Snack Attack

Face it -- Americans are snackers!

Even restaurant snacking is on the rise. According to Mintel's Menu Insights, items described as "snack", snackable or snacker" increased by 170% since 2007. Most snackers want something indulgent or salty AND want the snack to be portable. By the end of the day, as a group, we'll have eaten $22 million worth of candy -- almost a million dollars an hour for every hour of every day. 

So no wonder, as a parent you get bewildered on how to raise a healthy eater and still provide fun and healthy snack foods. The best snacking strategy for your family is to plan ahead, sit down and enjoy the snack and avoid mindless munching! 

Christine Palumbo, registered dietitian and writer for the Chicago Parentbelieves that after-school snacks can provide essential nutrients for your children.

In her Good Sense Eating monthly column, she explains more and interviews "Your Family Dietitian" about, Snacking To Satisfy Hunger & Health.

Try these Optimum Power Organic Whole Grain Cookies for a great after school snack this afternoon! 

Courtesy of Nature's Path Foods 

1 cup butter

1 3/4 cup organic brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups organic unbleached wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups quick organic oats

2 cups Nature Path Optimum

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add these to the butter mixture. Spoon drops of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. 

Researchers have found that when kids are forbidden to eat snacks, the snacks become more desirable.

Try Some New All-Natural Treats Available In Most Natural Food Sections 

Read more of the books below and discover healthy snack recipes and strategies.

• Snacks are OK! 

• Snacking can help maintain energy and control cravings. 

• Learn how smart snacking works 

• Discover tasty, healthy, easy-to-fix snacks 

• Learn ways to snack healthy 

• Learn a snack plan to help you make good choices 

Healthy Treats and Super Snacks for Kids 

Healthy Snacks for Kids (Nitty Gritty Cookbooks) 

Kinder Krunchies Too!; Healthy Snack Recipes for Children (Discovery Toys) 
Kids' Stuffin's: Good & Healthy Snacks for Kids to Make & Eat

When searching for snack satisfaction, think protein.

Second to protein, think fiber, as in fresh fruit, dried fruit, or whole grain breads and crackers.

Protein and fiber-rich snacks will keep your kids satisfied longer, especially between meals. 

Better Homes & Gardens suggests

Snacks on the Go! 

Herbed Ricotta and Crackers

A great mini meal for busy parents, these snacks combine protein, carbs, and whole grains to boost energy levels.

Stir together a couple tablespoons of snipped fresh basil and 1 cup of light ricotta cheese. Spread the herbed cheese on whole grain crackers. Tope with a grape tomato. 

Bag O-Teddies with Yogurt

Kids will have some fun with this sweet snack that gives them a bit of calcium plus fruit. Just snip open a little bag of bear-shape grahams or animal crackers, spoon in some low-fat yogurt and top with fresh fruit. 

Veggies on the Go

The vending machine won't be as alluring to teens who tote these dippers to after-school activities. Spoon in some light dill vegetable dip into a plastic cup and add crunchy vegetable sticks.

If you cut the veggies to fit the cup (use a tall cup), cover with a lid and the snack is ready to tote. Be sure to keep it chilled.

20 Nutrient-Rich and Balanced Super Snacks

1. Top crunchy crackers with cheese and apple slices. 

2. Enjoy fun-shaped graham snacks and cold milk. 

3. Try whole wheat wafers with chunky vegetable dip. 

4. Sip cool fruit juice with pretzel chips. 

5. Munch tortilla chips and salsa. 

6. Spread peanut butter on crackers. 

7. Vanilla yogurt with berries. 

8. Almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds for trailmix. 

9. Beef jerky and carrot sticks. 

10. Turkey on multi-grain bread. 

11. Peanut butter on bananas. 

12. Cottage cheese and pears or peaches. 

13. Mozzarella cheese sticks and grape tomatoes. 

14. Microwave instant bean soup. 

15. Popcorn. 

16. Whole-grain crackers, rice cakes and fig or fruit bars. 

17. Soy crisps, oat bran pretzels and baked tortilla chips. 

18. Frozen berries for yogurt parfaits and smoothies. 

19. Calcium-fortified cereal bars. 

20. Bite into a grahamwich. (See recipe below.) 

Frozen Yogurt Grahamwiches 

18 graham cracker squares

3 cups softened frozen yogurt, any flavor

1 cup granola 

-Line an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan with plastic wrap.

-Place 9 grahams in single layer on bottom of lined pan.

-Spread frozen yogurt evenly over grahams.

-Cover, freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

-Remove frozen grahams from pan, cut into 9 squares.

-Coat sides of each sandwich with granola.

Individually wrap and store in freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 9 servings. 

How would you like to have Snacktivities!: 50 Edible Activities for Parents and Children? Yes! 50 Edible Activities for your family!!

Children will learn that eating foods that are good for their bodies can be an enjoyable and creative activity. 

Kid-Friendly Snacks

Parenting magazine Health Editor, Robert Barnett offers these ideas: 

If your child needs more.... FRUIT

Try giving:

+dried raisins, dates, or apricots

+fruit cocktail packed in fruit juice

+applesauce (no added sugar)

+mashed bananas or berries with low-fat yogurt

+a baked apple

+a fruit smoothie 

If your child needs more.... VEGETABLES

Try giving:

+sliced sweet peppers, broccoli, or cucumbers

+raw snow peas

+sweet potatoe, microwaved

+avocado, sliced or mashed

+tomato sauce with whole-wheat pasta 

If your child needs more.... PROTEIN

Try giving:

+thin turkey slices

+hummus on whole-grain bread

+peanut butter thinly spread on a sliced apple

+white-bean spread on whole-wheat mini bagel 

If your child needs more.... DAIRY

Try giving:

+a glass of low-fat or whole milk

+a slice of low-fat cheddar cheese

+a part-skim mozzarella stick

+low-fat fruit yogurt

+milkshake made with frozen yogurt 

If your child needs more.... WHOLE GRAINS

Try giving:

+a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter or jam

+a slice of whole-grain cinnamon toast

+whole grain cereal (dry) such as Cheerios, Kashi, or Wheat Chex

+a small whole-cornmeal muffin

+whole-grain pretzels

+air-popped popcorn

There's a New Kid Snack in Town - Can Do Kid!

Try a sampling of Can Do Kid Can-illa Vanilla, Energy-nutrition Bar, 1.41-Ounce Bars (Pack of 15) today! 

I discovered these Can Do Kid bars at the Natural Products Expo East Food Show that I attend each year in Baltimore. The bars were created by moms to meet their kid's active, "on the go" nutrition needs.

Can Do Kid bars are unique and specially formulated to meet children's nutritional needs. The bars come in two, kid-approved flavors:

-Chocolate Crunch

-Cookies and Cream

One serving contains:

+All natural, 70% certified organic ingredients

+9 grams of protein and 17 essential vitamins and minerals

+No trans fats or high fructose corn syrup

+Two convenient, 20-gram bars, perfect for sharing or saving half for later 

The company's mission is to create a national CAN DO KID CULTURE through products and programs which promote healthy and happy kids who are active and involved in their communities and to inspire these kids to reach their full potential. 

Order the Can Do Kid Can-illa Vanilla, Energy-nutrition Bar, 1.41-Ounce Bars (Pack of 15) today! 

Your family might just like these tasty energy bars!