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Turning Over a New Year's Leaf: Snacks

149063984_1c413bdbbe New year, new resolutions? An urbanMama needs your suggestions on healthy but yummy snack ideas.  She writes:

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, exactly, but I do want to make 2009 a year of healthier eating in our family. Does anyone have either websites or resources to recommend re: healthy kid/family eating, or specific suggestions of healthy snack favorites? Our kids are in the 6-8 year old range.

[Photo courtesy cafemama.com]

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Lately we've been noshing on celery and carrots dipped into a homemade sauce that's a mix of yogurt & (mild) salsa.

Nothing fancy around here--snacks are usually cut-up veggies and fruit. It helps when they're _good_ veggies and fruit instead of the tasteless or mealy stuff that's hard to avoid in many stores. We do a lot of crackers and cheese, bread and butter, and homemade granola-type bars.

Of course, this makes it sound like my kids feast on healthy homemade snacks all the time. And that's mostly what they get at home. But at Gramma's house or at friends? They're the first to go for fruit leathers, chips, and goldfish. Can't win 'em all.

www.veganlunchbox.com has some great suggestions along with pics in her blog. we do lots of fruit over here too; we also like turkey slices rolled up, mochi with butter and a little honey, tamari sunflower seeds or almonds. i usually make a snack plate with some cut up fruit, crackers, rolled turkey and a fig newman for a treat. my son seems to like to be able to have a variety and pick what he wants.

We had to quit the crackers since we found out that my daughter is gluten intolerant & the "substitutes" just don't cut it for her. But we are never without a drawer full of dried fruits and nuts from Trader Joe's (they are one of the few places that carry dried fruit without sulfur dioxide--another food sensitivity). Fresh fruit is always in reach--the tiny mandarins & clementines are very good this time of year. My husband and I like cut veggies--carrot, cucumber, radish & celery--with hummus. Corn chips are a health food in my book--as long as they only have 3 ingredients (corn, oil & salt). And, I've found that if I keep a quart of milk in the fridge at work, just drinking a cup of it in the afternoon is a good pick-me-up.
Some other favorites: dates, sardines, steamed brocoli with tamari sauce, beans with cheese melted on top scooped w/chips...

My daughter LOVES hummus and carrots or pretzels. Blueberries, grapes, and just about any cut up fruit. The corn, carrots, and peas frozen organic nibblets. She's a big fan of the frozen Dr. Prager's veggie pancakes too, or you can make your own super easy. Cookie magazine has a really fun article on making muffin pan treats for the kids this month. I'm planning on trying some of those. Oh and rice and black beans with sour cream and guacamole is always a winner. Good luck! Eating healthier is always a noble goal. My resolution this year is to do all handmade gifts. We'll see! :)

Canned sockeye salmon (Trader Joe's) mixed with a little mayo on whole grain crackers, maybe with a little cream cheese. Hummus with crackers, corn chips, pretzels, and/or carrots for dipping. Frozen berries. Sliced apple and/or banana with nut-butter for dipping. Nori, we like Korean-style but teriyaki is good, too. Whole wheat English muffin with a thin spread of nut-butter and jam. Granola in yogurt (see http://tinyurl.com/9pvsjw for a great homemade granola recipe).

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