For those without nut allergies, apples with peanut butter are an easy, healthy snack. Slice up an apple, spread on peanut butter, have happy kids. Some healthy snacks really are that easy.
If you are dealing with nut allergies, look at your alternatives. Is there another spread that would taste good with apple and be safe?
Who says your kids can’t play with their food? Give them some sliced veggies and encourage them to make fun designs. Peanut butter or another dip can be used to help things stick together. Toothpicks can also be used if they want their art to stand up.
Not all veggies have to be sliced for this, of course. Cherry tomatoes are generally best left whole, as are snap peas.
Think about different ways to slice up the veggies. They don’t all need to be sticks. Offer carrot sticks as well as slices, for example.
My kids love chewy granola bars, but they’re expensive and have a lot of sugar. Homemade bars give you a lot more control over how much sugar is in them, although it’s still a fair amount. You can switch the add-ins for this recipe to make different types of granola bars. Consider adding chia seeds or flax seeds to make these even healthier.
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups quick oats
1 cup rice cereal or similar cereal
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup raisins
Line one 11×7 baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Lightly butter the foil.
Place coconut oil, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon in a large saucepan on medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then decrease heat to low and simmer until the sugar is melted. This should take about two minutes, depending on your stove. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla extract and salt.
Add quick oats, rice cereal, flax meal and raisins. Mix until thoroughly coated. Spread evenly into your baking pan. Press firmly with a spatula or lightly buttered hand to even it out.
Let sit to cool. Do not refrigerate or the bars will get hard. Remove from pan and foil, and slice into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. These should last a couple weeks, depending on the ingredients you use, but hopefully the kids won’t let it come to that.
Here’s another fun way to serve fruit and yogurt to the kids – parfait style. Take yogurt (plain or pick a flavor the kids like), berries and/or sliced fruit, and granola. Layer them in a cup and serve.
If you want to make it a little more healthy, make your own granola. Most store bought varieties aren’t all that good for you, having too much fat and sugar.
I have already mentioned using yogurt as a dip for sliced fruit. It also makes a great addition to fruit salad. Yogurt isn’t an absolute necessity – my kids get excited about fruit salad even if it’s fruit and nothing else. Something about fruit being sliced and easy to eat really gets their attention.
I like the flavor lemon yogurt adds, but vanilla or any other flavor work well too. For still more fun, serve the fruit salad in ice cream cones. Kids will take most any excuse to have ice cream cones, even if there’s no ice cream involved.
No real rules about which fruits to include, of course. It’s fruit salad, have fun with it.