Recipe of the Week: Whole Wheat Bread

Captain Create has a fun family recipe for you all to try this week, and his friend B has demonstrated it for us! Do you remember how many servings from the grains group you need try to eat each day? That’s right! 6 servings may sound like a lot, but one slice of sandwich bread is a serving. Its easy to get them all in, and its best you can make half, if not all the servings whole grain.

Who remembers why whole grain has more for our bodies to use than white, or refined grains? Look at all those yummy brown bits to give you energy and help your body do its thing!

Let’s get cooking with B! This is a project that takes a little bit of time, and is a great activity to do with grown ups. Let the grown ups tell stories about their favorite sandwiches, or about when they cooked while they were growing up. You can also find The Little Red Hen at the library or online to read while you wait for the yeast to do its job and puff up the dough.

Tip of the Week: Keep Beautiful Bananas

Bananas are a delicious serving of fruit, and an easy fruit to pack for lunch. They’re full of potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. No matter if they are green or so ripe the peels are brown and spotty, they are yummy in a lot of different recipes! Here are some tips to get the most from your bright yellow bananas, plus the Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Bananas!

To keep the bunches from ripening too fast, you can wrap the top in plastic wrap, and you can buy them a little bit green if you don’t plan on eating them right away. They will ripen at your house.

What is your favorite way to eat bananas? Let us know in the comments!

Around the World in 80 Plates: Juneau, Alaska

Alaska is a huge place, and there is no way to say “this one meal is the best Alaskan food”! There are five groups of Alaska Natives that are divided by the area they live. Today Captain Create is in Juneau, in the southeast, to see the ocean, tall mountains, a glacier, and to learn about traditional foods of the Tlingit, Haida, Eyak, and Tsimshian people.

Southeast Alaska’s “close to the ocean” environment provides plenty of things to eat, as well as wood to build with.3 Fish like salmon and halibut, ocean plants, berries, moose, deer, and mountain goat were traditional foods and are still important food sources today. They used the ocean and rivers to travel and build trade routes.3 The people of Southeast Alaska were accomplished boatmen and traders, and built long canoes out of cedar for traveling3. They also used these resources to create art to help them tell stories and pass down their oral histories. You may recognise their unique style of art in their famous totem poles!

An interesting fact is that these groups of Alaska Natives have a matrilineal system: Kids are born into their mother’s clan, with all roles and property passed down through their mother’s line.1

Now for the Alaskan food!

There is currently a special project with the US Forest Service and members of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska to grow traditional Alaskan potatoes! “Many of the clans have their stories, about how the potato, the k’únts’, was brought here,” says David Kanosh of the Forest Service.2 Tlingit people planted them by the beach, at the forest’s edge, where there was lots of sunlight and plenty of seaweed and fish guts for fertilizer.2

(Photo by Ari Snider/KCAW)

According to potato expert Elizabeth Kunibe, (yes! You really can get a job as a potato expert!) scientists used to believe the potatoes of Alaska were brought here by European colonists. But genetic studies show that the Tlingit potato is related to South American potatoes, and arrived in Southeast Alaska several hundred years ago, likely through Tlingit voyages and trade routes.2 “We’re told that they could be part of a story that is told through the Kaagwaantaan Clan,” says Tammy Young, cultural resources coordinator at Sitka Tribe of Alaska. “They have a story where canoes went down, all along the coastline, all the way down as far as they could go.”2

If they had all the yummy fish from the ocean, and they were growing potatoes, it seems to us that they would have eaten them together! Lets try it in a foil packet! You can cook these in your oven, or if you decide to make them in summer, you can even cook them in a fire!





Nutrition Tip of the Week: What is a Grains Group Serving?

Its easy to get all the servings of grain you need each day if you plan ahead!

Kids under 9 need at least 3 servings of grains, and teens and adults need 6 servings of whole grains per day, but how much is a serving?

about 1 ounce is a serving of the grains group

For an adult, that is only a few things per day:

  • one slice of whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat noodles
  • 7 large crackers
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup whole grain cereal
  • 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal

Cereal for breakfast is often more than 1/2 cup, a sandwich takes 2 slices of bread, crackers are a great snack, and brown rice with dinner will round out a day’s worth of grains servings. Easy!

Grains are great things to put all the other food groups on top of or inside of. Can you build a sandwich with all the food groups? What about a rice bowl?

Try to make at least half your grains for the day whole grains, because whole grains have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep you healthy.

What makes whole grains different?

All things that the refining process takes out to make white flour are the good things we want and need! Whole wheat flour and whole grain foods keep all the brown parts for you to eat. Be sure to look for the gold stamp on the boxes or bags of food to be sure all the goodness is inside for you!

Recipe of the Week: Good Morning Muffins!

Breakfast is the best way to get your energy for the day started right. If you’re busy on the weekends going outside to play, you need lots of energy to stay warm and Captain Create has just the recipe for you!

Kids need 5 servings of grains per day, and 2 servings of fruit, and these muffins are a tasty way to get some of those servings in early! Serve these yummy muffins next to a scrambled egg, or with a yummy smoothie, to jump start your day.

Around the World in 80 Plates: Mongolia

Mongolia is located between Russia and China and has a very beautiful and harsh mountain landscape. The northern part of Mongolia is made of high mountain ranges with lots of lakes in the basins. The weather is harsh, cold, and unpredictable. The southern and eastern parts of Mongolia are hilly plains of grassland and desert. The grassland, or steppe, provides good pastures for herding livestock. The south of the country is part of the vast Gobi Desert, which means “Waterless Place.” Most of the Gobi is a desert of bare rock and gravel, not sand. The Gobi stretches across the Chinese border.2 The capital city of Ulaanbaatar is home to 45% of the population, and is ranked in the top 3 coldest capital cities along with Moscow and Ottawa. 30% of the Mongolian population are still nomadic and live in a gur, or yurt, like their ancestors.

Bactrian camels, known for their two humps, live naturally in Mongolia and there are efforts to help the population grow because it has been declining for many years. Genghis Khan is the most famous of all Mongolians. He rode tiny and tough Mongolian horses with his very large army and conquered most of the Asian continent, nearly to the Mediterranean in the early 1200’s.

There is a theory that Mongolian horseman may have invented ice cream, when they took cream in containers made from animal intestines as provisions on long journeys across the Gobi desert in winter. As they galloped, the cream was vigorously shaken, while the sub-zero temperature caused it to freeze. The expansion of the Mongol Empire spread ice cream through China, from where Marco Polo reputedly brought the idea to Italy when he returned from his travels in 1295.3

While I don’t know that this legend is true, lets try it out! It is okay if you don’t have a horse to gallop around in the winter wind; you can gallop around outside to shake up your ice cream, or just get out your winter mittens and some zipper bags!


  3. Clarke, Chris. The Science of Ice Cream. London, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012.

Tip of the Week: Ramen Upgrades for Extra Nutrition

It is cold out there today, and a great way to warm up quickly is with a bowl of hot noodle soup, like instant ramen. Everyone loves noodles!

We all know and love those little packets of noodles, but the “flavor packets” are loaded with extra salt and stuff our bodies don’t need. An easy way to add lots of flavor without the high sodium is to skip the packet and add other seasonings. Most people call this a “Ramen Upgrade”.

Upgrading your instant ramen noodles only takes an extra step, or two, to create new and flavorful meals that are easy to make. Usually you can add things from your cupboard, or even leftovers from the fridge to create new, yummy ramen meals. If you’re a lover of noodles, add ramen upgrades to your meal plan so you can be sure to have all that you need on noodle day.

Check out Captain Create’s Top 5 Ramen Noodle Upgrades below, and tell us your favorite ramen upgrade in the comments!

Recipe of the Week: Toasty Tortilla Wrap

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you may have seen this fun tortilla tip, and Captain Create noticed that it looked a lot like the Create Better Health Plate… what do you think?

Does it have ALL the parts of the plate? YES! Can you fill it with anything you like? ALSO YES!

Let’s get cooking. There isn’t really a recipe, but we have some how to photos, and Captain Create would love to see your favorite fillings in the comments!

Start by cutting one line from the middle of the tortilla (ours is whole wheat). Next fill in each of the four sections, then carefully fold it up. We toasted ours in a countertop grill, but a skillet would work well too. When the cheese melts and the fillings are hot, its ready to eat!

Around the World in 80 Plates: McMurdo Station, Antarctica

McMurdo Station is a U.S. research center in Antarctica that houses the largest community on the continent—the population can reaches over 1,000 people in the summer—and a lot of logistics go into feeding employees in the actual middle of nowhere. It’s cold all the time on Antarctica! The average annual temperature is only ZERO degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun rises and sets once a year, leaving either 24-hours a day of sunshine or darkness, depending on the season.

They get shipments once, or maybe twice a year when the ice breaking cargo ships can get through, and during the summer, the sometimes receive fresh food called ‘freshies’ on planes from Christchurch, New Zealand, with dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, and eggs. If the weather is good and the planes come on time, they can get fresh food once a week, though sometimes it will be delayed or cancelled.

If you feel like you’re on Antarctica this winter when its sunny, but freezing cold outside, you can cook like you’re there! An easy recipe you can make on a cold snowy day is this warming Lasagna Soup, made from dry or canned foods, just like they get on the bottom of the planet.

If you want to work on Antarctica, there are a lot of jobs you could do: Scientific research is performed at and near McMurdo in aeronomy, astrophysics and geospace sciences, biology and ecosystems, geology and geophysics, glaciology, geomorphology, ice cores, and ocean and climate systems. There are also jobs that support the researchers like kitchen and dining room jobs, vehicle mechanics and maintenance, hairstyling, waste management, and all sorts of other work that needs to be done in one of the most remote places in the world. Just make sure you have warm clothes and fuzzy socks to wear!

Whether you’re going to work in Antarctica someday or not, you can bundle up and play outside, just like the penguins that live down under! They waddle, walk, play, and swim no matter the weather. They love snow, and can hike up to 50 miles! They must do lots of exercises!

Tip of the Week: Make a Plan!

Today is the first Monday of the year and everyone is filling in their planners with all the work and homework they have to do. Don’t forget to make a plan for dinner with your family too!

My favorite way to plan the week is to make enough dinner so I can take the leftovers with me for lunch the next day! What do you do with your leftovers? Add them to your plan!

Tips and Tricks to make planning easy:

  • Choose the meals you want to eat, and plan for leftovers.
  • Check your cupboards, fridge, and freezer to see what ingredients you already have.
  • Write a list of the ingredients you need. (Check the weekly ad from the store for sale items!)
  • Shop from the list and don’t give in to impulse items you may not eat, no matter how nice it looks in the store.
  • Get the whole family involved to cook, set the table, and clean up!
  • Make a list for next week!

Here is a handy page to plan each week:

Would you rather plan a whole month? We have that too!

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