(Family Features) The early morning chaos and activity-packed evenings of the back-to-school season can make finding time to connect challenging. Throughout the day, there can be small windows of time that your family can make the most of – even if only for a few moments that matter.
“As a busy mom, I know how hard it can be to find time to slow down with the kids,” said Dr. Tanya Altmann, pediatrician and parenting expert. “After-school snack time is my secret weapon. It’s a time we can all pause for a few minutes before running out the door to soccer or starting homework. As a doctor, I’ll take any extra opportunity to provide the nutrients my kids need. That’s why I focus on nutrient-rich snacks, which always include milk in our house.”
Most Americans, including kids, fall short on the recommended three daily servings of real milk and milk products for kids ages 9 and up, according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Adding real dairy milk to afternoon snack time is an easy way to get kids nutrients they need to grow up strong, which is one less thing for parents to worry about.
“The great thing about milk is that kids already love it, so it’s an easy way to get protein and other essential nutrients they need to fuel their after-school activities and meals,” pediatrician Dr. Ilan Shapiro said. “It’s not a battle to get them to drink it like so many foods can be.”
You can make the most of snack time with simple, fun recipe ideas like Harvest Fruit and Oat Energy Bites, which are a quick way to fuel up. Pairing these with an 8-ounce glass of real milk provides protein and essential nutrients kids need to power through after-school homework or activities.
Snacking recipes are not only easy to make, but also easy to plan. For more tasty on-the-go recipe ideas to try this back-to-school season, and to shop for ingredients, visit milklife.com.
Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast on behalf of Milk. Love What’s Real
Servings: 10, 2 bites per serving
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, divided
- 2 tablespoons almond nut butter
- 2/3 cup dried apple rings, chopped (soft variety)
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans or almonds
- 1 glass milk (8 ounces each) per serving
- In bowl of food processor or high-speed blender, combine milk, 1 cup rolled oats, nut butter, dried apple rings, apple pie spice and salt. Pulse until mixture becomes fairly smooth and holds together when rolled. Transfer mixture to medium size bowl.
- Stir in remaining oats, dried cranberries and chopped nuts. Roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill 1 hour, or until firm. Keep bites covered and refrigerated up to 3 days.
- Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 3.5 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 12 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 150 mg sodium; 334 mg calcium. Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk and include 8-ounce glass fat-free milk.
Photo courtesy of Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast on behalf of Milk. Love What’s Real
(Family Features) Save time and serve up better-for-you lunches, snacks, desserts and after-school energy boosts with these simple and affordable recipes.
By packing quick and easy lunches, you can have your kids set for each busy day without sacrificing time together. Shopping for your grade-A, back-to-school essentials at a store like ALDI means you’ll use quality ingredients to prepare fun, better-for-you lunchboxes and more.
Consider these eight recipe ideas to pack a better lunchbox. Get schooled in savings and check out aldi.us to find more back-to-school inspiration.
- Secret Veggie Turkey Nuggets – Sneak those all-important veggies into your child’s lunch with these baked nuggets that combine ground turkey, cauliflower, zucchini and onions. Add a favorite dipping sauce to the lunchbox for a tasty, nutritious midday meal.
- Bento Box Lunch – If your child is adventurous when it comes to flavors, combine a turkey sandwich roll, quinoa salad, broccoli salad and cinnamon apples in this full-flavored bento box.
- Fruit Leather Wraps – Snack time doesn’t have to mean candy and other unhealthy options. Instead, provide a sweet treat that’s all-natural with blueberries and raspberries in these fruity wraps that are both guilt- and gluten-free.
- Tropical Granola Bar – One of the most versatile snacks to enjoy nearly any time of day: granola bars. This homemade version combines dried fruit with pumpkin flax and quick oats for a sweet, nutritious treat.
- Peanut Butter Granola Bites – Make dessert a more nutritious venture with the classic combination of peanut butter, fruit and honey. These small bites of savory flavor can be ready in just 12 minutes for a nighttime snack the whole family can share.
- Strawberry Yogurt Bars – The nutritious combination of oats and strawberries makes for a tasty treat. This kid-friendly recipe is an easy option to make ahead and serve anytime.
- Tropical Superfruit Smoothie – It only takes six natural ingredients and five minutes to make a supercharged after-school snack.
- Carrot Pineapple Smoothie – Before diving into the evening’s homework assignments, help your little learner refuel with fruits and veggies in this creamy smoothie.
Save time by creating quick recipes made with nutritious, fresh milk
(Family Features) Summer is busy, so a helping of no-cook options, especially those you can make in advance, are welcomed by many home chefs. When you shop online for groceries and include fresh, cold milk in your basket, you can make every second of summer count.
When you mix summer favorites with real dairy milk, you serve nutrients your kids need with the flavors they love. Try these five flavorful recipes that feature fresh milk so you can “breakfast and chill” with your kids this summer.
Creamy Green Goddess Smoothie – Drink your vegetables with this take on your favorite salad that kids love, too. The goodness of this Green Goddess Smoothie starts with fresh milk mixed with avocado, spinach, banana and pineapple.
Acai Bowl – You’ll say “ahh” to acai when you blend a batch of this antioxidant-rich Brazilian berry with ice-cold, fresh milk and top your bowl with coconut, granola and fresh fruit.
Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops – These Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. This recipe includes farm-fresh milk and in-season berries, so this homemade option is a more nutritious option than store-bought ice pops.
Berry Berry Smoothie – There’s a reason not to mess with the classics – almost everyone loves them. For an easy and delicious summertime smoothie, simply mix ice-cold milk with fresh berries, honey and vanilla. This chilled combination can satisfy even the pickiest palates.
Super Food Smoothie – Fresh ingredients, including cold milk, make this smoothie super tasty, super fast and super easy. Blend blueberries and bananas with your pantry staples, including honey and vanilla extract, for a tall, frosty glass of delicious.
(Family Features) There’s no time like a hot summer picnic to let your patriotic spirit show. These all-American snacks featuring a classic favorite fruit – watermelon – are the perfect solution for nearly any summertime celebration.
Watermelon is a patriotic picnic staple for countless reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a beloved treat that many people associate with memories from childhood. However, nostalgia isn’t the only reason adults are just as likely to gravitate toward watermelon at a summer event. Its sweet, cool and refreshing flavor also makes it a favorite for all ages.
From a practical standpoint, watermelon is also quite portable, versatile and easy to serve, and with a composition of 92% water, it’s a simple way to sneak in some extra hydration on a hot day. Another benefit is its value; watermelon is one of the best values in the produce section among fruit, and just one watermelon can feed up to three dozen people.
Serving watermelon at a party can be as simple as slicing wedges, or you can prepare a dish such as:
- A fruit basket, with the rind serving as a colorful bowl to hold the watermelon and other fresh fruits.
- A charcuterie board with a selection of fruit, cheese and protein for simple snacking.
- Creamy parfaits, perfect for a summery brunch or alternative to more traditional desserts.
- A creatively colorful and patriotic “cake” that makes for a tasty centerpiece on the dessert table.
Find more ideas for incorporating watermelon into your summer festivities at watermelon.org.
Easy Summer Thirst Quencher
A simple fruit-infused water can give your summer event an instant upgrade in no time at all. Add extra dimension and complexity to the flavor by adding some of your favorite herbs like basil and mint.
- 2 cups watermelon balls or cubes
- 1 cup other fruit, such as berries
- herbs, such as basil or mint
- Place watermelon, fruit and herbs in pitcher and cover with water. For best flavor, allow to chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.
Red, White and Blue Watermelon Parfait
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 container (6 ounces) Greek yogurt (vanilla, lemon or coconut)
- 1 cup watermelon, plus three pieces diced watermelon
- whipped cream, for serving
- In pint canning jar, layer blueberries, yogurt and 1 cup watermelon. Top with whipped cream and garnish with three diced watermelon pieces.
Note: To make ahead or make thicker, drain Greek yogurt on paper towels to absorb some liquid.
Patriotic Fruit Salad
- 1 watermelon
- Slice 1/4 inch off bottom of watermelon, lengthwise, to create stable base.
- Use pencil to draw zig-zag lines for basket opening. Using paring knife, make cuts through rind.
- Carefully remove top section, pull out large chunks of flesh and cut them into 3-by-3-inch squares.
- Trim 3/4-inch thick slices off squares to use for cutting out stars with 1 1/2-3-inch, star-shaped cookie cutters.
- Use ice cream scoop to remove flesh from inside basket and cut scoops into quarters for fruit salad. Place in bottom of basket. Add honeydew and blueberries; stir to combine.
- Cut out white stripes from honeydew.
- Garnish top of fruit salad with watermelon stars, honeydew stripes and blueberries.
Patriotic Charcuterie Board
- 1/2 medium seedless watermelon, cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 10 strawberries (dipped in white chocolate, if desired)
- 5 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted, salted cashews
- 2 ounces cured meats like prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, salami, soppressata, sausage or pepperoni
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced
- lemon juice
- fresh basil leaves
- On large board or platter, arrange watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cheese, cashews, meat and apples. Drizzle fruit with lemon juice. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.
Flag Kebab Cake
- 1 pint fresh, washed blackberries
- 12 wooden skewers
- 1 seedless watermelon, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes (white part only)
- dips, such as yogurt, chocolate, caramel or marshmallow (optional)
- Thread five blackberries on each of five skewers, followed by alternating watermelon and cake cubes.
- On remaining skewers, alternate watermelon and cake so first and last cubes are watermelon. Place skewers on platter; fruit and cake will create stars and stripes when lined properly.
- Serve with dips, if desired.
(Family Features) The summer months offer seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Serving crowd-pleasing foods and drinks can go a long way toward a successful gathering, whether you’re hosting a brunch, relaxing by the pool or throwing a backyard bash.
Regardless of the occasion, a store like ALDI has everything you need to savor summer, including entertaining items and high-quality ingredients, without the premium price tag. When you make this one-stop shop your destination for summer essentials, you can get more of what you love for less.
Find more seasonal recipe ideas like these appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks at ALDI.us.
Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish – Boost a favorite summer flavor like avocado by using your grill. Start by slicing the avocados and removing the pits before grilling flesh-side down. Fill with a vegetable relish mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions then sprinkle with feta cheese.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – This light and refreshing salad is a perfect make-ahead meal-starter. Made with a quinoa base, the combination of kale, mangoes, cranberries, toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese provides a unique mix of flavors.
Grilled Strip Steak Skewers with Pear Slaw – Skewers are a summertime favorite that can be easily customized to meet the tastes of your guests. This version features steak marinated in a soy sauce mixture, cooked on a grill pan and served over a bed of cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions and julienned pears.
Grilled Pear and Apple Pork Tenderloin – Combining a sweet yet savory glazed pork tenderloin with a side of fresh apple and pear (or peach) wedges, this simple dish is an ideal accompaniment to a day or night spent dining al fresco.
Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blueberries – Summer calls for frozen treats, and you can put a healthier spin on dessert by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream. Just blend blueberries, lemon juice and vanilla with Greek yogurt and freeze for a perfect indulgence on a warm afternoon.
Freezie Fruit Pops – Mix and match assorted fruits like kiwi, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, peaches and more with fruit juices. Once mixed, freeze to create healthy fruit pops. For a grown-up version, substitute wine for the juice.
Very Berry Chiller with Lemonade Ice Cubes – When looking for a way to cool off on a hot summer day, reach for a combination of classic summer flavors. Freeze lemonade overnight in an ice cube tray then drop the cubes in a pitcher of blended blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a sweet, refreshing beverage.
SanGrita – A refreshing twist on a traditional Spanish punch, this adults-only beverage calls for blending frozen lime bars with sangria and garnishing with strawberries and blueberries to your liking.
(Family Features) As a parent, instilling healthy eating habits in your children at an early age can aid in proper growth and development. Eating well goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels and improving moods while also reducing risk of obesity and other chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Set your children on a path to making lifelong nutritious choices with these tips:
Foster independence. Allowing your children to help with shopping and meal prep can aid in them taking ownership of what they’re eating. Start by divvying up easier tasks such as setting the table then work toward creating snacks and meals on their own. These Rainbow Fruit Parfaits are simple for kids to assemble – just set the ingredients out and let them layer – and can serve as a healthful on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.
Offer balanced options. Children require balanced diets made up of all three major food groups, including fruits and vegetables, for proper development. Looking for the Produce for Kids logo next to nutritional, family-friendly items at the grocery store is an easy way to identify healthy food choices while also supporting local organizations that help children and families in need.
Be a role model. Typically, your children will follow your behaviors, which includes the types of foods they select at mealtimes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help ensure your family is getting a complete range of nutrients. For example, a recipe like this Rainbow Buddha Bowl provides a combination of fresh and roasted vegetables that can be customized to meet your family’s tastes. Thinking about how many colors you eat in a day may inspire your kids to do the same, which can foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
To find more healthy meal inspiration, including more than 500 registered dietitian- and family-tested recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
Rainbow Fruit Parfaits
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 mandarins, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- In parfait glasses, layer strawberries, mandarins, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries and grapes.
- Top each fruit parfait with yogurt.
Rainbow Buddha Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Jodi of Create Kids Club on behalf of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 small purple cabbage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 tablespoons yogurt ranch dressing
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Place sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- Divide cooked quinoa into four bowls. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and avocado.
- Drizzle with dressing.
Source: Produce for Kids
Ideas for an easy Easter menu
(Family Features) Whether you’re new to hosting or simply looking for ideas to make Easter entertaining easier than ever, there are plenty of ways to save time and stress in the kitchen.
Go with what you know. Trying out new recipes is fun, but it can also add stress when they don’t turn out like you expected. Stick to tried and true dishes you can prepare and serve with confidence and save the experimenting for another time.
Take shortcuts. At the center of many Easter feasts is a ham that has been expertly cured and cooked to perfection. Even so, starting with a full-cooked ham is a shortcut that no one is likely to notice, especially if you heat it properly. For exceptional quality and a variety of flavor profile options to choose from, turn to America’s Original Butcher, Omaha Steaks. The meats are fully cooked then frozen before being delivered to your door for maximum convenience.
Work ahead. Plan your menu to incorporate items you can make ahead of time so you’re under less pressure the day of your dinner. Even handling the prep work like slicing veggies the night before can buy back precious minutes, that way when guests begin arriving, you can step out of the kitchen and enjoy the day right along with them.
Find more ideas to make hosting this year’s Easter meal easy at OmahaSteaks.com/buy/meals/easter.
How to Heat a Frozen Ham
Many frozen hams are fully cooked and can be served as soon as they’re properly thawed, which is an ideal solution for a casual brunch with mini sandwiches on the menu. However, if you’re serving an elegant holiday dinner, you’re more likely to prefer a warm centerpiece dish. A fully cooked ham is still a time-saving option; you’ll just need to allot time to heat it in the oven once it’s thawed.
Start by thawing a fully cooked ham in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
To keep your ham extra moist, always put the cut-side down. You might also consider placing a baking rack in the pan and adding a quarter-inch of water before placing the ham on the rack.
For a spiral-cut, bone-in ham, heat the oven to 325° F. Remove ham from film and foil. Place ham cut-side down on a raised edge baking pan lined with foil. Heat uncovered 60-75 minutes for the entire ham or 10 minutes per pound for smaller portions.
For a boneless ham, heat the oven to 350° F. Place the ham, cut-side down, on a raised edge baking pan lined with foil. Cover the ham tightly with foil and heat 35-40 minutes.
Another option for adding extra juicy flavor is a glaze, which can be as simple as dissolving three parts brown sugar into one part honey in a small saucepan. Or for a more elegant affair, consider a fruit-infused glaze to complement the savory pork.
A Host of Hams
If you always thought a ham is a ham is a ham, it’s time to think again. From the type of meat to the smoking preparation to specialized slicing that makes serving easy, there are plenty of options to consider from a supplier like Omaha Steaks when choosing the right ham.
For an elegant gathering that demands premium ingredients, an all-natural Duroc Boneless Country Ham may be the answer. These hams tend to feature more marbling for an exceptionally rich flavor and texture, making for a tender, savory and juicy main course with no basting or injection needed.
Put a little flair in your Easter meal with a uniquely flavored ham like the Pecanwood Smoked Flank Ham, smoked with real pecan wood for 8 hours to add a rich yet mellow smoky flavor. This tender, juicy uncured whole-muscle ham earns its place of distinction on your holiday table. Complementary sides with subtle nutty notes, such as a sweet potato casserole, can enhance the menu even more.
Each Spiral-Sliced Ham is slowly smoked with real wood up to 24 hours to infuse flavor and maximize juiciness then generously brushed with a sweet and sticky brown-sugar crust that is torch-glazed to create a flavorful, crunchy crust. It’s spiral-sliced before delivery, so once it’s thawed and heated, it’s ready for quick service to your guests.
Easy Fruit-Infused Glazes
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup apricot nectar, canned
- In saucepan, mix brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Stir in apricot nectar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.
Cranberry Orange Glaze
- 1 can (16 ounces) cranberry sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- In small saucepan over low heat, combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, cloves, cinnamon and allspice; simmer 5 minutes, before serving.
(Family Features) The ultimate kid-friendly snack comes as a package deal – simple, delicious, nutritious and fun. One option that readily meets those demands are apples, pears and oranges perfectly sized for small hands, mouths and appetites.
While Lil Snappers’ smaller sizes allow fresh fruits to easily fit into bento boxes and brown bags for a wholesome lunchbox companion that leaves little waste, a dash of creativity also transforms these fruits into a favorite snacktime star – from crunchy critters to sweet treats.
Available in three-pound pouches and found in the fresh produce aisle, Lil Snappers come seasonally in a wide array of fruit varieties, including organics, grown by a sixth-generation family farming operation, Stemilt Growers. Options range from popular apples such as Gala, Pink Lady and Granny Smith, to delicious Bartlett pears, Bosc pears and more.
Try out these recipes for pint-sized snackers, and find quick and easy recipe ideas at lilsnappers.com.
- 1 Lil Snappers apple
- 1 mini marshmallow
- Cut apple in half lengthwise and remove stem. Remove core from one apple half.
- Slice apple half without core into 8 wedges to serve as critter’s legs.
- Set aside second apple half, which will serve as critter’s body.
- Take two legs and make simple zig-zag cuts into flesh to create “claw-like” shape.
- On a plate, arrange critter’s legs, fanning them out, then place claws in front of legs and reserved apple half on top for the head.
- Cut mini marshmallow in half. Gooey side of each will easily stick to critter’s head to serve as eyes.
- 1 Lil Snappers pear
- 1 slice orange rind
- 1 marshmallow
- 1 grape
- 2 toothpicks
- Cut pear in half lengthwise. On plate, lay pear cut-side down. Using peeler, slice 3 inches of rind from orange. Trim sides to result in long, thin rectangle. Coil length of rind around finger and hold to set shape.
- Cut one slice from end of marshmallow then cut that round in half to create two half-moon shapes. Gooey edge of each half-moon will stick to top of pear half to serve as critter’s ears.
- Break toothpick in half and place picks in location for critter’s eyes, leaving about 1/4 inch sticking out from fruit.
- Slice ends off of one grape and place domes over toothpicks to serve as eyes.
- Using toothpick, make hole in back end of critter to place tail. Stick end of coiled orange rind into hole using toothpick to wedge rind into fruit. Reshape coil, as needed.
Note: Remember to remove toothpicks before nibbling.
Source: Stemilt Growers
(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.
It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.
For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.
Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.
Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Buddha Bowl
Citrusy Tahini Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- Citrusy Tahini Dressing
- To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
- To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
Sweet Watermelon Pizza
- Greek yogurt
- Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
- Shredded coconut
- Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
- Slivered almonds
- Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.
(Family Features) Americans are snacking more and more these days, with the average person consuming 25 percent of daily calories in the form of snacks. This school year, aim for an A-plus in nutrition by snacking smarter on nutrient-rich dairy products.
Snacking goes hand-in-hand with dairy products since they are a tasty, convenient and cost-effective way to fuel up throughout the day. There are a variety of grab-and-go milk, cheese and yogurt products that provide portable nutrition.
What’s more, dairy packs a nutritious punch. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, an important nutrient to include in snacks since it helps you feel fuller longer.
Boost your snacking IQ with these smart tips:
- Add dairy to your favorite treats for a well-rounded snack. Pair cheese sticks with fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear or grapes. Reach for cheese cubes and whole-grain crackers when you want something savory. Or dip strawberries in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat. For a kid-friendly snack, make it hands-on fun by creating colorful fruit and cheese kabobs.
- Flavored milk provides the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. The only difference is the addition of flavorings and minimal amounts of sugar, which can lead to improved consumption, especially among children.
- Whip up a dairy-based smoothie made for an on-the-go snack or create your own yogurt parfait, such as this flavorful recipe that combines favorites like peanut butter and bananas in a deliciously refreshing treat.
For more tips and recipes to help you snack smarter, and for stories about dairy farm families and where dairy foods come from, visit MidwestDairy.com.
Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Yogurt Parfait
Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup nonfat, light vanilla yogurt
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 4 pretzel twists, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 banana, sliced
- In small bowl, mix yogurt and peanut butter together. In separate bowl, toss walnuts and pretzels together.
- In tall glass, build parfait. Layer 1/2 cup yogurt, half of banana slices and 1 tablespoon of walnut/pretzel mixture. Repeat layers. Serve immediately.
Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 8 wooden skewers
- 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 18 cubes
- 1/2 cup strawberries, halved
- 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 6 purple grapes
- Thread each skewer with one piece of cheese, one strawberry half, one cantaloupe cube, one pineapple cube, another piece of cheese, one piece of kiwi, two blueberries, one grape and another piece of cheese. Repeat pattern with remaining skewers.