While school lunches may be tailored to meet certain nutritional and caloric requirements, your children may not want to eat a similar meal at home. Instead of letting them snack on unhealthy junk food, serve some of these wholesome homemade snacks:
- Hummus: This Lebanese delicacy is now a favorite in most American households. Made from boiled garbanzo beans (chickpeas), hummus makes for a calcium-rich snack that can be eaten as a dip with pita bread or used as a filling for sandwiches. You can find it at the grocery store or make it yourself
- Veggies and dips: Chuck the chips and cheesy dips for a fresh and low-fat veggie version. All you need to do is cut a range of colorful veggies like zucchini, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, and carrots into thick slices, juliennes, or wedges, and serve them with a tasty dip like peanut butter mixed with honey. Yogurt flavored with garlic salt can make for a nice dip, too. A tomato salsa dip is bound to be a favorite with kids.
- Spinach: Popeye may be the best advocate of the vitamin-rich green, but your children too will grow to love spinach provided you use a little ingenuity. Spinach patties or kebabs can be excellent creative snacks for children. Just mash blanched spinach along with boiled potatoes, and add chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and garlic flakes. Shape the mixture into balls or kebabs and shallow fry or bake them. Serve the spinach rolls with ketchup or mustard sauce.
- Pasta: Another nutritional snack for children is whole-wheat pasta made with either red tomato sauce or white cheese sauce. Toss in a handful of olives, boiled corn, bell peppers, and zucchini and you have a gourmet Italian treat. You could serve the pasta with multigrain bread.
- Sandwiches: Whole or multi-grain bread can be used to make sandwiches. Slices of vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, boiled potatoes, peppers, and olives can be used as stuffing. Alternatively, you could try peanut butter and fruit (bananas, apples) sandwiches.
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