Keeping kids full after school and during the summer months between meals is a full time job for harried parents and care providers. It seems like someone is constantly in the kitchen preparing food or cleaning up the mess left behind after feeding the kids. These kid friendly recipes can help ease the work load by allowing kids to prepare their own snacks with (hopefully) minimal mess left behind.
Flavored Microwave Popcorn
Kids can make their own flavored popcorn as easy as one-two-three. One: Pop a bag of microwave popcorn. Two: Allow the bag of freshly popped corn to cool for a few minutes, open the bag and sprinkle on a topping like cinnamon, Parmesan cheese or paprika. And three: Close the bag and shake to distribute the dry flavoring throughout the popcorn. Any favorite flavoring (soy sauce, melted chocolate, red pepper flakes, etc.) can be added to create a unique and easy snack for kids.
Frozen Waffle Treats
Got a bag of frozen waffles and a jar of peanut butter? Then your kids have the beginnings of a quick and easy snack. Allow a frozen waffle to defrost (or pop into microwave or toaster), spread a thin layer of peanut butter on it and let kids top with whatever is on hand. Apple slices, raisins, chocolate chips, potato chips or a banana, then roll the waffle or top with a second waffle and enjoy. Waffles also make a great crust or cone for ice cream. Just spread softened ice cream on a waffle and roll for a cone or top with a second waffles for an ice cream sandwich. Drizzle with chocolate sauce for another layer of yummy flavor.
Soft Tortilla Snacks
A bag of soft tortilla shells and a few other ingredients are the beginnings of a kid friendly snack recipe. Spread peanut butter on a soft tortilla, then top with a thin layer Marshmallow cream. Sprinkle some chopped nuts, raisins and or mini chocolate chips and roll the tortilla up tightly. Cut cross-wise into one inch sections to create fun and delicious peanut butter pinwheels. Any filling can be used, just start with a thin layer of peanut butter to hold it all together. Plus the peanut butter gives the kids a healthy boost of protein, but they don’t have to know that.
Bagged Snack Mix
Here’s a make-ahead kid’s snack that is great for back packs and sports bags. Purchase several of your kids favorite snacks that come in mini or bite sizes, like mini marshmallows, teddy grahams, nuts and dried fruits (save money by buying in bulk and/or on sale) and purchase a box a Ziploc snack size bags and let kids create their own bagged snack mix. Seal, store in a cool dry place and the snacks are ready to grab and go anytime.
Pound Cake Pets
Kids can make their own pet shaped snacks with a store bought pound cake and a cookie cutter. Slice pound cake into one inch slices and let kids press a pet shaped cookie cutter into the cake slice to create their own pound cake pet. Top with fresh fruit, cool whip, pudding or ice cream if desired (have the kids make an extra one for you) and enjoy.
Think ahead and keep a few basic ingredients on hand, so kids can create and make their own easy snack recipes whenever it’s convenient!
Rob Porter writes about nutrition, parenting & saving money at www.homeownersinsurance.org.