Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mulled Holiday Cider

A warm and fragrant addition to any festive fall or winter event.
*Recipe from Guiding Stars
Servings: 10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

2 quarts apple cider
4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
6 pieces orange peel


  1. In a stock pot, combine all the ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool a bit and strain. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Reheat and serve in mugs.

Nutritional Information (Serving Size: 6.4 fluid oz): Calories: 130, Fat: 0.5g,  Saturated fat: 0g,  Sodium: 10 mg, Carbohydrates: 32g  Fiber: 1.5 g, Sugar: 25g,  Protein: 1g 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Festive Green and Red Healthy Cucumber Hummus Bites

Cucumber Hummus Bites make the perfect finger food and appetizer for your next party or get together. Crisp cucumbers slices are topped with roasted red pepper hummus, tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh parsley.
15 minutes Prep Time
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds {32 slices}
  • 1 10 oz. tub of Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 oz crumbled feta cheese or reduced fat feta
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Toast sesame seeds in a skillet until slightly golden brown.
  2. Slice the cucumber into thin rounds and lay them out on serving platters. Using a small teaspoon spoon a small amount of the roasted red pepper hummus onto each cucumber slice.
  3. Top with the cherry tomato half, sesame seeds, crumbled feta cheese and the freshly chopped parsley.
  4. Serve chilled or store in an airtight container before serving.
These are great with a variety of vegetables. Try adding matchstick carrots or thinly sliced red onion.
There are a variety of hummus options that would be great with this appetizer.
Feel free to leave the feta cheese off if you do not like it.

Nutrition Info: 11 calories, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 35 mg sodium, 0.4 g protein, 1.3 gm sugar, 1.87 gm carbohydrate, 0.4 g fiber

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Juicy Roasted Turkey Breast

1 turkey breast with bone or turkey breast without bone
1 medium onion
2 whole carrots
2 stalks of celery, halved
Olive oil
1 tablespoon ground lemon
Black pepper to taste
1 and 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Place the onion, carrots, and celery in the bottom of a roasting pan. Put the turkey breast on top of the vegetables and brush with olive oil. Combine spices in a small bowl. Rub the spices over turkey. Roast at 400 degrees for 5 minutes and then turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Roast until the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Place the turkey on a serving platter and let it stand for 15 minutes before carving. Prepare gravy by adding water to the pan with the vegetables. Allow everything to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the fat and thicken with flour or cornstarch.


Nutrition Information:
Serves 14. Each 3 ounce serving contains 114 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 44 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, and 25 g protein.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Most people think of pumpkins as just Halloween decorations, as a Thanksgiving pie filling, or a flavoring in your favorite pumpkin spice latte (which actually has no real pumpkin flavor, just the spices!). When cooked and eaten in different ways, pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Here are some great reasons to dig into that pretty orange gourd and a yummy recipe for the whole family!

Fill up on fiber!
 Pumpkins are a great source of filling fiber. Fiber, if you don’t know, is the indigestible roughage found in many plant foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables and is very important for smooth digestion, hormone control, heart health, and even blood sugar control. If eaten regularly, it can also help reduce certain types of cancers. If you don’t want to cook your own pumpkin from fresh, you are in luck when it comes to fiber. In one cup of canned pumpkin there is over 7 grams of fiber, while one cup of cooked, fresh pumpkin has about 3 grams of fiber.

Boost immunity and keep your eyes healthy!
 Pumpkins are high in Vitamin C and E and rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein. These infection fighters give pumpkins their bright eye-catching colors. Beta-carotene is a special antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A in our body and fights against degenerative eye damage. Vitamin C has been linked to the prevention of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Don’t skip the seeds!
 Pumpkin seeds, also known as “pepita seeds”, are high in fiber and a good source of protein, healthy fats, zinc, and more vitamins and minerals. Next time your kids carve their pumpkins don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting and snacking!

Now that you know how healthy real pumpkin can be, here is a fun snack to introduce your kids to eating this colorful gourd!

No-Bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
(Adapted from

Prep Time: 10 mins      Total Time: 10 mins     Yield: 8 Granola Bars

-          2 cups of “old fashion” rolled oats
-          1/3 cup of canned pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie mix)
-          ¼ cup nut or seed butter of your choice (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter etc)
-          3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
-          1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-          ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
-          ¼ cup chopped unsalted pumpkin seeds (can use pecans, sunflower seeds, etc.)
-          ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

In a blender or food processor, combine the oats, pumpkin puree, nut or seed butter, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Pulse on low for a few seconds, scraping the sides as needed. Process just until mixed, you want some of the oats to remain whole. Transfer the pat mixture to a bowl and fold in the pumpkin seeds (or other seed/nut of choice) and chocolate chips.
3.     Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Lay the mixture into the loaf pan, spreading it out as you go, and pressing down very firmly. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing into 8 bars or 10 squares.  Store in airtight container in the fridge and enjoy for breakfast or a snack!
Note: Invite your kids to help measure the ingredients and have a taste test of some of the ingredients (oats, pumpkin, nut or seed butter, maple syrup, pumpkin seeds) before it is put into the food processor so that they know what they taste like separately and together at the end.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Creative and Healthy Fundraising Ideas

Fund raising doesn't always have to be just about food! Take a look at some of suggestions below and be sure to use your creativity. Sometimes the simplest ideas make the biggest impact!  If you don't find something from the list below that fits your school, please check out the web sites at the bottom of the page for more ideas.


  • paint nights
  • rubber bracelets with relevant messages
  • cell phone chargers
  • walk-a-thons
  • bike-a-thons 
  • jump-rope-athons
  • rent-a-teen helper (rake leaves, water gardens, mow lawns, wash dog)
  • car wash (pre-sell tickets as gifts) 
  • singing telegrams
  • talent shows
  • read-a-thons 
  • haunted house or hayride
  • decorate your own pumpkin contest
  • spelling bee
  • science fairs
  • carnivals (halloween, Easter)
  • dances (kids, father/daughter, family, Sadie Hawkins) 
  • workshops/classes
  • recycling cans/bottles/paper
  • golf tournament
  • bowling night/bowl-a-thon 
  • skate night/skate-a-thon
  • auction (teacher does something for kids)
  • raffles (teachers do a silly activity)
  • magic show 
  • family/glamour portraits 
  • treasure hunt/scavenger hunt 
  • horseshoe competition
  • penny wars (pennies+1 point, nickels+5, quarters+25, team w/most points wins) 
  • raffle (movie passes, theme bags) 
  • conference
  • treasure hunt/scavenger hunt
  • craft sales 
  • corn hole family competition
  • tennis/horseshoe pitching competition 
  • festivals focusing on different cultures
  • Take Your Parents/Grandparents to Lunch Day
  • "Story time with the Principal" class raffle
  • "Principal for the Day" raffle
  • game night 
  • bingo night
  • lotions, soaps
  • greeting cards
  • plants, flowers, bulbs, seeds
  • discount cards/coupon books
  • recycling (cell phones, printer cartridges) 
  • school spirit apparel and merchandise 
  • holiday-themed decorations and greenery 
  • rent a special parking spot 
  • parents’ day/night out — provide childcare with open gym and activities for kids so parents can holiday shop or have an evening out 
  • community craft fairs or garage sales — solicit donated items to sell 
  • raffle tickets with donated prizes and special items — like a front row “VIP” reserved seat at school concert
  • Fruit and vegetables boxes, baskets or bundles
  • Healthy spices and seasonings
  • Cookbook of families’ healthy recipes 
  • Cookware and kitchen utensils 
  • Herb starter kits
  • School seed stores 
  • Farmers markets • 
  • Family nights at healthy restaurants

For more ideas, visit:

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Summer Mango, Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Salsa has traditionally been made with a combination of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and spice from chili peppers. This type of salsa has usually been used in Mexican dishes and as a dip for chips. 

Many people enjoy salsa on:

  • Sweet Potato or Corn Chips
  • Turkey or Beef Burgers 
  • Baked or Sweet potatoes 
  • Stuffed Peppers
  • Eggs 
  • Tacos/Burritos/Quesadillas 
  • Mix in with tuna
  • Green Salads
  • Pork Chops 

Health Benefits of Salsa: 
  • Easy and tasty way to add an extra serving of fruits/vegetables to your diet 
  • Provides a wide range of antioxidants, vitamins, natural phytochemicals, fiber, protein, and potassium
  • Adds flavor without the sodium as long as it is prepared low sodium
Why cut the sodium?
Sodium is a mineral that is naturally found in foods and is also added to some foods. Sodium plays an important role maintaining fluid balance in the body.

Limiting dietary sodium has been associated with improved blood pressure and heart health. Reduced sodium diet may help to prevent the build up of excess fluid in the body.

Did you know?
Processed and restaurant foods account for 70% of adults’ dietary sodium intake. Salt added during home cooking only account for 5-6% of daily sodium intake.

Prep: 10min
Total Time: 10min
Servings: 12

·    1 ½ cup low sodium corn
     15 ounces low sodium black beans
1 medium mango, cubed
¼ onion, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, minced
2 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp ground cumin

·     In a large bowl mix all the ingredient together
Refrigerate salsa for at least one hour to let the flavors blend
Serve as a dip or on top of your favorite dishes

Nutrient Analysis of Recipe:
Serving Size: ¼ cup
Calories: 70
Sat. Fat: 0g
Sodium: 314mg
Carbohydrate: 14g
Sugars: 6g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 3g

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jewett Street and Highland Goffe's Falls Elementary Schools Win 2018 Get Moving Manchester Trophies

Congratulations to first place winner, Jewett Street School and second place winner, Highland Goffe's Falls Elementary School! They have been awarded the 2018 Get Moving Manchester trophy for the highest school participation for all four weeks of the program.

Get Moving Manchester is a four week nutrition and physical activity program that encourages healthy lifestyle habits based on the 5-2-1-0 concept of eating 5 fruits and vegetables daily, limiting screen time to 2 hours or less. exercising for 1 hour a day, and drinking 0 sugar based beverages. The program focuses on Manchester students in grades 3-6. Students track their habits daily for the four weeks of the program. Hayley Lane and Sherry Tellier, health teachers and all the classroom teachers did an excellent job of promoting the program at Jewett Street and Highland Goffe's Falls schools.

The trophies were presented by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Vargas and Mayor Craig. Great work Jewett and Highland!

Monday, June 4, 2018


What is the most important thing an athlete can drink?
WATER! Plain water is the best way to replace all the water you lose during all sports and during all seasons. Cold water gets into the bloodstream and will cool you down faster.

Why do you get cramps when playing sports?

The most common cause of cramps is dehydration and not cold water.

What is dehydration?
When your body doesn’t have enough fluid to work properly, dehydration occurs. It is important for everyone to drink fluids or stay hydrated. Kids use more energy than adults during physical activity because they produce twice as much heat. If you do not replace the fluids, you will overheat. Many athletes are sent to the hospital for dehydration. Dehydration can affect your performance too!

How do you know if you are dehydrated?
If you are dehydrated, you may have signs such as dry mouth, headache, confusion, dizziness, weakness, faintness, and nausea.

How much fluid or water do you need?
You can’t wait until you are thirsty to drink fluids. You should be drinking fluids or water before, during, and after sports.
Before Exercise: drink 2 cups of cold water 1 to 2 hours before activity
During Exercise: drink ½ cup of cold water every 15 minutes
After Exercise: drink 2 cups of cold water for every pound of weight loss

What about sports drinks?
Sports drinks contain water, sugar, salt and sometimes unnecessary vitamins. They may be helpful for sports that last one continuous hour or more or during extreme heat. Avoid drinks with caffeine, sugar or carbonation. These drinks lead to cavities and cause unnecessary weight gain. These drinks should contain no more than 15 to 18 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Fruit juice may only be used as a fluid replacement if it is diluted at least twofold: 1 cup water for every 1 cup of juice. Carbonated beverages, high-sugar drinks and undiluted fruit juice are too high in carbohydrates and may cause stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea
Other acceptable fluid choices are nonfat milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut water, 100% juice, and smoothies, but water is still the best choice of fluid.

Written by Susan Sheehy, RDN, LD

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Homemade Vegetable Chips vs Potato Chips

Homemade Vegetable Chips vs. Potato Chips?

Potato chips have a large amount of saturated fat and sodium. Although homemade vegetable chips are not a substitute for fresh vegetables they can add in a serving of vegetables to your diet without added sodium and less saturated fat.

Benefits of vegetables:

Vegetables have high vitamin and mineral content that are needed by the body. Vegetables also provide the body with fiber. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is important because it helps achieve a healthy weight, assists in controlling blood sugars, and can reduce cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber helps maintain intestinal health and promotes healthy digestion. It is recommended to have 25-38 grams of fiber a day for the average person.

Why Choose Brussel Sprout Chips?

Eating vegetables that are in season can reduce food costs. Brussel sprouts are in season as the weather grows colder. Take advantage of the low prices and try brussel sprout chips!

Roasted Brussel Sprout Chips

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins


2 cups washed brussel sprouts (outer leaves)

1 ¼ tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

2) Remove the outer leaves from brussel sprouts, save the dense portion of the sprouts for roasted side dish

3) Toss outer leaves with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

4) Lay out leaves, in single layer, on baking sheet

5) Place in oven for 15 mins, or until golden brown

6) Turn leaves over, after 7 minutes

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Serves 4, Calories: 59 Carbohydrates: 6g, Total Fat: 3.75g, Saturated Fat: .5g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 2g.

National Fiber Council
USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Saturday, March 31, 2018

HEALTHY BEVERAGE OPTIONS - Week 3, Get Moving Manchester

Students and teachers in grades 3-5 are starting week 3 of Get Moving Manchester this week. Students will be tracking 0 sugar based beverages. Beverages should be mostly water and milk. Milk includes low fat, nonfat, nonfat flavored or nonfat lactose free milk. Seltzer with a splash of 100% juice or fruit infused waters also make good choices. See below for fun and healthy beverage options.

Strawberry Limealicious
Add 3 strawberries that are thinly sliced, 4 thin slices of lime and 3 mint leaves to plain or sparkling water. Gently shake or stir and then add in ice to taste.

Orange Glow
Add 4 cut in half slices of oranges, 3 thinly sliced (or diced) peeled fresh ginger and 2 twigs of thyme to plain or sparkling water. Gently shake or stir and then add in ice to taste.

Add 6 thin slices of cucumber, 1/4 cup of blackberries and 1/4 lemon juiced to plain or sparkling water. Gently shake or stir and then add in ice to taste.

Get Moving Manchester is an optional 4-week nutrition and physical activity journal program for Manchester students in grades 3-5, potentially impacting over 3000 students.The elementary school with the highest and second highest percentage of student participation will receive Get Moving Manchester trophies presented by the mayor and superintendent of schools. Incentives and raffles include Palace Theatre tickets, Fisher Cats tickets, gift cards to Dick's Sporting Goods and more. At the end of the 4 weeks, students will be entered into a raffle to win a bike donated by Bike Barn. Get Moving, Manchester schools and fill out those logs to be eligible for some great raffles and incentives! Most importantly, be a winner of health!

Special thanks to Get Moving Manchester program sponsors: Catholic Medical Center, Manchester Dartmouth Hitchcock, Fisher Cats, Palace Theatre, Anagnost Companies, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Bike Barn and Indian Head Athletics.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Pasta Shakers - New Menu Item

A new menu item is now being featured on the elementary school menu.....Pasta Shakers! Check out the menu and look for this item that layers healthy garbanzo beans, shredded carrots, sliced cukes and whole grain pasta seasoned with Italian dressing. Pasta shakers make healthy FUN for kids!