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Posts Tagged ‘#backtoschool’

It is “that” Time of Year…Again

snoopyIt sounds a bit cliche…but really what else can we say?  Is Summer already over? Where did it go?  In our last blog we shared information on sleeping and helping our kids get back to a schedule that is a healthy one.  Today…we celebrate the last FRIDAY of the Summer and the long weekend…and we get ready for a new season…school, schedules, organized activities…..

Traditionally in our house, we spend some time on the Labour Day Weekend prepping lunches for the week ahead.
If we don’t actually make them all ready, we do have a schedule of snacks and lunches that we will be using throughout the week.   This helps us to get the groceries that we need and acts as a reminder of who likes what food…(this changes over the summer, trust me!!)

Here are some of the lunches that we are prepping this week….healthy and delicious…something for everyone in our family. Take a look through and hopefully a few of these ones will work for your family too!

Wishing you a wonderful end of Summer and a healthy and energized start to a new school year.  We hope that the transitions, whether to a new grade, a new school or a new college/university town goes well for you!

The Johnston Family



Broccoli Nuggets (Don’t judge this one by the title…it really is worthy of a try)
Source – http://www.kannammacooks.com/broccoli-nuggets/


These Broccoli Nuggets are so simple to make and has only FIVE INGREDIENTS.

Cheddar Cheese
Pepper powder
Garlic Powder
This is an easy and Healthy school lunch box snack idea. Kid friendly food. Here is how to do it.

Roughly chop the broccoli into small pieces. Grind the broccoli in a food processor or a mixie until the texture is like rice. Pulse the Broccoli in the food processor several times. If doing it in a mixer, grind the broccoli in several batches.
Add in the shredded cheddar cheese, one egg, Pepper powder and Garlic Powder. The cheese itself is salty. So no need to add additional salt to this mixture. Combine all the ingredients well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lining is important so the patties do not stick to the pan after baked. Make 2 inch patties and line it on the baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 F degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature (for lunches!!).
Top 10 Wraps for Lunches!
We have shared this early in the Summer, but we thought it was a worthy reshare.
Click on the picture below to head to the details of the TOP TEN WRAPS! – Veggies & Cream Cheese, Apple & Cheddar, Beans & Rice, Strawberry and AppleButter, Chicken Wrap, Avocado Wrap, Egg, Sweet Fruit, Hummus and Cucumber, Banana & Peanut Butter & Honey (not great for school…but definitely an after school at home choice),
Our favourite seems to change on a weekly basis….but the consistent top two are: Chicken Wrap and Avocado Wrap….usually we make this a combo.
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
¾ cup basmati rice (uncooked)
2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
1 cup corn kernels
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
Place the chicken breasts in a small baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Turn to coat.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn the chicken, then bake for another 10-15 minutes (depends on the size of your chicken breasts), until cooked through.
Allow to rest for 10 more minutes before slicing.
Lunch Bowls:
Cook the rice according to package directions. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, bell peppers, red onion and corn.
Shake together the vinaigrette and add to the bowl. Toss to coat everything completely.
Divide amongst 4 lunch containers, topping with the chicken.
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Nutritional Information:
Calories 479 // Fat 19 g // Saturated Fat 2 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 180 mg // Carbohydrate 41 g // Fiber 2 g // Sugars 5 g // Protein 30 g
Products used in this recipe:

Getting back on track after the summer holidays


14088653_10154000787584611_5455111156261352087_nIt is never easy transitioning back into schedules, especially after loads of summer fun! Today, we have a guest blogger, Pam from www.restfulparenting.com, share some tips for success. Read through her suggestions, and hopefully the transition this year will be a smooth one.

Enjoy the last few days of summer!!
Dr. Wil & Dr. Erin

The summer holidays or vacation days during the summer can be a very exciting time for school aged children. Whether they are at home alone or with parents, grandparents, in summer camps or in childcare, their routine will be a little bit different than the routine they will have once they start school again. Starting school is a busy time for all families and getting enough sleep is a must! No matter what grade your child will be going into, the adjustment does take time.

Shifting the schedule

Your child may have shifted schedules while on holidays. They may be sleeping in later and going to bed slightly later. Your first step to getting them back on track for school would be to begin shifting their schedule back to the one that will work for them once they start school again. The first step in shifting the schedule begins with the morning wake up.


Wake them up in the morning

Getting their schedule back on track starts with morning wake up. Take a couple of weeks before Fall to begin to prepare them by waking them up earlier in the morning. If your child has shifted their schedule to a 9:00 am wake up and you are aiming for a 7:00 am wake up for the school days ahead, you would begin by waking your child up at 8:30am for a few days, then 8:00am, 7:30am and then 7:00 am. Be sure to adjust bedtime to help compensate for the early wake up.


Earlier bedtimes

If you are shifting your child’s schedule from the later schedule that it was during the summer back to the school time schedule, it is important to allow your child the opportunity to get a full night’s sleep by getting them to bed early enough. Based on the chart below, you can count backwards for your child’s appropriate bedtime based on the amount of recommended hours of sleep they need. Adjusting the bedtime needs to be done in 30 minute increments much like the morning wake up.


Child’s Age Recommended Hours of Sleep Needed
Preschoolers (3-5 years) 11-13 hours
Young Children (5-10 years) 10-11 hours
Adolescents (10-17 years) 8.5-10 hours


Create a regular sleep routine

Even if you had a great sleep routine going before the holidays, you may have been a little lax during the summer vacation. You may have been out and about frequently and your child would fall asleep in the car, or perhaps your days were so busy that bedtime became a rush of attempting to get the little ones to bed right away! Whatever the case may be, getting back on track with a calming bedtime routine with a decent amount of time for decompression will make bedtime run a lot more smoothly.

With your older child the routine may not be as significant but they will still need the time to decompress before bed. Reading is a great way for them to settle into bed and sleep without the harm of  blue light from electronics.

*Be mindful that when getting sleep back on track, meals may need to be adjusted as well.


Talk to them about returning to school

Your child may have some anxiety with the thought of going back to school. After all, they have been home or in care for the summer and have most likely become very comfortable with their new day to day routine. It is a big shift for them to have to get into a new routine again. Perhaps they are starting with a new teacher, or some of their friends from last year will be in a different class or they may be graduating to another school. Keep the conversation open and going, even with your reluctant teens, to help them open up or at least discuss some of the anxieties or nervousness about starting school again. Being able to offload some of the emotions and talk through their fears can go a long way in reducing the anxiety build up before the start of school.


Limit blue light

During the summer the rules surrounding electronics tend to be a little lax and we allow for more tv, tablet and phone time. For some, going to bed with their tablet or phone during the summer is a habit that really should be broken as the blue light that electronics emit actually causes the body to slow or stop the production of melatonin. This natural hormone allows the body to relax, fall asleep and stay asleep. On the spectrum of light, blue light is the worse light for sleep! Turning all electronics off 45-60 minutes before bed will ensure the body produces the melatonin needed for your child to fall asleep easily. It will be rough, especially for the older children but it really is necessary for healthy sleep.


Ensuring your child is getting the appropriate amount of sleep will not only help their emotional and physical development but it is also imperative for cognitive learning. It will allow them to retain the information they are learning and do well in school.


Recommended hours of sleep




Day # 7 – Healthy Snack – Super Food Banana Pops!

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Photo courtesy of http://skinnyms.com

These tasty frozen treats are the perfect pick-me- up after a long school day.  Not designed for the lunch pail but are definitely designed to pack a 1-2-3 of healthy food combinations.  As, author Tara Milhem describes, “Frozen bananas couldn’t be a more simple or a more healthful snack. And imagine the additional benefits you’ll get from the antioxidant power of a raw chocolate coating, chewy dehydrated goji berries, and crunchy raw cacao.”

Here is the recipe for these delectable Super Food Banana Pops:


  • 3 bananas
  • 2- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 3 ounces water
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup raw goji berries


Place a stick into 2 of the bananas and freeze until soft frozen.

Blend the other banana, cacao powder, stevia, and water into the blender, and blend until creamy, like chocolate syrup.

Dip the frozen banana into chocolate sauce and top with cacao nibs/goji berries. Enjoy!

Tara’s Tips: When frozen, bananas are the perfect ice cream substitute. They’re ultra-creamy and very satisfying. Dip them in your chocolate syrup and add any of a variety of toppings, including shredded coconut, chopped almonds or peanuts or other nuts, dehydrated cherries (chopped), blueberries, or raisins.

For a soft-serve ice cream with toppings, puree frozen bananas in the blender, spoon on your chocolate syrup, and add the toppings of your choice. You can even blend in a touch of coconut milk to pureed bananas for added creaminess.
Read more at http://skinnyms.com/superfood-banana-pops/#4V3Ze6qzJVzr3aHb.99

You don’t have to wait for school to start to try these snacks.  Enjoy!
Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!




Monday Morning Make-Over and Day 6 Healthy Snack Ideas

Next week we turn the page on the calendar!  September will be upon us.  Let’s still enjoy the last few days of holidays but take a moment to think about your children’s lunch for the school year.  The BBC feature “Good Food” outlines some great ideas to keep lunches healthy for even the pickiest eaters: Click Here

Today we are also featuring Apple Wraps:

apple wraps_edited-1




These fun and easy wraps are sure to be a hit with students going back to school.  Take your favourite meat, thinly sliced and your favourite cheese wrapped over apple slices.  Stop by our Barrie office today for a tasty sample.

Happy Monday and Happy last week of Summer Holidays!

Johnston Health Center

Day #5- Healthy Snack Options – Hummus Dippers

Happy Friday Everyone!

Today we are introducing Hummus Dippers to our healthy snack line-up!  Hummus is a healthy high in protein snack that is perfect for your child’s lunch.  Whip up some fresh hummus, insert into mason jar and add some of your child’s favourite veggies and you will have a great portable snack for those busy kids on the go:


Reference: here

Here is a great recipe that we found from Canadian Living Magazine for Hummus:


  • 1 can 1can(19 oz/540 mL) chickpeachickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup 1/3cup(75 mL) (75 mL) tahini paste
  • 3 tbsp 3tbsp(45 mL) (45 mL) lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp 3tbsp(45 mL) (45 mL) water
  • 1 tbsp 1tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp 3/4tsp(4 mL) (4 mL) ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) salt
  • 2 2clove garliccloves of garlic, minced

Preparation – In food processor, puree together chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water, olive oil, cumin and salt. Stir in garlic.