February is National Snack Food Month and it's the perfect time to turn the spotlight on what grub we're feeding our kids after school, as well as what snacks we grab at default whenever we're feeling hungry.
It's easy to indulge in a bag of sodium-filled potato chips, or gorge on a box of store-brought cookies, but it's definitely not too healthy to do that all the time. Every once in a while, or at least two times a week, it would be great to prepare a healthy snack made from whole food. And it's not as difficult or laborous as it seems!
Most of these delicious and healthy snacks are a breeze to make - season, pop in the oven and wait for the timer to ding - voila! Easy snacks ready to be enjoyed by the whole family!
Roasted Cinnamon-Sugar Chickpeas (Sally's Baking Addiction)
- 1 (15-ounce) can chick peas (garbanzos)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar or packed light/dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Easy Baked Zucchini Chips (Sweet C's)
- 2 zucchini, well washed
- 2 tsp olive or coconut oil, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
Baked Apple Chips (The Viet Vegan)
- 1 Red Prince apple per person (you can make two apples worth on two sheets at once in the oven, but you need to bake it for about an extra 30-45 minutes)
Preparing after-school snacks can be quite tricky. You would want to give your kids something to munch on after a full day at school, but you wouldn't want to give them anything too heavy that they'll lose their appetite for dinner.
Though it's easy to give them store-brought stuff like packaged cookies or instant mac and cheese, there are numerous ways to give your kids easy-to-prepare snacks that are made from whole foods and are teeming with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Homemade Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Cups (Bless This Mess)
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen berries
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Plain greek yogurt
Banana Split Bites (MOMables)
- 12 1" pieces pineapple
- 1 banana cut into bite-sized pieces (make sure your bananas aren't too ripe)
- 6 medium sized strawberries, cut in half
- 2.5oz dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Chopped nuts or coconut (optional)
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs (Chocolate Covered Katie)
- Strawberries or raspberries
- Oranges or cantaloupe
- Pineapple or banana
- Kiwi or honeydew
- Purple grapes
Making kids eat vegetables may not be the easiest thing in the world. But sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity to make growing children love vegetables and benefit from all the nutritional values that they could use to stay healthy.
Here are a few recipes that are not only healthy and nutritious, but are also creatively presented to make the pickiest eater give them a try.
Plus, they're so easy to make, even busy parents can make them after a tiring day at work. Better yet, why not make after-school / work snack a family affair? It would surely be a great time to unwind and catch up with one another's day.
Carrots & Hummus (Amy's Cooking Adventures)
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Ants on a Log (Pretty Providence)
- Celery cut into sticks
- Peanut Butter
Simple Veggies and Dip Cups (Live Love Pasta)
- 1 cup Green Goddess Dressing
- 1 cup Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 english cucumber, peeled and cut into 3 inch sticks
- handful green beans, stems removed
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch sticks
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- snap pears
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 3 inch sticks
- grape tomatoes, rinsed
Make baking a lot easier and more enjoyable by using good quality silicone baking mats. Not only are silicone mats sturdy and durable. Because they're non-stick, you can also cut your clean-up time in half.