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Healthy Inspiration for Cooking in the Classroom

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Healthy Food Ideas that Your Students Will Love

New year, new you, right? People start thinking about eating healthier in the New Year and that includes high school students! Here are some healthy food inspiration ideas for the culinary and family consumer sciences food lab:

1- Pasta with Pesto and Grape Tomatoes- pasta is always a favorite and coupled with your pasta unit, this can be a favorite. You can do this recipe fairly inexpensively and it can make a lot of portions! Choose a fun shaped pasta like Cavatappi!

  • Make your pesto with basil, olive oil and parmesan cheese (pine nuts optional)
  • Blend it up in a blender
  • Cook the pasta and thin out the pesto with pasta water
  • Toss noodles with pesto and top with roasted grape tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese.

Do you want a pasta lesson that is ready for you to teach? We have one in our TPT store! This lesson includes a slideshow, guided notes and more!

2- Chickpea Curry- Indian food has the best flavor! This recipe is packed with protein and is vegetarian with a ton of flavor. Additionally, this recipe incorporates global foods into the curriculum.

  • Saute onion, ginger and garlic and a spicy pepper such as serrano pepper
  • Add spices- coriander, turmeric and cumin (or a curry mix spice)
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of chickpeas
  • Stew for 7 minutes
  • Top with cilantro and serve alone or on top of cooked rice.
Healthy food inspiration for the high school culinary classroom

3- Banana Pudding– lastly, for something sweet but healthy, this banana pudding does the trick.

  • Heat up equal parts milk and almond milk until simmer
  • In a bowl mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt
  • Add an egg
  • Pour half of milk mixture into cornstarch mixture
  • Pour the half back into the original mixture
  • Whisk until thick and starts to bubble
  • Add vanilla
  • Cut bananas into thin slices
  • Layer sliced bananas and graham cracker pieces in a bowl
  • Add 2 tbsp of the pudding that you made
  • finally, sprinkle with cocoa powder or coconut pieces

4- Chocolate Smoothie Bowl– smoothie bowls are pretty popular lately and are a fun new twist on a traditional smoothie. You can make enough to let your students have a little cup each of this delicious treat or make a large batch! To serve about 12 people you will need:

  • 6 Cups almond milk
  • 4 Cups chocolate chunks
  • 4 Cup oats
  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 Cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Bananas chopped


  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, heat the milk and melt 4 cups of chocolate chunks.
  2. Incorporate the oats and cook until desired consistency.
  3. Transfer to a blender.
  4. Incorporate the cocoa powder, greek yogurt, and bananas pieces.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Divide into bowls and garnish with toppings such as the remaining chocolate chunks, oats, granola, blueberries or walnuts (optional).
  7. Serve and enjoy.
chocolate smoothie bowl recipe for kids and home economics classes

More Healthy Food Inspiration Ideas

Are you looking for other healthy food recipe ideas for the culinary classroom? Check out our other food lab ideas blog posts like 5 Ideas to teach vegetables.

When your students understand the seasonality of foods, it can be a lot easier for them to add healthy foods into their diets. If you live somewhere that has farm coops available, you can teach them about those types of programs.

Additionally, this website has healthy recipes that may work for your classroom. These will not only be great to practice cooking skills in the FCS or culinary classroom but they help to foster independence for your students so they are ready for college life or living independently.

Poll Students for Recipes From Home

Would you like to extend this lesson further? You can ask students to contribute recipes or food ideas that they make at home that are healthy. You would be surprised what students come up with. These can prove great healthy food inspiration for the classroom! Creating a healthy foods cookbook for the classroom or a healthy dishes slideshow or poster is another fun idea to get students excited about healthy cooking.

Teaching Nutrition

Are you teaching food and nutrition? These lesson plans can help immensely when teaching your students about healthy living and can give them great background information.

These include slideshows, digital escape rooms, a “Go Shopping” activity for meal planning with middle school and high school students and more! These are the type of lessons that provide lifelong skills for your students.

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