Here are some general recipes as well as some seasonal recipes. If you have any recipes that your children love, please share them with us so that we can add them to our site. We’d be happy to share your favorite recipes!

Please note: recipes, meals ideas, and other information found in the links is not guaranteed to meet the USDA Meal Patterns.

5 A Day Bulgur Wheat


  • 1 onion (medium, chopped)
  • 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrot (shredded) 1
  • green pepper (small, chopped, – may use red or yellow pepper)
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley (chopped, or 2 Tablespoons dried)
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur (dry)

  • 2 cups chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 8 ounces chickpeas or garbanzo beans (canned, drained)


Wash and chop fresh onion, broccoli, carrots, pepper and parsley (if using fresh parsley). Heat canola oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until soft. Add bulgur and stir to coat. Add 2 cups chicken broth to the skillet, bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Cook for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Add parsley and stir. Serve warm or cold. Note: Bulgur comes from wheat. It is actually the kernel of wheat, cracked for cooking. It has a nutty, chewy flavor that is sure to please and contains fiber. Canola oil is a healthy choice for vegetable oil.

Aztec Grain Salad


  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa, dry

  • 1 ¾ cups Fresh granny smith apples, peeled, cored, cubed 3/4″

  • 1 ¾ cups Fresh butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed 1/2″

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/3 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 dash ground black pepper

  • 1 dash ground white pepper

  • ½ teaspoon Fresh cilantro, chopped (Optional: use additional cilantro as a garnish)

  • 1/3 cup Dried cranberries, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup Golden raisins, seedless, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 400 °F.
Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy. Combine quinoa and 3 cups water in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until water is completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. When done, quinoa will be soft and a white ring will pop out of the kernel. The white ring will appear only when it is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork. Cover and refrigerate. A rice cooker may be used with the same quantity of quinoa and water.
Combine apples and squash in a large mixing bowl. Add canola oil, 1/8 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Toss well to coat.
Pour apples/squash mixture onto a large baking sheet and place in oven at 400 °F. Roast for 15 minutes or until squash is soft and slightly brown on the edges. Do not overcook. Remove and set aside to cool.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine orange juice, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, peppers, cilantro, and remaining ginger and cinnamon. Whisk together to make dressing.
In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, apples/squash mix, cranberries, raisins, and dressing. Toss well to combine. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Serve chilled.

Black Beans with Plantains


  • 1/2 cup Brown rice, long-grain, uncooked

  • 1 1/2 cups Water

  • 1 teaspoon Canola oil

  • 1 1/4 cups Onions, fresh, peeled, 1/4″ diced

  • 1 clove Garlic, fresh, minced (1 clove is about 1/2 teaspoon minced)

  • 1 quart Black beans, low-sodium, canned, drained and rinsed or black beans, dry, cooked

  • 1 cup Water

  • 1 cup Tomato sauce, low-sodium, canned

  • 2/3 cup Plantains, fresh, ripe (yellow), peeled, 1/4″ diced

  • 1 tablespoon Cumin, dried, ground

  • 1 teaspoon Paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper, ground

  • 2 tablespoons Salsa, traditional (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro, fresh, chopped (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons Green onions with tops, fresh, chopped (optional)


Combine brown rice and 1 cup water in a small stockpot. Reserve remaining water. Heat on medium-high heat to a rolling boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Stir once. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes over low heat. Fluff the rice gently with a fork. Heat oil in a medium stockpot on medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft. Add garlic. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add cooked rice, black beans, 1/2 cup water, tomato sauce, plantains, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Stir well and bring to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed into the ingredients. Heat to 140 °F for at least 15 seconds. Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon of salsa, 1 teaspoon of cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of green onions (optional).

Chickpeas and Tomatoes


  • 1 teaspoon Canola oil

  • 1 1/4 cups Onion, fresh, peeled, 1/4″ diced

  • 2 cloves Garlic, fresh, minced (1 clove is about 1/2 teaspoon minced)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger, fresh, grated (If using ground ginger reduce amount by half)

  • 2 1/2 cups Garbanzo beans, canned, drained, and rinsed or garbanzo beans, dry, cooked

  • 3 cups Tomatoes with juice, canned, low-sodium, diced

  • 1/4 cup Water

  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin, ground


Heat oil in a small stockpot on medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft. Do not brown. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the garbanzo beans (chickpeas), tomatoes and juice, water, chili powder, and cumin. Continue cooking on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until there is only enough liquid to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat to 140 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds.

Crunchy Chicken Tenders

Makes 4 Servings


  • 3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 pound skinless chicken, about 8 to 10 pieces

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a dark baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon basil, garlic powder, parsley, and Parmesan.
In a second small bowl, beat the egg whites, milk, and remaining ½ teaspoon basil.
Working with 1 piece at a time, dip the chicken tenders into the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Dip one side of the chicken tender into the bread crumb mixture, then flip it over to coat the other side. Dip the chicken tender back in the egg mixture and then back in the bread crumb mixture so it has two coats of each.
Place the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken, egg mixture, and bread crumb mixture.
Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken tenders over, drizzle with more olive oil, and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Munchies


  • ½ cup all-natural crunchy peanut butter

  • ¾ cup nonfat dry powdered milk

  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed

  • Grape Nuts cereal


Combine peanut butter, dry powdered milk, and mashed banana; blend together. (It helps to do this in a plastic baggie – you can mash the stuff all together).
Form into 1 – inch balls. Roll each ball in Grape-Nuts.
Serve immediately or refrigerate in covered container.

Interested in additional resources and ongoing nutrition education?

Contact 4-C to learn more about participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program!

Courtesy of Magazine

Delicious Oven French Fries

Makes 5 servings


  • 2 potatoes (large, about 2 pounds)

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (ground)

  • 8 cups water (ice)

  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon pepper flakes (hot)

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
Place potato strips into ice water, cover, and chill for 1 hour or longer.
Remove potatoes and dry strips thoroughly.
Place garlic powder, onion powder, salt, white pepper, allspice and pepper flakes in plastic bag.
Toss potatoes in spice mixture.
Brush potatoes with oil.
Place potatoes in nonstick shallow baking pan.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in 475° F oven for 15 minutes.
Remove foil and continue baking uncovered for additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn fries occasionally to brown on all sides.

Fall Snack Ideas


  • Apples and peanut butter

  • Baked potatoes, butter and milk

  • Rice cakes spread with cheese spread, decorated with olives, shredded carrots, kiwi slices or anything else to make decorated pumpkins or Jack-0-lantern faces

  • Apples shredded seasoned with cinnamon and a little sugar on a buttered tortilla and heated

  • Hot soft bread sticks with spaghetti sauce to dip

  • Apple muffins and milk

  • Hot apple juice with cinnamon graham crackers

Interested in additional resources and ongoing nutrition education?

Contact 4-C to learn more about participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program!

Fresh Peach Muffins


  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 cup skim milk

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

  • ¼ cup margarine (or butter)

  • 1 cup all purpose-flour

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 cup unpeeled, chopped, fresh peaches


Beat egg and milk together.
Add margarine, sugar, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice and vanilla.
Mix flours and baking powder and stir into milk mixture just until blended. Do not over-mix.
Fold in peaches.
Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake at 450° about 20 minutes or until brown.

Interested in additional resources and ongoing nutrition education?

Contact 4-C to learn more about participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program!

Courtesy of The Joy of Snacks by Nancy Cooper, R.D.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Replace mayonnaise with a tangy, Italian salad dressing to create a delicious new twist on tuna salad. Serve it in a pita, on a bun or roll, on top of crackers, or by itself.


  • 9 ounces Tuna, chunk style, canned in water, drained
  • 3/4 cup Carrots, fresh, peeled, shredded

  • 1/2 cup Cucumber, fresh, unpeeled,

  • 1/4″ diced 2/3 cup Peas, frozen

  • 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing

  • 3 Whole-wheat pitas


Place drained tuna in a medium bowl. Break apart chunks of tuna, using a fork. Add carrots, cucumbers, peas, and salad dressing. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until salad is chilled and peas are thawed. Cut each pita in half. Place 1/2 cup of tuna salad into the pocket of each pita half.

Mock Sour Cream Recipe


  • 2 cups cottage cheese

  • 2 T. milk

  • 2 T. lemon juice

  • Spices of your choice, like dill weed or garlic.


Run ingredients through food processor or blender until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

Use the Mock Sour Cream for a vegetable dip. Serve cut up vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cucumbers for one component of the snack and the Mock Sour Cream as a meat/meat alternate for the second component.

Serve the Mock Sour Cream with baked potatoes and shredded cheese for snack. This counts as two components, the baked potato is a fruit/vegetable, and the cottage cheese and shredded cheese are meat/meat alternatives.

Interested in additional resources and ongoing nutrition education?

Contact 4-C to learn more about participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program!

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip


  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, plain

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter (crunchy recommended)


Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with your favorite fruit or veggie.

Pear Quesadillas

Canned pears and cheese go well together in this quesadilla, with lots of added flavor from basil, onion, and pepper jack cheese.


  • 2 wheat tortillas (8″ diameter)

  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 tablespoon dried basil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion

  • 2 canned pear halves (sliced thin)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


Sprinkle cheese, onion, and dried basil on half of each tortilla. Place pear slices on top of other ingredients in each tortilla.
Brush each side of folded tortillas with olive oil.
Heat each folded tortilla in a non-stick skillet until cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Cut quesadilla into four pieces and serve immediately.

Quick and Healthy Black-Eyed Peas


  • 4 slices turkey bacon (chopped)

  • 5 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, frozen (about 2 pounds)

  • 2 cups water 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Place a pot over medium high heat and cook bacon for 3-4 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes.
Serve hot.

Snack Ideas

  • Tortillas and cheese or peanut butter (Put cheese or peanut butter between tortillas and heat in microwave to melt). Serve with apple juice or milk.

  • Pancakes and applesauce.

  • Tuna with whole-wheat crackers.

  • Boiled eggs and pineapple chunks.

  • Soft pretzels with melted cheese.

  • Baked sweet potatoes with a little butter, serve with a glass of milk.

  • Pasta and shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan).

  • Pasta and tomato sauce.

  • Chunks of apples with dipping caramel served with crackers

  • Hot chocolate made with fluid milk served with ginger snaps.

  • Chicken noodle soup, crackers served with a glass of milk.

  • Tomato soup served with oyster crackers.

  • Buttered baked squash served with a glass of milk.

  • Home made pretzels made with bread dough served with cheese sauce or melted cheese to dip.

  • Cantaloupe and cheese chunks on skewers

  • Tuna fish on crackers

  • Strawberries cut up into yogurt

  • Cottage cheese with cut up fruit

  • Frozen blueberries and crackers

Interested in additional resources and ongoing nutrition education?

Contact 4-C to learn more about participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program!

Spice Roasted Carrots


  • 16 carrots

  • ¼ cup coconut oil

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom

  • 2 teaspoons salt


Preheat oven to 425° F. Peel the carrots and cut into 3-inch long sections. Cut the sections lengthwise into halves, quarters, or sixths, making the stick mostly even in size. Toss the cut carrots with the spices and coconut oil. Place a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Stir, cook for another 15 minutes, stir again. Cook for a final 5-15 minutes until the carrots are soft and golden.