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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Snack Better - 10 Suggestions

School has started and that means I have lunches to pack and after school snacks to provide.  I am always looking for new things for my kids' lunches instead of the same old peanut butter sandwich and yogurt.  I'm hoping this year YOU make a vow to limit processed foods and offer your kids something better.  It doesn't have to be hard, just use your imagination and start with this list.
10 Suggestions for better lunches and snacks.

1.  Boiled eggs.  Couldn't be easier or more portable.  Works for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A bit a salt and pepper makes it better.  Boil up a bunch one night to top off a salad or to eat by itself.

2.  Raw vegetables and a low fat dip such as ranch.  Yes, kids will eat raw veggies if you put a tray out on the table.  You can even purchase vegetable trays at the store or put your own together.

3.  Hummus with raw vegetables, pita bread or chips.  Hummus can even be a substitute for mayo or mustard on sandwiches.

4.  Fresh fruit.  How simple is a banana or an apple tucked into your lunch?  It's as easy as grabbing a bag of chips and better for you.  Kids can help themselves to fruit like grapes and strawberries.

5.  Cottage cheese.  Serve plain or with fruit or raw vegetables and get a serving of dairy.

6.  Peanut butter on toast.  Melted peanut butter just seems to taste better.  Top with bananas or a drizzle of honey.  Oh, make the toast whole wheat.

7.  Nuts!  Almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts all pack alot of nutrition in a very portable package.  Mix with some dried fruit like raisins or cherries to make your own trail mix.

8.  Chips with a layered bean dip or homemade salsa.  Get some fresh vegetables and fiber into your kids while giving them chips!  Don't rely on the jarred stuff though or you are defeating the purpose.

9.  Smoothies.  Make them at home with fruit, yogurt and a splash of orange juice.  If you have a Magic Bullet processor the clean up is much easier.  Kids can do this by themselves too.

10.  Cheddar fondue with apple slices.  The following fondue recipe is simple and quick to whip up and makes for a different treat.  Try other things to dip such as thick slices of ham or cubes of bread.

Cheddar Fondue
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 lb. grated cheddar cheese
Melt butter over low heat in a medium sauce pan.  Add flour and stir well.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly.  When milk mixture is warm, add cheese in small amounts, stirring till melted.  Serve warm.

I hope you've gotten a little inspiration and you're ready to forgo the DingDongs and put down the Pringles.  Skip the lurid colored jello which is just jelled sugar water.  Give yourself and your kids something to power up your brains and keep you slim. 


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