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!"
Fruits, 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!
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.
Butterfly 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!
Deviled 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!"
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!
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.
Green 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.
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.
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.
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.