Saturday, December 3, 2016


Dark Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

Put ¼ cup popcorn kernels in a brown bag and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Melt one full size Hershey’s dark chocolate bar in microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute and then stir. Repeat until melted. Drizzle over popcorn and top with ¼ cup crushed candy cane. Enjoy!

Serving size 1 cup - 80 kcal, 2.4g fat, 1.6g sat fat

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Snacking can be an important part of healthy eating if you choose healthy choices for you and your family. Snacking can be useful and can improve endurance prior to exercise rather than eating an entire meal. Healthy snacks can meet our nutrient needs, increase our energy levels, control blood sugars, help with weight loss and manage our hunger.
·       Choose foods a variety from the five food groups: protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. Snacks should be at least two food groups.

·       Snacks should always include a fruit or vegetable in addition to other food groups. People who are losing weight or have diabetes should limit intake of fruit to 2-3 servings which is about 2-3 cups of cut up fresh fruit or 2-3 small pieces of fruit.

·       Lean protein as a snack in small amounts can last longer and help with feeling fuller so is believed to help with weight control.

·       Always carry snacks when away from home to avoid the temptation of choosing a high fat, sodium or sugar snack or beverage. Keep snack baggies, plastic storage containers, ice packs and lunch coolers on hand!

·       Water or low fat milk are the best beverage choices. Infused water or hot or cold naturally flavored ice teas are a great choice. Other choices are unsweetened soy or almond milk.

Snack Suggestions

·       Baby carrots, grape tomatoes, peppers with hummus
·       Half whole grain bread with all natural nut butter and bananas
·       All natural nut butter and apples
·       Berries with nonfat, low sugar yogurt
·       Smoothie with nonfat yogurt, 100% juice and frozen unsweetened or fresh fruit
·       Low sugar, whole grain cereal (1/2 cup),  nonfat milk and ½ banana
·       Half whole grain sandwich with tuna or lean meat (leftover chicken or turkey)
·       Half small pita loaded with vegs, reduced fat shredded cheese and hummus
·       Dark leafy green salad, almonds and mango or unsweetened mandarin oranges
·       Avocado and/or low sodium salsa with whole grain sweet potato corn chips

·       Celery with all natural peanut butter
·       Reduced fat cheese or part skim string cheese with whole grain crackers & 4 oz. 100% fruit juice
·       Whole grain popcorn & 4 oz. 100% juice or water with fruit slices
·       Mini pizza made with whole grain pita or English muffin topped with vegetables, part skim mozzarella cheese and low sodium tomato sauce
·       Yogurt parfait: berries, low sugar, nonfat yogurt and 2 Tablespoons of low sugar granola
·       Trail mix: high fiber, low sugar cereal, unsalted nuts, unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds and 1-2 Tablespoons craisins
·       Nonfat cottage cheese and pineapple
·       Part skim mozzarella and tomatoes

Text Box: Written by Susan Sheehy, RDN, LD

Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Hampshire Farmers Markets

Make New Hampshire Farmers Markets part of your weekly shopping routine! Farmers markets are a great way to purchase seasonal, fresh, and affordable food items as well as support your local community. Starting in June, many farmers markets will be in full swing.  Here are some tips for shopping at a farmers market:

1. Purchase fresh produce for snacks or meals.

2. Visit all the stands. Many farmers will be selling the same produce, find the best quality and price by visiting each of them.

3. Talk to the farmer. They might have ideas on food preparation/ storage.

4. Bring your children. Introduce your children to healthy food choices.

5. Beware of the sweets. Farmers markets often are filled with baked goods including homemade cookies and donuts… but that doesn’t make them healthy choices!

Plus, as an added bonus many farmers markets participate in Double the Value of SNAP/EBT fruit and vegetable purchases. This means $5.00 SNAP/EBT will purchase $10.00!

For more information on Manchester Farmer’s Markets visit:

Friday, April 8, 2016


1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter of choice (If you use peanut butter, it will have a slight peanut butter cookie dough taste)
up to 1/4 cup milk of choice, only if needed
¾  cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 to 3 tbsp oats (Ground flax will also work)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor, and process until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips. If made correctly and blended long enough, this should have the exact texture of real cookie dough!
Sweetener Notes: You can get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 tbsp for the whole recipe!

This can be served with graham crackers (with no hydrogenated fat), but fresh fruit (especially green apple slices) also works or try it by the spoonful.

Taken from

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. Keep your heart healthy by eating more heart healthy foods containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and reducing foods with saturated fats. Avocados are a great source of unsaturated healthy fats.

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are usually found in butter, coconut oil, and baked goods. It is recommended to eat less of these foods. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are usually found in fish, oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, and fish. It is recommended to eat more of these foods.

Avocados are also packed with vitamins and minerals. Eating fats at the same time as vitamins A, D, E, and K helps to increase how well your body absorbs and uses the vitamins. This means that the healthy fats and vitamins found in avocados work together to keep you healthy! Try the avocado based recipe included below as a great source of healthy fats!

Avocado Melon Breakfast Smoothie
·       1 large, ripe avocado
·       1 cup honeydew melon chunks
·       ½ lime, juiced (1 ½ tsp lime juice)
·       1 cup milk (fat free)
·       1 cup plain, fat free yogurt
·       ½ cup 100% apple juice or white grape juice
·       1 tablespoon honey
1.     Cut avocado in half, remove pit, and scoop out flesh. Put in blender.
2.     Add remaining ingredients and blend well.
3.     Serve cold.

Nutrition: Serving Size 1 cup, Calories 320, Total fat 11g, Saturated fat 2g, Carbohydrate 46g, Fiber 5g, Protein 13g, Sodium 170mg

Allergens: Contains milk  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

National Nutrition Month 2016

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The theme for 2016 is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right," which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.

How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods – that's the best way to savor the flavor of eating right! For more information and materials, visit the following web site at

Saturday, March 5, 2016


This upcoming week is National School Breakfast Week. Studies show that eating breakfast and refueling your body can make a world of difference not only for adults but for kids too! Eating breakfast is believed to impact test scores, trips to the nurse's office, and behavior. If breakfast is too rushed at home, don't forget about trying school breakfast. Not only is it an easy option, it can also be a social opportunity. Here are some tips for teaching students or your children about breakfast. 
  1. Have your student/child make a list of breakfast ideas.
  2. Explain that when we do not eat breakfast, our body goes 16 hours without fuel (time estimated from about dinner to the next day's lunch). Our body needs fuel to play hard, work hard, and be successful. Breakfast jump starts our bodies with the energy it needs to feel and do our work hard, and be successful. 
  3. Describe a well-balanced breakfast. A well-balanced breakfast should have at least 3 of the 5 food groups. Ask the student/child to list the 5 groups: fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein.
  4. Breakfast should include protein, complex carbohydrates, and little fat. Complex carbohydrates (starch and fiber carbohydrates; ex: whole grain English muffin) help us feel energized and the protein and fat (minimum) help keep us feeling full.
  5. Explain that eggs can be part of a healthy breakfast and demonstrate a couple of ways to cook an egg (e.g., scramble, boil, poach, etc.).
  6. At home, flavor the eggs with herbs and spices and allow your child to try each type of cooked egg.
  7. Ask how to make a well-balanced breakfast out of eggs (e.g., eggs, whole grain toast, and grapes) achieving 3 of the 5 food groups for breakfast.
  8. Encourage your student/child to eat breakfast and try the school breakfast for a healthy start to their day.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Meal Charging Policy Takes Effect February 8, 2016

A new School Board approved meal charging policy goes into effect on Monday, February 8. This is the same protocol that has been followed in past years, but it is now a board approved policy.

Any student who has a negative balance of $20.00 or more on their account  will receive a "safety meal" consisting of cereal and a milk instead of the breakfast or lunch meals listed on the menu for that day. This safety meal will continue until the student's lunch account returns to a positive status and will resume again anytime the account reaches a negative balance.

Letters have been mailed and will continue to be mailed home to families on a weekly basis explaining the procedure. Emails have also been sent if a valid email address is in the system. 

The full policy, Fiscal 129: Meal Charging Policy,  can be found on the Board of School Committee web site: A link is also located on the Food and Nutrition Services web site. Look on the left menu for Meal Charging Policy.