Ana Banana Says,
"Let's Move and Eat Healthy!"


Ana “Banana” Cooper is School Champion and Facilitator for  The Let's Move! Initiative is America's Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.

Since you can't take kids from cola to carrot juice in one leap, that's where Ana Banana comes in.  She's the "Teacher in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" with a fun, lighthearted musical approach.  Her upbeat songs with positive messages about a healthy lifestyle help to dissolve any objections students may have about trying something new.


Ana Banana has partnered with United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse in the national movement of encouraging families to enjoy healthy meals together.  She also presents her top-rated interactive workshop Eat to Heal Interactive Workshop in schools, libraries, faith-based and community organizations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties.  For more information, contact Ana.




The White House welcomed 54 talented young chefs for the first-ever Kids State Dinner.  The guests, ages 8-12, are all winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and each of them created an original recipe that is healthy, delicious and affordable, and contains the five food groups (fruits, veggies, protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains).


The recipes have been gathered into a digital cookbook that is available as a free download.




Recipes from Commission Staff and Friends


Yummy Yogurt & Fruit Parfaits or Smoothies


  • 3 cups vanilla nonfat yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen strawberries in juice
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries, raspberries or blueberries
  • 1 cup good quality granola


Layer 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt into the bottom each of 4 tall glasses. Combine defrosted strawberries and juice with fresh berries. Alternate layers of fruit and granola with yogurt until glasses are filled to the top. Serve parfaits immediately to keep granola crunchy.

For Smoothies, blend the yogurt, berries and juice until smooth. Serve and sprinkle granola on top.

Quick & Easy Baked Hamburger Dinner


  • 1 package of ground beef
  • 1 package beefy onion soup mix


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ground beef and soup mix. Form meat into small patties. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place patties on baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until meat is completely cooked.

Pasta with Fresh Veggies by Claudia Bailly


  • 1 16 oz. package of spaghetti
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole kernel corn
  • 8 oz. green beans cut into thirds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook spaghetti using directions on package; drain. Cook garlic, corn and green beans in olive oil over medium heat for 7 minutes or until tender crisp. Add the next 6 ingredients. Simmer until heated through (2-3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

Dutch Pickled Herring Salad by Anita Fraley


1 (12 ounce) jar pickled herring by Vita (not in cream sauce)

1/2 bermuda (red) onion, chopped

1 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped and sprinkled with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

4 medium dill pickles, chopped

1 teaspoons of capers

1/2 cur Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and 1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1 sprig fresh dill or 1 sprig parsley (to garnish)


Remove herring from jar and cut into bite sized pieces. In a medium bowl, combine herring, onion, apple, pickle and capers

To Make Sauce:  Stir mayonnaise and Greek yogurt (or sour cream) until smooth.  Add vinegar and stir until smooth.  It should have the consistancy of whipped cream.  Add salt and black pepper to taste.  (If too sour, you may use a tiny bit of honey.)

Add sauce and stir in all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at leaset 24 hours.  Garnish with dill or parsley sprig.  Serve with pickled beets on the side.

French Silk Pie by Mary Lynn Lovejoy


1 stick unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs


Cream butter and sugran.  Add chocolate and vanilla and beat well.  Add eggs and beat at high speed for about 5 minutes.  Pour into baked pie shell or graham cracker crust.  Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate if desired.  Serves 7-8

Totellini Salad by Shawn Lamarche

Marie’s 3 cheese tortellini boiled 3 minutes (per package directions), rinse and cool.? Chop a jar of roasted artichokes, add to tortellini. Add ?fresh ground pepper, salt, chopped fresh oregano and green onions (these came from my herb garden). Mix in wishbone light creaser dressing. Chill overnight. Check moistness of salad, add additional dressing as needed. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Irish Beef Stew by Patty Archibald


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss beef cubes with flour to coat, then fry in the hot oil until browned. Place the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic in a large slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. Mix together the beef broth and tomato paste and pour into the slow cooker along with the beer.  Cover and cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 8 hours. During the last hour before serving, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water and then stir into the broth. Simmer on the High setting for a few minutes to thicken.

Quinoa Salad by Gonzalo Cadima


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tomatoes, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup drained rinsed chick peas
  • 2 big handfuls of Arugula lettuce
  • Toasted slivered almonds.
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste


Cook quinoa in a rice cooker. Cool. To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, vinegar and lemon.  Combine the cooled, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and arugula leaves. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.  Serve with a sprinkle of fresh goat cheese, or slivered almonds, if desired.