With the school year in full swing, keeping your kids healthy is likely a top priority for parents. During the school year, it’s important for children to have healthy and delicious snacks with them at school and around the house. This isn’t just essential to their health, but that it sets a lifetime habit of healthy eating. Here are some healthy snacks you can make for your little ones after school.
Lime-Siracha Kale Chips
Kale has gone from a food that required force feeding, to an ultra-trendy favorite. It is simple to make your own kale chips. Mix together a tablespoon of Siracha (more if you want extra spice), a few tablespoons of lime juice and olive oil. Then, toss gently to lightly coat the kale leaves. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle your kale leaves with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp, remembering that kale leaves will shrink a great deal while baking. You can also ditch the Siracha and lime for traditional kale chips.
The key to a healthy quesadilla is a whole wheat or gluten-free wrap. A healthy wrap and going easy on the cheese negate the majority of the bad calories. Mix together black beans, corn, salsa and a dash of your favorite taco seasoning. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and put one tortilla in the pan before sprinkling with low-fat Mexican cheese. Add the corn and bean mix on top of the cheese and top with another quesadilla. Cook until slightly brown and the cheese is melted.
Baked Apple Cinnamon Chips
Simply slice several apples very thinly, mix together cinnamon and a dash of sugar and sprinkle the mixture over the apple slices on a baking sheet before baking on 200 degrees for 2.5-3 hours. Flip the apple chips after an hour. The apples are done when they are crisp and curl up at the edges.
Ants on a Log
Similar to traditional sweet potato fries, you simply slice the carrots into long strips, toss in oil, and add salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes on each side. A sprinkle of rosemary of thyme makes a nice final touch.
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn
Jazz up a simple back of popcorn by pouring a freshly popped bag into a plain brown paper bag, sprinkling in some garlic powder, sea salt, parmesan cheese and any other herbs or spices you like. Then, add a tablespoon or two of olive or coconut oil and give it a simple shaking and serve! This is also an excellent snack for when you have unexpected company, as it takes just seconds to make.
Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet potatoes are absolutely loaded in healthy nutrients, including a strong punch of vitamins D and C. Potato fries can often require a good deal of oil, making thinly sliced chips a healthier option. Simply slice as thin as possible, toss in oil (toss slices in a Tupperware with a lid to use less oil than the traditional drizzle method), sprinkle with sea salt and any other spices you may want, and bake.
Lay down a whole wheat wrap, some mustard or light mayo, lettuce, your meat of choice, your cheese of choice and anything else you may want. Then, simply wrap and slice. It’s the perfect 5-minute snack that the kiddos, and you, can enjoy.
Roasted Chickpea Sampler
Chickpeas are extremely healthy and loaded with fiber. There is no true recipe; you can change up the flavors depending on what your kids will enjoy. Roast two or more cans of chickpeas for about 45 minutes to an hour (they could be crunchy) and as soon as you take them out, toss them in olive oil and your chosen seasonings. Some flavor ideas include: cinnamon and honey; chili powder with garlic, paprika and a pink of salt; and garlic salt with grated parmesan.