Thursday, January 16, 2014

6 Healthy After School Snacks

6 Healthy After School Snacks

Are you trying to find a way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your child’s life? Are you looking for some healthy, time-conscious snacks to whip up for an after-school treat? If so, these six recipes are sure to fit the bill!

1.)    Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits

Put some plain yogurt in the bottom of a parfait glass, dessert glass, or bowl. Top it with some blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Sprinkle some granola on top (my family’s favorite is the Bear Naked vanilla almond, but you can use whatever you want.) Repeat the layers. Serve immediately. This snack is not only incredibly healthy, but it’s ready in mere minutes!



 image source
2.)    Baked Zucchini Sticks

My kids have always loved zucchini sticks, but I’ve tried to serve them sparingly because they’re fried. After a bit of research, however, I found a recipe for baked zucchini sticks. Now I can make them without feeling guilty. 

Baked Zucchini Sticks


  • 3 large zucchini
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs - my famiy loves the Panko brand
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Spray Olive Oil
  • Optional: marinara sauce or ranch dressing


  1. preheat oven to425F.
  2. Peel cucumbers and slice them in half length-wise, and then continue halving them to make sticks.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk 2 eggs together.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a large shallow bowl, combine ½ cup plain bread crumbs (my family loves the Panko brand), ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  6. Bread the sticks by dunking them in the egg mixture and then completely covering them with the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Place breaded zucchini sticks on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil.
  8. Continue this process until all the zucchini sticks are breaded.
  9. Spray each zucchini stick with olive oil.
  10. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  11. Using a spatula, flip each zucchini stick and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
  12. These sticks are great served with either marinara sauce or Ranch dressing.

 License: Creative Commons image source
3.)    Mozzarella Basil Bruschetta

For a simple and healthy snack, chop 1 large tomato into tiny pieces. Combine it in a bowl with 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cut 6 slices of Italian or French bread in half so that there are 12 pieces of bread. Spoon 1 tablespoonful of the tomato mixture over the bread; top each with a slice of mozzarella cheese and remaining tomato mixture. Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. These snacks are great, either as an after-school treat or as an appetizer during an Italian night.



4.)    Tomato Guacamole Dip

In a small bowl, mash 2 medium ripe avocados with 1 tablespoon lime juice. Stir in 1 chopped tomato, 3 tablespoons sour cream, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon minced garlic. Cover and refrigerate for a few minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. To make this tasty dip even more nutritious, serve it with blue tortilla chips. Your kids are sure to enjoy this tasty guac!



5.)    Fruit Salsa

In a bowl, combine 2 cups chopped strawberries, 2 medium chopped, peeled apples, and 2 medium peeled and chopped kiwi. In another bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons apple jelly, and ¼ cup orange juice. Drizzle over the fruit and toss lightly to coat. You can serve this with graham crackers or cinnamon chips.
 License: Creative Commons image source
6.)    Nutella Banana Treats

Last but not least, this recipe from Real Simple is sure to delight! Spread 2 tablespoons of Nutella over a graham cracker. Top with banana slices. For more healthy, simple recipes like that one, check out Real Simple’s link.




Andrea Smith is a wife and mother of three. She enjoys finding creative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into her kids’ lives.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fast Snack Ideas Kids Love

Healthy Eating for Kids

Healthy Eating for Kids

Fast Snack Ideas Kids Love



Children love to snack. Unfortunately, most snacks that you can buy in the store are unhealthy. They’re packed with sugar, fat, and sodium. None of this is good for your health or your children’s. With a little advanced planning, you can have quick and easy snack ideas on hand at home. Here are seven fast snack ideas your kids will love.


Apple slices and cheese

It sounds so simple and so basic but children love apples and cheese. Add a few whole grain crackers and even some slices of ham and you have a well-rounded and healthy snack idea. The good news is, it only takes minutes to prepare. Make it fun and use a small cookie cutter to cut the cheese into fun shapes.


Ants on a log 

This is an old favorite and can be prepared two ways. The foundation of both preparations is celery sticks cut into two to three-inch lengths. Place natural peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese down the middle. Now top with raisins or chocolate chips – they’re the ants!



Gorp stands for good old raisins and peanuts. However, you can give it any twist you like. Many children are allergic or don’t like peanuts. Substitute dried fruit chips, whole grain cereal like Cheerios or Chex. Add a few chocolate chips or candies and your children have a high fiber snack they can eat by the handful. Prepare a large batch of it and serve it as an after-school snack. It’s also great for road trips.


Baked chips and salsa

Again there are two approaches to this tasty snack. You can use wonton wrappers or corn tortillas. With the wonton wrappers cut them into triangles. You’ll get two triangles per wrapper. Brush them with a little bit of sesame oil and sprinkle with salt. Place them in the oven at 350 degrees F for ten minutes. Watch them carefully. When they begin to brown at the edges they’re done. Let them rest for a few minutes to get crispy, then serve plain or with a fruit-based salsa or chutney.


If you’re using corn tortillas, cut them into squares, brush with vegetable oil and place in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes. Again, watch the time because they can get too dark very quickly. Serve with salsa.



Edamame are soy beans in their shell. You can buy them frozen or fresh. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Place water in the bottom of the bowl to steam the beans. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for three to five minutes. Test. If the beans are still cool, warm for another few minutes. Sprinkle salt on the beans and enjoy.



Hummus is a mixture of chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste). It’s usually made to taste. Begin with a can of chickpeas and a tablespoon of tahini. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables to dip.


Air-popped popcorn

You can buy an air popper for under twenty dollars. Keep fresh popcorn on hand. You can buy it in bulk. Melt margarine or spray with low-fat margarine topping. Sprinkle salt lightly and enjoy.


Kids love to snack and eat. With these seven quick and easy ideas you can be sure they’re eating healthy too.


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Today’s children are receiving a one-two punch of bad nutrition. Not only do families have less time to cook, but healthy activities like tag and sports are giving way to indoor pastimes like watching television, playing game consoles, and using computers. The current generation of children is showing a clear decline in their general standards of health.

With the statistics for child obesity, child diabetes, and related illnesses rising year by year, this is definitely the time to make nutrition a priority. Luckily, studies have also shown that children who learn good nutrition habits tend to keep these good habits throughout adulthood.

Please don’t wait. This one purchase could change your child’s life and decrease the likelihood of serious health problems both today and down the road. Buy “Healthy Eating for Kids” today, and set your child on the path to lifelong good health.

Healthy Eating for Kids

Healthy Eating for Kids

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Stuffed Celery

Stuffed Celery

Stuffed Celery

8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped onions
celery, cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces

Put cream cheese and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
Mix until well blended —  a fork works well
Stir in onions and pecans.
Fill celery with mixture.
Note: Cut the corner out of a zip lock bag and use a coupler with a#32 cake decorating tip.
This makes filling the celery easier and it looks pretty.
The tip is also large enough that the chopped pecans will fit through.