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Taste of Home recipes

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A great way to empower children and youth is by teaching them new life skills. With CDI’s Taste of Home program, we come together to teach age-appropriate, healthy and low-cost meals in a fun and confidence-boosting way!

We’ve put together a list of recipes for you to create at home. Be sure to snap a picture of your creations and share them with us by tagging on Instagram at @CDI_Toronto, on Twitter at @OfficialCDI or on LinkedIn and Facebook on our official Child Development Institute pages.

Trail Mix

Trail mix is a mix of seeds, dried fruits, nuts and sometimes, chocolate chips. Trail mix is a great choice anytime you need a healthy boost of energy; it’s also a great snack for kids after completing homework.


½ cup dried fruits – try raisins, dried cranberries, currants or dried blueberries

½ cup seed – try pumpkin or sunflower seeds

½ cup nuts – try almonds, pecans or walnuts

¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)


Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. A serving size is ¼ - 1/3 of a cup. Store in an air-tight container – either small containers for a quick grab-and-go snack, or a large container to share with family at home.

Flavoured Water

Did you know that the human body is more than 60% water? That’s why it’s important to drink enough water to keep our bodies and mind working. Here are some exciting ideas to make your water a little more exciting!

Add one or more of the following ingredients to your water. Use your imagination to come up with different combinations to find your favourite.


Lemon/lime slices




Cucumber slices

Orange slices

Mac and Cheese

Often when we think of macaroni and cheese, we think of noodles and powder in a box. In just a few extra minutes you can make a homemade version that is delicious and much healthier. The trick? Use real cheese and milk instead of powder! Serve with chopped salad as a meal or as a side.


1 package elbow, shell, ziti or other short pasta

Cheese sauce

         ¼ cup butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups milk

1 ½ cups grated cheese, such as sharp cheddar, Emmental or mozzarella

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Bread crumb topping (optional)

                ½ cup or more store-bought breadcrumbs

                ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

                Salt and pepper

                Dried Italian seasoning (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook until it’s slightly tender, but not quite done. The pasta will continue to cook when you put it in the oven so you don’t want it to be completely cooked at this point. Drain the pasta using a colander and rinse it quickly with cool water to stop cooking. Put it in a large bowl.

In a medium pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When it is foamy, add the flour and whisk until the mixture turns light brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Add about ¼ cup of milk to the hot flour mixture, whisking the mixture constantly. As soon as the mixture becomes smooth, add a little more milk and continue to do so until you’ve added all of the milk and the mixture is thick and smooth. Add both cheeses and continue to stir.

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, and season with salt and pepper. At this point you could eat the mac and cheese as is or you can make it extra special by following the next two steps.

Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish and pour in the pasta and cheese mixture

In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, good pinches of salt and pepper and Italian seasoning (optional). Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden.