Every parent learns quickly- getting children to eat quality snacks can be a challenge. Somewhat like climbing a mountain is a challenge- almost impossible and with the potential for bodily harm. There is another way: homemade food that is kid-approved. Plus, you will actually want them to eat these healthy snacks (just don’t let them know!)
1. Fresh fruit with vanilla yogurt dip – fruit is a sweet favorite of kids everywhere, and this sneaks some protein into those bellies! Try berries, apples, melon slices and bananas. For extra smiles you can slice the fruit and then cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Vanilla Yogurt Dip- organic vanilla yogurt, brown sugar to taste, and a tablespoon of orange or lemon juice.
2. Homemade muffins – try the easy recipe below, or on hectic days use a whole grain (or gluten-free) mix. These are perfect to have on the counter for after school snacks, and they won’t be asking for dinner at 4pm!
3. Kale chips – really, your kids will eat these- they are that yummy! Just remove the stems, and tear into medium pieces. Toss lightly with olive oil and salt/pepper, then bake at 350 F for 12 minutes or until lightly brown and crispy. Different seasoning mixes make them even more simple and scrumptious.
4. Pita pizzas – your kid’s favorite food for snack time: half of a pita filled with tomato sauce, and sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese. Add diced ham or pepperoni along with fresh tomatoes or your kid’s favorite veggies. Heat these in the toaster oven or microwave until warm and then watch them disappear…
5. Salad bar skewers – Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives and cubed ham and cheese on skewers make a fun treat. If you have children with pickier tastes, try substituting the cucumbers with pickles. Or, for really demanding palates, leave out all the veggies and just use cantaloupes instead for a sweet summer spin.
Not everything in parenting is easy- and some things are downright difficult. However, making your children healthy, homemade snacks they will actually eat is simple. Fun shapes and skewers make fruits and veggies appealing, while updating favorites including pizza and PB&J keep kids excited!
Easy Kid-approved PB&J Muffins
Sometimes it’s best not to fight them- every kids loves PB&J, now they can have it. This muffin is just as tasty as the sandwich, but with no white bread (or jelly oozing out!) it’s healthier and much easier to eat.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter (or sunbutter for allergy-friendly muffins)
1/3 cup butter or coconut oil
1 cup of strawberry or grape jelly
1/2 cup additional peanut butter
PREHEAT oven to 375ºF. Place liners in muffin pan. Stir together flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add milk, eggs, sugar, peanut butter and oil to bowl. Combine ingredients lightly by hand or on the low speed of an electric mixer, until moistened and just mixed.
Fill muffin liners with half of the batter. Place 1 tablespoon jelly into the center of each muffin, then cover with more batter until each liner is 3/4 full. Top each muffin with 1 tablespoon of jelly and 1/2 tablespoon of the additional peanut butter.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick pushed in a muffin comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and cool in the pan 5 minutes.