Fun Snacks in a Flash

Written by: Stephanie Jensen

Can’t get your kids to eat anything healthy? Is their idea of a snack chips, cookies or candy? Do they think healthy food isn’t any fun? Finding creative ways to entice the kids can definitely be a challenge. To help ease the pain, here are a few quick and healthy snack ideas from Stephanie Jensen of La Cuisine Personal Chef Service in Chicago. 

Dipping:
  • APPLE DIPPERS: Dip apple slices in maple syrup or honey and roll with your choice of shredded coconut, oats, puffed rice cereal, dried or mini freeze dried fruit pieces.
  • FRUIT OR VEGGIE KEBABS: Any food on a stick usually wins points with the little ones. Older kids can join in by making their own skewer. Adding a mini marshmallow makes it even more fun to eat.
  • RAW VEGGIES FOR DIPPING: Try pre-cut raw veggie sticks like carrot, celery, zucchini or bell pepper strips and dip in hummus, salsa, or blend of plain yogurt and fresh avocado for a healthy dip. Supermarkets now sell ridged carrot chips as a healthy alternative to potato chips.
Spreading:
  • BUMPS ON A LOG:  Cut 2-inch lengths of celery or cucumber, spread on peanut butter or cream cheese and choose your bump:  raisins or other dried fruits or nuts, Cheerios, goldfish crackers, etc. Check out the dried fruit and nut aisle for ideas. Freeze-dried fruit is a new product that provides crunch and nutrition. Just a little bit gives a burst of flavor.   
  • CRUNCHY CIRCLES: Spread cottage cheese, honey and cinnamon over mini flavored rice crackers. Let the kids add a few sprinkles on top.
Stuffing and Rolling: 
  • SWEET PEPPER BITES: Purchase pre-packaged mini sweet bell peppers and stuff with flavored cream cheese, hummus or cut pieces of string cheese or cubes of cheddar. Stuff celery stalks with cut strips of string cheese.
  • LETTUCE ROLL-UPS: Combine large lettuce leaves, deli meat and cheese, roll up and cut into smaller pieces or serve taco-style – add raw vegetables for extra crunch.
Other quick snack ideas:
  • “KALE CHIPS”: These are the best thing that ever happened to this somewhat unpopular leafy green. Wash and thoroughly dry fresh kale leaves, remove the middle stem, slice into smaller pieces and lay out on a baking sheet. Toss with a small amount of olive oil and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the leaves have lost all of their moisture and are crispy. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • “NICE” CREAM:  Peel fresh bananas and put in the freezer overnight. The next day, blend briefly and serve. The natural sugars develop in the freezer for a sweet and healthy treat. The kids will not miss the cream and sugar!
  • FAUX FONDUE: Microwave a bit of low fat mozzarella or cheddar in a small bowl and use as quick “fondue” dip for crackers or raw and cooked vegetables.
  • SCHOOL OF FISH: Use water packed tuna mixed with low fat mayo or yogurt. Hide pretzel-flavored goldfish or dolphin crackers underneath so kids can go fishing!
Make your own: 
  • If all else fails, have kids get into the act and design their own snack.  Put out a variety of ingredients and see where their imagination takes them.  Kids may be more willing to eat what they have created themselves.

For more information and fun snack ideas, check out La Cuisine Personal Chef Service.

Posted on March 05, 2013 at 11:33 AM