Easy Kid-Friendly Snacks for Busy Moms & Dads

The Holiday season is already upon us, and many of my wonderful fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter have been asking for simple tips and recipes for kids during the holidays that busy moms and dads can use to both entertain and inspire healthful snacking. Below I have included both a short list of quick and easy snack ideas that can also both be fun and healthy for parents and kids alike.  I have also included a delightful recipe from my forthcoming “Cooking with Quinoa for Dummies” book, set to be released early next month, for amazing Quinoa Breakfast Bars, full of fiber and flavor that are sure to impress.

  • Air popped popcorn – you can even string them up and use as a Christmas tree decoration!
  • Ants on a log – spread low fat cream cheese or peanut butter on a celery stalk and sprinkle on some raisins or dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries.
  • Fresh fruit kabobs – use what’s in season such as apples, and pears, bananas.
  • Apple smiles – slice up an apple and spread peanut butter on them and arrange on plate as smiley faces.
  • Fresh fruit smoothies – even using fresh frozen fruit for this fun treat is healthy. Add kefir or low fat yogurt with milk to boost the nutritional value and calcium for strong bones.
  • Yogurt and fruit layered parfaits – spruce up non-fat or low fat plain yogurt with cinnamon, a touch of agave nectar to add sweetness and a spoonful of granola for crunch.
  • Snowflakes – take a whole-wheat tortilla and spread a thin layer of low fat cream cheese over the surface. Then sprinkle with cinnamon. Fold tortilla in half and then in half again. After a few bites, you can open it up to seethe pretty snowflake pattern you made!

Quinoa Breakfast Bars [1]
Yield 24 bars

Ingredients

Cooking oil spray
2 ½ cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick)
½ cup quinoa flour
½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
½ cup unsweetened coconut
½ cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans
½ cup chopped dried apples or other dried fruit or berries
½ cup currants or raisins
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dark honey
½ cup natural almond butter or peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions
1 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking oil spray.
2 In a large mixing bowl, measure the rolled oats, quinoa flour, milk powder, coconut, almonds, dried apples, currants, and salt. Stir well to combine and set aside.
3 In a small saucepan, warm the honey and nut butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until blended. Do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
4 Add the warm honey mixture to the dry ingredients and quickly stir the mixture until it’s well combined. The mixture will be sticky but not wet.
5 Pat the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press firmly with your hands to remove any air pockets.
6 Bake the bars until they just begin to brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.
7 Cool for 10 minutes then cut into 24 bars, each about 11⁄2 x 21⁄4 inches.
8 When the bars are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan to a cooling rack. When they are completely cool, store them in an airtight container. Keep them in the refrigerator for optimal freshness.

Per serving: Calories 161 (From Fat 56); Fat 6g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 61mg; Carbohydrate 25g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 4g

[1] From Cooking with Quinoa For Dummies by, Cheryl Forberg (Wiley January 2013)

© Cheryl Forberg 2016