During the holiday season with cookie baking, parties, events and candy canes galore, it is hard to avoid having your children eat a bit more sweets than normal. Therefore, we suggest that extra attention is paid at home in coming up with some creative savory snacks, especially if you are throwing your own holiday party, dinner or gathering.
Park View's Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we are all about oral education and working with both our young patients and their parents to report cavity-free visits. In addition to the preventative treatments that we offer, like fluoride and sealants, we are big on offering dietary suggestions that do not have added sugar.
Here are some of our favorite non-sweet snacks. Most can be made in minutes and you’ll be surprised how no one will miss the sugar!
1. Hail to Kale Chips
Kale has been all the rage lately! Whether cooked or in salads, it contains good nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and fiber. Why not give your kids an early introduction to this super veggie by turning it into a sought-after snack.
— Start with a large bunch of kale, wash, cut away the stems and rip into large pieces. Or use a large pre-washed bag. Make sure that the thick stems are removed.
— Toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and lay on a large baking sheet., sprinkle with salt, parmesan, sesame seeds or your favorite spice mix, depending on desired flavor.
— Bake at 275º for about 30 minutes until leaves are crispy. Cool on cooling rack or on a parchment sheet.
2. Ready for Retro Party Mix
Yep, it’s back and more popular than ever—the party mix. This age-old blend of crunchy and salty is always a favorite amongst any generation.
— Start with large handfuls of your favorite square cereal like Mini Shredded Wheat or of any of the Chex brands, and place in large bowl. Make sure that your choice is not a sugar-coated variety.
— Add your favorite raw or salted roasted nuts, depending on the desired flavor. Though peanuts have always been a favorite in this snack mix, we find that roasted almonds or pecans give it a more updated taste. If you use raw nuts, you may want to lightly salt the finished mix.
— Add your favorite small bite pretzels. Make sure they do not contain sugar.
— Mix and enjoy. Have more ingredients on hand for a quick
3. Popcorn Plus
What can be better than a large bowl of savory flavored popcorn? And, the sky is the limit in terms of the varieties you can create. Popcorn is also a high-fiber snack that is not high in calories.
— Start with a large bowl of your favorite microwave (not buttered flavored), homemade or air-popped popcorn.
— Toss with 2 teaspoons of your favorite light, healthy oil, like olive or canola. For a salt and vinegar flavor, add a few dashes of white or malt vinegar and toss with sea salt.
— For other varieties, place the popcorn in a large bag and shake with your favorite herb mix depending on your theme. Make sure that any store mix does not contain MSG.
Here are some suggestions:
—Italian— A blend of dried Italian herb, garlic salt and grated parmesan.
—Mexican— Chili powder, dash of cumin, onion salt and a dash of fresh lime when tossing with the oil.
—Cajun— Mix with a good Cajun spice mix and salt.
Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!
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