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Easy Back-to-School Meals

Incorporate soy into your child’s diet for a change of pace

Back to school time is a hectic transition for the entire family. Carpools, afterschool activities, and homework can make it difficult to incorporate wholesome meals into the day. However, it’s important to make sure your child is eating a nutritious diet to keep energy levels high and concentration focused in school. Soyfoods are packed with vitamins and minerals − such as iron, calcium, potassium, and complete protein − that benefit a child’s growth and development.

Introducing Kids to Soy

While some kids are picky eaters, others are just reluctant to try new things. Here are simple ideas for introducing soyfoods:

  • Blend it in: Soymilk and tofu both blend well with other ingredients, so it is easy to sneak into your child’s favorite dishes – such as mac and cheese, quesadillas, pizza, and brownies – which can reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in dishes.
  • Make it fun: Get creative and make snack time enjoyable. Serve little ones a variation of ants on a log, but fill the celery with soynut butter before placing the raisins on top.
  • Focus on finger foods: Edamame is a nutrient-dense snack that’s easy to grab and eat. Kids will enjoy popping the beans out of the pods and straight into their mouth. Honey roasted soynuts are also a favorite alternative to peanuts.
  • Serve familiar dishes: Try swapping the meat in your child’s favorite meals with soyfoods. For instance, serve veggie burgers rather than hamburgers, or try soy crumbles in place of ground meat in chili, spaghetti, or tacos.

Pack a Healthy Lunchbox

One way to make sure your child is eating well throughout the day is to send a healthy lunch to school.

  • Pack a salad-in-a-jar by layering the ingredients in a mason jar, including shelled edamame as a filling protein.
  • Prepare pita pockets with fresh vegetables, tofu, lettuce, and dressing.
  • Pair sandwiches with mini rice cakes or cheddar soy crisps, rather than potato chips.
  • Include protein-packed options like chocolate soymilk or a whole soy and fruit nutrition bar.

What’s for Dinner?

Not only will your kids love this simple dinner, but the leftovers will make a perfect lunchbox addition for the following day. For more ideas, visit  SoyFoods.org.

Asian Chicken Edamame Pizza

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 8-10 minutes | Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • Pre-baked pizza crust, 12-inch
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 cup edamame, shelled, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chow mein noodles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger in small bowl; stir until smooth.
  2. Place pizza crust on foil-lined baking sheet. Spread peanut butter mixture evenly over pizza crust. Sprinkle cheese, chicken, edamame, bell peppers, and chow mein noodles evenly over crust.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Cut into 8 slices and serve.

Nutrition info. (1 slice): 160 calories; 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 400 mg sodium.


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