Sweet and juicy, peaches are a fresh fruit favorite. Your child can put a spoonful of cottage cheese onto a plate while you cut a peach into slices. Then together, you and your young helper can arrange the slices into "petals." Try putting some berries in the middle for the center of the flower. Delicious!
Tell a toddler you're giving him peanut butter on celery and he may give you an uneasy look in return—but tell him you're making Ants on a Log and you're likely to pique his interest. Simply spread some peanut butter or cream cheese on a celery stick and let your child put on the raisins or chocolate chips for the ants. If you have animal crackers in the house, you could try "Tiger on a Log" or "Lion on a Log" too!
When you're crunched for time, this easy-to-assemble snack is great for the whole family. Hummus is a popular chickpea-based food from the Mediterranean and Middle East, traditionally used as a dip with pita bread, fresh vegetables, or crackers. It comes in several varieties and tastes yummy—and you'll be happy knowing you're serving a snack that contains little to no
saturated fat or cholesterol but is high in fiber and protein. Hummus is great as a sandwich spread, too! Click on for the recipe!
- 2 cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans (from 2 15 1/2-ounce cans, drained)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Directions: Combine garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, and water in a food processor. Pulse a few times until pureed (scraping down the sides of the bowl as you mix). Add tahini, cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Pulse until throughly combined. With the food processor still running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Season with salt to taste.
Blueberries are at the top of the "superfoods" list these days, as health experts tout their powerful antioxidant properties, vitamin C, and fiber content. Pair these delicious berries with oats and you've got a recipe for Berry Good Muffins that make great snacks, breakfasts, or even dessert. Click on for the recipe!
- 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup lowfat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed)
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper muffin tin liners. In a medium bowl, combine the oats and buttermilk. Mix well and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Stir in egg substitute or lightly beaten whites, butter, and lemon peel until blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mixing thoroughly. Add oat mixture all at once and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups almost full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. Cool muffins in pan on wire rack five minutes and remove from pan.
Sometimes presentation is everything. Buy an inexpensive six-muffin tin and put different finger foods or dips in each tin. Children will love thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers, or peppers with a low-fat veggie dip or salad dressing. For other options, try a few pretzel twists, wheat crackers, whole grain cereal, or slivers of cheese. And don't forget the fruit and flavored yogurt to dip it in!
If your kids want to help with snack preparation, Apple Rice Pudding is a great recipe for them to try. Even little children can help measure ingredients, empty them into a bowl, and stir to make this tasty treat sure to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- 1 cup leftover cooked rice
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the rice and applesauce. Stir in the cinnamon and yogurt, mixing well. Spoon the pudding into dishes and serve. One serving is a 1/2 cup.
Variation: Make a smiley face on top of the pudding using sugar-free jam.
There are a variety of tortillas on the market today, including some great high-fiber tortillas that are soft and don't fall apart when you roll them. Choose one type or try a variety when making this versatile snack for your family. Spread peanut butter on a tortilla (your child can do this with the back of a spoon) and then add what your little one likes. Try jam or honey spread on another tortilla, or let your child sprinkle diced apples or bananas on the peanut butter. Put the two tortillas together and use your pizza cutter to cut them into small triangles. Children will also like this snack as an easy-to-hold wrap.
Kids love unusual ways to eat and drink—did you know that an orange can serve as its own drink container? Roll an orange in your hands or microwave it for 15 seconds to soften it. Cut a small hole in the top of the fruit, insert a straw, and put the orange in a plastic bag. Your child can suck the juice right out of the fruit. How's that for fun and convenient?
Moms are sure to appreciate this snack that can be made ahead of time and frozen—great for when you or the kids want a sweet treat in a jiffy! Spread your child's favorite fruity yogurt on a graham cracker square. Top this with another graham square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze.
Are you trying to get your kids to eat more fresh fruit? This creamy Sweet Maple Fruit Dip is especially yummy with bananas, apples, and strawberries—and busy parents are sure to love how quickly the dip comes together.
- 1/2 cup fat-free or reduced-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
- 4 teaspoons reduced-calorie maple syrup
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and chill until you're ready to serve. Serve with fresh fruit.