Super Snacking

Be ready for getting the kids back to school after vacation with healthy snack ideas for their lunchboxes and after school.

Here are our tips for making snacking fun for all the children in your life (and maybe even the grown-ups, too!):

Cut and roll healthy foods into shapes. Turn everyday food items into fun shapes and watch them clean their plates! Avocado roses, celery curls and peppers cut in the shape of flowers make them tough to resist. Try roll-ups made with Brothers Marketplace Organic Ultra Sharp Cheddar or Organic American cheese, and natural antibiotic-free ham and turkey from McKenzie Country Classics, cured with maple wood smoke and pure Vermont maple syrup.

Make veggies and fruit into chips. Kale chips, sweet potato chips, apple chips. There are so many vegetables and fruit that become even more tempting when you bake them into chips! Keep it simple with a sprinkle of salt, or make kale chips “cheesy” with nutritional yeast. Add cinnamon to the apple chips or dried thyme to the sweet potato. Let the kids get in on the action by choosing the spices.

Roast chickpeas with blends of herbs and spices. Roast your own chickpeas with your favorite spices. Smoked paprika and garlic powder. Chipotle powder and lime. Rosemary, thyme and sea salt. Or try them ready-to-go in the store from Biena, made locally in several flavors, and Hippeas Chickpea Puffs!

Have fun with colors in the kitchen. The more colors of vegetables and fruit in a day, the greater the variety of nutrients you’re giving your children. Brighten up snack time with a rainbow of colors. Turn beets into noodles or blend mixed berries with yogurt. Bake slices of citrus fruit low and slow in the oven for a healthy treat. Dip them in chocolate and nuts to take it up a notch.

Infuse water with fresh fruit and herbs.  Strawberry and basil. Watermelon and mint. Raspberry and lime. Muddle fruit and herbs into water or sparkling water to wash down the snacks. Try using a flavored base, such as Hint water, Drink Maple, or Alta Palla in a fruit flavor.

Turn fruit and veggies into sushi and sandwiches. Use something new to make the outside of sandwiches. Fill sweet potato “toasts” with almond butter and sliced bananas or guacamole. Sandwich large red pepper slices around deli meat, or fill long cucumber “boats” with nut butter or with cream cheese and smoked salmon. For kid-friendly sushi, hollow out cucumber and fill it with hummus and shredded carrots. Or try your hand at authentic sushi with nori and rice, filled with cooked chicken and teriyaki or avocado.