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Meal tips for breakfast or lunch for your distance learning student

Good food at home doesn't need to be expensive or difficult to prepare.

MINNEAPOLIS — Are you struggling to figure out healthy meals that don't take too much time to make for the kids while they're at home learning? It doesn't have to be a daunting task.

Sue Moores, Kowalski's Market's nutritionist, said these meals are going to be important, especially as we're heading inside more often because of the colder weather.

"You need that brain power for thinking and energy and sleep and food is such a key ingredient to help in all of those," Moores said.

Moores has three things you should keep in mind when thinking of meals.

One:  Add color!

"Ideally not just the earth tones," Moores said. "If you can throw in some color and the sort of rule of thumb is half your plate should try to be fruits and vegetables," she said.

Two:  Be curious!

Moores said there are up to 40,000 different types of food in an average grocery store.

"So if you can make the commitment to find one new food every time, every week that you go in, and school can be a great way to do that a great way strategy if you're studying geography or you're studying a new language," Moores said. She said food is a wonderful way to introduce people to a different culture.

"I just would love people's perception of healthy to change to be 'Wow what could it be? instead of 'What is it?,'" she said.  

Three: Add good nutrition to a kid favorite!

Moores says healthy food doesn't have to be expensive.

"If you just took something as simple as macaroni and cheese and goosed it up by adding something that would be an easy lift, just some butternut squash," Moores said.

Moores shares two easy and delicious recipes.

"Frittata always sounds scary to me like that's going to be a lot of work," she said.  "It's not! It took literally 10 minutes to put together," Moores said.

The ingredients are eggs, roasted potatoes, and goat cheese. Moores said you throw it in a pan and then cover for 40 minutes while you get other work done.

For the full recipe, check out Kowalski's website.

"You can eat it at breakfast lunch or dinner you could reheat it it's so easy and tasty and great good stuff in there with the eggs great for the brain," Moores said.

Got more adventurous kids when it comes to food? Enter the chicken chimichurri salad.

"It's really flavorful and that's another thing I think especially as kids get older," Moores said. "The more pow, the more flavor sort of drives their interest," she said.

The recipe calls for chicken, celery, sugar snap peas, garbanzo beans, Kowalski's chimichurri sauce, and almonds. Moores said you can add rice or quinoa for a dish that'll last a few days.

Check out the full recipe here.

"Then you've got a lovely little salad for breakfast or lunch," Moores said. 

Moores said the rough figures for how much these meals will cost you:

  • Fritatta will cost about $12. It serves six and you can use a different cheese than goat to lower the cost. Feta or sharp cheddar would be tasty!
  • Chicken Chimichurri is between $10 to $12. It serves four. Moores said this is based on buying Kowalski's premade chimichurri sauce. The cost is $3 for the amount needed in the recipe or $6 for package which would allow a person to double the recipe to serve eight.

Remember, some school districts are offering free meal options for families who need the help even if your kids are not at school.  For example Saint Paul Public Schools are delivering meal boxes to homes.

If you need even more help there is an interactive map to find a food shelf in the Minneapolis area.