Better-for-you snacks kids will love
(Family Features) Kids love to snack. But left to their own devices, most kids don't always make the healthiest snack choices. A new study of long-term eating patterns in children, from researchers at the University of North Carolina, shows that kids today are getting nearly one-third of their daily calories from unhealthy snacks such as chips, crackers and candy.
Nutritious and delicious snacks are as close as your produce aisle. Watermelon is practically a multivitamin unto itself - and its natural sweetness is something kids love.
Did You Know?
- A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
- Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health.
- Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.
- Vitamin C in watermelons can help to bolster your immune system's defenses against infections and viruses, and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.
- A 2-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. A 2-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.
Try these fun recipes as after-school and post-activity snacks. For more kid-friendly recipes and healthy eating tips, visit www.watermelon.org.
Send some healthy lunch munchies to school - watermelon chunks are an easy way to brighten up a sack lunch and give kids a tasty nutritional boost in the middle of the day.
Healthy Eating Tips
Healthy eating habits start at home. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to be a role model for smart food choices. Here are some simple things you can do to help your kids develop healthy lifelong habits.
- Shop for food together and take time to examine, discuss and select fruit and vegetables that catch your child's eye. Allow your child to help you to prepare these healthful foods. For example, let your child use a melon-baller to create melon balls from watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew to create a festive, nutritious and visually appealing dessert.
- Make healthy snacks available at all times for your children by keeping the fridge filled with flavorful, nutrient-rich treats such as grapes, cherries, carrots and watermelon cubes.
- Simple changes are easier for your child to get used to. Try switching from full fat milk to non-fat milk, serving sherbet, sorbet, ice milk or fruit juice bars, or adding fresh fruit to his or her cereal in the morning.
- Serve your children colorful, deeply pigmented plant food. These foods tend to offer tremendous nutritional value. For example, red peppers, carrots, broccoli, oranges and watermelon are all packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Start each day with breakfast, preferably fruit with low-fat yogurt or granola. Make a fruit smoothie by blending watermelon cubes and a banana with crushed ice.
Makes 6 servings
- 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
- Smoked turkey breast
- Cheddar cheese
- Coffee stirrers or beverage straws
- Cut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes and skewer on stirrers or straws.
Serves 6 to 8
- 12 to 16 1/2-inch thick watermelon triangles with 3-inch sides
- 2 cups Greek vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A few drops almond extract
- 1 cup Craisins
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Arrange the watermelon triangles on a serving platter or glass cake stand. Mix yogurt with extracts and spoon yogurt over the watermelon in the fashion of nacho cheese sauce. Sprinkle craisins, white chocolate chips, and almonds over the yogurt and dust with cinnamon.
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Watermelon sticks or small wedges
- Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl. Use as a dip for the watermelon.
Watermelon Cut Outs
- Seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices
- Granola or similar cereal
- Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon slices. Frost with vanilla or other flavored yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.
Watermelon Berry Slush
Makes 6 servings
- 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
- 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
- 1 12-ounce bottle sparkling mineral water
- Place watermelon in a single layer in shallow pan; freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes. Drop watermelon through food chute of a food processor or blender with the motor running. Add frozen raspberries alternately with mineral water, processing until smooth.
Watermelon Jelly Logs
Makes 6 servings
- 6 3-inch x 2-inch x 5-inch watermelon rectangles
3 flavors all fruit or low sugar preserves
6 ginger, molasses or peanut butter cookies
- Using a melon baller, cut 3 divots into a long side of each watermelon rectangle. Fill each divot with a different all-fruit or low-sugar preserve. Serve each rectangle with a cookie.
Source: National Watermelon Board
(Family Features) Parents may be wondering how to ensure their children are staying hydrated, maintaining healthy diets and getting the nutrients they need during the summer months. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the reality is one out of two kids ages 9 and up are missing out on key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and potassium – putting them at risk for serious health issues.
Pediatrician and best-selling author Dr. Tanya Altmann suggests moms can help fill that gap by making sure kids fuel their bodies with proper nutrition. Milk is the top food source for calcium, vitamin D and potassium, and Altmann encourages moms to serve milk at most meals and water in between to ensure kids get the recommended servings of milk, depending on age group, throughout the day.
“Milk is a simple way to help give kids of all ages nutrients they need to grow strong, and they already love it,” Altmann said. “Pour a glass of milk alongside your kid’s favorite snack or use milk in a smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast.”
This summer, try a twist on a classic, kid-approved lunch – for breakfast. These Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancake Dippers combine two favorite flavors, a peanut butter pancake with a jelly dip, for a simple recipe the whole family is sure to enjoy eating. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk for nine essential nutrients to fuel summer mornings.
For more nutritious, kid-approved recipes to pair with a glass of milk, visit pourmoremilk.com.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancake Dippers
Recipe courtesy of MilkPEP
Servings: 5 (2 pancake dippers per serving)
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/3 cup sugar-free raspberry preserves, for dipping
- 1 glass (8 ounces) fat-free milk
- In blender, combine oats and flours and pulse 3-4 times. Add salt, brown sugar, baking powder, egg, vegetable oil, peanut butter and 1 cup milk. Pulse several times until combined and no lumps in batter.
- Heat nonstick skillet to medium-low heat and lightly grease with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto skillet, cook 1-2 minutes until bubbles appear around edges then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes until golden. Immediately roll up pancake and secure with toothpick. Repeat process with remaining batter.
- Serve with raspberry preserves for dipping and pair with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 310 calories; 9 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 43 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 430 mg sodium; 431 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of fat-free milk.
Start the year off right with wholesome, nutritious morning recipes
(Family Features) With each New Year comes new goals and resolutions for the entire family. It’s the perfect time to start fresh and get everyone back on track with healthy nutrition. Starting each day with a nutritious breakfast is one way to do just that, not to mention a healthy habit to maintain throughout the year.
By incorporating simple, wholesome ingredients like milk into a balanced breakfast each morning, you can feel good knowing your family is starting the day on the right foot. With nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D, pairing milk with breakfast can help everyone be their best.
Try these seven breakfast recipes paired with milk, one for each day of the week, to fuel all kinds of mornings throughout the New Year. Visit MilkLife.com for additional recipe inspiration.
Add Southwestern flavors to spice up this breakfast sandwich. Scrambled eggs seasoned with cumin, pepper and chili powder are topped with shredded cheese, ham and sliced avocados and placed inside a toasted English muffin for a twist on a classic breakfast favorite.
When you’re in a rush on weekday mornings but still want a wholesome breakfast while on the go, try these protein muffins with peanut butter and jelly. This simple recipe is a kid-friendly way to serve a childhood favorite and start the day with a smile.
While cottage cheese is not a traditional ingredient in pancakes, these pancakes definitely make it work. By combining blended cottage cheese with rolled oats, this dish adds protein and fiber at breakfast without skimping on taste.
How about a modern take on an ancient grain? This breakfast bowl with quinoa is a delicious and nutritious way to start your day. Chai spices combined with brown sugar, vanilla and milk add vibrant flavors sure to excite your taste buds.
This tasty twist on eggs brings a Southwestern flair to breakfast with avocados and turkey sausage piled high on a tortilla to spice up your morning.
This mini quiche recipe makes serving up protein at breakfast a snap. Use a muffin tin to create individual sausage quiches that are perfect for a make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast.
Lock down your week’s breakfast plan with these savory crepes the entire family will enjoy. Cream cheese with chives mixed in topped with smoked salmon and wrapped inside a warm crepe winds up being a delicious morning jump-start.
(Family Features) Berry season means colors, tastes and aromas that are sure to please. With a variety of gorgeous fresh fruits at your fingertips, why not whip up a fabulous fruit pie or tart to surprise family or share with friends? From family dinners to spur-of-the-moment picnics, pies are easy to make and easy for family and friends to appreciate.
To save time in the kitchen, start with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts for a flaky, tender base. Just unroll it into your favorite pie plate or tart pan, spoon in a delicious fruit filling, bake and enjoy. Pillsbury has updated the packaging with a fresh, contemporary look and features a recipe for Perfect Apple Pie. For more delicious recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie.
Make Crusts Extra Special
When making a top crust for pies, these tips can help you make them look extra special.
Glossy Upper Crust: Brush the dough with slightly beaten egg white (if desired, sprinkle with sugar, too) before baking.
Sweet Glazed Top: Brush the top pastry with a small amount of water, and sprinkle with granulated or coarse sugar before baking.
Pretty Cutouts: Cut shapes from the top crust with a canapé cutter or a knife before placing the top crust over the filling. With water or beaten egg, moisten the back of each cutout and set the design, moistened side down, on the crust.
Perfect Apple Pie
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours
- 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
- 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
- In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.
Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.
Lemon Raspberry Pie
Prep time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes
- 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries without syrup, thawed, dried on paper towels
- Mint sprigs, if desired
- Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare crust according to package directions for unfilled one-crust pie using 9-inch pie pan. Press pecans into bottom of pie crust-lined pan. Generously prick crust with fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
- In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; blend well. Stir in water, margarine and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- In small bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Beat in whipped topping at low speed until well blended. Add milk; mix until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread thin layer of topping mixture around edge of crust. Reserve 4 raspberries for garnish. Arrange remaining raspberries over top of filling. Spread remaining topping over raspberries. Garnish with mint sprigs and reserved raspberries. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.
Fresh Berry Cream Tart
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours 55 minutes
- 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
- 4 cups assorted fresh whole berries (small strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
- 1/3 cup red currant jelly, melted
- Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
- In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and liqueur; beat until smooth and well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly in cooled baked shell. Top with berries; brush berries with melted jelly to glaze. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.
- 2 Mission Small / Fajita Flour Tortillas
- 4 tablespoons Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
- 2 tablespoons Smucker's Strawberry Jam, Jelly, or Preserves
- 2 bananas, peeled
- Place tortillas on a paper towel and microwave for 10 seconds.
- Spread 2 tablespoons peanut butter on each tortilla. Add 1 tablespoon jelly to each tortilla.
- Place the banana near the edge of the tortilla and fold up the ends of the tortilla. Roll-up and enjoy!
SOURCE: Mission Foods