Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fun Snacks for Kids

I'm back to blogging after a brief hiatus to do some volunteer work for a Childhood Obesity Project in the state. I spent the past few months working closely with certified dieticians, nutritionists, fitness experts, local schools and numerous statewide groups focused on fighting childhood obesity. There are so many moving parts to this problem with no easy solution.

My simple conclusion is that healthy eating habits really need to start in the home. If we set good examples in the home, kids will have the foundation they need to make healthy choices on their own. So it's time to get back to business, restore our superwoman status and talk about what we can do to raise healthy children. Here are a few snacks that have been a huge hit in our household over the past few weeks. They are super simple, fun and easy.

Edamame. I may be the last person in the world to have discovered this great snack. My girlfriends recently introduced me to this yummy snack. I was reminded of it again at a healthy cooking demonstration. Most exciting about this is that my picky kids and even pickier husband loved it!! In short, Edamame is a baby soybean. It's an extremely healthy food packed with high levels of nutrients (especially protein). Kids love the challenge of popping the soybean out of the pod. You can find edamame at your local grocery store in the frozen vegetable section. Steam it in the microwave for 5-10 minutes, sprinkle some sea salt for flavor and you're ready to dig in to a healthy snack.

Cucumber Cups. With kids the presentation is often more important than the content. Cucumber cups are a fun twist to the traditional vegetables and dip. I recommend using english cucumbers. Slice the cucumber in 1 inch pieces. I used a mellon baller to scoop out a small dip in the cucumber. Simply fill the hole with fat free ranch dressing and top with diced vegetables. Voila- you have a healthy, fun snack for kids that is fun to eat.

Honey. Not a snack, but this was another home run for our family. The kids picked up a few jars of honey at the local farmers market in late August. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was excited to see them involved in the selection process. To my surprise, they loved it! They're putting it on their morning oatmeal and english muffins. Honey has nutritional value unlike table sugar which only provides empty calories. Honey contains vitamins and antioxidants and can help with allergies. That's a huge win in our household!! Note- honey is not recommended for children under 2.

What snacks are working in your house? Share your tips and ideas.



Photo of: Garrett Curry (cousin), Pat Curry (grandmother), Preston Curry (my little man)



2 comments:

  1. Hi Mandy!

    We have recently tried a few recipes that are really good and healthy!

    First, we cut up some broccoli florets and baste them in some extra virgin olive oil. Then we sprinkle some black pepper and sea salt on them and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes (at 400 degrees). For a dipping sauce we mix a couple tablespoons of olive oil with fresh garlic and red pepper. It is healthy and my two year old likes it! (It also works equally great with asparagus).

    The other one we have tried is really great for when we want something sweet with all natural ingredients:

    1 1/3 cups of fresh dates (pitted)
    4 tablespoons of cocoa
    1 cup of walnuts
    1 teaspoon of pure vanilla

    Throw all of the ingredients in the food processor, mix it up, shape into balls, chill, and eat.

    They are extremely good! (and that is an understatement).

    -Joe

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joe- these sound awesome!! I just added fresh dates to my store list. I'm giving both of these a shot next week. Thanks for sharing! Mandy

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