Growing kids’ hunger pangs
don’t always wait until six o’clock, so a healthy snack won't necessarily spoil their dinner. Here are five nutritious dishes which, even if overeaten, you can be sure will give your children what they need.
Homemade Fruit Snacks
Homemade fruit snacks are quick to serve, though they take 20 minutes to set up in the freezer. Make them ahead of time, portion into snack size zip top bags and store for your convenience. To make them, heat 1 1/2 cups of 100% fruit juice on stove until warm. Whisk in 5 tablespoons of gelatin and pour into a 9-inch pan or specially designed gummy candy moulds.
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Hummus and Crackers
Full of healthy fats and carbs, hummus is a flavorful dip that you can eat in all sorts of ways at a moment’s notice. You can buy it premade or make at home in just five minutes.
Serve hummus with whole-grain crackers, fresh veggies or dried vegetable chips for a snack that fills the tummy.
These aren't just a favorite after-school snack at my house, they're also a great quick breakfast option when paired with milk or yogurt. Our go-to recipe is to melt together 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 of coconut oil and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder over low heat. Then add 1 cup of instant oatmeal and 1/3 cup flaked coconut, 1/3 cup chia seeds and 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries. Mix thoroughly, spread into a 9-inch square pan and refrigerate until firm. Cut into rectangles or bars and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Feel free to vary the final one cup of ingredients with mix-ins that your kids like.
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Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
These are low-prep snacks that are versatile and made from ingredients that you probably have on hand. Basics include: yogurt (plain or fruit flavored), granola and fruit. Layer the three ingredients in a glass or bowl and the kids can dig in! In lieu of granola, you can add layers of coconut flakes and chopped nuts.
Guacamole and Crudites
Mash one avocado with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional). Serve with cut up red and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrot sticks. You can take it to another level by adding a dash of chipotle pepper powder or ¼ cup of salsa to vary the taste.
Once you find a few healthy snacks your kids love, you can make it a habit to keep the ingredients on hand so you’re always ready when hunger strikes. Also, involve kids in age-appropriate parts of preparing the recipes so they learn basic cooking skills.
Have more after-school snacks? Tell us about them in the comments section.
WATCH on Z Living: Now Eat This!
, where renowned chef Rocco DiSpirito challenges people to eat healthy by arming them with nutritious recipes and ingredients and giving instruction on proper ways to prepare the meals. See a sneak preview here.