When we think of after-school snacks, what automatically comes to mind? You were thinking milk and cookies, right? However, with fast food, pizza, and fried chicken these days, our children’s health can’t afford to take a backseat. These six recipes are not only healthy for your children, but they’ll actually want to eat them!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
-2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 small)
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise, and place it flat side down on a cutting board. Cut the potato halves into 1-inch-wide wedges.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place the potatoes on a roasting pan and brush with the oil mixture. Lay the potatoes flesh side down on the pan and put the pan in the oven.
- Cook until potatoes, turning once, until soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and season with remaining1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the wedges cool for a bit, and serve warm. (For dunking, use ketchup!)
Healthy Whoopie Pies
-2 cups flour
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-3/4 cup oil
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cups pureed beets
-1 tsp vanilla
- Sift together the dry ingredients (except the sugar) and set aside.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients in another bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Drop tablespoons of batter onto parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until the cakes are fully cooked and slightly cracked on top.
Filling for the Whoopie Pies:
-2 Tbsp softened butter
-3 Tbsp marshmallow fluff
-1 cup confectioners’ sugar
-1-2 Tbsp milk
- Mix until smooth.
- Slather a dollop of frosting on the flat side of a cooled cake and sandwich with another cake.
Into a large bowl mix:
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 tsp. baking soda
-2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/8 tsp. nutmeg
-1/8 tsp. ginger
-1/8 tsp. allspice
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 cups grated zucchini
1- apple peeled, cored and grated
In another bowl, beat together:
-2 tsp. vanilla
-1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
-1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
- Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined.
- Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top. (Note: If you are using muffin liners you may need to spray with cooking spray to prevent the muffins from sticking to the paper.)
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
Healthy Homemade Potato Chips
-One Russet potato (sliced very thin)
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a plate. Lay down the thinly sliced potato pieces, not touching.
- Sprinkle all with salt.
- Cover the slices with another piece of parchment paper.
- Microwave for five minutes and the slices should come out lightly browned.
Your kids will never know the difference!
-Small Cucumbers (cut in half horizontally)
- Hollow out the cucumber to make a spot for the yogurt (a melon baller works perfectly).
- Mix in a bowl a container of plain yogurt, a few pinches of sugar, a pinch of salt, and just a touch of cumin.
- Spread into the hollowed out cucumbers.
Special Snack Crackers
-Grated Cheddar Cheese
- Turn oven to broil.
- Top each whole-grain cracker with cranberry sauce, two thin apple slices, and then a sprinkle of cheese.
- Broil until cheese is melted.
The trick with any "yucky" food is to add something they already like. The classic example of this is dipping baby carrots into ranch, but this obviously is counter-productive. Try these healthy snacks and watch your children ask for them every day!