FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- School is almost back in session and California Raisins, along with registered dietitian and Cordon Bleu Chef, Michelle Dudash, are committed to helping busy kids and parents snack smart, even when time is tight.
Always a wise choice, California Raisins are an all-natural snack dried in the warm California sun. To celebrate the natural, solar-powered goodness of this small but mighty fruit, California's nearly 3,000 raisin growers are hosting an easy-to-enter recipe contest called: "Give Kids Their Day in the Sun."
Through October 5, healthy snack recipes can be uploaded to California Raisin's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CaliforniaRaisins for a chance to win a premium playground structure (valued up to $10,000), a year's supply of California Raisins, plus a $1,000 donation in the winner's name to the food bank of their choice.
"Kids grow in the sun and we think their snacks should, too," said Larry Blagg, Senior Vice President of Marketing, California Raisin Marketing Board. "This recipe contest not only celebrates healthful snacking with the nutrient and energy-packed California Raisins, but it's our hope the grand prize will give years of fun in the sun while contributing to a healthy and active lifestyle."
Five finalists will each win a $100 gift card and will be selected based on the creative use of California Raisins (25%); healthfulness (25%); ease-of-preparation (25%); and taste (25%). Finalists will be announced October 19, 2011 and then it will be up to the California Raisin Facebook fans to determine the grand prize winner. A full set of contest rules can be found at www.LoveYourRaisins.com.
For contest inspiration and healthy snacking ideas, Chef Dudash, who is nationally recognized for teaching people how health and food can deliciously coexist, shares the following tips:
1. Plan Ahead. Carrying family snacks in your purse, car or gym bag while out and about can prevent vending machine and drive-through slip-ups. Apples, California Raisins, nuts and whole grain crackers serve as portable options that don't require refrigeration.
2. Find the Perfect Snack Pairings. A blend of nutritious fats, complex carbs, and lean proteins can help curb your appetite. Consider a stick of cheese and pear slices, fruited Greek yogurt, or trail mix.
3. Refuel Your Body Naturally. The first 30 minutes after any physical activity, from morning workouts to after-school sports practice, is the most critical time for parents and kids alike to replenish the body's energy stores. Reboot with a natural energy snack like a handful of fat- and cholesterol-free California Raisins.
4. Curb Those Cravings. A healthy nosh after school can keep you and the kids satisfied until dinner and the junk food at bay. Try carrot sticks and sugar snap peas dipped in hummus, a strawberry banana smoothie, or a brown rice cake spread with natural peanut butter and topped with banana slices.
5. Treat Yourself with Decadent Alternatives. Satisfy your chocolate snack cravings with nutrient-rich combinations, like strawberries dipped in dark chocolate syrup and rolled in slivered almonds, whole grain crackers with natural chocolate hazelnut spread, or chocolate-flavored yogurt.
"Not only are California Raisins a wise choice when it comes to on-the-go snacks but just one quarter cup of raisins fulfills a quarter of our daily recommended fruit intake as advised by the new USDA MyPlate dietary guidelines," says Dudash.
About the California Raisin Marketing Board
A State Marketing Order in 1998 created the California Raisin Marketing Board and it is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research. For more information about the California Raisin Marketing Board and to browse delicious recipes, visit www.loveyourraisins.com.
SOURCE California Raisin Marketing Board