By Krin Mims
Soccer and dance practices have taken over your afternoons and evenings. You’re running from sun-up to sun-down, and the only consistent statement you’re hearing from the back seat is, “Mom, I’m hungry.” Drop the chips and fast-food fixes — they won’t fill them up, and they certainly won’t fill them with anything worthwhile. An hour on your Sunday afternoon in the kitchen with your kids can help you prep for the week’s snacks needs while doing a fun activity as a family. No matter which snack fits your family, try to prepare it together when possible. Educate your children on the importance of making a few healthy choices each day, and have fun together in the kitchen. The mess is worth it.
Something Healthy: Sweet and Salty Banana Chips
These make a great on-the-go snack. Pop them into an airtight container for car rides to and from practice or something to munch on while watching TV at night.
What you need: 2 under-ripe bananas, ¼ cup brown sugar, coarse grain sea salt, black pepper
Instructions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice your bananas into coins, coat them lightly with brown sugar, lay them on a sheet pan sprayed with olive oil, sprinkle the sea salt and black pepper then bake for 15 to 20 minutes watching for crispy edges.
Something Fun: Watermelon Krispie Treats
This isn’t the healthiest option for an after-school snack, but it’s extremely fun and your kids will get a great kick out of making it. Your fun-parent status will certainly go up!
What you need: Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows, butter, red and green food coloring, mini chocolate chips
Instructions: You’ll be creating rice crispy treats as you’ve probably done hundreds of times, but, this time, split your ingredients and create two batches. When your ingredients are still gooey and mixable, add a few drops of red to one batch and green to the other.
On wax paper, flatten your red batch into a circle about the size of a small pizza. Using your hands (or your kids’ hands) make a ring of green around the red circle. The mix should still be warm so the two colors will stick together. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top and once cooled, cut into wedges resembling watermelon slices.
Something for Movie Night: Fruit Nachos
These are a fun (and messy) snack for after-school, Saturday afternoons or movie night in the family room. It’s a fresh, colorful take on the cheesy, crispy nachos that almost every child loves diving into.
What you need: Cinnamon-sugar pita chips, powdered sugar, mango, strawberries, avacado, lime, cilantro, jalapeño (or some other source of heat if desired), and whatever other additions you might like in your fruit salsa
Instructions: Chop fruits and veggies (with the exception of lime), and combine in a bowl to make fruit salsa. Squeeze half of the lime on the fruit salsa, and refrigerate for at least an hour. This will allow the fruit to release some of its juice.
In another bowl, mix powdered sugar, lime juice and a little water to make a glaze. Warm pita chips in the oven for just a few minutes, top with fruit salsa and drizzle the lime glaze to resemble cheese. Fruit salsa will stay fresh in an airtight container for several days.