The Smart Parent's Guide to Healthy Snacking


Recipes By Jackie Plant and Fraya Berg

Unlike many store-bought treats, these homemade snacks are low in sugar and fat--but believe us, they still taste amazing.

Apricot Cookie Bars

2/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats

1. Heat oven to 350?F. Line 8"x8" baking pan with foil. Place apricots in blender with 1/3 cup boiling water, cover, and let sit while making batter.

2. In bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In mixer bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats. Divide batter into thirds. Press 2/3 of batter into lined pan.

3. Puree apricots in blender and spread over batter. Divide remaining batter into clumps and sprinkle over apricots. Bake 35 minutes. Makes 18 bars.

Nutrition per bar: 114 cal.; 2 g pro.; 17 g carb; 5 g fat.

Apple-Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup bran flakes, crushed
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Confectioners' sugar (optional)

1. Heat oven to 400?F. Grease 10 muffin cups. In large bowl, combine flours, bran flakes, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In small bowl, whisk together applesauce, sugar, oil, and eggs. Stir applesauce mixture into dry ingredients, blending just until mixed. Spoon batter into muffin cups, and bake 18 minutes. Sprinkle muffin tops with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Nutrition per muffin: 193 cal.; 4 g pro.; 30 g carb; 7 g fat.

Sunshine Smoothies

1 8-ounce container vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup carrot juice
1 frozen banana, sliced
2 tsp. orange-juice concentrate

Process all ingredients in blender until smooth. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 176 cal; 7 g pro; 35 g carb; 2 g fat.

Kids' Snack Mix

2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. honey
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups small pretzels
1 1/2 cups Kix cereal
1 cup walnut pieces
1 1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/4 cup mini M&M's, chocolate chips, or yogurt-coated raisins

1. Heat oven to 350?F. Line baking pan with foil. In large glass bowl, combine butter and honey. Microwave on high 1 minute. Add Cheerios, pretzels, Kix, and walnuts, stirring to combine.

2. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, and stir in raisins and M&M's. Makes about 20 1/3-cup servings.

Nutrition per serving: 120 cal.; 3 g pro.; 15 g carb; 6 g fat.

Mini Pizzas

Pita bread
Cooked broccoli
Grated mozzarella
Pizza sauce

1. Split open mini pitas, and stuff with cooked broccoli. Place tops on, and sprinkle with grated mozzarella and pizza sauce.

2. Microwave pitas 20 seconds on medium heat, or until cheese is completely melted.

Nutrition per pizza: 50 cal.; 3 g pro.; 7 g carb; 1 g fat.

Copyright © 2003 Sally Kuzemchak. Reprinted with permission from the February 2003 issue of Parents Magazine.

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