Healthy Holiday Snacks for Kids

Baked PearsDecember is a month for holidays, family and food. This month doesn’t have to sabotage a year’s worth of healthy food choices. Long Island Mamas has compiled a list of some of our favorite healthy holiday snacks for kids. Each of these recipes covers multiple food groups and they taste delicious!

 

 

 

Apricot Boats (from the author)
16 dried apricots
2 cups goat cheese, mascarpone or other soft cheese
1 cup chopped pistachios or almond slivers
½ cup honey*

  • Slice dried apricots in half
  • Layer a ½ teaspoon of cheese onto the fruit
  • Sprinkle with chopped pistachios or almonds
  • Drizzle with honey*
  • Serve

*Optional – Do not feed honey to infants younger than 1 year old.

 

Baked Pears (from the author)
4 Bosc or Anjou pears
½ cup melted butter or coconut oil
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg

  • Slice pears in half. Scoop out seeds with a spoon.
  • Arrange pears “face up” on an ungreased baking sheet
  • Brush with coconut oil or butter
  • Sprinkle pears with cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until soft
  • Serve

 

Black Bean Salsa
Salsa is a traditional low-fat favorite. Beans and avocado add fiber, protein and good fat.

2 (16-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
  • Serve with whole wheat tortilla chips

Source: The Food Network

 

Apple Latkes
Yes, Chanukah is over, yet these yummy latkes still make a great breakfast, snack or side dish.

2-3 Granny Smith apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
Plain or Greek yogurt

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place a baking sheet inside.
  • Grate apples. Transfer to a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth sling and wring out as much juice possible into a small bowl.
  • Transfer grated apple to a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  • In a small dish, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder and toss with the apples, coating them evenly.
  • Whisk eggs in this small dish until lightly beaten and stir into apple-lemon-flour mixture.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium and melt one tablespoon of butter. Once it has coated the pan, drop tablespoons full of apple batter in little piles, gently pressing them a bit flatter with a spatula. Fry until they are nicely brown underneath, about 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until they are browned and crisp.
  • Drain briefly on paper towels and transfer to preheated oven to keep warm. Add a pat of the remaining butter for each new batch in the pan, and repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve warm, with yogurt.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Cheese  (from the author)
Getting children to eat their vegetables is always a challenge, but it’s less so with spaghetti squash. This gourd has a sweet flavor and noodle-like texture that’s always a hit with children. This recipe is great for a quick and easy lunch or snack.

1 large spaghetti squash (about 5 pounds)
6 tbsp olive oil
Four sprigs fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving

  • Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 50 minutes.
  • Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside.
  • Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over low heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add rosemary and allow to simmer, about 5 minutes
  • Add the reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat. Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time while tossing the squash to evenly coat.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and extra cheese (if desired).

 

By Rachel Minkowsky

Photo: flickr/CGehlen labeled for commerical reuse

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