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Make nutritious snacks

September 4, 2012
Paula Strawder , movparent

Your child was born liking sweet things. This is why snacks like popsicles, cakes, cookies and candy are so appealing. They are all high in sugar and very sweet. But these snacks offer little in the way of good nutrition. They provide energy but almost no vitamins, minerals or protein.

However, there are many foods that are naturally tasty and will appeal to your child. Here are some suggestions:

Fruit juice. Instead of fruit drinks with sugar, offer fruit juice. Full strength fruit juice may be too strong tasting. When you use frozen fruit juice, add an extra can of water. If you buy bottled or canned fruit juice, mix a little water into each cup of juice. This will give it a milder flavor, and it will stretch your food dollar.

Fruit juice popsicles. Almost all children like fruit juice popsicles. Pour fruit juice into small paper cups and stick plastic spoons in as handles. Cover with aluminum foil to hold the spoon handles in place and freeze.

Yogurt popsicles. If you have a blender, you can make yogurt popsicles. Drain the liquid from a 16-ounce package of defrosted frozen fruit or a can of fruit. Put the fruit into a saucepan. Add a tablespoon of unflavored gelatin. Heat slowly, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Put in a blender with 2 cups of plain yogurt. Blend together. Pour into paper cups. Insert plastic spoons as handles. Cover with aluminum foil to keep handles in place and freeze.

Snack-size pizza. Split an English muffin and spread about 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce on half of it. Grate some cheese and sprinkle that over the top. Put your mini pizza under the oven broiler or in a toaster oven until the cheese melts.

Easy quesadillas. Sprinkle cheese on half of a flour tortilla. Fold the other half over the cheese half. Heat in a frying pan at low heat until the cheese has melted.

"Ants on a log." Place peanut butter down the center of a celery stick. Put some raisin halves on top. It's ready to eat. Children should brush right after eating it since raisins can cause tooth decay.


Paula Strawder is the families and health extension agent for the WVU Extension Service.



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