OSU Extension helping children have a flavorful fall break
Monday, October 10, 2022
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With fall break just around the corner for Oklahoma students, Oklahoma State University Extension and the Oklahoma Nutrition Information Education Project are partnering to promote healthy snacks while children are home for the school break.
The Flavorful Fall Break resource features a variety of healthy snack recipes children can easily make during fall break, said Jenni Klufa, associate state specialist for youth programs through OSU Extension’s Community Nutrition Education Program.
Klufa said nutrition education assistants with CNEP will build on what they’re already doing in many schools across the state by also offering Flavorful Fall Break materials. In addition, all the recipes are available on the CNEP Facebook page, through county OSU Extension offices and the ONIE website.
“We want to encourage healthy eating habits for youth, and that includes when they’re on fall break,” Klufa said. “Youth involved in making their own meals and snacks tend to try healthier foods. The recipes created by ONIE are quick, easy and full of flavor. Some of the recipes require assistance from a parent or caregiver.”
Flavorful Fall Break recipes include:
- Cranberry Almond Snack Mix
- Peanut Butter Spiders
- Parmesan Zucchini Squash Fries
- Candy Corn Parfait
- Healthy Spider Munch
- Cheesy Witches Broomsticks
With the holiday season right around the corner, many classrooms will celebrate with parties. These tasty treats are a great alternative to some of the more traditional sugary treats found at classroom festivities.
“We all love to celebrate the holidays, but the typical classroom party tends to provide too much sugar for children,” Klufa said. “Parents and teachers who are in charge of party planning can use these recipes as a healthy food choice, but the students can actually make them during the party. This will help with party planning and gives them a fun activity to do.”
A balanced eating pattern for children encourages no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and school parties can reach that limit quickly. A 12 ounce can of soda contains about 40 grams of added sugar, and a regular size chocolate bar has about 20 grams of added sugar. It’s easy to see how quickly added sugar can add up.
Melody Nabors, a teacher at Fort Towson Elementary School in Choctaw County, said she is happy to have more healthy snack options for her students.
“Classroom parties are a lot of fun, but the amount of sugar consumed can sometimes interfere with learning. It’s nice for our students to have healthy alternatives,” Nabors said. “We have a great working relationship with OSU Extension, and I’m looking forward to using the information offered through these resources.”
Klufa said the recipes are designed to encourage healthy eating, and when a child develops good habits, it helps them make healthier choices throughout their lives.
“When children are involved in the process of making their food, they’re more receptive to trying new, healthy options,” she said. “It’s important to keep in mind that all foods can fit into an eating plan, and adults need to serve as good role models with their food choices.”
Contact the nearest county OSU Extension office for more information about the Flavorful Fall Break resources.
OSU Extension offers additional health, nutrition and wellness information.