Whether you are packing snacks for little ones to carry to child care or school or preparing snacks for children in your care, you are probably always on the lookout for tasty snacks. The challenge is to find snacks that are both good for children and fun to eat. Here are a few snacks you may want to try!
Fall is the perfect time to find apples! Thoroughly wash your favorite variety. Remove and discard the cores. Slice the apples thinly. Place a spoonful of pineapple cream cheese or lemon yogurt in the middle of a small plate. Arrange the apple slices around it like the rays of the sun. Repeat to make as many servings as you like. Children may dip the slices in the cream cheese or yogurt. If you are packing the snack for a child to eat later, dip the apple slices in pineapple or orange juice to keep them fresh. Pack the yogurt or cream cheese in a separate container. Add an ice pack or a frozen juice box to keep the snack fresh.
Spread a whole-grain tortilla with soft cream cheese and top with a thin layer of your child’s favorite mild salsa. For a heartier snack, you can add some well-drained black beans, diced avocado, sliced turkey, or other toppings. Roll up tightly, wrap, and chill. Just before serving, slice each roll-up into pinwheels. If you are packing this for a take-along snack, leave it whole or cut it in half, rather than slicing it into pinwheels. This will keep the filling from spilling out. Don’t forget to add an ice pack or a frozen juice box to keep the snack fresh.
Homemade Fruit Leather
Many children enjoy the chewiness of fruit strips, but sometimes they have more sugar than fruit! It’s easy to make your own. Preheat the oven to 200°. Lightly butter a 15″x 10″ x 1″ pan. Peel, core, and slice two McIntosh apples and place them in blender. Peel two navel oranges. Remove any seeds. Separate the sections and add them to the blender. Turn blender on high and process the fruit until it is smooth. Pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread with a spatula into a smooth, even layer. Place the pan in the preheated oven. Leave the door slightly open to let steam escape. Bake for about 3 hours, or until the fruit leather will peel easily from the pan. Cool. Cut in strips and wrap. This snack is perfect to take along on a car trip or to school because it does not have to be kept cold.
Squares of spicy gingerbread taste wonderful anytime, but especially in the fall. It can be eaten plain, or topped with applesauce or fruit. Here’s an easy recipe! Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, pour 1 cup molasses (either light or dark). Add ½ cup boiling water, and 5 tablespoons butter or margarine. Stir well. Add ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ginger, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Stir lightly. Gently stir in 2 cups of flour, just until moistened. Spread the batter into a 9″x 9″ x 2″ pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The gingerbread is done when the top springs back when touched lightly and the mixture is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool until it is a safe temperature and serve warm or cold. To pack in a lunchbox, cut in squares and wrap well or place each square in a small plastic container. No refrigeration is needed. If you wish, include an individually sealed snack pack of applesauce or fruit as a topping.