Mealtime Memo – August 2021

Woman´s hand picking peaches at a pick-your-own-harvest farm.

Mealtime Memo – August 2021

August 2021 Mealtime Memo

Image of six varieties of homemade popsiclesKeeping Cool with Nutrition

In August, it makes sense to have healthy foods on hand that can also double as cool treats to help beat the summer heat. It is vital to have nutrient-dense recipe ideas that keep us cool. Nutrient-dense foods mean that the food item is rich in nutrients that the body needs, like vitamins, minerals, and calories. Nutrient-dense foods include fruits; vegetables; protein like chicken, beef, and legumes; and whole grains like bread or rice.

To help keep cool, we can focus on cooking things that do not require turning on the oven or using the stove. Try to find local produce to cook with and incorporate into your menus. Children enjoy learning about where their food comes from and why it is healthy for them! If fresh fruit is available, use it to make smoothies for a snack like this Mango Smoothie Bowl USDA recipe.

When it comes to choosing foods for children, picking something easy to serve is smart. Consider freezing blueberries or grapes to provide as a snack. They taste great and have a different texture when they are frozen!

Another delicious and nutrition-packed frozen treat is a whole fruit popsicle. Follow these steps:

  1. Pour water into small paper cups
  2. Add in all sorts of fruit slices
  3. Place a popsicle stick in the middle of the cup
  4. Place in the freezer
  5. Serve when frozen

The combinations are endless: strawberry banana, mixed berry with blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, or kiwi and pineapple for a tropical popsicle. Not only is this a refreshing treat, but children will love creating popsicles, and it provides lots of great nutrients for their growing bodies.

One more idea for a healthy frozen snack is slicing bananas, spreading nut butter between two slices, and then freezing for at least an hour. The children will love this popular combination. This frozen version tastes great and offers protein, vitamins, and minerals to cool off.

Finding tasty recipes with protein is also essential. Protein is important for our body because it helps maintain our muscles and keep them strong. Protein helps keep us feeling full. It takes our body longer to break it down once we have eaten something with protein. Easy summer recipes like USDA’s Salad Shaker or Crunchy Hawaiian Turkey Wrap will keep your children nourished and cool.

August Food Theme

The theme for August is Keeping Cool with Nutrition!

The month of August is full of fun national food days that can be used in your menus! Consider searching for local produce that is in season to highlight fresh food and teach your children about where it grows.

National Peach Month

Woman´s Hand Picking Peaches At A Pick Your Own Harvest Farm.August is National Peach Month. Did you know that President Ronald Reagan declared August as the National Peach Month in 1982? He wanted people to incorporate more peaches in their diets and to celebrate the peach because the United States was the world’s largest peach provider at the time. A fun experiment is to plant the peach pits after the peaches are eaten to see if they sprout and grow!

Children love peaches whole or sliced. You can even add them to vegetable salads. Try this Peach Salsa from ICN’s Recipe Box.

Check out these books to read all month during National Peach Month:

  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg and Allan Ahlberg
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Peaches! Peaches! by Scott Ferrell
  • Peach Girl by Raymond K. Nakamura
  • The Last Peach by Gus Gordon

National Watermelon Day – August 3

Watermelon is a great fruit to have during the summer. It provides nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Watermelon is also 92% water, making it a great snack to help children stay hydrated! On National Watermelon Day, try a watermelon focused recipe like this:

Red Fruit Salad

Ingredients

1 cup cubed watermelon
1 cup halved strawberries
1 cup sliced cherries
1 cup raspberries
Mint, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix.
  2. Enjoy!

 

National Raspberries and Cream Day – August 7

Raspberries are a delicious and colorful addition to meals and snacks. They are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can be added to any meal or snack for great nutrition and add a pop of color! Children love them because they are tasty finger food.

Did you know that there are many types of raspberries? There are the traditional red raspberries, gold, black, or purple. Depending on the raspberry type, they may have different characteristics. Some may be larger or sweeter. The climate you live in will determine which kind of raspberry grows best near you.

These Overnight Oats with Berries from USDA, MyPlate are the perfect way to start Raspberries and Cream Day.

On National Raspberries and Cream Day, these books would be great to read:

  • Raspberries! by Jay O’Callahan
  • Apples, Cherries, Red Raspberries: What Is in the Fruits Group? by Brian P. Cleary
  • The Raspberry Man: Inspired by a True Story by Janalee Tobias
  • Our Raspberry Jam by David F. Marx
  • Berry Magic by Betty Huffmon and Teri Sloat

National Potato Day – August 19

Potatoes are a well-liked starchy vegetable. They come in every shape and size! They can be made into fries, tater tots, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. They are a good carbohydrate source and contain many nutrients that the body needs, such as potassium. According to the Idaho Potato Museum, the average American eats around 124 pounds of potatoes per year, and the average person living in Germany eats almost twice that amount! On National Potato Day, try to find a yummy potato side to include on your menu like tater tots, mashed potatoes, or this Roasted Potato Salad from the ICN Recipe Box.

You can read these books for National Potato Day:

  • Potato Pants! by Laurie Keller
  • The Enormous Potato by Aubrey Davis
  • Pig Loves Potatoes by Anika Denise
  • Spuds by Karen Hess
  • The Potato King by Christopher Niemann

National Waffle Day – August 24

Waffles are a delicious menu item to serve at any meal. They may be savory or the traditional sweet waffle topped with fruit or nut butter. On National Waffle Day, consider serving waffles with a topping bar full of healthy choices. Provide fresh and local fruits to top their waffles, or have as a side served with eggs or sausage to make a delicious breakfast meal. Another new favorite for kids of all ages is serving waffles with chicken. Some children like their waffles plain. All of these ways are a great way to celebrate National Waffle Day.

These are great books to read during National Waffle Day:

  • Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
  • Waffles Can’t Dance by Qwen Lewis
  • Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr
  • Woodpecker Wants a Waffles by Steve Breen
  • Waffles in Space by Nick Mask
Get Recipes on the Child Nutrition Recipe Box

What’s in Season in August?

Farmer woman holding wooden box full of fresh raw vegetables. Basket with vegetable (cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, radish, corn, garlic and peppers) in the hands.Your grocery store and farmer’s markets will be overflowing with a bountiful assortment of fresh produce. August is a peak month for gathering the best of the best of the season. Keep your menu in summer mode by picking up these fresh items.

Vegetables: acorn squash, butternut squash, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, okra, peppers, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes

Fruits: apples, apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, kiwi, mangoes, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon

Let us know how you incorporate summer foods into your menu in the ‘we want to hear from you’ section at the bottom of this page.

Research shows that children are more likely to taste new vegetables and fruits when they are involved with growing, planting, gathering, selecting, and even naming the foods. Children can give foods unique names like ‘crunchy, cool carrots’ or ‘Asparagus Rex.’

Since many places have different climates and seasons for produce, you may want to research your city to see what is in season for you!

Fun Facts About Peaches

  • Before they were called peaches, people called them Persian apples because the Ancient Romans believed they came from Persia.
  • Nectarines are actually peaches. They just don’t have fuzzy skin.
  • The largest peach recorded was 1.8 pounds!
  • Peaches provide vitamin A, vitamin C, and other nutrients that your body needs.

More Edible Education

Little Boy Gardening OutdoorsNot only can your gardens be full of edible treats, but they can also be a wonderful space for playtime and activities. Gardens and the outdoors can provide a natural environment to read books, sing songs, or even tell some jokes, like these:

  • What new plant did the gardener sow? Beets me!
  • Where do farmers send their children to school? Kinder-garden!
  • What kind of vegetable do you get when an elephant walks through your garden? Squash!
  • What did the baby corn say to the mother corn? Where’s popcorn?

We have offered many nutrition facts, ideas, and recipes during this summer growing season. Gardens and outdoor living areas are places for active—and sometimes messy—play (think mud pies). It provides a place where imaginations grow and spaces for learning about where food comes from and discovering wildlife and nature. There is still time to turn a raised bed into a sleeping giant, build a fort, wigwam, treehouse, or castle where your children can live out an adventure with plant life to explore and discover. Enjoy all that August offers with outdoor living and eating.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Childhood nutrition facts. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/nutrition/facts.htm

Flammini, D. (2021). 10 fun facts about peaches. https://www.farms.com/ag-industry-news/10-fun-facts-about-peaches-938.aspx

Idaho Potato Museum. (2021). Potato facts. https://idahopotatomuseum.com/potato-facts/

Institute of Child Nutrition, Child Nutrition Recipe Box. (2021). Crunchy Hawaiian turkey wrap – USDA recipe for child care centers. https://theicn.org/cnrb/recipes-for-centers-grains-breads/crunchy-hawaiian-chicken-wrap/

Institute of Child Nutrition, Child Nutrition Recipe Box. (2021). Fruit salsa – USDA recipe for child care centers. https://theicn.org/cnrb/recipes-for-centers-accompaniments/fruit-salsa-usda-recipe-for-cacfp/

Institute of Child Nutrition, Child Nutrition Recipe Box. (2021). Mango smoothie bowl – USDA recipe for child care centers. https://theicn.org/cnrb/recipes-for-centers/recipes-for-centers-breakfast/mango-smoothie-bowl-usda-recipe-for-child-care-centers/

Institute of Child Nutrition, Child Nutrition Recipe Box. (2021). Roasted potato salad – USDA Recipe for child care centers. https://theicn.org/cnrb/recipes-for-centers-vegetables/roasted-potato-salad-usda-recipe-for-cacfp/

Institute of Child Nutrition, Child Nutrition Recipe Box. (2021). Salad shaker – USDA recipe for child care centers. https://theicn.org/cnrb/recipes-for-centers-vegetables/salad-shakers-usda-recipe-for-cacfp/

Wayne, M. (2020, September 3). 65 best plant jokes that you’ll be very frond of. Kidadl. https://kidadl.com/articles/best-plant-jokes-that-youll-be-very-frond-of

University of Nebraska—Lincoln. (2021). Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources UNL Food. https://food.unl.edu/

U.S. Department of Agriculture, MyPlate. (2021). Overnight oatmeal with berries. https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/myplate-cnpp/overnight-oatmeal-berries

About Mealtime Memo

Mealtime Memo (MTM) is focused on nutrition and wellness in child care settings and is specifically intended for use by child care professionals who participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The objective is to provide research-based best practices for planning, preparing, and/or serving nutritious, safe, and child-friendly meals in child care settings operating the CACFP.

Beginning in January 2021, the MTM moved to an electronic, blog-style newsletter. To ensure you automatically receive the latest issue, click here to subscribe!

Please note: To ensure MTMs provide the most accurate, up-to-date information, any references to Federal regulations, nutritional standards, and other best practices are considered current at the time of publication. Please be advised that this information is NOT updated to reflect any changes/revisions beyond the publication date. In addition, all MTMs published prior to 2017 have been archived and are no longer available on our website. If you need access to an archived MTM or for questions on the latest regulations and standards, please contact ICN’s Help Desk at helpdesk@staging.theicn.org or 1-800-321-3054.

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2022-04-04T09:35:49-05:00September 11th, 2021|

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