Snack smarter!

Kid-approved snacks

Snack smarter!

Smart snacking can mean the difference between feeling energetic or fatigued. Plus, proper snacking can help deliver the nutrients children need to properly develop, both physically and mentally. When your household is craving something sweet or savory to tide everyone over to the next meal, these make-ahead wee-eats will earn you the Snack Master crown!

Pesto Dip Pepper Poppers

Sweet baby peppers serve as a nutritious delivery method for this pesto-like dip. You can also spread the dip into celery crevices.

1 1/2 cups (325 mL) cooked or canned navy beans
1/2 cup (125 mL) soft tofu
1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
12 mini bell peppers

In food processor container, place beans, tofu, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and blend until smooth.

Slice off tops of bell peppers and remove seeds inside with either a small knife or your finger. Using small spoon, stuff peppers with dip.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 137 calories; 6 g protein; 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat); 16 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 6 g fiber); 196 mg sodium

PB&J Ice Cream Bars

This riff on everyone’s favorite childhood sandwich is a delicious snack on a sultry summer day.

3 large frozen bananas, cut into chunks
1 cup (250 mL) raspberries
1/3 cup (80 mL) peanut butter
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted roasted peanuts

Line 9 x 5 in (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper large enough so there is a 1 in (2.5 cm) overhang.

In food processor container, place banana; turn machine on and let it run until banana is reduced to the size of small pebbles. Scrape down sides of bowl; add raspberries, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt; continue blending until creamy. Be careful not to over blend to the point where bananas begin to melt. Pulse in peanuts.

Place banana mixture in pan and spread out into an even layer. If desired, sprinkle some additional peanuts on top. Place in freezer until frozen solid, at least 4 hours.

Using parchment paper overhang, lift frozen block out of pan and, using serrated knife, carefully slice into 8 bars. Store in airtight container in freezer for up to 1 month.

Serves 8.

Each serving contains: 160 calories; 5 g protein; 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat); 17 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 4 g fiber); 75 mg sodium

Sweet Potato Mini Egg Cakes

These mini-sized egg cakes offer up a savory way to work more protein and vegetables into snack time. Serve at room temperature or warm in the microwave.

1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil or avocado oil
1 cup (250 mL) diced yellow onion
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
2 cups (500 mL) grated sweet potato
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 large eggs
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

In large skillet over medium, heat oil. Add onion and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt; cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add sweet potato and garlic; heat just until potato is tender, about 2 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in red bell pepper, cheese, thyme, remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and black pepper. Stir in cooked vegetables. Divide among 16 mini-sized greased muffin cups. Bake until egg cakes are set, about 15 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes before unmoulding.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 223 calories; 12 g protein; 10 g total fat (4 g sat. fat); 22 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 436 mg sodium