Kids burst in the door eager to satisfy that after-school hunger pang. You'd like to steer them away from the empty calories of most snack foods, but how to do it? These afternoon samplers are nutritious and simple to prepare. Plus, you can make a batch ahead of time so you'll be ready for the daily snack attack!
Gorgeous Grape Gelatin
- 3 cups white grape juice (or white cranberry juice, with extra sugar to taste)
- 2 25-oz envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup mixed fruit, such as chopped peaches (fresh or canned), canned fruit cocktail, and small halved grapes
- Put 1 cup of the grape juice in a saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar and stir over very low heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Do not allow to boil. Stir in the remaining 2 cups grape juice and the lemon juice.
- Divide the fruit among four small glasses and pour in the grape juice mixture to fill. Chill for a few hours or overnight.
Makes 4 servings
Trail Mix Bars
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp honey or golden syrup
- 7 Tbsp quick-cook oats
- 1/2 cup packed soft brown sugar
- 1 cup Cheerios
- 3 Tbsp raisins
- 3 Tbsp salted peanuts or pumpkin seeds
- 4 Tbsp chocolate chips or dried cranberries
- 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper and grease lightly. Set aside.
- Put the butter and honey or golden syrup in a small pan over low heat and stir occasionally until the butter melts. Set aside to cool.
- Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Add the cooled butter mixture and stir well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down firmly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the center is just firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Cut into bars using a sharp knife. Allow to cool completely before lifting from the pan. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 8 bars
Salad Kebabs & Dips
Presentation sometimes makes all the difference in tempting children to try something new. We suggest you and your child let your imaginations run wild while creating the salad kebabs on this page. Choose your favorite fruits, veggies, andmore, and thread them onto a skewer in any order you like. We've included our three favorite combos plus a few tasty dips for added zest.
Tomato and Mozzarella
- Small mozzarella balls
- Salt and pepper, to season the mozzarella
- Small cherry or grape tomatoes
- Small fresh basil leaves (optional)
Prosciutto and Melon
- Melon cubes, each about 1/2" on all sides
- Prosciutto strips, folded
Cheese and Pineapple
- Cubes of Cheddar cheese, each about 1/2" on all sides
- Cubes of pineapple, canned or fresh
- Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp honey (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper to season
Stir together ingredients. Serve with Tomato and Mozzarella Kebabs.
Sweet Chili and Cream Cheese Dip
- 1⁄2 8-oz pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 tsp sweet red chili sauce
- 1 tsp chopped chives
Mix all ingredients until smooth. Serve with raw veggies in ramekins for child-sized portions.
Thousand Island Dip
- 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp ketchup
- 1⁄2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 to 2 drops of Worcestershire sauce
Stir all of the ingredients together until smooth. Serve with raw veggies or strips of pita bread.
Shrimp and Avocado Wrap
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 4 oz (about 8 Tbsp) cooked salad shrimp
- 4 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise or plain yogurt
- 2 tsp ketchup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 8-inch wheat tortillas
- Put the avocado and lemon juice in a small bowl. Toss until the avocado is coated. Add the tomato, scallion, shrimp, mayonnaise, and ketchup, and combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon onto one half of each tortilla, roll up, and cut in half.
Makes 4 wraps