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COOKING WITH CHILDREN - QUICK & HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

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COOKING WITH CHILDREN - FUN AND HEALTHY SNACKS
MARILYN'S FAMOUS FRUIT LEATHER

1 Cup fruit (fresh or canned) strawberries, apricots, and peaches are my favorites
1 large apple, peeled
1 Cup. vanilla or strawberry yogurt

Blend the above ingredients in your blender for about one minute or until pureed. Taste the puree and add honey or spices such as cinnamon to taste. (Remember that drying concentrates flavors). Pour puree onto lightly greased fruit leather inserts, or saran covered cookie sheets. Dehydrate overnight at 115 degrees or in a low oven with the door ajar. Leather is ready when no wet places remain. Wrap the leather in saran and freeze. Freeze fruit leather so it doesn't vanish too quickly. Make lots. Children and their friends will love this snack and beg for more.

NUTTY BUTTER BALLS
Dried fruits are concentrated in natural fruit sugar; nuts are high in fat. Yet dried fruits are high in minerals and nuts high in protein and essential fatty acids. To learn about what kinds of nuts and dried fruits are best to buy for good nutrtion, consult p. 11-12 of LUNCHES AND SNACKS by Sue Gregg.
This recipe from Sue Gregg, used by permission, is a family favorite.

1. Chop together in small pieces in blender or by hand:
1/2 Cup date dices
1/4 cup cashews
` 1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cups wheat germ, raw or toasted
1/4 cup rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 dried coconut, unsweeteneed, optional

2. In a large mixing blowl blend together thoroughly with a large mixing spoon:

3/4 cup peanut butter
2 TB honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup nonfact dry milk powder

3. Gradually mix chopped mixture into peanut butter mixture with large mixing spoon. When you can no longer mix easily with the spoon. Knead mixture well with your hands into a smooth ball.

4. Shape into walnut-size balls; refrigerate until firm on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Store in a plastic gag or covered plastic container and referigerate.

NUTRITION QUIZ: What nutrients are dried fruits and nuts especially h9igh in? What is an essential fatty acid (see p. 100)? Name the two important essential fatty acids. Why should dried fruits and nuts be eaten in small, rather than large, quantities? Why is it healthier to use unsulfured dried fruits (p.11)?

NACHO SNACK
Another family favoraite snack from Sue Greggs LUNCHES AND SNACKS.

SPECIAL TIP: Most taco chips are not made from whole corn. Look for chips made with stoneground cornmeal (this is whole corn), and, if possible, also with canola oil. Avoid chips made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil such as shortening, or coconut oil. Some chips are made with less salt. Look in supermarkets and health food stores.

Amount: 1 serving

Oven: 325 F - about 10 minutes

1. Top chips with cheese and salsa; heat in oven at 325 for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts:

1 oz (about 3/4 cup) taco chips or Corn Chips
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salsa, to taste
2.
Garnish with CHOPPED GREEN ONION, IF DESIRED.

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Snack Time!
by Leanne Ely

It's summer. They're home. They're whining and most of all,
they're constantly hungry. So what's a mom to do?

Feed 'em!

Kids need snacks, but not constant grazing. You need to make
sure the snacks are healthy and are going to do them some good,
nutritionally. Just giving them the junk that they clamor for
from watching too much TV is going to keep them eating
continually. It makes sense, if you think about it. When your
children (or you for that matter) don't get the nutrition
necessary, their bodies are still craving those nutrients and
will keep signaling that it's time to eat-even after downing a
bag of Doritos and drinking a whole liter of Pepsi. They might
be temporarily full-but never satisfied because the body was
never fed. See why good nutrition is so important?

So let's get a grip on this summertime food issue. Not having a
plan (as we well know!) is a recipe for disaster. You know how
to make a grocery list-how about adding some of these items on
your list this week?

Veggie Ranch. I think my son will eat anything with ranch
dressing on it. It's not my very favorite thing in the world
nutritionally, but if you blend it up with some non-fat cottage,
you've got a fairly decent dip. Add baby carrots, celery sticks,
broccoli flowerettes and even some cherry tomatoes and you have
a veggie platter they'll love. Keep your ready-to-go veggies
(separated in big plastic zip-top bags) and dip (in a container)
within easy reach and let that be your first answer when they
ask. Remind your children to pour their dip into their own bowls-
you just KNOW they're going to double dip!

Favor Fruit. Summer is fruit season. Snip some grapes from the
bunch and they have a great snack to go. A banana is a season-
less fruit and easy to grab, too. Watermelon is perfect this
time of year with the heat and everything-why not have it sliced
up and cold in the fridge, ready to go? Ditto that idea with any
melon. You might even make up a fruit salad of honeydew and
cantaloupe. My troops love this treat and grab the plastic bowl
and help themselves when it's in the fridge. And don't forget
the perennial favorite: apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

Pop up. I am a huge fan of popcorn. Lots of roughage (like your
grandma used to say) and a fun snack that won't take major bites
out of your budget, too. Use an air popper (way cheaper than the
microwave kind and none of those nasty hydrogenated fats either)
and add a teeny bit of butter. We also add a little grated
Romano cheese. My kids love this!

Nuts to you. I keep raw almonds in the fridge and will mix some
almonds with dried apricots. Talk about your fiber count-yee
haw! Plus the added bonus of all those nutrients. Great snack for
kids and adults alike!

Cheese Whiz! Not that icky stuff you squirt out on a cracker.
But string cheese and cheddar cubes, for starters. American
cheese--its more "product" than real cheese. For optimal
digestion, cheese should be aged over 60 days. That should be
enough to scare you away!




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