The holiday season often centers around the kitchen and dining table, with rich meals and favorite desserts. Food can connect us to memories, especially those from childhood, and healthy eating habits start at an early age.
At IDEA Public Schools in San Antonio, our hardworking cafeteria teams know that delicious food doesn’t have to mean unhealthy. Year round, IDEA’s cafeteria staff works to prepare food that appeals to students of all ages and instills habits of making healthy choices in every student. Those are the fundamental goals of our Child Nutrition Program.
As we enter the holiday season and plan for Christmas meals, we’d love to share some healthy and fun recipes students and parents can create together at home. From IDEA’s cafeteria staff, here are our tips on preparing simple, affordable and nutritious meals the whole family will enjoy, like Pumpkin Parfaits, Beef and Bean Chili, and Gingersnap Apple Dippers. Find more tasty, healthy holiday recipes that families can share at home in our Child Nutrition Program cookbook.
- 2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
- 2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1.5 cups low sugar granola
- 29 oz. canned pumpkin,
- 1 1/8 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pepitas (shelled roasted pumpkin seeds)
- In a large bowl, mix canned pumpkin, almond milk, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Stir together until fully mixed.
- In a separate bowl, mix equal parts Greek yogurt and vanilla yogurt. Stir util completely mixed.
- In a separate bowl, mix granola and pepitas to make the topping.
- In a large cup, layer the pumpkin mixture and yogurt. Top with 2/3 cup crunchy granola mix and enjoy! Parfaits will keep in the fridge, covered, for 2–3 days.
Beef and Bean Chili
- 1 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon copped garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1–14/5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1–16 oz. can kidney beans rinsed
- 1–16 oz. can pinto beans rinsed
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups water
- In a large pot (5 quarts), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook until you can smell the garlic and the onions are see-through.
- Add the tomato paste to pot and stir into the onions. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add ground beef. Cook until all the meat is brown and drain the fat once done.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring mixture to a boil.
- Bring heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add some color to your chili by adding diced onion, reduced fat shredded cheese, a dollop of Greek yogurt. Serve hot!
Gingersnap Apple Dippers
- 1 medium apple, cut into 12 slices
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 2 tablespoons finely crushed gingersnap cookies
- Dip half of the apple slice into the melted chocolate.
- Sprinkle the crushed gingersnaps onto the chocolate.
- Lay dipped and covered apple slices onto a plate and let dry until chocolate is firm, or cover and chill for up to 1 hour.
Read More About IDEA Public Schools
- “Safely Learning Together: IDEA Public Schools Students Are Back in School for 2021–22,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 17, 2021
- “IDEA Public Schools Launched Social Emotional Learning for All Students in 20–21 School Year Through Move This World,” Business Wire, May 12, 2021
- “Making a Difference at IDEA Monterrey Park College Prep,” San Antonio Charter Moms, January 21, 2021
- “Strong Start 2020: IDEA Public Schools Back to School Plan for 2020–21,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 8, 2020
- “Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas Welcomes the First Gamma Sigma Girls at IDEA Eastside,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 11, 2018
- “AP For All: IDEA Public Schools in San Antonio Gives All Students Access to Advanced Placement Courses,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 18, 2017
- “IDEA Public Schools luncheon honoring David Robinson, board member and Carver Academy founder,” San Antonio Charter Moms, May 13, 2015
Read More About Healthy Holiday Recipes
- “COVID Health and Safety Tips for Families from Dr. Tamyra Rogers,” Tamyra Rogers, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 16, 2021
- “Cutie Charcuterie with Dave Terrazas,” Dave Terrazas, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 12, 2021
- “Spooky Snack Board in the Foodie Classroom with Dave Terrazas,” Dave Terrazas, San Antonio Charter Moms, October 30, 2020
- “Cookin’ Smart in the Foodie Classroom with Dave Terrazas,” Dave Terrazas, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 12, 2021