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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Bento Box Mania!

What is a bento box?

Bento box lunches have been increasing in popularity among families with preschoolers and school-age children. Google the term “bento box lunch” and you will find a wealth of resources, including blogs, Pinterest pages and online retailers selling basic and whimsical options. If a parent is artistic, the child’s lunch can become a work of art.

Why does it work well for school lunches?

Bento boxes work well for school lunches and snacks because they protect food in a sealed container and keep food groups separate. If you have a picky eater who does not like foods touching, a bento box may keep your child happy. Parents can have fun creating different lunchtime masterpieces. Bento boxes are also economical because they are reusable and help keep plastic snack and sandwich bags out of landfills.

What are the nutritional benefits of bento boxes?

Bento boxes are appealing because they provide a creative way to add a variety of foods to a child’s lunch while keeping wet foods separate from dry foods. By introducing different, healthy foods early in your child’s life, he or she may develop a preference for those foods as well as a more diverse palate. You can also turn the preparation of the bento box into a learning activity by asking your child what each food is, where it comes from, how it’s made and so on. Engaging your child in the experience may help to build and reinforce a child’s love of diverse, nutritious foods while fostering a love of learning.

What can I put in my child’s bento box?

The options are endless, but here are some ideas:

  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs;
  • A mini-bagel sandwich with almond butter, jelly or another spread;
  • Sliced strawberries, blueberries and kiwis;
  • Cheese cubes;
  • Pretzels;
  • Sliced grapes;
  • A muffin;
  • Mini-pita sandwiches filled with cheese and pepperoni;
  • Sliced pineapple;
  • Celery and carrot sticks;
  • Cucumber slices;
  • A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll;
  • Veggie chips;
  • Rice molds;
  • Chickpeas and black beans;
  • Raisins and chocolate chips;
  • Sandwich rounds with ham, cheese and avocado.

Enjoy making bento box lunches!

Honey & Cranberry Sandwich!

Are you looking for an easy snack or breakfast option? Check out these delicious honey & cranberry sandwiches! Click here for the video!

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Ingredients:

  • Whole grain bagel or bread
  • Seed- or nut-based butter
  • Dried cranberries
  • Honey

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Spread seed- or nut-based butter on one half of a mini whole grain bagel or slice of bread.

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Then, drizzle on some local honey.

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Top it off with a sprinkle of dried cranberries.

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Serve the sandwich with a glass of almond milk or orange juice. For added flavor and crunch, you can place a few slivers of apple on top. Makes a great snack or easy breakfast!

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Enjoy!

Top O’ The Graham!

Here’s a cheery snack to satisfy your little one’s hungry tummy! Click here for the video!

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Ingredients

  • Non-fat yogurt (any flavor)
  • Graham crackers
  • Banana slices
  • Dried cranberries

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Break a graham cracker in half so you have two squares.

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Spread a spoonful of yogurt on one of the graham cracker squares. (Try it out with key lime flavored yogurt for a St. Patrick’s Day treat!)

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Top with a banana slice and dried cranberries.

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Repeat and enjoy!

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Apple Snacks!

Apples are child-friendly, healthy snacks (they are fat, sodium and cholesterol free!). They are a great addition to school lunches and can also be used in a variety of recipes! Spruce up snack time with these easy and delicious apple snack ideas. Click here to watch the video!

Lil’ Dippers

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Crushed peanuts or sliced almonds

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Cut the apple into wedges. Dip each piece in the nut or seed butter.

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Then dip the apple wedge in the crushed peanuts or sliced almonds.

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Enjoy!

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Crunchy Hazelnut Wedges

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Low-fat granola

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Cut the apple into wedges. Smear each piece with hazelnut spread.

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Then sprinkle apple wedge with granola. Substitute peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter) for hazelnut spread if you’d like. Also, feel free to add raisins!

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Enjoy!

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Fishing for Crackers

Fishing for CrackersSpruce up snack time with this easy, healthy and fun snack!

Ingredients:

  • Carrot sticks
  • A bowl of hummus or veggie dip
  • Goldfish crackers

Dunk the carrots into the hummus or dip. Then put some goldfish crackers on a plate and use the carrot stick to “catch” the crackers.

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus RecipeSpice up snack time with this quick, easy and, most importantly, yummy black bean hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 15-oz can of black beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

Drain black beans. In a blender, puree all ingredients, adding water if necessary. Season with salt to taste. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

Superhero Green Smoothie

In a hurry? This sweet green juice has lots of vitamins and makes a good pre-practice dinner or a great breakfast. Use a blender or juicer to combine the ingredients into a quick, healthy meal.

Smoothie

  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 pear, cut into small pieces
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced into small pieces
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup strawberries or raspberries
  • Juice from 1 lemon (or ½ an unpeeled lemon if you are using a juicer)

If your children have a strong aversion to anything green, you can use more strawberries or raspberries or add some blueberries.

Hazelnut Granola Apple Wedges

Does your little one have a craving for a sweet snack? Stay healthy while satisfying your child’s appetite with some hazelnut granola apple wedges!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large apple
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Low-fat granola

Cut the apple into wedges. Holding each wedge by the skin side, spread it with hazelnut spread. Sprinkle granola on hazelnut spread-covered area. Substitute peanut butter (or any nut butter) for hazelnut spread if you’d like. Also feel free to add raisins!

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages. 

Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas

Spruce up snack time with these fast, easy, healthy and delicious snack ideas!

Lil’ Dippers

Ingredients:

  • An apple
  • Any kind of nut butter
  • Crushed peanuts or sliced almonds

Cut the apple into wedges. Then stick a toothpick in each piece, dip in nut butter and sprinkle with peanuts or almonds.


Top O’ the Graham

Ingredients:

  • Non-fat yogurt (any flavor)
  • Graham crackers
  • Banana slices
  • Dried cranberries

Spread a spoonful of yogurt on a graham cracker. Top with banana slices and dried cranberries.


Fishing for Crackers

Ingredients:

  • Carrot sticks
  • A bowl of hummus or veggie dip
  • Goldfish crackers

Dunk the carrots into the hummus or dip. Then put some goldfish crackers on a plate and use the carrot stick to “catch” the crackers.

Make a Donut Snowman

This little snowman is so easy to make and delicious to eat!

Ingredients:

  • 3 mini powdered donuts
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • 1 chocolate wafer
  • 1 large marshmallow

On a plate, stack the donuts to build the snowman’s body. Decorate the top donut with the mini chocolate chips to create a face. Decorate the middle donut with three mini chocolate chips for buttons. Stack the marshmallow on top of the chocolate wafer and place them on the top donut to finish off your creation with a hat.

Looking for a healthier alternative? Try our banana, pretzel and apple version!

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.