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  • Christina Iaboni

California Raisin Oatmeal Mini Muffins: A Healthy Lunchbox Snack for Back to School

This post is sponsored by California Raisins, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.


It’s September, which means the start of a new routine for many people; whether it’s back-to-school or back to the office, this month is often a time for change as the summer ends. This year, my daughter starts junior kindergarten and after being home with both my children for the past 15 months, this will be a big change and adjustment for us all. While there is a lot of nervousness, stress and anxiety (on my end) around starting school with the pandemic, one thing I refuse to stress over is packing lunches. While sometimes seen as a dreaded task, packing lunches with some make ahead meal prep and snacks can be a real time saver.


Healthy lunches and snacks help provide children with the nutrition they need to stay energized and focused at school. Young, active children need to eat every 3-4 hours to keep their energy up. Including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein rich foods in lunches is a good way to ensure kids get adequate nutrition. An easy lunch idea which provides a good balance of nutrition is a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with cut up vegetables and an apple or a whole wheat wrap with tuna, veggies, yogurt, and a small box of California raisins.



As a dietitian-mom who likes to bake, I make mini muffins to pack in my daughter’s lunch for a snack (they also work well for an after-school snack with a glass of milk). These muffins are easy to make and I can put them in the freezer and take one or two out each morning to pop in my daughter’s lunch bag. My daughter loves oatmeal for breakfast and eats California raisins by the handful, so I thought combining her favourites into a muffin recipe would work well for school. This recipe is low in added sugar and gets lots of flavour from naturally sweet California Raisins, which are a great addition to baking. California Raisins are naturally sun dried and contain iron and potassium so they are a perfect component of a healthy snack or baked good. The recipe is also made with whole grains for some added fibre.


These California Raisin Oatmeal Mini Muffins come together in one bowl and are great for getting the kids involved in too. Give them a try today! Your kids (and you) will love them.


For more recipes and ideas on how to use raisins, visit californiaraisins.ca


Yield: 12-15 mini muffins Baking time: 12-minute Prep time: less than 10 minutes


Ingredients:

½ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup quick oats

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cinnamon

1 egg

2 tbsp. canola oil

1/3 cup apple sauce

1 tbsp. brown sugar

½ cup California raisins


1. Preheat over to 350°F. Lightly grease mini muffin tray or line with paper liners.


2. In a bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. Add the egg, oil, applesauce and brown sugar and mix until almost combined.


3. Add the California raisins and stir until just combined.


4. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, fill prepared muffin tins about ¾ way full.


5. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned


. Cool before serving. Muffins keep well in the freezer for 2-3 months or in the fridge for 2-3 days.



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