Snacks are a good way to add the extra calories and nutrients your growing child needs in his diet. He wants them to be delicious and you want them to be easy. Here are five ideas that will please both of you.
Cheese provides calcium and protein, and when it’s combined on a skewer with fresh fruit, it becomes fun too. Just cut mild cheese like Monterey Jack, mozzarella or Colby in cubes and thread onto a skewer. Add a grape next, then a piece of cheese and then another grape or other seasonal fruit. These look best with at least three cubes of cheese and three fruits, but you can make them as big as you like.
If you really want to get voted Mom of the Year, shape the cheese with a small cookie cutter rather than just cutting it into cubes.
Pizza is a big hit with almost any kid. Make classic pizza snacks with English muffins, marinara and mozzarella. Add variety and nutrition by sprinkling with peppers, cooked hamburger and other favorite toppings. Broil it for a few minutes until the cheese melts and bubbles.
Using the whole grain English muffins instead of the plain ones adds important fiber to your child’s diet.
Apples and peanut butter
Apple slices are a healthy, sweet snack filled with fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C. When you serve them with peanut butter for dipping, you add protein, calcium and vitamin E. The apple slices won’t brown if you soak them in a little ginger ale after they are sliced.
Put chopped coconut, sunflower seeds or granola in a small bowl. Your child can roll the peanut butter-covered apple slice in it or sprinkle the ingredients on top. They add nutrients, texture and a lot of fun!
Yield: One 13 x 9-inch pan
Fruit flavored gelatin that is cut into interesting shapes is fun finger food. When you make the jigglers with fruit juice, you amp up the nutrients significantly.
- 3 3-ounce packages of fruit flavored gelatin
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 4 cups fruit juice
- Stir the flavored and unflavored gelatins together and set aside.
- Bring the juice to a boil in a medium saucepan and pour over the gelatin mixture in the bowl.
- Stir constantly until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour into a 13 x 9-inch pan and chill until gelatin is set — about two hours.
- Either cut into equal sized squares or cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
Whole grain tortillas can be spread with a variety of ingredients, rolled up and sliced into spirals. They’re fun, nutrient dense snacks that kids will love. Try some of the following combinations:
- Banana and peanut butter
- Cream cheese, sliced peaches or berries — sprinkled with granola
- Mayo, sliced cheese, thinly sliced deli meat and a few leaves of lettuce or raw spinach.
There are all kinds of tools out there to help you quickly create snacks that will appeal to your kids. Special sandwich cutters can create fun shapes like dinosaurs, while small cookie cutters can be used to shape everything from cheese to apple slices. A few minutes on Pinterest will give you enough ideas to keep your kids snack-happy for weeks.