Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

September means back-to-school time is here again.  My experience has been that after a full day at school, my kids would come home ready to eat my arm off.  Rather than have them raid the pantry or search for something that will send their blood sugar levels skyrocketing, I’ve tried to provide them with nutritional snacks that will satisfy them until dinner.
Fruits & Veggies–More Matters is the master at creating fun and nutritious recipes that kids love.  Even the names of the recipes are kid-friendly!  Bookworm Apple Bark is made with a Granny Smith apple, peanut butter, raisins and dried cranberries.  The combination of the fiber from the fruit and the protein from the peanut butter keeps your child feeling full and focused until dinner (great for completing homework!).

bookworm apple bark
Banana in A Blanket is another kid favorite and uses a ripe banana, a whole wheat tortilla, peanut butter, honey and some crunchy/nutty nugget cereal (think Grape Nuts).  If your child is allergic to peanuts you can always substitute a different nut butter for the peanut butter in these recipes.  Also, depending on the age and size of your child, you may want to cut this recipe in half since some bananas can be rather large (hint: these make a healthy snack you can share with your child!).

What kid doesn’t like pizza?  Symphony of Fruit Pizza creates mini “pizzas” using English muffins, spread with fat-free strawberry cream cheese and topped with fruit such as slice strawberries, red grapes and mandarin oranges.  The cream cheese adds protein, while the fruit provides valuable vitamins and fiber (you can further boost the fiber by using a whole grain English muffin).

For those days when your kids are bugging you for a cookie, I’ve got a healthy solution.  Apple Cookies are a sweet, but nutritious alternative that is a great compromise.  Simply take sliced apples (in circles) and spread with peanut butter.  Top with granola and a few chocolate chips, flaked coconut, crushed pretzels or raisins–your choice.

Photo courtesy of Almost Supermom
Have fun with these after school snack ideas and I’ll return next week with a new twist on Take-Out.
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