Snack Attack

Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.

Kids, and even adults, love to snack. There is something soothing about the rhythm of dipping your hand into a bowl of popcorn and crunching away, or having a small cup of comfort-giving rice pudding. Having a bowl of snack food on hand can help your child concentrate on his homework, so that he's done in no time at all, and noshing on something healthy

between meals can give anyone an energy boost. As the mother of a large family of 12 kids and two adults, I find that if I provide healthy snacks, my kids accept these just as they would, the less nutritious, commercial snack foods.

Here are some ideas for healthier snacking:

Alfalfa sprouts. Wash some sprouts under cold, running water and blot dry. Put out a bowl of sprouts. It's all in the texture. Kids like eating the stringy sprouts as if they were strands of spaghetti. They won't even know they're healthy!

Create individual blends of trail mix

Trail mix. Use a variety of your family's favorite dried fruits and nuts to create individual blends for each family member. Make Ziploc bags and label it with that child's name. For instance, my daughter likes chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, roasted almonds, chopped dates, banana chips, and golden raisins. This is the house Deborah blend!

Frozen grapes. Use the sweetest seedless grapes you can find. Wash well, blot dry and freeze the grapes in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When well frozen, transfer to freezer bags. These are wonderful on a hot day!

Sensual pleasures

String cheese. If you're worried about your children getting enough calcium, string cheese is a wonderful way to pack him full of the stuff that makes strong bones and teeth. Kids love to play with food and instilling good manners makes it hard for us to indulge them in this practice. String cheese fits the bill, allowing your kids the sensual pleasure of playing with food while getting the nutrients you want them to have.

Raw Vegetables with or without dip. It's all in the presentation. If you make a vegetable tray that looks appealing, you will find that your child will polish off vitamin and fiber packed raw vegetables in no time flat. Some kids like dipping and you can make a bean or a yogurt dip that is low in fat and serve it alongside the tray. Other kids prefer the plain crunch of veggies on their own.

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I like the trail mix! But I love the frozen grapes!  Actually they’re both good and I am sure kids would love these as an alternative to eating junk foods and what not. However, I prefer having half-cooked veggies and have a sour cream or a thousand island dip. The nutrients of the veggies are still there even if they are half-cooked. I’ve known this from my teacher Chef when I studied culinary a year back. He said that vegetables, if not overcooked, nutrients will remain but if it is overcooked like it is already crushed or something, the nutrients will surely be removed. It might still have nutrients in it though but it would already be very minimal.
13 years ago