Snacks - My Vegetarian Family Blog at - 80611

My Vegetarian Family

Mar. 5, 2009 2:36 pm 
Updated: Mar. 7, 2009 2:05 pm
Still working on getting more fruits and vegetables into the kids diets. I have been more diligent about including at least one serving of fruit or veg at all meals (one at breakfast, two at lunch, two at dinner).
That still means we need more. So… I have been working on evolving the afternoon and evening snacks. In the afternoon, I try to make vegetables the star. My kids will eat many vegetables raw… especially if there is a dip involved. Really simple Caesar salads has been a hit; these consist of just Romaine, croutons, and salad dressing.

We have also been trying fruit smoothies. Having the kids choose the ingredients substantially increases the variety of ingredients they are willing to try. No flax seed yet, though. ;)

In the evenings, no matter what the weather, my kids really want ice cream. They do not always get it, of course. However, I have found plain vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt to be a great vehicle for fresh or frozen fruit. Frozen blueberries or mangoes are favorites as well as fresh strawberries. (I confess, we are eating strawberries out of season.)

So far, my solutions have all involved high fat accompaniments to the fruit and vegetables. This does not seem like the best solution. Any suggestions?


Mar. 5, 2009 3:04 pm
Syd, while I don't have any kids, I used to babysit a lot. Giving kids frozen treats was a good idea because it's such a different treat! Frozen grapes, frozen banana (dipped in chocolate?!) frozen blueberries (my favorite!) to name a few. I even froze their favorite little containers of yogurt, they had no idea it wasn't ice cream! Also purchase a set of popsicle makers, maybe from tupperware? Then you can make your own popsicles from juice or smoothies you make. They might not like the juice or smoothie, but it becomes a treat when it's frozen on a stick!
Mar. 6, 2009 3:55 pm
Fruit salsa with cinnamon tortilla chips. Salsa: Start with tart apple, kiwi, strawberries (fresh or frozen), orange juice & honey. Dice fruit into small dice. Whisk small amounts of orange juice & honey (if using frozen strawberries, I add the juice too) together and add to the fruit. I don't have amounts because this is something that just gets "thrown" together. Use the proportions that suit your taste & what's on hand. Tortilla chips: take flour tortillas and spritz with "butter" spray & sprinkle with a mix of cinnamon/sugar. Cut into triangles/pieces (pizza cutter works great!) and bake 325-350 for 5-7ish minutes (until they are the crispness you like. Use the chips to scoop up the salsa. My kids & daycare kids eat this a snack or even used as dessert. Sometimes the salsa leftovers ends up being eaten like a fruit salad. Though if the apple peel is left on it begins to get tough when stored. If I know there won't be leftovers I don't peel the apples...more nutritious.
Mar. 6, 2009 4:06 pm
Layering a fruit with a good quality vanilla yogurt in a clear dish/glass also goes over well here. If I'm planning ahead & have the time I will strain the yogurt (making greek yogurt) making for a thicker consistency. One we like - a layer of yogurt, sprinkle with cinnamon, a layer of orange segments with a dribble of juice (fresh is best, but canned mandarin works too)...then repeat layering. Really simple, but enjoyable. Blueberries, strawberries, peaches, mixed berries...they're all good. And it's something that the kids like "making" themselves which sometimes results in their being more likely to eat it. Other add-ins could be nuts, seeds or granolas...dried fruits.
Mar. 7, 2009 2:05 pm
my husband really likes his homemade granola bars, you can add just about anything from veggies to fruit to them. There is a recipe on this site for one that involves carrots and zuccinni, use stevia instead of the sugar and applesauce instead of the oil and it works well.
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Port Arthur, Texas, USA
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About Me
My cooking experiences include creating seasonal menus for preschools, owning a catering company, and developing recipes for children with phenylketoneuria. I started cooking working alongside three generations of my Greek family on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
My favorite things to cook
We get a farm share in the summer, and I love cooking spontaneously based on what I find in the box each week. In general these turn out to be Mediterranean-style dishes, like my chard recipe.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cooking with my family is my favorite tradition. I involve my family in the process including planning, shopping, and cooking. My eldest child, Eamon has many ideas for meals and snacks. These are usually dishes that that he loves, and I have made only once or twice because of the time involved. However, he really loves Olive Puffs. He made several batches, froze them, and then I helped him bake them for parties throughout December. He was happy with the results, and even took them to a school party. I think the teachers ate them. This weekend, my 3 year old and I made pizza dough. He loves the mixer. His contribution consisted of adding scoops of unmeasured water and flour to the bowl. He loved this. Luckily he only partially filled the 1/8 cup measure each time, allowing him to add many scoops while not changing the proportions much. Later he mixed shredded cheese, flour, and salt (he loves the salt shaker) in a cast iron pan while I prepped the pizzas. The kitchen was a mess.
My cooking triumphs
Learning that the simplest recipes are usually the best. OK - really - I think I make a terrific fig jam. My hummus is also pretty tasty. Both of these recipes use fewer than 5 ingredients. See, simplest is best.
My cooking tragedies
Too many to count - bread not rising, bread rising too much; jam never setting up, jam burning - you get the picture.
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