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Mint Chocolate Chip Surprise for St. Paddy’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day, like nearly every holiday, brings with it lots of sugary, food colored snacks. Sneaky parents, though, can still manage to please their kids with healthy eats. Try either of these for breakfast, lunch or after school. Cheers!

mint smoothie 2

Mint chocolate chip smoothie. They’ll never know it has spinach unless you tell them!

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Surprise

  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 1T real maple syrup (omit if you used vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 drops mint extract
  • 1T chocolate chips

Blend the yogurt, milk, banana and spinach until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until chips are mostly chopped. Serve very cold.

 

Green Tropical Smoothie

  • 6 oz orange juice or skim milk
  • ¼ cup pineapple chunks
  • ¼ cup mango
  • ¼ cup spinach
  • ¼ avocado
  • ½ cup ice

Blend and enjoy.

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Insanely Good Granola Bars

Granola bars are a go-to snack for lunches and sports, but the good ones are expensive and the cheap ones are full of processed ingredients. All of them are full of sugar. These homemade bars will be sure to get eaten and only take 10 minutes to prepare.

The only problem is your family will eat these so fast that you’ll be lucky if there are any left for lunches.

Granola bars are a great after school snack

Granola bars are a great after school snack

HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (can use spelt instead)
1t baking powder
1/2t salt
1t cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
1/4 cup coconut/soy/or rice milk
1/2 cup of a combination of the following: raisins, craisins, dried fruit, chocolate chips or chopped nuts

Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix the egg, syrup, milk and nut butter in a separate bowl. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Add combo of fruit and nuts and stir. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Store up to a week in an airtight container…if they last that long.

Is Your Counter Healthy?

Want your kids to eat healthier? Sometimes it’s only a matter of putting healthy food right in front of them. And while this sounds obvious, recent research shows just how much the food right in front of our faces matters.

Consider this from researchers from Cornell University and Ohio State University:

After photographing the kitchens of 200 American women, researchers discovered that women who had breakfast cereal on the counter weighed 20 pounds more than their neighbors. Those with soft drinks on the counter weighed 24 to 26 pounds more. However, women with a fruit bowl on the counter weighed 13 pounds less than their neighbors.

If you haven’t got a fruit bowl prominently displayed in your home, full of appetizing fruits (read: no rotting bananas) get one going this week! You and your kids are pretty much guaranteed to eat more fruit. Or you can try either fun fruit recipe below.

What’s more, children who are reticent to try new foods are more likely to do so if they’re hungry at the time that you offer the foods.

APPLE SANDWICHESP1020382
Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 4.39.22 PMUse these flower shape cutters, and you’ll feel like the best mom. Forget about the minute before when you impatiently snapped at your kids. With flower-shaped fruit and veggies, anyone can see you love them, right?

Use these on sliced apples, to cut out the core and then make a sandwich with honey or peanut butter in the middle. Or just cut out melon flowers and veggie flowers to serve with toothpicks. Because after all, toothpicks make every food taste better to kids. Buy a set on Amazon.

BAKED PEARS AND APPLES

Whether you’re reining in your sweet tooth or not, these apples are divine. Kids and adults alike end up licking the bowl. Toss them with some cinnamon and bake them on 350 degrees for about a half hour or just toss them in the microwave for about 6 minutes.

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Try these ideas for healthy after school snacks. Got more? Send them our way! Email betsy@feedtosucceed.com.