Healthier Snacks for You and Your Kids
Its time to set the alarm a little earlier and break out the lunchboxes. The lazy days of summer are coming to and end and kids are scurrying off to school to show off new outfits, meet new classmates and start another year of academia.
This can be a stressful time for the whole family. Kids worry about homework and peer pressure, while parents stress about making sure their kids get the nourishment they need throughout the school day. “Did you eat your lunch?” “Why didn’t you eat your veggies?” “How much sugar is in that?” These all too familiar questions begin to haunt the minds of parents who do their best to feed their families well.
Making healthy foods fun, accessible and delicious does not have to be a daunting project though. With a few great recipes on hand you can provide healthy nourishment for your whole family.
Quick and easy homemade versions of store bought treats and snacks are a great way to get more whole and healthy foods into your kid’s lunchbox. Instead of the sugar loaded and highly processed cookies, granola bars and muffins you can buy at the store, homemade versions can be packed with whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. Get your kids to help in the kitchen and they will have a great time picking out their favorite flavors and taking part in a hands on project with a delicious finished product.
These are two great recipes I keep on hand for easy go-to snack recipes. The muffins can be made with any of your favorite fruits, but blueberries are a great choice this season. If your kid runs straight from school to soccer practice and needs an energy boost for the afternoon activity, try adding their favorite dried fruits, for a little natural sugar boost, and nuts and seeds, for healthy protein and fats, to the granola bars.
Check back next week for a great list of ways you can keep your whole family healthier, happier and energized as you head into the school year and flu season. Also, stay tuned to your member account and look for Full Circle‘s back to school specials flyer coming out this week.
Recipe adapted from original found in The Blueberry Connection
- 3/4 cup bran
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. grated orange rind
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2/3 cup yogurt
- 1 egg
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add berries and orange rind. Add all liquid ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.
Recipe adapted from original found in The New Laurel's Kitchen
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped dates or raisins
- 1/3 cup ground flax seed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Add apricots and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes to soften. Meanwhile mix the honey and oil in a small bow. In a larger bowl combine the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt. Drain the apricots - saving the juice - and chop into small 1/4 inch pieces and stir into the dry mixture. Add the juice from the apricots to the honey and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, along with the dates and the flax seed, and stir to combine. Press mixture into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into snack sized squares.
- *These are great bars to make ahead of time - wrap tightly in individual pieces and send in lunches as desired. Bars will keep for about 10 days.