The Fourth of July celebrations are behind us, summer is in full swing, the beaches are crowded, and the kids are having fun and….eating?!?! Yes indeed…it seems that since kids are out of school they are in snack heaven. They are being more active and that means they are seeking to replenish their seemingly unending energy with snacks and lots of them!
Isn’t too much snacking bad for my kids?
Unfortunately, too many of us equate the word “snack” with “junk food” and that is not the case by any means! Nor does letting your child snack during the day ruin his or her appetite for dinner. It all depends on the snack. The idea is to provide healthy, nutritious and tasty options that your children (and you, by the way) will enjoy! And don’t forget, everything will taste better when your child brushes his or her teeth regularly and cleans his or her tongue daily with that TUNG Brush and Gel! With that said, here are few ideas that are sure to please:
Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Kids LOVE food on sticks (just ask any purveyor of corn dogs or ice cream pops!), so why not tempt them with the natural goodness of fruit and a healthy dose of protein? Put that together with a dipping sauce and these easy (and fun) to prepare kabobs are sure to delight.
- 24 small cubes of your favorite cheese (Colby-Jack or cheddar are really good for this)
- 24 green seedless grapes (you can use red, but green adds color)
- 24 small strawberries
- 4 oz. low fat vanilla yogurt
- Drizzle of honey (optional)
- Alternate cheese pieces, grapes and strawberries on wooden skewers
- Drizzle honey over yogurt
- Dip and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Pops
Kids love iced treats, so what better way to get them to “slurp” down some nutrition than with these easy to make pops!
- 2 medium bananas
- ¼ cup all natural peanut butter
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips (or you can also use granola)
- Peel the bananas and break them up into chunks. Add them to the bowl of a food processor or good blender. Add the peanut butter, yogurt, and vanilla, and puree until smooth. Be sure to stop to scrape down the sides of the machine a few times to insure a consistently smooth texture.
- Put one teaspoon of mini chips (or granola) into the bottom of each popsicle mold. Fill the rest with the banana peanut butter yogurt puree. Tap the mold sharply on a firm surface to reduce air pockets.
- Insert sticks and freeze until solid, 3-5 hours.
- Run the molds under warm water for a few seconds before removing the popsicles.
- Makes 4-6 popsicles, depending on your mold.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Apples
An apple a day? Here is a way to sweeten up that apple in a healthy and delicious way!
- 1 medium crisp sweet apple
- 1 tablespoon chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate mini chips (70% cocoa or higher)
- ¼ teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut or other nut butter
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ tablespoon chopped almonds or other nuts
- Core the apple and slice into ¼ inch slices. Arrange in a single layer on a plate.
- Put chocolate and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave 15-20 seconds at a time, until melted and smooth. (The coconut oil is optional, depending on the kind of chocolate use. You can just chop up a square of dark chocolate and melt it without the coconut oil and it still works.
- In a separate bowl, melt the peanut butter for 20-30 seconds, until soft and you’re able to drizzle it with a spoon.
- Drizzle chocolate and peanut butter over the apples. Sprinkle with coconut and almonds. ENJOY!
One more idea that takes no cooking or real preparation – did you ever have frozen grapes? Kids love them and they are beyond easy to prepare – just wash and freeze any color seedless grapes. You can even freeze them inside snack-sized bags so your kids can just grab a portion and head back outside to play!
So there you have it – happy summer, happy kids and happy (healthy) snacking!