Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Healthy Snacks for the Family

Photo from Flickr

I don't know about you, but lately it seems I hear groans when my kids want a snack and I suggest they grab a piece of fruit. Fruit? How drab! How boring! How healthy Mom! "I don't want anything healthy!" That's a funny comment because in this house they're not getting anything that's not... On a rare occasion we'll have hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream, or something homemade and fresh out of the oven. Most days, however, the boring healthy stuff!

Kids are like adults. Food must be appealing. If I have time I'll make up a nice presentation. I also try to get creative and mix things up a bit. We all need variety and kids are no exception.

Fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter might look pretty to a grown-up, but kids need a little more in the wow department...

Snack ideas -- Fruit

My kids love party toothpicks... the more festive the more fun. Serve some of the following with fancy toothpicks!

Blueberries in yogurt
Blueberries in yogurt over lowfat granola
Blueberry Smoothies
Strawberries dipped in yogurt (vanilla) and then dipped in sprinkles
Apples cut up with peanut butter
Apples cut up with peanut butter and drizzled with honey
Apples dipped in *cinnamon sugar
Bananas drizzled with honey
Bananas with peanut butter
Bananas dipped in yogurt and then dipped in sprinkles

Snack ideas -- Non-fruit!
Pita chips and hummus
Pretzels and hummus
Veggies and hummus (not as popular with my kids!)
Pretzels with mustard
Pretzels with Queso dip -- the jarred variety is actually fairly low in fat and calories... just watch serving sizes!
Pretzels with *melted cheese
Pita chips and salsa
Baked tortilla chips and salsa
White corn chips (Syder's is lower in calories and sat fat then regular tortilla chips) and salsa

A slice of toast with peanut butter or peanut butter and honey or peanut butter and banana
An English Muffin with *melted cheese
English muffin with peanut butter/jelly (English muffins are a great choice. 110 calories per muffin!)
A bowl of soup. Soups are (for the most part) low fat and filling!
Mixed nuts -- watch portions!
Trail mix -- *make your own!
Granola -- lowfat or make your own and watch portions!
A plate of cheese, crackers and apple or pear slices
Pudding made with skim or 1% milk
Deviled eggs -- made with lowfat mayonnaise. 1 egg (2 halves) packs a bunch of protein!
Mixed dry fruit (with or without nuts)
Crudites (veggies) and lowfat dip

Finger sandwiches (smaller and leaner than their regular counterparts!):
Using Pepperidge Farm Very Thin bread

Kabobs (Kids love these!)
Fruit kabob -- String together various pieces of fruit on to a bamboo skewer
Veggie kabob -- String together various veggies (cucumbers/cherry tomatoes/peppers) onto a bamboo skewer with a small dish of lowfat dressing to dip into
Fruit and cheese kabob
Veggie and cheese kabob

Breakfast for snack!
2 waffles, pancakes or pieces of French toast cut into strips -- honey or maple syrup for dipping
Life -- sweet without an overload of sugar
Cornflakes or Rice Krispies drizzled with honey
A small bowl of oatmeal with raisins or dried cranberries (not the instant please!)
Muffins (homemade are healthier, smaller and contain less fats)
   Sweet potato
   Oatmeal raisin
(Plenty of recipes in this blog to choose from!)
Fruit breads
Made with very little fat (canola oil) these make a nice snack or breakfast
(Plenty of recipes in this blog to choose from!)

* Pretzels (or Triscuits or pita chips) with melted cheese
Preheat oven to broil (hi)
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
Place desired amount of pretzels on cookie sheet
Sprinkle generously with your favorite shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican, etc)
Place under broiler and watch closely until the cheese starts to bubble and turn a golden brown.
Remove from oven and place on a plate with mustard for dipping, if desired.

* English muffins with melted cheese
My kids (as do I!) love these and they are a much better and healthier substitution to the fat-laden grilled cheese sandwich.
Preheat oven to broil (hi)
Halve your English muffin and place in toaster until lightly toasted
When done place sliced cheese (cheddar, American, etc) on each half
Place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet
Place English muffin with cheese on cookie sheet
Place in oven and watch closely until cheese starts to bubble and turn brown.
I am normally not at all a lover of American cheese, but melted on this it is fantastic!

* Trail Mix
Equal amounts raisins and or dried cranberries and nuts such as dry roasted peanuts mixed with half the amount of chocolate chips. Sometimes I add the Pepperidge Farm pretzel goldfish to this as well. So much more less expensive to make your own!


Snack Girl said...

This is an awesome list - thanks for putting this together.

Jessica Ryan said...

thank you Snack Girl!