HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS FOR KIDS
My last few posts have talked about how many unhealthy foods, snacks, lunches that are out there and sold with kids in mind.
I thought I would take time to give some healthy snack ideas and recipes for kids using real foods without preservatives, additives or dyes.
I do hope to do a recipe book full of great healthy snacks and lunches for kids. So watch for this.
A smoothie is a great and simple snack that almost all kids love. There are places such as Booster Juice which sell these smoothies, but they are so easy (and cheaper) to make at home. Even younger children love these and they are good for them.
All you need is a blender and some frozen fruit. You can use bags of frozen fruit or use fresh fruit and freeze. Bananas are healthy, full of wholesome calories and taste sweet.
Buy some bananas, let them ripen (they will have brown spots on them) cut the banana into chunks, put in freezer bags and freeze. Always have a large stock of these in the freezer because they are great mixed with any fruit or berry and great in green smoothies using lettuce, spinach, kale, etc. You will probably want to start with all fruit smoothies before you add some greens.
Some great fruit combinations for smoothies are:
- Strawberry, banana
- Apple, peach, banana
- Pineapple, blueberry, banana
- Mango, blueberry, banana
- Raspberry, apple, banana
- Kiwi, banana, strawberry
- Strawberry, mango, banana
So you can see the combinations are endless. It also depends on what your kids like. Try and see. You can also buy berry and fruit mixes that are frozen.
MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM
You can also make your own ice cream. Yes, that is right! Ice cream that is non-dairy. This is so great for people and kids who are lactose intolerant.
The ice cream in this photo is banana ice cream. The ingredients - just bananas. That is it. The topping is my home-made chocolate sauce.
I have a small food processor (or you can use a high speed blender). I would suggest getting a 3 Cup food processor because I will have many recipes requiring one. They are not that expensive and a great investment.
Put the frozen bananas in the food processor and blend. You will need to continually stir the mixture while blending. Make sure all the frozen chunks of banana are being blended. Do not over-blend, you don’t want it runny. You may have to add just a bit of water but only add a small amount at a time.
Once mixed until creamy, spoon into a bowl and enjoy! This is so easy. You can also add other fruit in the mix but bananas are the best because they are creamy and are not as watery as some fruit.
In the picture above the chocolate sauce is made by mixing:
- Raw Cacao Powder
- Melted Coconut Oil
- Agave Nectar, yacon syrup or honey
* The raw cacao powder, agave nectar and yacon syrup can be bought at a health food store that sells organic health foods.
Try these measurements (althought I never measure exactly, I taste and adjust as I make it)
- 3 Tbsp of cacao Powder
- 2-3 Tbsp of coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp of sweetener (any good liquid sweetener)
Add the cacao powder to bowl, make whole in middle, add coconut oil and start to stir, mix well then add sweetener and continue to stir. You want to do this fast and stir really well. It will get creamy. If too dry, then add a bit of cold water or more oil or sweetener. Taste as you mix and see if you need to add more sweetener or if it is too sweet and you need to add more cacao powder, water or coconut oil. Add only small amounts at a time when you are adjusting the mixture. It will thicken as you mix.
Use right away or store in the fridge or freezer. The chocolate sauce will harden when you put in in the fridge and/or freezer. When you put it on top of the ice cream it will also harden. Once it hits your mouth it begins to melt. So good!
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
You can also make chocolate pudding by blending banana ice cream with cacao powder or organic cocoa powder and a bit of sweetener. You may have to add a bit of water so that it blends well.
To make fruit puddings you follow the same instructions as making banana ice cream. If you use bananas then add 1 or 2 other fruits to make the pudding. Keep it thick but you may need to add a bit of water.
To make a thick pudding and one that won’t melt right away, you can add a bit of avocado. If making for children be careful not to add too much avocado at once. Probably less than a quarter of one.
How about some dairy-free chocolate pudding? This can be done by mixing raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder) with an avocado, coconut oil and some soaked dates. This sounds a little strange but it is really delicious!
- Start with 1/2 avocado
- 2-3 Tbsp of cacao powder
- 3-4 soaked dates
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil.
Add the above ingredients to the food processor and blend well. Taste as you blend and stir well. If it is not sweet enough add more soakcd dates or another sweetener such as honey or agave. Please do not use white sugar.
You can buy molds for popsicles. If you don’t have those you can use ice cube trays to make mini pops or try some small dixie cups. You will need some kind of a stick to stick in them.
Once again you are going to use natural fruit for these. Many recipes use fruit juice but fruit juice may be processed, pasteurized, contain extra sugar and even contain preservatives and food dyes. Such a shame because it so unnecessary.
Add the fruit of your choice to your food processor. You do not need to use much. Maybe 1/2 C of mangos and 1/2 C of blueberries and some frozen banana pieces or any other kind of fruit or berry.
Blend in food processor adding a bit of water if needed to blend it well. The consistency can be thinner than the pudding. If you wish you can also add a bit of natural sweetener such as honey or agave. I believe fruit is already sweet enough but with raspberries or other fruit that can be a bit tart you may want to add a sweetener.
Add this mixture to your mold of choice and place a stick in it (popsicle stick or another wooden stir stick). Place in freezer and freeze! That is it!
I will have more healthy snack and lunch ideas coming up in future posts. I thought these ones were great for summer.
Let me know how you like them!
Please feel free to send me requests for recipes, articles, information or if you or your child loves a snack or lunch that is not healthy but want to know a heathier alternative, let me know and I can help you out with that.