(Family Features) - If your child is like mine, the first thing on his mind after school is "snack!" Now that's okay, except I want "nutritious," and he wants "treat." In trying to get kids to choose nutritious snacks, sometimes sneaky works. Like these Pumpkin-Carrot Swirl Bars.
Homemade treats can be nutritious-and believe me, they can still taste amazing! For these bars, I've used a light cream cheese and swirled it into the bars for a creamy sensation with less fat than the traditional cream cheese frosting, and I've substituted egg whites for some of the whole egg. And I've boosted the fiber and vitamin A by using nutrient-rich pumpkin as a base for the batter and adding shredded carrot.
Kids learn habits by watching others: Your food choices and lifestyle habits are a model for them. Don't panic! In honor of Nutrition Month, consider these tips:
- Keep a regular meal schedule so kids don't snack so much that they're not hungry at mealtime.
- Involve kids in planning and preparation: Kids who fix foods are more likely to eat them. This is a great way to get kids to try something new-enlist them as kitchen help for preparing a new food or dish.
- Eat as a family, at least once a day. Eat slowly and savor your meal.
- Snacks can be nutritious! Plan ahead to have healthy options available to discourage grazing on junk food.
- Move it! Children and adults both need to move for good health. Make exercise a daily habit. It can be as simple as taking a walk or taking the stairs. Family fun is ensured with an active sport or game everyone enjoys.
Want more inspiration for home-baked after-school snacks? Visit VeryBestBaking.com
Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.