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My daughter and her friends have been going back and forth between each other's homes for play dates. I've been feeling bad because when the kids are at my house all I've been feeding them is SUGAR! Shame on me! I've handed out popsicles, homemade cookies (they were good), and, yeah, there was even and incident with marshmallows.
Since I've been working on my own health (and my family's too) I want to be sure to offer our special guests good for you snacks when they need fuel to continue play.
It’s so easy to reach for a bag of chips or a box of cookies instead of something healthy when your children come calling for a snack. But let's give some of these a try…
Ants on the log – This is a nut snack so skip if nut allergies are an issue. It actually took my mom to introduce this to my daughter. I had completely forgotten about this old favorite (okay for me it's minus the raisins 'cause I don't like raisins). Take a stalk of celery; cut it up into “logs” or 2-3 inch pieces. Cover it in healthy nut butter (peanut or almond) and then sprinkle with raisins. A tasty, fun, snack.
Wagon wheels – Take two circular whole-grain crackers, put fat-free, 1% or low-fat cheese in between and you have a healthy snack in the shape of a wagon wheel.
Wagon wheels #2 – A new take on the old classic. Slice up an apple on its side to create circles. Fill with low-fat turkey or low-fat cheese and you have a nice low-carb, gluten-free snack.
Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium. While carving your pumpkin, set the seeds aside, rinse and spread them out on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking oil (try the omega-3 heart-healthy spray). Sprinkle with salt and roast at 250 for 45 minutes to an hour. Many recommend chili powder, Cajon seasoning or garlic powder on this tasty snack.
Fruits Salad or...Instead of just a fruit salad, try fruit kebabs. Or let the children make their own kebabs. My daughter started doing this after one of her Kid's Cook Real Food lessons. You can use toothpicks or actual kebab skewers. Our favorite is cubes of cheese with grapes and cut melon.
Sometimes it just takes a little thinking to get beyond the cookies, pop, and candy. Yummy snacks can be had just by turning the corner in the grocery store.
Here's some more ideas for healthy snacks:
- unsalted almonds or sunflower seeds
- apples, oranges or grapes
- baby carrots and hummus (see recipe above)
- whole grain crackers and low-fat string cheese
- don't forget the water!
- gluten free snacks from Kitchen Stewardship
More Healthy Snacks