A Snack for Every Season

by Jovanna Acevedo Quesada

"Spring, summer, winter, fall, come grab a snack...one and all.
Be ye old or be ye younger, we've got a treat to cure your hunger!"

Kids eating healthy snacksFruits, veggies, low fat yogurt, pretzels, rice cakes, whole wheat crackers or bread, peanut butter, nuts, seeds and low fat cheese all make great nutritious snacks.

While delicious on their own, they get boring after eating them time and time again.

Does your family hear the words, "good for you," and clamp their jaws shut?

Open them up to healthy snacking with one (or more) of these creative and edible treats!

Spring Snacks

Baby and Toddler Treats

Mini snack tray: Create a "variety tray" in a mini muffin tin with a few pieces of avocado, banana, semi-hard cheeses, "o" shaped cereal, cooked asparagus pieces or any of your baby's favorites.

Preschooler Pickings

Butterfly SnacksButterfly snacks: These are really quick and easy! Grab a bunch of celery sticks and cut them in half (trimming off all the "extras"). Cut a celery stalk in half. Spread hummus or cream cheese along the celery and dip two pretzels into the hummus for wings. You've got a healthy and fun snack for Spring! Besides, who doesn't like butterflies? Have a "contest" to see who can make the coolest looking butterfly!

Fun Kid Fillers

Deviled Egg SailboatsDeviled Egg Boats: Whip up a batch of your favorite deviled eggs recipe. Instead of being
"ho-hum," create an egg-stravagaza and add a colorful sail to each boat by slicing a red, yellow or orange pepper into one-inch squares. Slice each square diagonally to form sails. Insert a sail upright into the filling and sprinkle with paprika. We bet you lose the whole armada before you can hear, "More ships please!"

Adult Fare

Grab and go apples: Spring schedules can work havoc with your schedule. Grab an apple and a hand full of almonds or a piece of string cheese to munch on the go. There are lots of varieties of apples. Choose from Macintosh, Granny Smith, Fuji or your standard red apple right from the tree! An apple a day can in theory, help keep the doctor away!

Summer Snacks

Baby and Toddler Treats

Veggies and dip, baby-style: Whip up a batch of creamy carrot dip. Offer steamed veggie squares or cereal and turn your tot loose to scoop.

Preschooler Pickings

Fruity FrogsGreen Apple Frogs: Cut a Granny Smith or other green apple into quarters. Remove the core. Slice a small slit in each quarter for a mouth. For each frog, make two cream cheese circles for eyes. Poke a raisin in each and set into place. Cut three green grapes in half. Use two halves for the legs. Slice the remaining halves to make toes. Arrange the pieces on a paper lily pad.

Fun Kid Fillers

Vegetable Flowers: Creative crudités make eating veggies fun. Slice cucumbers rounds, half radishes slices, celery stems, broccoli florettes and spinach leaves. Don't be surprised if the flowers turn out to be sailboats or alternate kid creations. Add a bowl of hummus or yogurt/cottage based dip and up the wholesomeness.

Adult Fare

Fruit cup: Combine 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese with 1/2 cup fresh berries and a dash of cinnamon. Sprinkle with Grape-Nuts or low-fat granola.

Autumn Snacks

Baby and Toddler Treats

Sweet potato fries: Slice a sweet potato into shoestring strips. Lightly coat with oil and sprinkle with herbs or cinnamon. Bake until tender. Set aside most of the "fries" for you. Cut the remainder into bite-sized bits.

Preschooler Pickings

Nutty Butterflies: Use a few apple slices, a carrot sticks and a bit of nut butter to create cute, fun-to-munch treats certain to flutter their way right into a kid's tummy. Here's how: Spread nut butter on half of the apple slices. Top each with a second slice. Separate the top of a carrot stick antennas. Set one apple slice set on each side of the carrot body, skin facing in. Carefully cut each apple "wing" in half and arrange for a beautiful nutty butterfly.

Fun Kid Fillers

Pumpkin faces: Place a slice of cheddar cheese on a whole grain English muffin. Trim to fit. Make a face with olives, pepperoni, pepper (or other vegetable) shapes. Bake until cheese melts.

Adult Fare

Cinnamon baked apple: Core an apple and slice 1/2 inch off the top. Add 2 tablespoons chopped nuts and raisins. Press a teaspoon brown sugar into hole and sprinkle with cinnamon. Microwave on low for five to six minutes, or until tender. Pour any escaped juices back on the apple and serve with a dollop of yogurt.

Winter Snacks

Baby and Toddler Treats

Baby's almost pumpkin pie: Dice pumpkin or butternut squash into bite sized pieces. Dust lightly with cinnamon and bake until tender. Cool and serve.

Preschooler Pickings

Turkey snowmen: Trimmed turkey slices for the snowman body, radish slice halves for the hat, raisins for eyes, a tiny carrot bit for the nose, mandarin orange slices for feet, and pretzels for arms. Put them together as a craft and then gobble them up during snack time!

Fun Kid Fillers

Ants on a Log: Kids can make this healthy snack on their own. Spread crunchy peanut butter on celery stalks and sprinkle with raisins.

Adult Fare

Turkey pita snacks: Have you been wondering what to do with all that leftover turkey? Stuff a pita pocket with sliced turkey breast or sliced part-skim milk cheese, tomato, and a squirt of mustard.

Now that you're "armed" with snacks that can make any mouth open up and say, "yum," it's time to venture forth to explore more related articles on creative go-to snacks.

Tell us what you've created for your family or the brilliant ideas of your wee ones!

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