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Oklahoma Table: Messengers of Local are Youth Today

Oklahoma Farm to School program aims to support local producers, feed local children and build a sustainable future.
BY SHERREL JONES Modified: August 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm •  Published: August 8, 2012

/articleid/3698880/1/pictures/1794902">Photo - FARM TO FRESH: School lunches are pictured at the OPUBCO studio in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman.
FARM TO FRESH: School lunches are pictured at the OPUBCO studio in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman.

The book even offers storage tips and safe handling procedures that are vital to any school lunch venue.

There is a helpful diagram for making the best use of a walk-in refrigerator when storing vegetables. Heating and holding temperatures for keeping food safe are also included. The recipes contributed by school and heath personnel across the state and other similar farm to school organizations from around the country are clear, concise and easy to follow.

Oklahoma Farm to School has also produced five 22-minute videos that invite students to join in a fun and informative “Kidchen Expedition” visiting several farms and facilities where food are grown and produced. Chef Jeff Denton, who is director of Child Nutrition for Ponca City Public Schools, leads children from gardens, farms, berry patches and peach orchards into kitchens to make some easy healthy snacks. These videos are sure to spur on some opportunities to learn more about nutrition and the foods students will be enjoying in their school cafeterias.

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Fresh Market Watermelon Salsa

This fresh salsa is perfect for the start of school. Makes six generous half-cup servings.

3 cups watermelon, washed well before cutting and diced in half-inch or smaller pieces

2 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup green bell pepper, cleaned, diced

1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, cleaned, diced

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper (washed, seeds and membranes removed)

2 tablespoons washed and finely chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Blend ingredients up to one day ahead. Hold at 41 degrees F or lower

Notes: Allowing flavors to mingle covered in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.

SOURCE: Libby Anderson, MS, RD/LD, Nutrition Education/Child Nutrition Services, Union Public Schools, Tulsa

Rainbow Salsa

Escape to the tropics with this side dish. Serving Size: Makes 6 half-cup servings

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper, washed before chopping

2 teaspoons fresh jalapeno, washed, seeded and chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh red onion

1/3 cup fresh or frozen mango, diced (optional)

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, washed before chopping

1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained

2/3 cup canned tomatoes, drained and diced

1/2 cup canned corn, drained

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil (optional)

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/8 teaspoon dried cumin

Mix ingredients and refrigerate. Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips.

Nutrition Analysis Per Serving: 109 calories, 360 milligrams of sodium, 24.7 percent of calories from fat, 4 percent of calories from saturated fat and 8.6 percent of calories from sugar.

Source: This recipe was entered by Anderson Elementary School, Tulsa, in the 2011 Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Team Nutrition, the Let's Move! Campaign and the American Culinary Federation

Crunchy Vegetable Wraps

These make a great healthy snack or light lunch.

1/2 teaspoon ranch salad dressing and seasoning

2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese

1/4 cup carrots, washed, chopped and grated

1/4 cup zucchini, washed and cut into small strips

1/4 cup yellow summer squash, washed and cut into small strips

1/2 tomato, washed and diced

2 tablespoons green bell pepper, washed before cutting

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

2 spinach or whole-wheat tortillas

In a small bowl, stir ranch seasoning into cream cheese then chill.

Steam broccoli in microwave for 1 minute with 1 tablespoon water.

Spread cream cheese onto tortillas, staying 1 inch from edge. Sprinkle vegetables over cream cheese on tortillas. Roll up tightly.

Notes: Each half is a single serving for elementary school age children.

Nutrition Analysis: Per Serving: 130 calories, 2.5 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 5 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 220 milligrams sodium, 17 percent of calories from fat and 7 percent of calories from saturated fat.

SOURCE: Connecticut Food Policy Council and


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