Monday, August 29, 2016

The ABC's Of Snacking

Schools of all sorts start this week and kids from kindergartners to college seniors will indulge in that after school past time snacking. Make sure they eat sensibly. It's the key to healthy living and a healthy  student.

Those much hated veggies can be turned into a fun snack thanks to  some Greek yogurt and spices. Slice up bell peppers along with broccoli and cauliflower. Mix the lower in calorie plain Greek yogurt with different herbs and spices such as cumin for a tasty dip. Do a taste test with the kids regarding the spices.It's one way to expand their palate along with finding out what flavors appeal to them. The same can be done with cut fruits too. Have a wide variety of bite sized pieces such as grapes and strawberries along with sliced kiwis, apples , peaches and nectarines. Use vanilla flavored yogurt, again, preferably Greek as the dip. You could also start off with the plain Greek and then stir in such add ins as dark honey, cinnamon or dark chocolate chips.Another tasty dip idea is salsa with tortilla chips.Salsa is one of the easiest to make. Start with chopped tomatoes and onions along with cilantro. Have a mildly spiced one for the little guys while older kids may enjoy the heat of chopped jalapeno. Salsa can be made and packed into your dorm student's boxes for a nice reminder of home.It can also be used for topping hamburgers or accompanying grilled chicken or steak. It can also be made with such diverse fruits as watermelon and pineapple too along with mangoes, plums and kiwis.

What about that after school classic  - cookies and milk? Many parents do give in and let the kids eat the most caloric. It's' fine every once in a while but not every day.Surprisingly the national brands such as Chips Ahoy actually have less calories than the  so called healthier cookies.Homemade cookies, although labor intensive, are a better choice. Even classics like chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin can be made healthier. Sub in white flour and refined sugar with oat flour and brown sugar. Instead of butter use the lower calorie but just as silky coconut oil.Make your cookie monsters a really healthy bite like, the detox cookie. This recipe taken from A Clean Bake blog, has only three ingredients. There's creamy peanut butter (use the all natural kind for this)or for even more healthier cookies , almond butter along with cocoa powder and mashed , ripe's only ten minutes in the oven and that's it. There's no flour or sugar to  bring on the allergies.It's also an easy enough recipe that your college kid or high schooler can bake. You can even bake healthy (!) Oreos. Use spelt flour instead of the usual white and sweeten with maple syrup instead of cane sugar. The filling is made with ground brown sugar that takes on the consistency of powdered sugar and coconut butter. Serve any of these cookies with low fat milk.

School starts with it after school snacking. Give your big and little scholars healthy but fun snacks. They'll enjoy a flavorful veggie dip or a good for you chocolate treat. They're good for everyone.

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