With peas, artichokes, asparagus and strawberries bursting from the ground, spring is the perfect time to introduce picky eaters to new foods. Consider taking a day trip to a local farm, where your kids can see spring fruits and vegetables in action. Then, when you’ve gathered a selection of the season’s freshest produce, head home to whip up a few of these healthy and kid-friendly spring inspired snacks!
1. Strawberries with honey yogurt dip: Kids love dip-ables! Pair kid-sized spring strawberries with a honey-sweetened low-fat yogurt dip. Just blend 1 Tbsp honey into 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt and serve with washed and cored strawberries.
2. Honeydew blueberry lime smoothie: Smoothies are the perfect pre- or post-sport snack for your active kids. They hydrate and provide some natural energy and protein. This smoothie shouts spring with its fresh, tangy, and sweet combination of late-season flavors. Just blend 2 cups chopped honeydew, 1 cup blueberries, the juice of 1 lime, 1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt, and 1 cup ice-cubes until smooth.
3. Almond butter + banana crackers: Almost everyone has peanut butter in their pantry, but did you know that there are other nut butters to try? Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber, and their sweet nutty taste is sure to delight even the most devoted peanut butter fan. You can find almond butter in the natural foods aisle of most grocery stores chains. Spread almond butter on whole wheat crackers and top with a slice of banana for an energy-packed after school snack.
4. Apricot halves with honeyed ricotta: Locally-grown, tender palm-sized apricots are often at their sweet peak for only 2 months of the year (usually between May-August, depending on where you live). There’s a world of difference between these fragile beauties and the usually mealy or bruised versions shipped from afar the rest of the year. So don’t miss your opportunity when they’re in season near you! Packed with fiber and vitamins A and C, they’re a nutrition powerhouse disguised as a treat. To make a child-friendly snack, slice apricots in half and remove the pit. Eat as is, or dollop a small spoonful of honey-sweetened ricotta cheese on top of each half and serve as finger food!
5. Fresh green beans and baby carrots with sour-cream chive dip: Getting your kids to eat veggies for an afterschool snack may sound improbable, but it’s easier than you’d think when you pair them with a creamy dip made with one of our favorite spring herbs. Just mix 5 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream with 4 tablespoons finely chopped chives, 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Blend well and serve with fresh green beans and baby carrots.
6. Pesto and turkey on whole-wheat pita: When your kids are always on the go, they often need something more substantial than carrot sticks to fuel up. Give them a well-balanced springtime snack by whipping up some basil-packed pesto and pairing it with a bit of turkey on whole-wheat pita. Basil’s brimming with vitamins and minerals, and when it’s paired with protein and whole-grain fiber, you’ve got one heck of a healthy (and delicious) snack.
7. Cottage cheese and rhubarb-sauce: When rhubarb finally makes its appearance in our grocery stores, many of us officially know it’s spring. If your kids have never tasted this vitamin C-packed plant, now’s the time to make the introduction. Just stew slices of rhubarb with some sugar or honey ahead of time (it’s far too tart to be eaten raw), and then add a heaping spoonful to plain cottage cheese for a sweet springtime snack.