Saturday, January 15, 2011

Healthy Snacks Kids Love

Supplying your children with healthy snacks is important to providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping to prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. With just a little planning ahead, healthy eating is easier than you may think. The following snack ideas will be fun for children to prepare with your assistance.

1. Fruit Kabobs

First, cut fruit into bite-size pieces. I find that the best fruits for making fruit kabobs are cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries and watermelon. Next, slide pieces of fruit onto drinking straws (much safer for little ones than metal or wood skewers). If you have difficulty sliding the fruit onto the straws, then first poke a hole through each piece with a skewer before sliding the pieces onto the straws. Serve with yogurt or fruit dip for dipping.

2. Veggie Pillows

Chop carrots and celery and then mix them together in a small bowl with ranch salad dressing. Then, cut a slice of pita bread in half and fill each pocket with the veggie mixture.

3. Monkey Milkshakes

To make a yummy milkshake your kids will go ape over, blend 1 cup of vanilla ice cream with 3/4 cup milk, 1 small banana and 4 to 5 tbsp. chocolate syrup in a blender.

4. Ants on a Log

Stuff celery with cream cheese or peanut butter and then, top with raisins.

5. Yogurt Parfait

Layer yogurt with blueberries, raspberries or mandarin oranges, or all 3 if you like in clear, see-thru cups. Top with granola.

6. Veggie Wraps

To start, spread a little cream cheese on one side of each tortilla. Kids would probably have fun spreading it themselves with their fingers. Then, fill it with your child's veggies of choice. Some good ideas are grated carrots, shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, sliced peppers or diced tomatoes.

7. Veggie Sculptures

This is a really fun idea to encourage children to try new vegetables. First, cut up an assortment of vegetables. Using cream cheese or peanut butter, have your children "glue" the vegetables together to create architectural structures, shapes or anything else they can think up. When they are done, have them take their works of art apart and eat the vegetables.

Who says healthy eating can't be fun?

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