Super Snacks for Kids
What kid doesn’t come home from school hungry? It’s been a long time since lunch, after all, and sometimes school lunches are, well, less than wonderful. This is a great opportunity to boost your child’s nutrient intake for the day, so rather than let her fill up on high-calorie, low-nutrient sweets, provide some tasty, healthful options. Spices can help make everything a special treat—from a simple sandwich to a dip for raw fruits or veggies.
Sandwiches are a great way for your child to get an extra serving or two of whole grains, plus added protein, vitamins, and minerals, depending upon what he chooses as filling. Stock up on fun breads—pocket pitas, mini deli-style ryes or pumpernickels, or tortillas he can spread with filling and then roll up. Some good filling options to make ahead:
• Egg salad with raisins, pecans, caraway seeds, parsley, and pepper.
• Chicken salad with dried cranberries, grapes (halved), chervil, and parsley.
• Crabmeat with cream cheese, lemon juice, chives, basil, and paprika or saffron.
• Tofu slices with mayo, tamari, or mustard, parsley, basil, pepper, and rosemary. (Or blend it all together to make a tofu spread.)
• Tuna salad with apple slices and tarragon.
• A variety of cheeses, spinach, avocado and tomato slices, sprinkled with basil and black pepper or Italian seasoning blend.
• Peanut butter and apple slices, with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
• Cream cheese with cucumber slices and dill weed.
Spicy Facts for Kids
• Poppy plants (like the ones from which the poppy seeds on your bagel or muffin were harvested) were used to lull Dorothy to sleep in The Wizard of Oz. By the way, there are about 900,000 poppy seeds in a one-pound sack!
• The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that to get a good crop of basil, you had to yell and swear while planting the seeds.
• The smaller the chili pepper, the hotter it usually is.
• It takes 200,000 dried stigmas from 70,000 saffron plants to get one pound of saffron. And they are picked by hand.
• The pretend rabbit that is used as a lure in greyhound races is scented with anise, which smells like licorice.
Fresh Dips in Minutes
Make dips and dressings ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Also stock up on cut-up fruits and vegetables. Then all your child needs to do is get them out and dip her favorites.
• In a blender, combine 2 cups cooked chickpeas, 4 tbsps tahini, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. cayenne, 2 tsps tamari, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Serve this hummus with fresh vegetables, whole wheat crackers or breadsticks.
• Add some seasoning to plain yogurt for a quick-fix veggie dip. Options: garlic powder, dill weed and savory leaf; tarragon, chervil and garlic powder; rosemary, thyme leaf and parsley. Or try a favorite blend, like curry powder. (Start with about 1/2 tsp. of spice per cup of yogurt.)
No time to make your own homemade dips? Try Simply Organic Dip Mixes — they're fresh, flavorful and fast! Choose from nine delicious dips, including Ranch, Guacamole and Spicy Jalapeno Bac'Un.
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