(Family Features) With hectic day-to-day schedules and varying dietary needs, many families face the dreaded daily question: “What sounds good for dinner?” In contrast, millions struggle to put food on the table each night, impacting about 1 in 8 children, according to Feeding America.
You can help support those in need through Safeway and Albertsons’ “Fight Hunger, Serve Hope” cause program – an initiative to fight hunger in local communities during summer months when households with school-aged children face higher rates of food insecurity. The company’s private label will donate one meal for every O Organics® product purchased, up to $7 million and the equivalent of 28 million meals. Donations will be made to Nourishing Neighbors, a program of Albertsons Companies Foundation, to fund grants dedicated to providing healthy meals for at-risk youth throughout the summer.
“While summertime sparks excitement for countless students, it also marks the unfortunate reality that millions of children face when they lose access to school cafeteria lunches and breakfasts they depend on throughout the school year,” said Jennifer Saenz, EVP and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons Companies. “As a company, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of children in need. For the first time, we are making it easier than ever for our customers to support this mission by connecting each purchase of our O Organics brand to hunger relief efforts in the communities we serve.”
Following the campaign period, families looking to help in their communities can give back in a variety of ways.
Donate Canned Goods
Once school is in session, many classrooms participate in canned food drives for a variety of causes while serving a dual purpose: feeding those in need and teaching children the importance of giving back. Sending your students to school with canned goods can show them the value of helping others and instill a sense of responsibility.
Volunteer at a Food Pantry
Sharing valuable resources like canned goods helps make a difference in communities, but local food pantries also need willing volunteers to sort and distribute food, among other duties. It can provide a unique sense of perspective as you meet other volunteers, improve the lives of people in your community and gain new skills.
Promote the Power of Family Meals
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three, sharing a meal with neighbors can be a powerful moment. It provides an opportunity to connect while enjoying easy-to-make recipes like Ribeye Steak, Grape Tomato and Mushroom Kebabs; Grilled Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Fresh Raspberries and Pecans; and Mixed Berry-Lime Smoothie Bowl with Banana and Granola.
Ribeye Steak, Grape Tomato and Mushroom Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of Safeway and Albertsons
Total time: 30 minutes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 small bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1/4 cup O Organics extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons O Organics Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 pound O Organics ribeye steak
- 1/2 pint O Organics grape tomatoes
- 1/4 pound O Organics white mushrooms
- green pepper, sliced (optional)
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 6 skewers
- Peel and mince garlic. Wash and dry parsley. Shave leaves off stems; discard stems and mince leaves.
- In large bowl, whisk minced garlic, half the minced parsley (reserve remainder for garnish), olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Cut steak into cubes; transfer to marinade bowl and toss to coat.
- Wash tomatoes, mushrooms and green pepper. Halve mushrooms. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and green pepper to marinade. Peel onion and cut into chunks; add to marinade. Toss beef and vegetables until well coated.
- Heat grill pan, outdoor grill or skillet to medium-high heat.
- Thread steak and vegetables onto six skewers.
- Cook kebabs in batches until steak is browned and vegetables are tender, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining kebabs.
- To serve, plate kebabs and sprinkle with remaining minced parsley.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Fresh Blueberries and Pecans
Recipe courtesy of Safeway and Albertsons
Total time: 20 minutes
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless O Organics chicken breasts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons O Organics extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 package (5 ounces) O Organics spring mix
- 1 package (6 ounces) O Organics blueberries (or desired berry)
- 1/4 cup O Organics pecan halves
- 3 tablespoons O Organics olive oil
- 1 tablespoon O Organics balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 log (4 ounces) O Organics goat cheese
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on cutting board. Cut chicken in half horizontally to form thin cutlets. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Preheat grill pan, outdoor grill or skillet to medium-high heat.
- Once pan is hot, coat with oil. Add chicken to pan and grill, turning once, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side.
- Wash and dry spring mix. Place in medium bowl.
- Wash and dry blueberries. Add to bowl with mixed greens. Using clean cutting board, roughly chop pecans. Add to bowl.
- Transfer cooked chicken to cutting board and cut into thin strips.
- In bowl, mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar to create dressing.
- Add chicken and dressing to salad bowl; toss to combine.
- To serve, divide salad between plates or bowls and crumble goat cheese over top.
Mixed Berry-Lime Smoothie Bowl with Banana and Granola
Recipe courtesy of Safeway and Albertsons
Total time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 cups
- 1 banana
- 1/2 package (6 ounces) O Organics blackberries
- 1/2 lime
- 2 cups O Organics frozen mixed berries
- 1 cup plain O Organics Greek yogurt
- 4 fluid ounces O Organics whole milk
- 1/8 cup O Organics honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup O Organics granola of choice
- Wash and dry banana and blackberries.
- Peel and thinly slice banana; set aside.
- Zest and juice lime into blender. Add frozen mixed berries, yogurt, milk, honey and cinnamon. Blend on high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
- To serve, divide smoothie between bowls and top with banana, blackberries and granola.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (kebabs)
(Family Features) Save time and serve up better-for-you lunches, snacks, desserts and after-school energy boosts with these simple and affordable recipes.
By packing quick and easy lunches, you can have your kids set for each busy day without sacrificing time together. Shopping for your grade-A, back-to-school essentials at a store like ALDI means you’ll use quality ingredients to prepare fun, better-for-you lunchboxes and more.
Consider these eight recipe ideas to pack a better lunchbox. Get schooled in savings and check out aldi.us to find more back-to-school inspiration.
- Secret Veggie Turkey Nuggets – Sneak those all-important veggies into your child’s lunch with these baked nuggets that combine ground turkey, cauliflower, zucchini and onions. Add a favorite dipping sauce to the lunchbox for a tasty, nutritious midday meal.
- Bento Box Lunch – If your child is adventurous when it comes to flavors, combine a turkey sandwich roll, quinoa salad, broccoli salad and cinnamon apples in this full-flavored bento box.
- Fruit Leather Wraps – Snack time doesn’t have to mean candy and other unhealthy options. Instead, provide a sweet treat that’s all-natural with blueberries and raspberries in these fruity wraps that are both guilt- and gluten-free.
- Tropical Granola Bar – One of the most versatile snacks to enjoy nearly any time of day: granola bars. This homemade version combines dried fruit with pumpkin flax and quick oats for a sweet, nutritious treat.
- Peanut Butter Granola Bites – Make dessert a more nutritious venture with the classic combination of peanut butter, fruit and honey. These small bites of savory flavor can be ready in just 12 minutes for a nighttime snack the whole family can share.
- Strawberry Yogurt Bars – The nutritious combination of oats and strawberries makes for a tasty treat. This kid-friendly recipe is an easy option to make ahead and serve anytime.
- Tropical Superfruit Smoothie – It only takes six natural ingredients and five minutes to make a supercharged after-school snack.
- Carrot Pineapple Smoothie – Before diving into the evening’s homework assignments, help your little learner refuel with fruits and veggies in this creamy smoothie.
(Family Features) School means a return to packing lunches and preparing after-school snacks. Make this school year fun with a new collection of easy-to-make snack recipes from the National Honey Board.
Instead of giving your kids the same boring sandwich, jazz up their lunch box and snacks with a few easy tips:
Update a classic
Honey gives a new twist to an old favorite. Try a PB&H by switching out the jelly for honey, and this sandwich will be a new lunch box staple.
Wrap, roll and skewer
Wrap fixings in a tortilla for a handy “to go” snack. Cut sandwiches into small, flattened, crustless squares; spread bread with honey and chopped fruit, and roll into kid-friendly rolls or fashion them into kabobs.
Prepare for snack attacks
Make a double batch of snacks and keep them on hand when hungry bellies come calling. Honey-sweetened granola bars stay fresh in tightly sealed containers and banana pops store perfectly in the freezer. Honey is also a natural preservative that will keep your snacks extra fresh.
Customize to fit cravings
Snack time is more fun with your favorite and colorful toppings. Roll a banana pop in graham cracker crumbs, dried fruit or coconut for a fun, individualized sweet treat.
Reach for a quick dip
Eating fruit is twice as fun with a naturally sweetened dip. Keep individual serving-sized packages of honey fruit dip in the refrigerator where it’s ready to grab and go.
Add energy and brainpower to your kid’s school day with good-for-you snacks made with pure honey. Honey is a great all-natural sweetener with no added ingredients. Read the label to make sure you purchase 100 percent, pure honey.
The National Honey Board provides a full collection of snack recipes and tips in the Honey Snack Recipe Brochure, complete with colorful photography. To receive a free copy of the brochure, visit www.honey.com or send your mailing address to Pure Honey Snacks Brochure, P.O. Box 14636, Madison, WI 53708-0636.
For more recipes using pure honey, or to find out more about the benefits of using honey, visit www.honey.com. To find a local honey producer or special honey variety, visit www.honeylocator.com.
Peanut Butter & Honey Roll-Ups
Makes 2 servings
- 4 slices wheat bread
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds or walnuts)
- 1/4 cup strawberries, finely diced
- 4 skewers (optional)
- Additional fresh fruit such as kiwi, strawberries, grapes or pineapple (optional)
- Trim crusts from bread. Gently press bread or flatten with a rolling pin. Spread each slice with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Sprinkle 2 bread slices with 1 tablespoon nuts each. Sprinkle remaining slices with strawberries.
- Cut each slice in half. Firmly roll up each slice and serve, or thread the roll-ups and fruit onto skewers and serve as kabobs.
Honey Cherry Granola Bars
Makes 12 to 16 bars
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
- 3 cups low-fat granola
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together honey, butter, egg whites, cinnamon and almond flavoring. Stir in granola, almonds and cherries. Spoon granola mixture into a 9-inch nonstick (or well-greased) square pan. Using a piece of wax paper, firmly press granola mixture in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely; cut into bars.
Frozen Honey Banana Pops
Makes 8 pops
- 4 just-ripe bananas, peeled
- 8 craft sticks
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1-1/3 cups finely chopped nuts, coconut, carob chips, dried fruit, graham cracker crumbs, etc.
- Cut bananas in half cross-wise. Insert a craft stick into each cut end. Freeze for at least 30 minutes on a wax paper-lined tray.
- Meanwhile, spread desired toppings onto separate plates. Spoon about 1 tablespoon honey over each slightly frozen banana, rotating and smoothing honey with back of spoon to coat all sides. Roll banana in desired topping until coated on all sides, pressing with fingertips to help toppings adhere. Return pop to wax paper-lined tray and repeat with remaining bananas.
- Freeze pops 15 minutes or more to set toppings. Serve.
Source: National Honey Board