Banana Cream Pie Gone Awry

Banana Cream Pie


When I hear the word pie, I instantly think of my childhood favorite, Banana Cream Pie. My Grandma Udy, made the best banana cream and often my siblings and I would opt for her pie over a birthday cake. With it being Pi day, I decided I would indulge and make my grandma’s pie.

Banana Cream PieMy grandma past away about 15 years ago, and so I called my mom to get the recipe. She gave me the short list of ingredients and I thought, this can’t be it. Where is the secret ingredient? While the pie seemed simple, it surprised me.

Banana Cream PieI started making the filling and felt like it wasn’t enough to fill the pie. So instead of trusting my grandma’s tested recipe, I decided to double the recipe. I filled the pie, put it in the fridge and licked the spoon in excited anticipation of perfect pie.

Much to my dismay, when I cut myself a nice, big slice, it quickly spread across my plate. The pie didn’t set up! I called my mom again asking why?! I was convinced she had given me the recipe incorrectly. She said after giving me the recipe, she also had a craving and decided to make one as well and hers worked great. I told her what I did and she mentioned that with doubling the recipe I probably didn’t boil the filling long enough. Banana Cream Pie Trifle

So I dumped the pie into a cup and enjoyed an amazing banana cream trifle. So my lesson for the day is trust your grandmother when it comes to her classic recipes. :)

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie


  • 2 Bananas sliced
  • 1 pre-made pie crust (I did store bought, but you can bake or your own if you like)
  • 1 batch of filling:
    • ¼ c sugar
    • 1 T corn starch
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
    • 1 tsp butter
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small sauce pan, add sugar, corn starch, and milk. Heat on medium until boiling and allow to boil for 1-2 minutes. Make sure to stir to avoid burning on the bottom. Remove from heat and add slightly beaten 1 egg yolk. Stir until incorporated. Put back on the heat and boil again for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

Line pie crust with bananas, pour filling over making sure to cover the bananas and cool overnight. Top with whip cream.


Printer Friendly Banana Cream Pie


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A Pediatrician’s Advice About Breakfast

We caught up with Bonnie Feola, MD, a local pediatrician who shares her Top Tips on Breakfast Nutrition for Kids:

Hungry for Breakfast

Little Ones are Hungry for Breakfast

In the morning children’s tummies are empty and will need energy for the day. Breakfast provides the fuel they need to keep their mind and body sharp, focused and alert. A child’s brain “runs faster” than an adult’s brain because they are learning, moving and growing every day. Although breakfast is the most frequently skipped meal – it shouldn’t be! Breakfast is very important for growing children.

Studies suggest that breakfast eaters tend to have better concentration, more focused behavior, improved muscle coordination, increased school attendance and higher overall test scores. Yay!

And studies show children who eat breakfast are generally in better health overall.

My breakfast suggestions for your child’s start of the day:

  1. Offer fresh “real” foods and limit “processed” items. Here are some ideas:
    • Scrambled eggs with sliced banana, apple or pear on the side.
    • Whole grain toast (or tortilla) topped with slice of melted cheese, smear of nut butter or quick microwaved egg with salsa.
    • Plain oatmeal topped with dash of cinnamon, spoonful of honey or brown sugar and drizzled with milk or half&half.
    • Whole grain waffle with light spread of fruit jam, nut or apple butter. Or drizzled (not drowned) with real maple syrup or honey.
  2. Choose from the variety of foods in the five food groups now and throughout the day: vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat dairy, and quality protein sources, including lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs.
  3. Focus on foods that are “nutrient-dense” and less on those with empty calories. Nutrient dense foods have more nutritional value and contain fiber.
  4. Present appropriate portion sizes.
  5. Give breakfast a fun twist:  Encourage a variety of new food “experiences” by getting creative with morning choices. (Try a banana and handful of nuts, or a rice cake topped with peanut butter or spreadable cheese). Chop Chop Magazine has some great ideas!
Great, healthy breakfast options

Great, healthy breakfast options. Banana Granola from Two Peas and Their Pod | Egg Pita from Cookin’ Canuck | Blueberry Delight from National Dairy Council – links below!

Some kids are just not hungry in the morning or it is hard to get sleepy heads up and out the door in a rush. When it is one of these tough mornings, make choices.

  • Take some to go: Consider offering a glass of milk, yogurt or another protein/calcium filled beverage now with a whole grain granola bar and piece of fruit while heading out the door.
  • Give them a choice: Let your child choose to have a favorite less nutritious breakfast choice – and restrict any choice for a “treat” or sweetened beverage later in the day.

I call it “tough love”.  Kids actually look to parents for guidance. They’ll complain but they are just letting their frustrations be heard. They learn quickly that good food is a good choice.

Don’t be surprised when they start asking, “so, what’s for dinner?” when they say goodbye to you in the morning. They are looking forward to eating something healthy and yummy with you later. Congratulations!

Starting the day as often as possible with healthy nutritious foods is a great way to get up and get going. I recommend that the healthiest diet for children is the one that is balanced, based on a variety of nutrient-rich foods in the right amounts – Good old-fashioned eating.

Resources & Posts you Might Like:

Dr. Bonnie is a board certified pediatrician with over 21 years of experience. She graduated from Brown University and attended Baylor College of Medicine. She has worked in pediatric clinics all over the country and is currently the Medical Director and CEO of Blazing Pediatric Consulting LLC. She is the mother of three and enjoys spending time cooking, gardening, tending her small backyard flock of hens and generally being outdoors. 

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Fueling Greatness with the USU Track Team!

USU Athletes Serve Breakfast

USU Athletes Serve Breakfast at Woodruff Elementary

This week, we have introduced Fuel Up to Play 60 to our local communities to highlight the importance of school breakfast and bring people with common goals and interests together.  On Wednesday, we teamed up with the Utah State Track & Field Team at Woodruff Elementary in Logan, Utah. Together we prepped and served school breakfast to the students (check out the recipes here).

“This is a great opportunity for our students to get involved with our local community. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program aligned with our values as a team and we are thrilled to serve as examples for our next generation of leaders and athletes.”

– USU Head Coach, Gregg Gensel

The Track Team encouraged students to fuel up every morning with breakfast and talked about how they #FuelGreatness with adequate sleep, healthy diets including breakfast, and hard workouts.

Fuel Greatness

Fuel Greatness

Wanting some specifics, we asked the Utah State superstars, “How do you Fuel Greatness?”

  • “I go to bed early so I can have energy to play and practice all day!” – Trevor Anderson (pole vault)
  • “I drink chocolate milk to make sure my bones are healthy and strong to jump over lots of hurdles” -Joanna Boyd (Steeplechase)
  • “Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal! Because I have breakfast I know I’ll be able to run fast. My favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs, toast, banana, and a cup of milk.” – Abbie Barrett (5000m)
  • “I love breakfast because it taste good and give me energy to run like a cheetah!” -Jackie Heaps (5000m)
  • “Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It helps me have the energy to perform my best each day.” -Hannah Malone (5000m)
  • “Fuel your body with good food and your mind with confidence and you can do anything.” -Tori Parkinson (Steeplechase)
  • “I fuel greatness by exercising and eating right” – Head Coach, Gregg Gensel

We want to give a big thanks to the USU Track team in helping demonstrate greatness, the Woodruff Elementary School lunch ladies by fueling greatness, and the other Woodruff staff members for helping inspire greatness.

Staff at Woodruff Elementary

The Awesome Staff at Woodruff Elementary

Remember to Fuel Greatness everyday with Breakfast!

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Loaded Breakfast Muffins

Loaded Breakfast MuffinsThis week we are celebrating school breakfast week and encouraging students to eat healthy, enjoy breakfast, and get active through the Fuel Up To Play 60 program. To go along with this, I decided to share a great grab-&-go breakfast or snack for picky eaters from my co-worker Becky Low.

Loaded Breakfast MuffinsThese muffins are loaded with fiber, nutrients, and flavor and take about 30 minutes from start to finish. We start with a basic muffin recipe with oats, cornmeal, and whole wheat flour. You could also add in wheat germ or bran for more nutrients. Then we load them with nutrient packed fruits and vegetables. Some great options would be:

  • Carrots, shredded
  • Zucchini, shredded
  • Raisins
  • Spinach (10-oz package), thawed and well drained – squeeze out excess liquid (I like to puree with milk and egg before adding to other ingredients)
  • Crushed pineapple, well drained
  • Craisins, dried cranberries
  • Dried Cherries, raspberries, strawberries (1/4-1/2 cup)
  • Blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Banana, mashed
  • Applesauce, may need to cut milk back to 1/3 cup
  • Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Butternut squash (cooked and pureed), may need to cut milk back to 1/3 cup

You can use any ingredient or a combination of ingredients to equal a combined 3/4-1 cup total. I decided to try carrot and raisin, which turned out to be a super yummy combination. Make up a batch this week and next week try some other varieties. You will have your picky eaters enjoying fruits and vegetables for breakfast in no time! Enjoy!Loaded Breakfast Muffins

Loaded Breakfast Muffins 


  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, scant
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 – 1 cup add-in ingredients (see below for suggestions)


Preheat oven to 400° and grease standard muffin tin, or line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (6-7 cups).

Stir together dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl whisk together the egg, milk, butter and vanilla. Stir in “Add-In” ingredients; add dry ingredients and stir just until mixed. Spoon into prepared muffin tins; bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Add a glass of milk or a yogurt and breakfast is served!

Find this recipe and more on our website as well as a printer friendly version.


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School Breakfast Week

NSBW 2015 Cover Photo

In conjunction with National School Breakfast Week (March 2-6), Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program, is launching Fuel Greatness, a campaign focused on increasing access to school breakfast participation to ensure all kids start the day with the fuel they need to succeed. 

Research shows that improved nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance. Eating breakfast at school can help kids be more attentive, behave better and achieve higher test scores, but according to No Kid Hungry’s annual ‘Hunger in Our Schools’ report, 76 percent of educators say that their students come to school hungry.

Through programs like “Grab-N-Go Breakfast,” reimbursable vending machines, and new recipe ideas, Utah has made significant strides in recent years with breakfast participation. Fuel Greatness is designed to create awareness and mobilize communities to become champions for alternative breakfast options in their local districts.

To learn more about Fuel Greatness, Fuel Up to Play 60, and school breakfast, visit

Recipes Ideas:

The benefits of breakfast are clear. That’s why National Dairy Council worked with experts like chefs, school nutrition directors, recipe developers and others to come up with innovative breakfast ideas kids would love at school or home. Becky Low shared these recipes and the importance of breakfast this morning on KSL.

Studio 5 School Breakfast Segment

Check out the recipes on our website or below.

Fruity Flatbread Fruity_Flatbread

Blueberry DelightBlueberry-Delight

Fiesta Breakfast SwirlsDouble-Cheese_Fiesta Swirls

Peaches n Cream Waffle DunkersPeach-n-Cream Waffle Dunkers

Mega-Cheese MuffinMega Cheese Muffins

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Feeding Toddlers – What One Dietitian Has Learned

Perhaps it’s because I am a dietitian and someone who loves to cook and eat all sorts of food, that I just assumed I wasn’t going to have a picky child. Or maybe it was the optimism of being a first time mom, but I really thought that if I introduced a variety of fruits, vegetables, textures, and flavors from the very beginning, if I made all of Aidan’s food, shared what we ate with him, and exposed him to everything that I would have a toddler with a sophisticated palate. Ha!

Instead I have a little munchkin who, when he tries something he doesn’t like, makes a mom-you-just-poisoned-me-face and pulls any of the gross food out of his mouth with his fingers and then vigorously wipes his tongue. (I tried but couldn’t get a video of this.) Then, he takes a drink of milk and chases it with a drink of water to get the residual taste of the horrid food out of his mouth. On one hand it’s a comical and dramatic display and on the other hand, it’s quite frustrating.

This past weekend, looking for inspiration from a toddler cookbook a friend gave me, I came across zucchini fritters – they looked like little pancakes made with flour, cornmeal, and shredded zucchini. He loves pancakes (our homemade banana or blueberry breakfast variety), so I figured that this was a similar shape and texture and that it might be a way to get him to eat his veggies? So Friday night, I whipped up a batch of the zucchini fritters and introduced this new food by saying, “Aidan, we are having pancakes!” He looked at the little cake I presented skeptically as if to say, “Mom, this thing with little green zucchini shreds sticking out is not a pancake,” but to his credit, he did give it a taste (sometimes when I present a food, he vigorously shakes his head and clenches his teeth), so it was sort of a win.

Aidan at Crumb Brothers

Aidan munching a danish

I had my verdict quickly, Nope! The antics described above ensued, and Dakota – our little dog who circles the base of his high chair like a shark – scored big. I resorted to a veggie squeeze-pack and some cottage cheese for Aidan’s dinner, and I ate the zucchini fritters.

So feeding my 19-month old can sometimes be a challenge.

But here’s how I approach meal time: I have always maintained the “you need 3 things to make a balanced meal” philosophy – carbs, protein & color. When I build my meal this way, I know I will always have balance and variety. I do this with everything I make, and we have done this with Aidan from the beginning. While the meals are sometimes really simple, it usually works. Here is a little chart of things he likes organized by my 3 category system. If I can pull one item from each category at any given meal, I think we’re doing pretty well. For snacks, I try to get two of the categories.

Eating Banana Bread

Eating Banana Bread (that, he likes & I pack it with Greek yogurt & bananas)


  • Graham Crackers
  • Pasta (white or whole wheat)
  • Tortillas (whole wheat flour)
  • Granola Bar (he likes the Clif Kids bars)
  • Pretzels
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat bread


  • Cheese (string cheese or cheese curds for snacks, cheese slices for sandwiches & quesadillas)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Meat (chicken, fish, sausage, ground beef)
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole milk Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Tofu (he loves it plain or crisped in a pan
  • Egg (hit or miss for Aidan, but scrambled is preferred)


  • Cut fresh fruit (strawberries, apricots, plums, grapes, peaches, pears, apples – whatever is in season)
  • Freeze dried fruit
  • Dried fruit (raisins, apricots, apples…)
  • Fruit/veggie squeeze pack
  • Whole fruit (banana, clementines)
  • Peas (frozen or freeze-dried)
  • Applesauce (jar for home, squeeze pack for on the go)
  • Kale chips (believe it or not, Aidan will actually reach for and swallow a leaf – sometimes…perhaps it’s the yummy olive oil, salt and pepper!)

The above “color” options are in our regular rotation because Aidan will eat them. I would love to add and continue to try:

  • Steamed carrots (he’ll sometimes eat them when nicely seasoned in a stirfry)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans (he used to eat them pureed as a baby)
  • Zucchini

What else I’ve learned: 

Have fun!: There is a reason that parents play the airplane game (zoom the food on the spoon into the open mouth). When you can make eating more fun and exciting, you may have better success. Sometimes we tell Aidan that we will cheer for him when he takes a bite or drinks some milk. He gets excited for us to clap which means that he’ll take a bite.

Keep trying: Some days / weeks he likes certain things and others he doesn’t, but you don’t know when you will have success. Little kids have ever changing preferences and ideas about food, and their tastes are developing and evolving constantly. So, even though Aidan didn’t like his fun spinach fettuccine noodles this week, he loved them two weeks ago and he may like them again next week.

Change it up: If Aidan has been sitting in his high chair for a while, he can get board and say he’s all done. If we want him to sit with us until dinner is over, we will wipe his hands, give him a toy and then continue to offer bites of food. Sometimes just having a little change of scenery – the introduction of a toy – means that he’ll eat more. For snacks, putting finger food in his little snack cup is a great way to make it fun and something that he can do all by himself.

Toddler snack cup

Snacks on the Go!

Dip: A quesadilla dipped in salsa, or squeezing a little veggie squeeze pack on grilled cheese or a quesadilla can make lunch or dinner interesting. Dipping pancakes or french toast in yogurt can also be fun.

Be patient: As hard as this is sometimes, if I get visibly frustrated, he does too, so I try to keep smiling.

Add cheese (see video above) :)

So what’s on the menu for tonight? I haven’t totally decided – either stirfry – brown rice (carbs), tofu (protein), peas (color) OR pasta (carbs) with roasted broccoli & cauliflower (color).

Aidan might not eat it all, but we’ll give it a go!

Kristi Spence MS, RD, CSSD

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DYK Dairy Can Prevent Cavities?

We have often heard that dairy can help build and maintain strong bones, but did you know that this extends to our pearly whites as well? Much like our bones, our teeth need calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamins A&D to stay strong. Dairy foods provide all of these essential bone and teeth building nutrients. In addition to strengthening teeth, dairy foods can help prevent cavities.

Causes of Cavities: 
  • When the pH in our mouth increases in acidity and dips below 5.5, it causes the enamel to break down
  • Digesting sugar and carbohydrates begins in the mouth, which causes the pH to drop

Dairy Helps By:

  • Acting as a buffer in the mouth and preventing the pH from dropping below 5.5
  • Inhibiting the growth of plaque causing bacteria
  • Making our teeth strong by providing calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamins A&D
  • Increasing saliva, which helps put minerals back into your teeth that may have been lost from eating other types of foods

What can you do to help your smile and prevent unnecessary trips to the dentist? Get at least 3 servings of low-fat dairy each day. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Drink milk with meals
  • Add cheese to your snacks as part of a healthy diet
  • Enjoy yogurt as a slightly sweet and healthy dessert


Citation: Touger-Decker R, Loveren CV. Sugars and dental caries. AM. J. Clin. Nutr. 2003;78:881S-92S.

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