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Bubble Bars

8 Jan

My little guy starts school this year. It’s a big step for all of us. I am excited, anxious, sad and filled with emotion all at the same time. Things are going to change. Our little routines will be no more as they give way to new ones and we will all have to adjust. I am treasuring every single minute up until that day when he will begin his new adventure (I will also treasure every single minute afterwards but you know what I mean).

Starting school means lunch boxes 5 days per week and no doubt a ravenous little boy at 3pm as well so I am trying out some new recipes that will fill the hole in my growing boy’s tummy.

These Bubble Bars are a healthier version of an LCM bar. They have no additives or preservatives and are made with love :-). Perfect for a school lunch box. I was thinking I could even cut them into heart shapes for lunch boxes ;-). We’ll see…

This is also a great recipe to make with the kids. Get them mixing and pressing. It’s great for that large muscle development!

IMG_0310

Ingredients:

100 grams unsalted butter

50 grams coconut oil (if you don’t want to use coconut oil use 150g butter instead)

70 grams honey

100 grams Rapadura sugar ( I choose to use this sugar as it is less processed than other sugars but you could use raw or caster sugar if you prefer)

1 tsp vanilla paste

150 grams puffed rice (found in the health food isle at the supermarket)

50 grams dessicated coconut (a lot of supermarket bought coconut has preservatives in it so I buy mine from the health food shop)

50 grams sunflower kernals

50 grams craisins

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Method:

Place butter, coconut oil, sugar, honey and vanilla paste in a saucepan on medium heat until. Stir until melted.

Combine other ingredients in a bowl and then pour over butter and sugar mix.

Stir through until well combined.

Press into a baking tin lined with baking paper. Drizzle over some melted chocolate if you wish.

Refrigerate until set. Cut up into desired sized pieces.

Enjoy!

Healthy Choc Coconut Balls

7 Dec

I literally just whipped these up in 5 minutes and my goodness they are yummo! I don’t think they will last long.

This would be a perfect recipe to make with kids. They can use their fine motor skills to roll the balls and then cover in coconut. My little guy was too busy playing with his new pup from Build a Bear to help me today! He certainly enjoyed eating them though (as did the grown ups!)!

choc balls

Ingredients:

60g Almonds

60g Cashews

60g Sunflower Seeds

120g Dates

60g Sultana’s

1 tsp vanilla

2 T cocoa (I used cacao)

Dessicated coconut

Method:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until all ingredients have come together (will be quite sticky). Roll into balls and then into dessicated coconut.

Would also look cute with some little toothpick flags in them for something different or a special occasion.

Grape and Cucumber Wands

14 Oct

Thomas has always loved his fruit. I’ve never had any trouble getting him to eat it. Vegetables on the other hand have become quite an issue. He has started to become hungry and asking for food at around 5pm (we eat at 6). I was happy for him to have some fruit at this time until I realised that he was having about 4 servings of fruit a day – not that there’s anything wrong with this but I decided if he was really hungry at this time then I would offer him some vegetables to eat. This wouldn’t interfere with his dinner (as he was eating vegies anyway) and also was a way of introducing some new foods.

We did have some success with cucumber a while ago and teamed with a favourite fruit, this was a real success. When trying to get children to try new foods, I always find it helpful to offer something they are familiar with on the plate as well, that way it’s not quite as daunting.

What you need:

Grapes (red or green – red is good for contrast)

Cucumber cut into slices about 1cm thick

Toothpicks

Stickers (optional)

Small star cutter

Natural yoghurt

To make these grape and cucumber wands, I cut some star shapes out of cucumber slices and cut each grape in half. To the toothpicks I added some ‘Thomas’ stickers. I stacked about 3 slices of the leftover cucumber in the middle of the plate and filled the star cut out in the cucumber slices with some natural yoghurt (this didn’t get eaten but it was there as an option).

It is a little bit of trouble to go to but if it gets some extra vegetables into your kids then I’m happy to spend the extra couple of minutes!

Chocolate Cereal Bars

28 Aug

I have been looking for a yummy muesli bar type recipe for a while now. I came across this one on taste.com.au and it is delicious. It’s not super healthy but it’s not all bad. Full of yummy seeds, dried and fresh fruit and a little bit of chocolate it’s a winner! It’s also nut and egg free so great for lunch boxes. These are quite easy to make with kids although an adult needs to prepare the honey mixture on the stove, but other than that there’s lots of measuring, pouring and mixing.

Thomas enjoyed tasting each of the types of seeds and talked about the different colours while we were cooking. He thought the dried fruit mix tasted like lollies! Maybe next time he asks for lollies I will give him some dried fruit ;-). Worth a try!

They went down a treat for morning tea and Daddy took some in his lunch box today as well. Although it is difficult to stop at one! Consider yourself warned! 🙂 It is quite sweet so I don’t think leaving out the choc chips or reducing the measurement would be a problem if you wanted them a little less sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried fruit medley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 60g reduced-fat margarine spread
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 medium red apple, peeled, coarsely grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Lightly grease a 3cm-deep, 17.5cm x 27cm (base) slice pan. Line with baking paper, allowing 2cm overhang at long ends.
  2. Combine sunflower seeds, pumpkin and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
  3. Place spread and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until melted. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Add spread mixture and apple to seed mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon into prepared pan. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan completely. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into bars. Serve.

Spiced Chickpeas

26 Feb

Ok, I will admit that these didn’t really go down all that well with Thomas. However he didn’t gag on them (which is a sure sign he doesn’t like something). He just didn’t want another one. They are probably a little spicier than he is used to so they might be an acquired taste… They did go down quite well with hubby who has taken them to work with him today.

I got the recipe from the Vegie Smugglers Lunchbox ebook. If you’re looking for some great healthy lunchbox ideas this little ebook is great (and it’s only $4.95).  You can sign up to receive new posts from the blog also, there’s lots of great ideas.

These were very easy to make and would be great for children to make with you. I wanted to test this recipe myself before I got Thomas involved but there is lots of measuring, sprinkling and mixing to be done which I’m sure he would enjoy. The recipe also introduces children to different spices that they might not have been exposed to before. It’s so easy to stick to ‘safe’ foods – ones that you know they will eat but it’s also important to branch out and try new things as well. I encourage Thomas to try new things and explain to him that he shouldn’t say he doesn’t like something if he hasn’t tried it. If he tastes something and doesn’t like it, I don’t force him to eat it but offer it to him again to try again another time. Research shows that children children will reject new foods up to 15 times before they will eat and enjoy it. Persistence pays off!

Ingredients:

400g can chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

1⁄4 tsp cumin powder

1⁄4 tsp smoked paprika

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a tray with baking paper.

Rince and drain the chickpeas. Remove any loose skins. Leave them to dry or dry on paper towel.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil and spices, mix until chickpeas are completely covered.

Place on baking tray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly crunchy.

I also made a batch using garlic and chilli flakes which are really yummy. They can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Fruit Snack

30 Nov

Thomas was watching Playschool this afternoon and  they made a fruit snack. Of course we had to recreate it afterwards!

This is a really easy, delicious and nutritious snack for children to help make. It’s great for using fine motor skills, developing colour recognition and language skills.

Choose a selection of fruits (in a variety of colours) that your child enjoys. You might even like to add in a couple that they may not have tried before…

We used grapes, bananas, blueberries and kiwi fruit in ours.

Help your child to cut small pieces from the fruits that need cutting and then layer the fruits in a small glass (we used disposable ones that were in the cupboard).

Top with yoghurt and a drizzle of honey and enjoy!

Corn Fritters

21 Apr

I thought I would add some recipes that I don’t necessarily involve Thomas in cooking… Some cooking I do FOR him.

I haven’t made these fritters for a long time. Thomas used to love them and when I asked him today if he would like me to make him corn fritters for lunch his response was “no corn mumma”. Right. Just fritter then? What is it with kids that they work out so early what is good for them and refuse it? Thomas used to eat anything I put in front of him. Not any more!

Anyway, I made the fritters – with the corn (and peas and carrots) and he did eat them, four of them. The great thing about these fritters is that you can put any kind of vegetables in them. Whatever you’ve got in the fridge or the freezer. I tend to make a combo of corn and broccoli and that usually goes down well.

I got this recipe from the Annabel Karmel website originally, over time, I’ve added different vegetables and I usually make at least double and freeze the leftovers.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg

1 x 200g can sweetcorn drained

1 large spring onion finely sliced

2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil for frying

Method:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until batter is formed.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and drop teaspoonfuls of batter into pan.

Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden.

Drain on paper towel before serving.

Another plus with this recipe is they can be eaten cold so can be taken out of the freezer and put into lunch boxes and be thawed while you’re out and about ready to eat at lunch time.

And, yet another sneaky way to get those vegies into your fussy eater! Win – win…