The Kids Table
Making better after-school snacks
Dangle hummus or bean dip in front of that carrot
"An after-school snack should boost their fuel for whatever your kids are doing the rest of the day, whether it's homework or baseball," says Lisa Barnes, author of the Petit Appetit cookbooks series. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
"An after-school snack should boost their fuel for whatever your kids are doing the rest of the day, whether it's homework or baseball," says Lisa Barnes, author of the Petit Appetit cookbooks, including "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages" (Perigee Trade).
"Think of it as a mini-meal more than just a snack — equal parts fat and protein and carbs."
So if carrot sticks are your thing, add a side of hummus or white bean dip. If your kids devour apple slices, set out sunflower seed butter or yogurt for dipping.
Barnes also likes snacks that kids have a hand in preparing.
"A favorite one at my house is a parfait. They can layer plain yogurt, which they sweeten with a little maple syrup and cinnamon, chopped up berries or whatever fruit is in season and then some low-sugar cereal or granola or broken up graham crackers."
Make-your-own trail mix is another fave. "Put out a muffin tin and fill each cup with something different — raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, coconut, chocolate chips, broken up pretzels,"
Barnes suggests. Let them play mix-master with the ingredients.
If you want to kick it up a notch (you know, turn on the stove), Barnes likes this make-ahead granola recipe (found on Page 73 of "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry") for when she's hosting play dates.
Chewy granola bars
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1-2 minutes
Makes: 16 2-inch bars
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup oat bran
1 1/2 cups crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup dried cranberries