Sneaky Veggies: The Snack Edition
There are children who enjoy eating veggies and ask for salad… but it’s far more common to hear stories of children who refuse to eat their broccoli, no matter how you prepare it. While vegetables are, without a doubt, a meal-time staple and large portion of the food pyramid, they don’t have to be saved for just meals. Here are a few ways to sneak them into snack time – and have your child enjoy them!
Some healthy substitutions for potato chips are: Veggie chips that you can buy at the grocery store; these typically involve things like sweet potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables. Not a bad option, but they still involve processed foods and less than healthy oils.
Another option would be to make an at-home version, such as Carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and yellow squash! They make fabulous chips – and they’re really easy to do! If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can grab one for less than half the cost of the week’s groceries. Thinly slice your vegetable of choice and pop the slices in the dehydrator overnight; in the morning, you have homemade veggie chips ready to go! Amp them up a bit by shaking them with flavoring before dehydrating them: a few favorite combinations include sea salt by itself, garlic powder and dill, and crystallized lemon and grated Parmesan cheese. Have fun with it!
After school snacks don’t have to come out of a box! Consider doing deli meat rollups – basically, a sandwich without the bread. Try layering a slice of cheese with a deli meat or roast chicken and topping it with thinly sliced cucumbers, peppers, or lettuce. Roll it up and ta-da! It’s a 30 second snack that packs in protein and a vegetable.
Infamous “Ants on a Log”
This is a childhood classic that doesn’t always get enough credit. Ants on a log, as we call them, are celery sticks topped with filling. A little bit of peanut butter goes a long way, or try a dollop of Greek yogurt with a few raisins for a tangy and sweet version. It’s easy to do and gets kids eating celery!
All three of these ideas pack in healthy vegetables to your day, without a lot of hassle. Better yet, your kids can help – if not complete them by themselves!