virtually any age can relish in the joys of using cookie cutters and decorating Easter Sugar Cookies, all with a little supervision and short list of instructions. This version shows how to make the cookies and homemade icing so you can create any color you desire for maximum creativity.

Remember, these delicious crafts don’t have to be perfect – having fun and making memories that last a lifetime are what make Easter truly special.

Visit Culinary.net to find more Easter inspiration and recipes from “Cookin’ Savvy.”

Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 can frosting
  • 1 bunny chocolate mold
  • 1 cakesicle mold
  • ice pop sticks
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips or melting chips
  • cake pop sticks
  • 1 bag orange melting chips
  • 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 bag green melting chips
  • pastel sprinkles
  • 1 piece hard foam (optional)
  • edible markers
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely.
  2. Crumble cake and mix with 1/2 can frosting until dough forms. Add more frosting, if needed. Using small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and set aside. Place dough in bunny molds then pop out and set aside with balls. Place dough in cakesicle mold, insert ice pop stick in each slot and freeze 5-10 minutes.
  3. Melt handful of white melting chips. Stick tip of each cake pop stick in chocolate then insert into every cake ball and bunny until each has one stick. Set aside to dry.
  4. Remove cakesicles from freezer and pop out of molds. In bowl, melt orange melts then mix in 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to cup. Dip cakesicles and scrape off excess using rim of cup. Place on parchment paper to dry.
  5. In bowl, melt green melts then place in zip-top or piping bag. Cut tip off bag, pipe carrot leaves onto piece of parchment paper and let dry.
  6. Melt remaining white melts and mix in remaining oil. Transfer to cup and dip ball-shaped cake pops and bunnies then tap stick on edge of cup to remove excess.
  7. Over separate bowl, sprinkle ball-shaped pops with pastel sprinkles. To keep ball shape, let dry by sticking in piece of hard foam. Bunnies can dry face side up on parchment paper. After bunnies are dry, use edible markers to make face and color in ears.
  8. When carrots and leaves are dry, remelt orange melts and place in piping or zip-top bag. Cut off tip and drizzle orange over carrots. Add small line of orange on each ice pop stick and place leaves on each stick. Let dry.

Easter Sugar Cookies

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning (optional), divided
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • assorted food coloring

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. To make icing: Mix meringue powder, 1/2 cup warm water, vanilla, powdered sugar and corn syrup. Separate into bowls and add food coloring; mix with water, as needed, to thin for piping.
  2. To make cookies: Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time to form dough. Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2-inch thickness.
  4. Cut into shapes, place on baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
  5. Place icing in zip-top or piping bags and cut off tips. Put cookies on parchment paper. Trace outline first then fill in middle. Use toothpicks to smooth out.
  6. Let dry 6 hours and finish decorating with different icing colors or edible markers.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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EDIBLES

Go big with a yummy bread bowl

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(Culinary.net) Perfect for afternoon snacking or as an appetizer, this Spinach-Ham Dip is warmed inside a bread bowl and can be served with bread cubes, crackers or tortilla chips.

Find more snack ideas at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=GaExt5fBAQs%3Fmodestbranding%3D1%26rel%3D0%26showinfo%3D0

Spinach-Ham Dip

  • 2          cups ricotta cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4       pound ham, cubed
  • 3/4       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1          round bread loaf (16 ounces), unsliced
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add spinach, ham, Parmesan cheese and green onions; mix until blended.
  3. Cut 1-2-inch diameter circle out of top of bread loaf. Reserve top. Remove bread inside loaf, leaving about 1 inch along sides. Pour cheese mixture into bread bowl. Replace top. Cover bread loaf in aluminum foil and bake 60 minutes, or until warmed through.
  4. Take bread removed from inside bread bowl and cut into dipping sized chunks.
  5. Remove bread from aluminum foil and place on platter. Scatter bread chunks around bread bowl to use for dunking in cheese sauce.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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