Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back-to-School: 5 days of healthy snack ideas

**  Repost from the archives

Another thing that can be challenging about homeschooling is the amount of food consumed by children who are home all day.  
Children are just hungry.  
My boys seems to be hungry ALL the time!!  
The girls not as much.  
But it goes without saying that when they are home as opposed to away from home (i.e. a school) they are consuming more of your grocery budget!!  One frustrating tendency that my children have is eating hardly anything at breakfast and then finding themselves "STARVIN'" about 2 hours before lunchtime.  Then commences the constant grazing and rummaging through the kitchen,
 spoiling and plundering all my meal supplies for the week!!  
So, in addition to meal plans, I have found I need to have a "PLAN OF A-SNACK" as well!!

Additionally, for children with ADHD, when hunger kicks in it often triggers angry emotional outbursts and annoying behavior.  So keeping those hunger pangs in check is another key to a more peaceful school day!!

I like to have a morning snack and an afternoon snack planned.  You'll usually see us taking a break and refueling around 10:30 am and 3:00 pm.  Here are a few ideas that work really well for us!!  I'm still sticking to a list of things that are not a part of our diet anymore including high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colors, less cow's milk and less gluten.  My official list is found here.

5 Days of Hunger-Busting Snacks

Monday:  "Power Balls"

In a blender, coarsely chop: 
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins

Mix with:
1 T. oat bran
1 - 16 oz jar crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1 T. apple juice concentrate

Mix with hands.  This will be sticky.  I have chopped a little more of the seeds and raisins together and added it to the mix so it was easier to roll into balls.
Roll in unsweetened shredded coconut.
Store in refrigerator.
Makes 3 dozen

** You can add in carob chips or whole raisins too!!

Tuesday:  Apple "Cupcakes"

These are so simple to make:
Half an apple crosswise and scoop or cut out the middle with the core.
"Frost" it with peanut butter or cream cheese (that has been mixed with a little sugar).
Sprinkle on any fun topping you like:

Wednesday:  Fresh veggies and hummus dip

Hummus Dip

Drain a 15 oz. can of chickpeas reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.
Toss the chickpeas into the blender.
Add 1 clove of garlic (I sometimes use two as we love garlic!!),
1 tsp. cumin,
splash of lemon juice,
dash of salt,
and the reserved 1/4 cup of liquid.
Blend together until very smooth.
Also, lovely when served with Tortilla Strips

**I do have to be honest and say that not all my children are crazy about this one.
If they like the hummus, they prefer it with the tortilla strips that I buy from Costco (gluten free).
But we're working on eating more veggies, and I firmly believe that the more a child is exposed to certain veggies, they will eventually learn to enjoy them.  You could even slather some peanut butter on that celery too.  The pretty the presentation, the more excited they are also!!!

Thursday:  Mini Clementine Oranges
"Very-Berry Smoothies"

(I hope you can tell this is a picture I copied from somewhere on the web.
But this is exactly what mine would look like!!)

In a blender,
pour 3-4 cups of milk (I use skim, cow but you could use soy or almond or goat, etc.)
1 cup frozen strawberries
Handful of frozen blueberries (you could also substitute frozen bananas too!!)
Couple tablespoons of honey or "splenda" if you prefer
Scoop of ground flaxseed

Blend it all on high until smoothie like consistency.  I like ours really thick, so I may add more frozen berries if too thin.

Friday:  Popcorn  (Fresh popped or microwave)

Making popcorn on the stove is so much fun!!
It's a great fall/winter treat too!!
And.....gluten free!!
Here is a simple way to do that!

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