Snack Week Recipes: Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, Granola Bars & More

Last week was my turn to take care of snacks for my son’s preschool. All week. All 15 kids!

As much as I love making homemade snacks, this is exactly the kind of scenario that calls for balance between homemade and store bought. So I made a plan to ensure that every snack provided the kids with:

* one homemade treat
* one serving of fruit and/or vegetable
* plenty of protein
* healthy fat and whole grain carbs to keep up their energy

Here what I came up with:

honey cinnamon granola barsMonday: Zucchini muffins, pears, cheddar cheese

Tuesday: Crunchy Honey Cinnamon Granola Bars and Apple Banana fruit squeezers

Wednesday: Hummus, pita chips, carrots and celery sticks

Thursday: Mini Peanut Butter Sammys on Oatmeal Flax Crackers (recipe below) and grapes (which are on the 2010 Dirty Dozen list; consider sticking to organic grapes if possible)

Friday: Homemade trail mix, fresh banana, string cheese

The snacks were a hit with kids and adults alike. So much so that you’re going to want to bookmark these recipes even if your kiddo’s school doesn’t call you in for snack duty. The muffins, granola bars, trail mix and hummus can all be made ahead of time and stored for the week.

These Oatmeal Flax crackers are pretty dense. If you’re looking to serve a more decadent treat (like at a party), you might want to try your favorite flaky butter cracker recipe. For a daily snack, though, I like that these are packed with nutritious ingredients like oatmeal, wheat germ and flax meal.

Oatmeal Flax Crackers
makes about 80 mini crackers

1 c flour
1/2 c wheat germ
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 c milk

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together flour, wheat germ, oats, flax, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Blend in milk to form a dough that will hold together.

2. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions for rolling. Roll out as thin as possible on a floured surface. If you are making mini crackers, cut them using a very small, round cookie cutter. (I didn’t have one but found the little medicine cups that come with Children’s Tylenol to work perfectly; use the rim to cut out bite-sized crackers.) Otherwise, transfer rolled dough to a baking sheet where you can score 1 or 2″ squares. Whatever size, prick crackers with a fork.

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes, until crisp. Cool on a rack before serving or making peanut butter sandwiches.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches on Oatmeal Flax crackers
makes about 40 mini sandwiches

3/4 c all natural, unsweetened peanut butter
7 tsp honey
about 80 mini Oatmeal Flax crackers, recipe above

1. Combine peanut butter and honey.

2. Spread peanut butter on a cracker and top with a second cracker. Repeat until all the mini sandwiches are made.

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