Serve up a breakfast of yogurt partfaits with homemade granola

The following blog post is written by Madelaine Frye. It is the fourth (be sure to catch up on week 1 , week 2 and week 3 if you haven’t already!) in a series of 5 blogs she will be writing chronicling her experience as a Nutrition Instructor. Madelaine is teaching OFL as part of a Service Learning Class that has teamed up North Carolina State Students with the Inter Faith Food Shuttle’s OFL/Nutrition Program. Through this partnership the IFFS and NCSU hope to engage students in service learning and community nutrition while expanding the reach of its OFL program.


Hello again! My name is Madelaine Frye and I am a senior Nutrition student at NC State. I have been reporting to you all on how our Side By Side classes at the Knightdale Head Start location have been progressing through our six-week healthy lifestyle adventure. Week four in the OFL Side by Side class sure was full of exciting activities, along with lots of cooking!

 This week, we discussed the importance of making a grocery list prior to leaving your house for the store. Family menu planning gets everyone excited about meals and allows families to share in the responsibilities and fun. Advance planning can make sure that we always have healthy foods on hand and allow us to use recipe frameworks. Recipe frameworks help us to manage our food resources because we can plan to use up ingredients we have at home, using items over several meals, and to take advantage of sales we see at the store. Items such as rice and chicken are good examples of framework items because they can be cooked in advance and used with several different dishes throughout the week.

Breakfast was also a topic of discussion this week. Did you know that eating breakfast can help prevent you from over eating later on and gives you the energy you need to do your best all day? If you have minimal time in the mornings, try waking up 15 minutes earlier, preparing ingredients the night before, or make a breakfast that can be heated up and taken on the go. Bananas, toast, and milk cartons are easy items to carry with you in the car or on the bus.

Our class gardener, Byron Green, also taught everyone the parts of the plant this week. He stretched his body out as if he were a big X and explained to everyone how your body can look like all of the parts of the plant too! His head was the flower which holds the seeds, his hands the leaves which take in the sunlight, his stomach the stem which gives the plant support, and his feet the roots which take in water. If you act like a plant can you name all of the parts of the flower and what they do?

For our fourth class we cooked both yogurt parfaits with homemade granola and broccoli soup. Yogurt parfait is a quick and easy snack that can be great for breakfast each morning. Broccoli soup contains tons of foods that represent each part of the plant; Carrots and potatoes are roots, celery is a stem, and broccoli is a flower. Try these yummy foods at home with your family and you’ll love them too!  

Yogurt Parfait with Homemade Granola

serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • ¼ cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, or prunes)
  • 4 cups medium strawberries
  • 3 cups fat-free vanilla yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Measure and whisk together the honey, canola oil, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Measure and add the oats and almonds, and stir until coated thoroughly with the honey mixture.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Spread oat mixture evenly onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-20 minutes until lightly browned, stirring every 5 minutes to cook granola evenly.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely, before placing in a bowl.
  8. Measure and stir dried fruit into cooled granola.
  9. Rinse and cut leafy tops off of strawberries. Cut strawberries into ¼-inch thick slices, should yield about 3 cups.
  10. Layer ¼-cup yogurt into each of six parfait cups or bowls, followed by ¼-cup sliced strawberries, and 2 tablespoons granola.
  11. Repeat layers one more time, ending with a layer of granola.
  12. Top with optional sliced almonds if desired.

Chef’s Notes:

    • Assemble parfait layers just before serving, so granola stays crunchy.
    • Substitute any high-fiber cereal you like for the granola.
    • Substitute any diced or sliced fruit for the strawberries.
    • The parfait looks best when served in a clear cup or bowl.
    • Try topping with rinsed and chopped fresh mint leaves for extra flavor and color.
    • The granola can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Broccoli Soup

serves 8


  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 broccoli crowns
  • 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Peel and rinse onion, potato, and carrot. Rinse celery and broccoli.
  2. Slice potato and carrot into thin, ¼-inch slices. Dice celery and onion into ½-inch thick pieces.
  3. Cut the florets of the broccoli away from the stem. Peel thick skin away from stems and cut into thin slices.
  4. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, and add canola oil. Add celery and onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add potato, carrot, broccoli stems, bay leaf, milk, and broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  8. If desired, puree part or all of soup in a blender for a smoother textured soup. Return blended soup to pot.
  9. Add broccoli florets, and measure and add salt and pepper to pot.
  10. Simmer until broccoli is just tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Chef’s Notes:

  • Try cauliflower instead of broccoli.
  • Serve over rice or pasta if you like.
  • Top with shredded low-fat cheddar cheese or low-fat sour cream, if desired.
  • Blend hot soup carefully! Only fill the blender half full and blend in batches. If your blender lid has a removable cap, remove the small cap and then cover the lid completely with a kitchen towel for safer blending. This will allow hot steam to escape.