The Norman Transcript

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January 19, 2014

Norman after-school program takes on unhealthy party foods

NORMAN — Norman’s Community After School Program is taking a bite out of bad childhood eating habits.

The after-school program, which is serving 17 Norman elementary schools and more than 650 students, has released a cookbook providing nutritious ideas for healthy holiday snacks. There is a zombie smoothie for Halloween, Grinchy Party Poppers for Christmas, and raspberry applesauce for sweet treats on Valentine’s Day, among the many tasty selections.

“Kids in the Kitchen,” the holiday edition, features 49 recipes that are tasty, yet healthy.

“We are hoping to make slow and steady changes to the unhealthy holiday party snack culture,” said Lindsey Ellis, CASP Be Fit coordinator. “When people think of parties for children, they typically think of cupcakes, soda and chips. We are hoping to change that culture at CASP by providing easy-to-make snacks.”  

The idea was cooked up in September by CASP staff.

“We have been slowly trying to make healthy changes to our programs, and we thought that if we created a resource that the staff could easily use, then it would be much easier to provide healthy snacks to the children during parties,” Ellis said.

CASP partnered with the Alliance For A Healthier Generation, which helped CASP receive a grant to increase nutrition education at its Norman programs.

“We were generously awarded $13,600,” Ellis said. “With part of that money, we designed this cookbook to keep at our programs for the staff to use and to give out to parents, as well.”

CASP emailed a copy to all parents earlier in the month and printed 100 copies. The reviews have been positive.

“I think my favorite recipe in the cookbook is ‘Zombie Juice’ in the Halloween section,” Ellis said. “When we created the cookbook, we tried a few of the recipes. I was actually very nervous about the taste when trying the vegetable smoothie, but it turns out that it was really good and didn’t taste like spinach at all. I actually drink this most days for breakfast. We even made it at some of the programs around Halloween time, and the kids loved it, as well.”

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