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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kid-Friendly Snacks

Americans are becoming more health conscious when it comes to their kids’ snacks. According to survey results discussed in the June 11, 2008 issue of USA Today, the popularity of serving cookies as a children’s snack is on the decline. Fruit is now the number one snack item parents give to children under the age of six, leading researchers to believe that parents are taking childhood nutrition more seriously.
With Halloween just around the corner we know kids will be getting lots of treats.  When you are thinking about snacks to offer your kids after Halloween, in place of all the sweet treats, you may want to consider some of the snacks below.
Here are some kid-friendly veggies and fruits:
·         Frosty Fruits: Frozen treats are popular regardless of the weather.  Put fresh fruits, such as melon chunks, grapes or cherries on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer.  Be sure to rinse the grapes and cherries and dry them off before placing them on the cookie sheet.  We often froze grapes, blueberries and cherries for the children when we had Food, Fun and Fitness Day Camp and the children absolutely loved them. If you haven’t tried this do so.
·         Bugs on a Log: This is a tried and true favorite snack.  Use celery, cucumber, or carrot sticks as the log and add peanut butter.  Top with dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or cherries, depending on what bugs that you want!
·         Homemade Trail Mix: Skip the pre-made trail mix and make your own.  Use your favorite nuts, dried fruits, whole-grain cereals, pumpkin seeds and etc.
·         Fruity Peanut Butterfly: Start with carrot sticks or celery for the body.  Attach wings made of thinly sliced apples with peanut butter and decorate with halved grapes or dried fruit.
·         Personalized Pizzas: Use whole-wheat English muffins, bagels, or pita bread as the crust.  Have pizza sauce, low-fat cheese and cut-up vegetables or fruits for toppings.  Let kids choose their own favorites. Then pop the pizzas into the oven to warm.
Encourage children to eat vegetables and fruits by making it fun.  Kids are more likely to try foods when they have helped to make them.
Source: USDA