Teaching nutrition to kids can be problematic. While the topic galvanizes adults, kids need a little help to engage. So make nutrition intriguing and interactive with Build a Baker, a web page created by the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) to help kids make healthy menu choices. Potatoes often get a bad nutrition rap, when, in fact, potatoes are a nutrient-dense vegetable. A healthy diet that includes potatoes starts with preparation and toppings. Build a Baker provides a hands-on nutrition lesson that begins with a medium Idaho® baker (5.3 ounces, 110 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium). Kids are instructed to drag their favorite toppings onto the potato.
Topping choices range from chopped chives through dairy (regular, light and fat-free choices) to chili and protein options to vegetables and sauces. For example, load an Idaho® potato with one bacon slice (crumbled) and ¼ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and the calorie count almost doubles to 215 and nutrition facts change accordingly. Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream and 2 tablespoons mild salsa to enjoy an Idaho® potato with only 150 calories (and an improved nutrient profile).
To let your students try their hand at building a baked potato and see how their choices impact the nutritional profile, visit idahopotato.com, or head directly to the Build a Baker page. For more information about the Idaho Potato Commission foodservice program and resources, visitidahopotato.com/foodservice.
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