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Our Blog: March 27, 2023

Fuel for the Future

As a trusted part of your village, we’re deeply committed to helping children build a good foundation for a lifetime of good habits. Each day in our classrooms, we encourage mindful choices—from providing healthy foods to planning regular physical activity to limiting screen time.

March is known as National Nutrition Month®. The annual campaign was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to encourage people to learn about making informed food choices and to develop habits that support a healthy lifestyle.

This year's theme, "Fuel for the Future," highlights the importance of fueling our bodies at every age and eating with the environment in mind. Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs with sustainable foods. Get started by shopping for seasonal produce at your local farmers’ market. While you’re there, grab the ingredients you’ll need to make these two plant-based recipes.

Hearty Chickpea Noodle Soup (Serves 4-8)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 large carrots, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 cans of chickpeas
12-16 oz. whole-grain rotini
10-12 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and dry herbs. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. For young assistants: Have children assist you with draining and rinsing the chickpeas.
  3. Add the chickpeas, pasta, and broth to the pot. Bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Recipe adapted from The Simple Veganista

One Pot Vegetable Lasagna (Serves 4)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ½ cups corn kernels, defrosted
6 oz. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 ½ cups water + 3 Tbsp.
5 lasagna sheets
1 cup raw cashews*, soaked and rinsed
2 Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Next, add the bell pepper, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. Continue to cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste with oregano, basil, red pepper, and 1 ½ cups water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
  3. For young assistants: Have children break the lasagna noodles into bite-size pieces. Then, add them to the skillet making sure each piece is covered in liquid. Cover with a lid and cook until the noodles are soft (about 10 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, make the cashew ricotta* by combining the soaked and rinsed cashews with lemon juice and 3 Tbsp. water in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  5. Once pasta is cooked through, remove from heat and serve. Add a dollop of cashew ricotta* on top!

*Note: This recipe is not served with cashew ricotta in our schools as a precaution for those who may have a nut allergy. You are welcome to omit it at home too. It’s an optional addition to the dish. You could also substitute a dollop of real ricotta cheese as an alternative.

Recipe adapted from Making Thyme for Health

This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 3/3/23.