We all know how children are drawn to sweets and the constant challenge we face limiting their intake of candy, soda and ice cream, especially in the warm weather months where there is more of a focus on recreational activities. During a recent visit to the beach, I was pleasantly surprised to see families packing their coolers with small bottles of spring water, and their children enthusiastically diving in to quench their thirsts. The same can be true of candy and ice cream. When presented with healthy alternatives, especially ones that are colorful and visually appealing, children will become accustomed to new ways of snacking. What better time than summer to experiment with fresh fruit and vegetable options.
Park View's Point of View
At PVPD we believe in starting healthy habits at an early age. Similar to the approach we take at our dental practice, we like to make all that is involved with health an enjoyable experience—one that children can actively participate in.
The following “Snack Skewers” suggestions are not only packed full of fiber and vitamins they’re packed full of fun when you take them on as a playful, creative project that you can do together with your children. We also feel that the skewer stick can simulate the same enjoyable behavior as a picking up a lollypop or ice cream pop.
HEALTHY SNACK SKEWERS
For all of the recipes below use short (about 6” or less) party or Hors d’oeuvre skewers. These may come in wood, bamboo or reusable plastic.
— Cut your favorite tropical fruits like pineapple, kiwi, melons and banana in bite sized pieces. Choose fruits of varying colors.
— Place one of each type fruit on skewers for a yummy rainbow treat.
— Sprinkle with coconut or dip in a desirable flavor of low-fat yogurt.
— Similar to above, but use your favorite veggies like cucumbers, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots—even blanched asparagus tips!
— Dip in plain yogurt seasoned with your favorite garden herbs or spices.
— Choose a variety of fresh berries. Grapes will also do nicely.
— As with Tropical Delight, alternate berries for a colorful effect.
— Place in freezer until hard for a frozen treat.
— Start with a piece of orange and white cheese at least ½” thick.
— Cut into cubes or choose your favorite cookie cutters and cut out shapes
— We like orange crescent moons and white stars! Flowers are great too.
— Alternate on skewers with an occasional pitted olive and/or cherry tomato in between.
PB & Joy!
— Start with a red and green (Granny Smith) apple and a banana
— Cut into bite sized pieces and alternate on skewers
— Dip or spread on your favorite peanut or nut butter. Choose a natural, non-processed brand that does not have sugar added. Some health stores have nut butter stations where you make your own, fresh-ground.
We hope now that we have your own creative juices flowing you will invent your own varieties our healthy Snack Skewers. We think they’re a natural when it comes to what kids enjoy to eat—and make!
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Park View Pediatric Dentistry