Healthy snacking is an obsession of mine. Today’s post features Roasted Chickpeas, Eggplant Pizza and a Smoothie.
For many of people, handling their munchies comes down to not only managing themselves but monitoring what they feed their kids as well. Lots of parents buy their kids junk food and then blame their own bad snacking habits on the “kid food.” I challenge you: what is “kids food” and why, most of the time, is it the processed, calorie ridden chemical stuff? Why isn’t “kids food” something like an apple with peanut butter? I talked to a wonderful family yesterday who believed that “fish” crackers and chocolate milk was the perfect snack for their three- year old twins. Once they looked at the food labels, they realized it was the opposite: the crackers were loaded with chemicals while the chocolate milk was laden with more sugar than calcium. Looks of shock crossed their faces as they read the labels.
Snacking is an essential part of keeping your metabolism and your body running efficiently! This is true for kids as well. Maybe your 3:00pm mocha-frappe calorie bomb or your child’s potato chip binge is really happening because your bodies are craving healthier eating habits and food. Ask yourself: are my snacks packed with good fiber, protein, fruits and vegetables? Are my snacks under 250 calories? Am I eating breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and then dinner? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, I challenge you to adapt a healthy snacking regime this week and see how you and your kids feel!
So how do you change your snacking habits? The simple answer is by planning. Pick a few snacks from my suggestions below, write down the ingredients, go to the store to pick up the items and spend a little time cooking ahead so that you can give them a try!
1. Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas
- 2 cans (15 oz) garbanzo beans
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 heads of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- Pepper to taste
- Rinse and drain the beans.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Mix all of the ingredients together and toss to coat well.
- Lay the beans on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until they are crispy.
- Store in an air -tight container for up to 4 days.
2. Eggplant Pizza
This is a great, in season, healthy snack. Eggplants can be found in abundance at local farm stands all over New Jersey right now! It’s a great health food!
- 1 eggplant, sliced
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (8-10 oz) can marinara sauce
- Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese for topping (you choose)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Brush eggplant slices with olive oil
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Spread 1 tbs. marinara sauce over one side of the eggplant
- Add either shredded mozzarella, whole slices of mozzarella, a mozzarella stick ( that’s what I used) or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. It all tastes good!
- Bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
3. Blueberry-Vanilla Smoothie:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup apple juice or cider
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups of ice
- Into a blender, add all of the ingredients and then blend until smooth.
4. An apple or celery stick with 2 tbs. Almond Butter or Sunbutter
If you make a conscious effort to snack better, I guarantee that you will love it! And remember to take your kids along on your healthier snacking adventure! Trust me, ditch the “kids food” and everybody will benefit as there are so many great textures, flavors and options out there waiting to be enjoyed by your entire family!! Yum!
If you have any great snacks ideas to share, I would love to hear your ideas! Please leave a comment under “speak your mind.”