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Healthy Holiday Cookies

December is the season for celebrating with food, family and community! With the upcoming work, school and familiy holiday parties, it's likely that you will be enjoying some sweet treats or making some yourself. Learn more about the tradition of holiday cookies and some healthy alternatives! 

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Veggie of the Month: Beets

Eat your beets! 

With their jewel red tones and earthy flavor, beets are one of the most dazzling colored root vegetables. Beautiful and nutritious, with a natural sweet taste, beets are a wonderful complement to a child's well-rounded menu. Plus, when mixed into foods, beets can turn any dish into a brilliant pink color that's fun to eat.

Check out these creative ways to sneak beets into your family's menu. 

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Substitute Meals

In the US, 5.9 million children under the age of 18 have some sort of food allergy.  That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. As these numbers climb, there are steps we call can take to ensure our students stay safe. Read on to see the steps and protocols that Red Rabbit follows to ensure your students are safe and how you can continue to protect your students.

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Gratitude: Noticing the Good Things in Your Life

This time of year, we like to take the time to say thanks. Practicing gratitude can enhance your overall happiness and well-being while also keeping you present in the day. It's easy to start to notice and identify the things you are grateful for in your everyday life. Tune in to the small details of your life and notice the good things (a wonderful loved one, a delicious meal, etc) that you might sometimes take for granted.

Here are a few tips to sharing gratitude at any age

Start a Gratitude Journal 

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Apples

November has come around which means fall is finally here, along with one of our favorite fall foods - apples! People have been enjoying apples for over 4,000 years for their health benefits and delicious taste.  Read More

Fall favorites coming soon!

With Daylight Savings nearly a week away, we’re starting to notice the seasons changing - the crisp air (and apples) are leaving us craving hearty & warming meals. The Red Rabbit kitchen is embracing this transition with some of our most prized fall foods. Read More

Veggie of the Month: Butternut Squash

Did you know? 
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Candy Alternatives

October has arrived, and with it so has the flood of Halloween sweets and treats. We were spooked to learn that American consumed 5.5 million pounds of candy in 2016. It's estimated that $2.7 billion will be spent on Halloween candy this year, so make sure you're putting your money to good use with some of our whole food alternatives below. 

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Low Cost October Activities for the Whole Family

Fall's just begun - and there are tons of free and low cost activities happening throughout NYC perfect for children! Take advantage of the crisp air, get outside, and learn something new!

We've picked out our favorite events for the next few weekends - here are our top picks for each borough:

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Veggie of the Month: Sugar Snap Peas

 

These little green gems are true to their name, full of natural sweetness and pack a crunch kids adore. Scroll down to see the facts you don't want to miss about this end of summer treat and a few resources on how to incorporate the food into your classroom and kitchen lessons this month.

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Why do bees make honey?

Think of someone who preserves their own food. Why they might go through all that trouble? They might tell you it is because they want to feed their families healthy homegrown food throughout the cold winter months, or because they want to be prepared with plenty of food in case their circumstances change.

Bees make and store honey for the same reasons. They need honey to feed their young. Honey helps them survive the cold winter months when they can’t get out and find flowers to make their food - and they need to visit lots of flowers. Honey's taste, smell and texture depend on the type of flower that each bee visits.

How do bees make honey? First, they collect a sugary juice called nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues. It is then stored in their honey stomach, which is different from their food stomach. When they have a full load, they fly back to the hive. From there, it is passed on through their mouths to other worker bees who chew it for about half an hour. It's given from bee to bee, until it gradually turns into honey. Bees store it in honeycomb cells, which are like tiny mason jars made of wax. The honey is still a bit wet, so they fan it with their wings to make it dry out and become more sticky. When it's ready, the bees seal the cell with a wax lid to keep it clean. 

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Veggie of the month: Corn

Ready for a corn-ucopia of knowledge? Sweet summer corn is truly something special. It's the kind of corn that's lined with row upon row of plump, firm kernels in varying shades of yellow and white that explode with sweet, fresh flavor the moment you take a bite.

Corn (scientific name Zea mays), called maize in Spanish, has been a staple ingredient in South, Central and North America for thousands of years. First domesticated over 8,000 years ago, corn has been a traditional food for Native Americans and is eaten in the diets of people living all over the world, including many populations in India, Mexico, Italy and nearly every nation in Central America.

Did you know...?

  • Corn is grown throughout the warm summer months on stalks of “ears”
  • Corn can be found in different varieties, including red, pink, black, blue, multicolored and pruple (like our Organic Biodynamic Purple Corn Flakes).
  • The possibilities are endless! Corn is used around the world to make polenta, flour, fritters, soups, sauces and even eaten raw. 
  • The nutritional value of corn has helped support growing populations, especially living in impoverished areas, for many years. 
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5 Ingredients You Don't Want in Your Chicken Nuggets:  Proceed with Caution Before Eating

BE CAREFUL before serving up those packaged frozen nuggets to your kids - make sure to check the back of the package for these ingredients.

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Red Rabbit Education Labs for all ages!

Every day, Red Rabbit's 20,000 meals get delivered to kids of all ages throughout New York City. This summer, Red Rabbit partnered with a group of adults to bring them the same made-from-scratch lessons that our Education team normally brings to our kiddos.

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Introducing Organic Purple Corn Flakes!

3 things about Red Rabbit’s newest cereal ...

We're excited to announced our newest partnership with Back to the Roots - look out for their Organic Purple Corn Flakes on your breakfast menu soon. Here's a little more about the cereal:

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Our Favorite Cooking Tips

This spring is all about tips, and in this week's blog, we've compiled our favorite cooking tips, secrets and cost saving ideas. Whether it's buying pre peeled garlic or freezing your own tomato sauce over the summer to use all year long, the home cook has her secrets. We asked the Red Rabbit staff to share their favorite tips.  Read on to save time and money when cooking for your family.

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Cooking Family Meals on a Budget: Latin Style Rice & Beans

Whether you're a family of two, four or eight, cooking family meals on a budget  is most likely something you spend time thinking about. Following our popular series, Cooking on a Budget of $25 or Less, we'll be sharing budget friendly recipes and tips all spring long.

Our tip this month:  Use a pantry staple you already have on hand for your recipe's base. This can be a legume, like a bean or lentil, a grain, like a pasta or noodle, or, one of the friendliest pantry staples - rice. Brown, white, jasmine and wild are just a few of our favorites. This week, we're sharing our special recipe for Spanish Style Rice & Beans, which gets its pack of flavor from our homemade sofrito. Sofrito is a base used in many Latin dishes, made with peppers, cilantros and spices. We've shared ours below. We suggest doubling this recipe and inviting your abuelos over for dinner. !Buen Provecho!

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Rice & Beans For the Soul

Every recipe has a story, and our Rice & Beans is no exception.  At Red Rabbit, we soak red kidney beans overnight, add our homemade green and red pepper sofrito and season with cumin and tomato paste, served with a side of mashed plantains and kale. 

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What Does an "Organic" Label Mean?

Once upon a time, buying an apple was easy. It didn’t require much thought beyond, “I’m hungry. I’d like to buy an apple. Here’s one! It looks good – no bumps or mushy brown spots.” Money was exchanged for the sweet, crunchy, nutritious prize, and we went about our day with full, grateful tummies.

Yet, thanks to generations of pesticides, bioengineering and synthetics, a food transaction today comes with significantly more food for thought, and carries with it the possibility for considerably more confusion as to what is “conventional” and what is “organic.”

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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid During Your Audit

If you're like most people, you dread an audit, and for good reason. Failing an audit by the New York State Education Department (NYSED)  can cost your school thousands in fines and hours of headaches tracking down missing paperwork. We're here to help you get ahead of your audit.

Our guest blogger and expert on audits is Emily Chatelain, the Founder of the School Food and Wellness Group. Emily helps schools with everything from becoming a School Food Authority, to managing paperwork and preparing for audits. Here, Emily shares the top five mistakes she has observed during charter school  audits in the NSLP program, and what schools can do to better prepare themselves. 

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