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    This month, like every month, Live A More Colorful Life offers recipes that incorporate a wide and colorful array of fruits and vegetables consumers can include in their daily diets.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health issues of our time. Overweight and obesity occurs when we eat more calories or energy than we use doing activities.  Children who are overweight or obese have a higher chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. 

    Read more about Obesity Prevention in Children

    Blueberry Oat Smoothie

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup low-fat or skim milk
    • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
    • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
    • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
    • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1/2 frozen banana
    • 1/2 cup ice cubes

    Instructions:

    1. Add ingredients to blender in the order listed above.
    2. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

    Makes 1 serving.

    Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

    Ingredients:

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
    • 1 cup low-fat or skim milk
    • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
    2. Mix eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
    3. Stir in cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
    4. Add oats and milk.
    5. Gently fold in blueberries.
    6. Spread in pan.
    7. Bake for 28-34 minutes until oatmeal is browned and the center is firm.
    8. Cool slightly before serving.
    9. Serve with fruit or vanilla yogurt.
    10. May be refrigerated up to 2 days.

    Makes 8 servings.

    Breakfast Quesadillas

    Ingredients:

    • 2 whole-wheat tortillas
    • Cooking spray
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
    • 1/2 cup ham, diced
    • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
    • Optional: sautéed mushrooms or onions

    Instructions:

    1. Lightly coat skillet with cooking spray.
    2. Lay one tortilla on skillet.
    3. Sprinkle half the grated cheese on tortilla.
    4. Sprinkle diced eggs, ham and any additional toppings over cheese layer.
    5. Sprinkle remaining cheese over eggs and ham.
    6. Top with second tortilla.
    7. Cook over medium heat.
    8. As soon as the bottom tortilla is golden brown, flip the quesadilla.
    9. Continue cooking until second side is golden brown.
    10. Remove from heat. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

    Makes 2 servings.

    Pita Pizza Rounds

    Ingredients:

    • 4 whole wheat pita rounds
    • 1 cup of pizza sauce
    • 2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
    • Toppings of your choice – sautéed mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, or onions work well

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
    2. Spoon pizza sauce over pita rounds.
    3. Top with mozzarella and desired toppings.
    4. Place on baking sheet and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
    5. Serve immediately.

    Makes 4 servings.

    Berries with Banana Yogurt Topping

    Ingredients:

    • 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
    • 1/2 ripe banana
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice
    • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon honey*
    • 1 dash cinnamon

    Instructions:

    1. Combine yogurt, banana, and juice.
    2. Mash mixture with a fork until most chunks are gone.
    3. Wash and slice berries.
    4. Top the berries with the yogurt banana mixture.
    5. Top with honey and cinnamon.

    Makes 4 servings.

    *Honey should not be fed to children under the age of 1 year.

    Homemade Apple Chips 

    Ingredients:

    • 4 Gala apples
    • Cinnamon

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 225 F.
    2. Place parchment paper on a baking pan.
    3. Core and thinly slice the apples.
    4. Place slices in a single layer on baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon.
    5. Bake for 2 hours, turning chips over after 1 hour. 

    Makes 8 servings.

    Cowboy Dip

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 can sweet or shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
    • 3 small tomatoes, diced
    • 2 avocados, diced
    • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup Italian dressing

    Instructions:

    1. Place beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, onion and cilantro into a large mixing bowl.
    2. Squeeze lime juice over the avocados to prevent browning.
    3. Add salt and Italian dressing.
    4. Stir until well-combined.
    5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to serving.
    6. Serve with whole grain crackers or multigrain chips

    Turkey Sloppy Joes 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
    • 1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns
    • Sliced pickles 

    Instructions:

    1. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
    2. Sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
    3. Turn heat up to medium-high, stir in turkey, salt and chili powder and cook, stirring to break up meat, until turkey loses its pink color, about 5 minutes.
    4. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
    5. Stir in brown sugar, tomato sauce, ketchup, 1/4 cup water and hot sauce.
    6. Cover and cook on low until bubbling, about 3 to 4 hours.
    7. Serve on buns with pickles.

    Makes 6 servings.
     

    Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

    Ingredients:

    • 2 sweet potatoes
    • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons walnuts or pecans, chopped

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
    2. Wash and dry the potatoes.
    3. Use a fork to poke holes in sweet potatoes.
    4. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour or until tender.
    5. When cooled slightly, cut a thin slice off the top of each potato (length-wise) and discard.
    6. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a thin layer throughout.
    7. In a small bowl, mash the potatoes with cream cheese.
    8. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.
    9. Spoon mixture back into potato shells.
    10. Sprinkle with pecans.
    11. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

    Makes 2 servings.