Our Pure Flavor® Adopt-A-School partners help us encourage kids to become lifelong veggie lovers!   Mel Brown, Principal at James L. Dunn Elementary School shares some insight as to how the students at her school like to use Pure Flavor® veggies beyond snack time as part of their “You’re the Chef” student cooking program!

Recently, one of our Kindergarten teachers was teaching students about healthy eating and getting students to try new foods. Our youngest learners were surprised to find out that there were vegetables in many of the things they liked to eat. Mme. Graziano decided to make homemade pasta sauce with our students using the Pure Flavor® Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes. Students learned that you could roast tomatoes, as well as onions and garlic, in the oven giving the veggies an even sweeter taste! They also cut up some fresh tomatoes with plastic knives, which were then blended with the roasted tomatoes for a delicious full flavor. See a copy of the recipe they created below. Students were amazed at how delicious their pasta sauce tasted and was excited to share samples with our James L. Dunn staff!

Our school has been a long-time participant in Pure Flavor®’s “Adopt a School” donation program, and our students have come to expect Mini Munchies® Snack Packs with snacking tomatoes, mini cucumbers, and Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers every morning.

Kindergarten Pasta Bake –

  1. Cook pasta (fusilli or penne is best) as per directions on the box and let the pasta cool in an aluminum foil or glass pan. Add some butter or olive oil to the pasta, and stir while hot to prevent the noodles from sticking.  Children can cut a little chunk of butter and then stir it in the noodles using a wooden spoon.
  2. On a cookie sheet, spread Pure Flavor® Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes, drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper over top. Children using their hands can mix the tomatoes until well coated.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst open and you know they are done.
  3. Using a blender, fill with approx. ¾ full of roasted and ¼ full of raw tomatoes that children have cut into pieces using plastic knives.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Blend until smooth.
  4. Combine tomato sauce with pasta that has been cooling and mix in shredded mozzarella cheese using a large wooden spoon.  Children love to help mix the ingredients together.
  5. An optional idea is to chop some fresh basil and oregano and sprinkle them over top.
  6. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 50 minutes then cool before serving. Bon appétit!

Snacktime & Beyond –

It was such a success that our Kindergarten students were excited to try out other recipes, making homemade tomato soup with fresh basil and a fresh bruschetta spread that they tried on toasted bread. Not only were students excited to try new foods, but they also shared their love of vegetables with some very pleased parents! 

One of the goals of our Ontario Student Nutrition Program is to expose students to new foods and encourage them to try them. The combination of Pure Flavor®’s Mini Munchies® Snack Packs and the opportunity for our students to try these ingredients in new and creative ways has been a tremendous asset to achieving this goal.

Pure Flavor®, thank you for everything you do to provide nutritious options for our breakfast program, and veggies that our students can snack on all day long! I love you from my head to-ma-toes!!

~ Mel