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Healthy, affordable ideas for back-to-school meals for kids

Finding food that is healthy, easy to prepare, and loved by children can be tricky for any parent, especially once schools starts again. Here are some back-to-school recipe ideas for kids to enjoy.

Rice Black Bean Rollup 

"This recipe contains whole grains which helps fill you up," said nutrition educator Dianna Richardson, who provided the recipe. "The black beans are a good source of protein and the salsa has your veggies, it is also low in fat."


3 large whole wheat tortillas

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup salsa

½ cup canned black beans (drain and rinse)

½ cup brown rice

• Mix cheese, salsa, beans and rice.

• Divide onto the 3 tortillas.

• Roll up tortillas and cut in half.

Green Eggs and Ham on-the-go

This on-the-go breakfast recipe comes from the American Heart Association. Eggs are a good source of protein, and avocados are a superfood, rich with nutrients and antioxidants.


32 oz liquid egg whites

1 medium avocado (mashed with a fork)

1 tsp pepper

4 oz lower-sodium, low-fat ham, diced into small cubes

• Preheat oven to 350°F. Place six 8-ounce disposable aluminum baking cups on a baking sheet.

• In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, avocado, and pepper until very well combined and "creamy" in texture.

• Put half the ham in baking cups. Pour in egg white mixture. Top each cup with remaining ham.

• Bake for 20 for 25 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and the eggs are set. Remove the baking sheet from oven. Let stand to cool.

Berry Nut Granola Bars

This recipe comes from the American Heart Association. Granola bars recipes are easy to tweak to entice kids to eat healthy, and a variety of ingredients can be used in them.


1 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries

2 cups old-fashioned oats, divided

1/2 cup sliced, unsalted almonds

1/4 cup flax seeds

pinch of salt

2 tbsp canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup reduced-fat peanut butter

• Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

• In bowl of a food processor, add cranberries; process until berries are chopped. Add 1 cup of oats; continue to puree until oats are a flour-like consistency. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

• In bowl, add remaining 1 cup oats, almonds, flax seeds, and salt. Stir together to combine.

• In heatproof container, add oil, maple syrup, and nut butter. Warm in microwave until nut butter is soft and pliable. Stir mixture together with spoon until smooth.

• Pour nut butter mixture over oat mixture. Use a spatula to thoroughly combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Wet hands and press down on mixture to help it stick together.

• Cook in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Press down on mixture again to stick together. Cover the top with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least a few hours (or preferably overnight) to harden.

•Lift parchment paper from baking dish. Use a serrated knife and cut the granola bars into 12 pieces. Serve or transfer to an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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