Feature Friday: Fast and Nutritious Back-to-School Meals

Mushroom Stuffed PitaGet your pencils, books and lunches packed, it’s back to school time!

Can you believe that it is almost September! And you know what that brings; the common parent challenge – what to pack in the children’s lunch bags that is fast, delicious and nutritious! A good place to start is fresh fruits and vegetables.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends children ages 4-13 eat 5-6 servings of Fruit & Vegetables a day. One hundred grams (100 g) of fresh mushrooms counts as 1 serving of Fruits & Vegetables. Not only are they low in calories and fat, they also provide vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein, all important in keeping your child going throughout the day.

So when pack your children’s lunch bags for the first day of school, add these fast, tasty and nutritious mushroom snacks:

· Mushroom Dippers
Send along fresh whole or thick sliced mushrooms for dipping instead of crackers or chips. Vary the dip each day for a different flavour.

· Mushroom Pita Pocket
Mix sliced mushrooms with shredded cheese, chopped vegetables of your choice, and low-fat Italian dressing. Seal in a plastic container and send along with half a whole wheat pita. Stuff the pita with mushroom mixture at lunch time for a fast and tasty meal. Get the full recipe here.

· Mushroom Guacamole
In a sealable container, mix finely chopped mushrooms with mashed avocado, a sprinkle of lemon juice, and garlic. Send along with whole wheat tortilla chips or pitas for dipping.

· Mushroom Pizza
Make a mock mushroom pizza with an English muffin, tomato sauce, sliced mushrooms, cheese and pepperoni. Send along in individual containers so that they can assemble the pizza at school. Eat cold, or heat in a microwave until warm.

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