Quick ways to energize bodies for learning and play.
August 04, 2011
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Healthy Kid-Approved Snacks
Kids are very active, so it is essential to fuel their bodies properly. Snacking is a great way to keep energy levels up and minds alert, as well as get in extra nutrients. However, many store-bought snack foods marketed toward kids leave much to be desired nutritionally. This gallery is designed to give parents some quick, healthy alternatives to processed foods and junk foods.
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The fiber, complex carbs, and protein in the chickpeas combined with heart-healthy olive oil are what make hummus such a perfect snack food. Serve with whole-wheat pita bread triangles or cut-up vegetables. The mild flavor of this hummus makes it a definite kid-friendly option.
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Party Bean Dip with Baked Tortillas
Organic refried beans often have half the sodium of conventional beans but can have a drier texture. We added a little lime juice to smooth out the beans and enhance the flavor. Serve with store-bought baked tortilla chips for a delicious after-school snack.
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The spinach may seem like it will overflow in the skillet, but keep stirring—as it begins to wilt, it reduces in volume. Serve this creamy dip with baby carrots, cucumber slices, or whole-grain pita chips. Kids won’t fear spinach any longer.
5 of 14Photo: Lee Harrelson
Granola makes a great portable snack with lots of fiber. Pack in an individual reusable container, and stash in a purse, backpack, or diaper bag for hunger “emergencies.”
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We added crispy wheat cereal squares to add additional fiber and whole-grain goodness. This trail mix makes a large quantity, but it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
7 of 14Photo: Randy Mayor
Juice rehydrates the raisins so they stay plump while baking. This moist snacking cake might remind your little ones of banana bread.
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Banana-Nut Energy Bars
Serve these moist cakelike bars as a snack or for breakfast to your child on the go. A multigrain hot cereal is a key ingredient in the batter.
9 of 14Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
A heatproof spatula works best to combine and spread the ingredients into the pan. Kids may prefer this without the red pepper. Store in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature.
10 of 14Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Crisp and Spicy Snack Mix
Whether it is packed in a lunchbox or munched on after school, this mix is sure to be a hit. Omit the chili powder for kids who are sensitive to spicy foods.
11 of 14Photo: Randy Mayor
Honey-Roasted Nuts and Fruit
Use any variety of mixed nuts or seeds in this trail mix. Dried fruit is a concentrated source of carbohydrates, and the nuts add good fats and protein to this snack, which you can pack in bags for the ride home from school.
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Heavenly Apricot Cobbler Bars
These bar cookies can be made several days in advance; store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers to prevent sticking. Pack one for a scrumptious lunchbox treat.
13 of 14Photo: Karry Hosford
Peanut Butter-Banana Spirals
Peanut butter stars with banana, yogurt, and, for crunch, wheat germ. Your kids will gobble them up.
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Your little ones will love this sweet treat. Kitchen tip: Covering the surface of the custard with plastic wrap as it chills prevents an unpleasant skin from forming.