The protein in this kid-friendly snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. We like to stick salt-free pretzel sticks into cubes of low-fat cheese to make “satellite snacks,” but you can also make cheese more interesting to kids by cutting it into fun shapes with a cookie cutter and making kabobs with your favorite fruit.
Kids go crazy over delicious sippable treats, and they’re packed with nutrients. Use nonfat vanilla yogurt, 100 percent orange juice, and a banana as the smoothie’s base, then experiment with a combination of cut-up fresh or frozen fruit. It’s a great way to sneak two or three servings of fruit and fiber into your child’s diet.
Sweet Potatoes Chips
Sweet spuds are some of the most nutritious vegetables around: They’re packed with vitamin A and are good sources of B6, C, and folate. These simple, delicious chips are great alternatives to the greasy, store-bought variety.
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray.Wash potatoes. Cut into thin slices, and place in large bowl. Pour oil onto the palms of your hands. Gently rub oil onto sweet-potato slices, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, tossing in bowl to coat evenly.Place slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Turn chips over and bake until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate; cool 5 minutes and serve.
Toss together a healthy combo of nuts, pretzels, whole grain cereal, banana chips, and popcorn for a handy, portable snack. Nuts contain must-have minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc. Try this kid-friendly Nutty Popcorn and Fruit Mix, or make up one of your own yummy combinations!
You can mix anything with a calcium-rich cheese quesadilla: chopped vegetables, leftover cooked chicken, or even shrimp. This Bean and Cheese Quesadilla, are easy to make and fun for kids to hold. W ith the folate in the corn, the lycopene in the tomatoes, and the fiber in the beans, this snack packs a nutritional punch.Don’t forget to buy a chunky veggie salsa!
Low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, and children love it dressed up. To add taste and nutritional value, whip up a yogurt parfait with berries and granola or make a homemade fruity yogurt pop that beats sugary store-bought frozen treats any day.
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup assorted berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, chopped strawberries)
5 pretzel rods, halved, or 10 baked snack stick crackers
In a large bowl gently stir together the yogurt and fruit. Spoon into 4-ounce ice-pop molds or 3-ounce paper cups. Cover molds or cups with foil; use a sharp knife to cut a small hole in the foil and insert cut side of pretzel rod or snack stick. Freeze until firm. Remove foil and mold or cup before serving. Store for up to a month. Makes 6 pops.
One egg provides a 4-year-old with almost one-third of her protein requirements for the day. Keep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge (they last for seven days), or scramble an egg and roll it up in a flour tortilla. Another great idea: our easy breakfast pita that can be made the night before for an on-the-go meal.
Whole Grain Waffles
For a fun alternative to peanut butter and jelly, try whole grain waffles for a boost of iron and vitamins B6, B12, and A. These cool, kid-approved waffle sticks topped with reduced-fat cream cheese and a fruit jelly are a refreshing change for snacktime.
Peanut Butter Pops
This versatile childhood favorite has plenty of protein and fiber. For a change, try making silly PB&J sandwiches with toasted mini waffles or rice cakes instead of bread, or try it with yogurt and raspberries in a yummy frozen treat that’s super fun to eat.
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup reduced-fat milk
2 – 4 tablespoons honey, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raspberries
2 cups raspberry juice or raspberry juice blend
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
Combine peanut butter, yogurt, milk, 2 tablespoons honey, and vanilla in a food processor or blender until smooth.Pour peanut-butter mixture into eight 6- to 7-ounce paper cups or pop molds until they’re one-third full. Cover and freeze for 1 hour. Cover and chill remaining peanut-butter mixture until needed.Stir together raspberries and juice, divide among the cups or molds, and insert sticks. Cover and freeze for an hour. Then fill with remaining peanut-butter mixture and freeze for at least 8 hours, or until firm.Let stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes before unmolding. If you want, spoon honey around the rims and sprinkle on sesame seeds.