Back To School Meals: How To Make Your Kids Healthy And Tasty Ea - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Back To School Meals: How To Make Your Kids Healthy And Tasty Eats

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It's back-to-school time for many kids in Southern California. One of the toughest challenges facing parents is how to pack healthy lunches for their children. Registered Dietician Patricia Bannan stopped by Studio 11 LA with three super foods kids love and easy ways to incorporate them throughout the day. She also included a recipe for Sweet Potato Applesauce.  Bannan is the author of “Eat Right When the Time is Right.” You can follow her on Twitter @patriciabannan. For more information go to her website

Tuna Sandwich

       A great lunch for kids is a tuna sandwich made with canned light tuna. Tuna contains an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. At a recent scientific meeting new research was presented that reinforces previous studies showing a link between DHA and school performance. 

       DHA is associated with improved learning ability, reading, and spelling as well as significant improvement in ADHD-like symptoms.

       In addition to canned light tuna, DHA is found in other  “fatty fish” such as salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring. 


·      We all know kids favorite vegetable is potatoes – usually fried, but how about increasing their nutrient intake with sweetpotatoes?

·      Did you know sweetpotato is one word? A sweetpotato is not simply a “sweet potato.” It's actually an entirely different vegetable from a potato and has a totally different set of nutrients – it has more than a day's worth of vitamin A, a nutrient important for a strong immune system.

·      Here we have roasted sweetpotatoes – super easy to make -- and homemade sweetpotato applesauce. This homemade version is lower in sugar than many packaged applesauce varieties and adds all the benefits from sweetpotatoes.


       Fruits and vegetables are so important for good nutrition, but can be difficult to get children to eat. Kids love grapes because they are a fun finger fruit and add a natural sweetness to any recipe.

       Grown right here in our backyard, Grapes from California are available now through January.

       Grapes are a super food because they are packed with more than 20 different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for good health.

       Kids love grapes right off the bunch but they're also an ideal healthy mix-in: Combine fresh grapes with dried fruit, chocolate chips and nuts for a fresh, juicy twist on Trail Mix; Grape and Hummus Wraps are the perfect combo of sweet and savory; and I love these make-ahead Peanut-Butter and Grape Muffins.

Sweetpotato Applesauce

Makes approximately 6 – ½ cup servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes


1 medium California Sweetpotato, peeled and chopped
2 ¼ lbs assorted locally-grown apples (approximately 6 small-medium apples), peeled and chopped
¾ cup water (for a thicker sauce; add more for thinner consistency)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup light brown sugar (optional)


In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, combine chopped sweetpotato, apples, water and cinnamon. With the lid on, cook for approximately 35 minutes or until apples and sweetpotatoes are tender enough to mash, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar, if desired. With the back of a spoon or a [sweet]potato masher, mash to desired consistency. Enjoy hot or cool in refrigerator.

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