With school back in session, it’s important to know that your child is getting proper nutrition throughout the day, from breakfast to lunch to their after school snack. At the American Center for Biological Medicine, our goal is promoting healthy, balanced lifestyles for everyone. That’s why we love sharing healthy and nutritious recipes on our weekly blogs! This week, we’re focusing specifically on balanced and healthy after school snacks that the whole family can enjoy together.
Sip on Some Smoothies
Smoothies are always a good bet, as they are a sweet but healthy treat for kids to enjoy. Have some fun and encourage your kids to pick out the different ingredients — you may end up with some interesting mixes, but it will be fun to see them stretch their creativity! Also, be sure to use frozen fruit, as it eliminates the need for ice. Here’s a recipe for Hot-Pink Smoothies from MyRecipes.com:
1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons agave syrup
Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.
What kid doesn’t love french fries? Indulge them with their favorite snack — but this time with a healthy twist! Sweet potatoes are known for being chock-full of essential vitamins, and sweet potato fries are healthier than regular french fries, but just as delicious! Here’s a recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries from Parenting.com:
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 small ones)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise, and place it flat side down on a cutting board. Cut the potato halves into 1-inch-wide wedges.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place the potatoes on a roasting pan and brush with the oil mixture. Lay the potatoes flesh side down on the pan and put the pan in the oven.
Cook potatoes (turning once) until soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and season with remaining1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the wedges cool for a bit, and serve warm.
For dunking, ketchup always works, or try a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a British chips-and-vinegar effect.
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a classic staple of kids’ food. This time, though, try putting a new twist on a classic favorite, by adding oats, nuts, seeds, and more to the combination of flavors we already love. Here’s a recipe for some yummy PB&J Bites from FamilyCircle.com:
1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup quinoa
1 12 – ounce jar strawberry preserves
Mix peanut butter, maple syrup and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until peanut butter is melted and ingredients are combined.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, sunflower seeds and quinoa. Stir in peanut butter mixture until well combined.
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper wrappers. Scoop 2 tbsp of the peanut butter and oats mixture into each wrapper, pressing down well with a spatula. Spread 2 tsp of the preserves over peanut butter and oats mixture in each cup. Add 2 more tbsp peanut butter and oats mixture to cover preserves, pressing down well with a spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until bites begin to brown. Cool in muffin tins 10 minutes; remove from tins to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container.
Balanced, Nutritious, and Healthy After School Snacks
Studies have shown that snacks in between meals throughout the day are good for your diet — provided that they’re healthy! A small snack of nuts or fruit helps curb cravings for unhealthy foods like chips or ice cream, and it can help keep you focused throughout the day, too. Healthy after school snacks are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. For more tips, follow our weekly blog, or contact the American Center for Biological Medicine to start on your path to wellness. (888) 982-2260