American kids need healthy snacks. After being bombarded with junk food, prepackaged bars, and fruit roll ups for over a decade, it is time for us to stand up and make a difference in each child’s overall health by providing them with wholesome, fun, and tasty snacks. Here are a few of my all-time favorite healthy snacks for kids.
“Ants on a Log”
This fun treat is truly special with young children if you can help them get their imagination running. To make this snack, you simply halve a banana, spread a bit of raw cashew butter over the rounded side, and stick raisins or carob chips all over the cashew butter. This is a sweet treat that can be made with the kids and will satisfy them for an afternoon snack.
While I do have an issue with prepackaged bars and chemical-laden fruit roll ups, I love the homemade variety. If you have never made your own custom batch of granola or granola bars, go ahead. Find a granola recipe online that looks delicious and just try it. Any granola that is ever made in my own family is always quick to disappear–usually within a few hours–leaving me to mourn the lack of snacks after a whole hour of making it. It is that delicious!
Homemade Fruit Roll-ups
You can also find plenty of recipes on how to make your own fruit roll up. They are easy snacks for kids that closely resemble the store-bought variety. Here is a very basic recipe.
1. First, soak 2 cups dried apricots in plenty of water until soft. This will take about 30-45 minutes.
2. Next, drain them and keep the soaking liquid.
3. Puree the apricots with 2 tablespoons of honey and a half cup of sugar (you can use sucanat if you are concerned about the bad affects of sugar). Add a little water if the paste is too thick to spread.
4. Once you have it at the right consistency, spread on a plastic-wrap covered cookie sheet. Be sure to spread it very thin. Two cups of apricots generally makes enough puree to make two or three sheets of the mixture.
5. Put in an oven that has been pre-heated to 160 degrees, and leave in the oven overnight or until the mixture is dried and leathery feeling. Remove from oven and let cool. Once it is totally cooled, remove the plastic wrap from the back and use a pizza cutter to cut into 1-inch strips. Roll tightly and keep in an air-tight container for a fun, after-school surprise.
These are only a few very fun, very tasty, and very healthy snacks that are easy to make before the kids get home from school. Remember, the goal is to provide nutritious snacks for children who might be picky eaters. We hope they will never know the difference.