Need a few new ideas for after-school snacks for your hungry crew? And you? Here are a few to keep stomachs in your family satisfied.
Made with healthy chickpeas, hummus can be used as a sandwich spread, a vegetable dip, or as a topping for chips and crackers. It's also the perfect consistency for babies learning to eat from a spoon.
Use air-popped or stove-popped. This way, children get the fiber benefits — minus extra butter and preservatives — while enjoying the crunch. A few cups of air-popped popcorn contains very few calories.
3. Whole grain crackers
These have become more of a commonplace on supermarket shelves, and can be purchased in bulk at some membership club stores. Serve alone or with nut butter spread on top.
These crunchy pieces of toasted bread come in large sizes — perfect for small hands. Mix them with fruit, or carrot and celery sticks for a crunchy snack. Rothbury Farms makes organic croutons in a variety of seasonings — including whole grain. Lifetime Television's The Balancing Act recently featured Rothbury Farms with all kinds of uses for croutons in cooking.
A delicious choice served with sprinkling of dried fruits. Cook up large batches and freeze on a cookie sheet, and then transfer to a freezer storage bag. Do watch the serving sizes. Granola has healthy oats and nuts, but tends contains quite a bit of sugar. You can control the portion by making your own.
6. Dried vegetables
You can dry these yourself with an oven or food dehydrator, or purchase them in packages at most grocery stores. These are a great alternative to chips, and just might entice your children to try something green.
Tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, spices: salsa's main ingredients contain lots of health benefits. Serve with a limited number of chips or use multigrain crackers (see above). Salsa can also be added to hummus and used as a dip with a Mexican food meal.
Disclosure: I received samples of Rothbury Farms croutons to taste and try out with the kiddos.