5 Kid-Friendly Alternatives to Cheese, Crackers and Carbs
Got a carb lover on your hands? A couple of pintsize cheese addicts? Me too. In fact, I have four small kids, and sometimes it seems like they’ll eat only cheese, crackers and other carbs (CCC), at least without a fuss. When we’re in a CCC rut, I break out a few of these delicious alternatives.
Carrots and Dip Taste Test: Hear me out. If your kids don’t like raw veggies, give them a choice of a few dips (salad dressings, hummus or whatever you have in the fridge), and ask them to pick a winner. Alternatively, pick their favorite dressing — say, ranch — and offer three to four kinds of raw veggies to dip right in. Have them declare a favorite vegetable instead.
Edamame: Buy these Japanese soybean pods in the frozen food aisle. Warm them in the microwave for about a minute and let the kids pop ‘em open at snack time. The buttery flavor goes perfectly with a dusting of sea salt — like popcorn that’ll stick with you.
Smoothies: Frozen berries make the best smoothie base; you don’t even need to add ice. Throw in some plain yogurt or a banana for added richness, plus a veggie like frozen spinach or a raw carrot, and you’ve got added nutrition no one will even detect. For a dairy-free treat, try Melissa d’Arabian’s Almond Milk and Berry Smoothie.
Apple Moons: These are just naturally crescent-shaped apple slices topped with peanut butter. Use smooth or chunky peanut butter — whatever the kids like. Bonus: Let the kids add their own third layer of sunflower seeds, shredded coconut or chia seeds. (Want more? This is just one of Food Network’s 50 After-School Snacks!)
DIY "Granola" Bars: Full of nuts, quinoa and sesame seeds (while sweetened with honey), these bars (pictured below) are packed with protein, but your kids will still call them “granola.” We won’t tell.
Charity Curley Mathews blogs at Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe.