You want your kids to eat their veggies, but sometimes they get sick of the same-old carrot sticks and dip. Spice up the routine with these tasty and nutritious after-school snacks. They are easy to make and so delicious you will even want to sneak a few yourself!
VEGGIE CHIPS AND HUMMUS
Replace familiar greasy potato chips with veggie chips, which generally have less fat and sodium. Grocery stores and other retailers make a variety of chips using different veggies, including carrot, zucchini, squash and sweet potato. You can also make your own by slicing veggies super-thin, brushing with olive oil and salt, then baking in an oven for about 30 minutes. Sweet potato is closest in flavor and texture to your kids’ beloved potato chips, so they are a good introduction. While veggie chips are tasty on their own, you can also try dipping them in hummus. This mild Middle Eastern dip made from mashed chickpeas also goes great with raw carrots, broccoli and bell pepper, and will fill your kids up until dinnertime.
MINI VEGGIE PIZZA POCKETS
Instead of store-bought microwave pockets, try this healthier alternative made with pita bread and veggie stuffing. Cut the pita so you have two half-circles with openings. Stuff the pocket with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and any veggies you want! Especially good are broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and onions. It’s easy to cook the veggies in advance so you can assemble the snack with your child, who will love to customize and stuff the pocket. Serve this portable snack cold or bake for a few minutes to melt cheese and heat bread.
FRUIT AND VEGGIE SMOOTHIES
Vegetable juice is a great way to drink your daily dose. Help your kids get great nutritional value by combining fruit and vegetables into tasty smoothies. They won’t even know they just had a full serving of veggies! Try adding carrots to a typical apples or banana base to ease them into the flavors. Chop the fruit and vegetables into fairly small pieces, then add fruit juice, yogurt and ice to a blender. Once they love these simple smoothies, test out different combinations, like pear and spinach or tomato-apple-orange. The key is to balance the vegetables with sweeter fruits for a tasty and nutritious snack.