If you have children in school, then you know how important it is to have on hand delicious after school snacks for kids when they arrive home after a hard day's work. As they drop their backpacks on the floor, their first stop will be the refrigerator. Healthy nutrition is essential, yet many parents believe it requires too much prep time. Well, put away the candy and cookies because healthy snacks can be as easy as 1, 2 and 3.
The 3 snacks listed below are tasty, creative and healthy; your children will love them.
1. Strawberry Smoothie
After a long, tiring day at school, there's nothing more refreshing than a delicious smoothie; it will quench your child's hunger and thirst. A smoothie is similar to a milk shake made with fresh fruit like banana, strawberry and tropical mango. It takes only a few minutes to make.
A blender is a necessity, and you will need the following ingredients:
- 1-1/4 cup of sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1-1/4 cup of low-fat milk
- 1-1/4 cup chopped ice
- 1 cup of cold water
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar
- Optional: add ½ cup vanilla or strawberry low calorie ice cream, light-whipped cream and maraschino cherries
Clean the strawberries, cut off the tops, and put the strawberries in a blender. Add chopped ice, water, sugar and skim milk. Blend on high until ice is chopped and smoothie starts to thicken. Optional: As it thickens, add about ½ cup of low-fat vanilla or strawberry ice cream. Blend it on high for 1 minute. Pour it into a tall glass and top it off with a dab of whipped cream and cherry. This after-school snack is rich in flavor and Vitamin C.
Alternative recipe: Yogurt Smoothie is very similar except that ¾ cup of milk and ½ cup vanilla yogurt are substituted for 1-1/4 cups of skim milk.
2. Chocolate-Chocolate Mousse
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
- 2 pieces of Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- 1 package (2.1 oz.) Chocolate, fat free-sugar free, instant pudding
- 2 cups thawed light whip cream split in half
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
Microwave 1 cup of milk and chocolate together in a dish on a high speed for about 2 minutes. Whisk it until the chocolate is melted. Add remaining milk and pudding mix. Beat for 2 minutes, then refrigerate for 20 minutes. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of whip cream just before serving. Top with remaining whip cream and raspberries. It serves 6 and has only 80 calories per serving.
3. Watermelon with Blackberries and Pear Puree
Fresh fruit is always a favorite amongst kids, so always keep plenty on hand. Here is a tasty idea for juicy watermelon and berries.
The Ingredients are:
- 3 slices of watermelon sliced ¾ inch thick
- 1-1/2 cups blackberries
- 2 medium pears
- ½ cup apple juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
Cut each slice of watermelon into 10 wedges, remove seeds and cut away the rind. Arrange wedges in 6 dessert dishes, and top them with blackberries. Chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour or until cold. Top with Pear Puree; see below.
Pear Puree is made by paring 2 medium pears and cutting away the seeds. Then, put pears, apple juice and lemon juice into blender on medium for about 1 minute or until smooth.
This is a healthy after-school snack and your child will be getting the fruit needed for a balanced diet. It is only 100 calories per serving.