Maybe you haven't noticed, but kids burn a lot of calories in a day. Maybe it's all that fidgiting they do during school. One day, I realized that my kids burn way more calories than any workout program I have ever done. As a test of my theory I decided to mimic every move that my then 2 year old made. It was a sight to behold. My other kids were laughing at me and I was waving my arms and climbing over stuff. I didn't last long. Little kids move a lot. I went back to my wimpy workout program with a new sense of respect for my kids' athleticism.
My kids burn so many calories that I have a hard time keeping them full sometimes. That's where snacking comes in. I guess if your kids just sit in front of a TV or computer screen all day, you should probably limit their snacking. But at our house, I encourage snacking. I can't imagine how skinny they would be without them.
I have a few criterion that I try to meet when it comes to their snacks. I try to make healthy snacks for them, but I also don't want to be the food police. I don't want them to be doomed to eat healthy cardboard. I want them to enjoy their snacks. I also need snacks that are really, really quick to make, because I have other things to do than being shackled to my oven.
Today, I will give you a few of the sweeter kid-friendly snacks I serve to my kiddos.
#1. Angela's Peanut Butter Balls (This one is a wee bit of a compromise with the powdered sugar, but it's so quick to whip together, and it is high in protein and other nutrients, so I give in a little.)
1 cup all natural peanut butter
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup dry milk powder
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Stir all ingredients together and shape into balls. Or just slap a big spoonful on a plate and let them make their own shapes. It's sort of like edible play dough that way and they love it. At Christmas, I will dip these in melted chocolate and allow to cool until hardened on wax paper.
#2. Chocolate Covered Katie's German-Chocolate Fudge Bites (This one is full of good nutrients, sweetened with dates and comes together in a flash. If you find the mixture is too dry to hold together, just add a little water and process. Often I will double or triple the recipe and press the mixture into a pan. Then I just cut it into squares -- it's even faster than shaping them. While you are visiting her site, check out some of her other recipes. Most of them are fast, easy and delicious!)
#3. Peanut Butter Carmel Popcorn (This one is also a compromise with the brown sugar, but my kids don't lead a sugar free life. I try to moderate their intake, but I don't forbid it.)
7 cups popped popcorn
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
In a sauce pan, combine honey, brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour over popcorn and mix well. Spread mixture over wax paper and allow to cool. Once cool, break apart and serve. You could also add some cashews or other nuts to the cooled mixture for added protein and throw in some chocolate chips for added indulgence.
#4. Sliced Apples and peanut butter or almond butter (You already knew this one, right? Super quick, super simple and great for kids' growing bodies.)
#5. Trail mix You could buy store bought, or you could just mix together your favorite ingredients. Some starter ideas would be various nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, various dried fruits, etc. If you are feeling generous, you could throw in some chocolate or carob chips.
#6. Breakfast Cookies I wrote about these and provided the recipe link in this post. Who says you can only serve Breakfast cookies at breakfast? Yum.
My family likes variety, so I serve them a lot of different things for snacks, but these are some of the quick and easy recipes I fall back on in a pinch. I hope you enjoy them!
Have a great day!!
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