Healthy Snacks for Grandkids

By Penny Warner


1. Smuggle nutritious foods into old favorites. Mix chopped spinach into turkey burgers, grated carrots into peanut butter, and cooked zucchini into pancakes. Add a little wheat germ to pizza dough, cookies and even smoothies.

2. Give food silly names. Children love whimsical things and will usually try something new if it has a funny name.

3. Let kids help. Even small children can help in the preparation of some of the things they eat. Children who help make their snacks are more likely to eat them. Better yet, teach children how to grow their own vegetables in the backyard garden.

4. Think small. It's not so overwhelming to a child when there are small amounts on a plate, or small bites to eat. A child will ask for more if desired. Sometimes it's fun to make a face or a design with the food. Try anything to create a happy atmosphere and stimulate a child's imagination.

5. Cut back on fats. Turkey lunch meats are good low-fat substitutes for bologna, salami, and other lunch meats. When a recipe calls for nuts or seeds, you may want to reduce the quantity (they have lots of fiber, but unfortunately are high in fat).

Choose your favorite: strawberries, blueberries or boysenberries.
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 Tbs. water
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
1 banana
1 Tbs. wheat germ
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
Combine ingredients in a blender container. Blend until smooth. Serve chilled in frosty glasses.
Makes 2 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 126; Protein 4.6g; Carbo 25.6g; Fat 1.6g; Calories from fat 10%

Here's a tricky way to cover the vegetable group. Try other combinations for variety.
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 celery stalks, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
Mix carrot, green pepper, cottage cheese and Parmesan together well. Stuff celery pieces. Makes 6 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 49; Protein 4.8g; Carbo 3.8g; Fat 1.7g; Calories from fat 31%

Feed these to your little space-walkers.
1 pkg. (10oz.) refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup cooked ground turkey
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup frozen tiny peas, thawed
2 Tbs. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbs. mustard
Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten each ball to form a 4-inch disk. Combine remaining ingredients and divide among half of the disks. Top with remaining disks and seal edges closed with the tines of a fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 325; Protein 18g; Carbo 36.6g; Fat 11.5g; Calories from fat 32%

Here's a popsicle with the taste of the tropics.
1 cup pineapple juice
1 banana
Combine juice and banana in a blender container. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into paper cups. Cover cups with foil. Make a slit in the center of each foil cover. Insert popsicle sticks. Freeze.
Makes 2 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 117; Protein 1.1g; Carbo 29.3g; Fat 0.3g; Calories from fat 2%

By using egg substitute instead of eggs, you can reduce the fat in this recipe from 41 percent to 31 percent. Use 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute for each large egg. Serve this omelet in scooped-out orange halves for a fresh look.
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped cooked broccoli
1/2 cup cooked macaroni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mix eggs with broccoli and macaroni. Scramble in a nonstick skillet until fluffy. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 2 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 203; Protein 15.5g; Carbo 15g; Fat 9.3g; Calories from fat 41%

Hot dogs in hamburger buns? This special cooking technique will leave your kids wondering, "How did she do that?"
4 turkey frankfurters
4 hamburger buns
1 can (8oz.) baked beans
Slash each frankfurter crosswise at 1/2-inch intervals, cutting halfway through. Broil or barbecue frankfurter until it curls into a circle and is heated through. Toast buns. Place a frankfurter circle on the bottom half of each bun. Fill centers of circles with 2 tablespoons baked beans. Cover with top bun. Serve remaining beans as a side dish.
Makes 4 servings.
Per Serving: Calories 285; Protein 13.1g; Carbo 34.2g; Fat 10.9g; Calories from fat 34%

From Healthy Snacks for Kids, by Penny Warner. Illustrations by James Balkovek. 1996 by Bristol Publishing Enterprises, Inc. Excerpted by arrangement with Bristol Publishing Enterprises. $8.95. Available in local bookstores, or call 510-895-4461; outside California, call 800-346-4889.