Last week was a busy but exciting week for me. After weeks of planning, I held a fun but edcuational event at my children’s school which helped to conclude National Nutrition Month! With the passion of some talented Wellness Committee team members we brought the concept of “Eat A Rainbow” to life for a group of 600 elementary school children. Every March the Wellness Committee gets to pick the theme for our main hallway bulletin board. I wanted something bright and colorful to cheer everyone up after a long, cold and dreary winter. I stumbled upon a website called Today I Ate a Rainbow and something just clicked! At the same time, one of my favorite school food blogs School Bites was posting about her ideas to help create an “eat a rainbow day” event at school. It made total sense to me…kids love rainbows! They’re colorful, cheerful and are a great way to teach the benefits of a colorful diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Thanks to some talented parents, we made Peanuts characters come to life and each character shared their little tidbits on how to eat all the colors of the rainbow every day! But I felt like I needed to do more to really make the connection hit home. So, I decided to create a school wide celebration around the concept of “Eat A Rainbow.” Each grade (kindergarten through fifth grade) got to wear a specific color of the rainbow to school (and WOW was it colorful)! Kids brought in lunches packed with colorful fruits and vegetables and their pictures were taken to add to our bulletin board. Special “You Got Caught Eating Healthy!” stickers were awarded during lunch time. The school principal made a special appearances throughout the day wearing a rainbow colored wig which got the children laughing and excited! I created a simple presentation that highlighted the importance of color and how to create a colorful plate. With the help of a parent and fitness expert (owner of Mommy Moves), and the school mascot, we led the kids in some fun exercises and dancing to end the afternoon. The day was a great reminder (for parents, teachers and even myself), how important it is to exercise and to eat a variety of colorful foods for optimal health. Speaking of color, I came up with a quick and delicious recipe to add in some greens to your diet. They have amazing immune enhancing properties, so it’s good to keep a bag of spinach or kale handy in your fridge. What I would suggest is making a large pot of the herbed potatoes a few days in advance (using the recipe below) and use the leftover potatoes another day to make the potatoes and kale. This dish is great topped with a poached or fried egg and would be delicious served at brunch.
- 1 & 1/2- 2 lbs baby yukon gold or red potatoes
- 4-6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 2-3 tbsp herb butter (I recommend Kerrygold Garlic & Herb Butter)
- 3 tsp. fresh chives (chopped)
- kosher salt
Wash and place potatoes in a large pot and add enough broth to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until potatoes are fork tender but not mushy. Drain and place potatoes in a large bowl with butter. Allow butter to melt and toss gently with chives to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Herbed Potatoes and Kale
- 1- 1 1/2 cups of leftover baby potatoes sliced in half
- 1 cup kale greens roughly chopped
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
In a large non-stick skillet heat pan heat the olive oil. Add onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add potatoes and kale and season with pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes begin to brown and kale has wilted slightly and softened.