Chef Kelli's power snacks for kids - New York News

Chef Kelli's power snacks for kids

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From Dr. Sue & Angelle (recipe courtesy of Chef Kelli Lewton from 2 Unique Caterers)

You may be feeding your child REAL food snacks but often we find that the snacks are unbalanced – usually heavy in grain-based carbohydrates. It's important to think about snacks like you would meals, often thinking of your child's snack as a mini-meal. You want to serve balanced snacks as much as possible in order to help keep your child's blood sugar steady.
Think about a snack this way:

Recipe for a Balanced Meal or Snack:
1. A big helping of Powerful Protein
2. Lots of Friendly Fat
3. a couple of sides of Colorful Carbs

You want to make sure you are including all 3 of these „ingredients‟ in your snacks. Of course they often overlap – Powerful Protein and Friendly Fats often come together in one „package‟ like they do in pastured eggs, but if you train your mind to think of these three ingredients you will be doing your child a huge favor when it comes to her health, behavior and learning.

1. Start thinking about building snacks around Powerful Proteins.

2. Look at your Powerful Protein and ask yourself if it has lots of Friendly Fats. Pastured eggs and grass-fed meat do, but you can still bump it up with more fat. Can you add some full-fat dairy from pastured cows – yogurt, raw cheese, cottage cheese? Maybe you can add some avocado or homemade dressing with olive oil. What about some organic nuts and seeds?  Friendly Fats should be abundant in your child‟s snacks and meals. They help fuel the brain and the rest of the body, while keeping your child satiated. The Friendly Fats may be coupled in the food with your Powerful Protein or in a separate food that you serve with the snack.

3. Time for the Colorful Carbs. Most kids‟ snacks include carbs in the form of grains – lots of grains – breads, crackers, muffins, cookies, and more. We want you to include carbs from vegetables and some fruits. Kids often love green beans as a part of their snack – frozen ones that have thawed work great – or celery, carrots, berries, pears. Think color. Focusing on a different REAL color each day is a fun way to teach your child how important it is to eat and drink a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits each week.

Chef Jackie's Banana Spheres - about 14 spheres
Ingredients:
• 1 banana
• ½ cup almond butter or sunflower butter
• 1 cup ground oatmeal
• 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
• Garnishes: finely chopped nuts, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips

Prep Ahead:
• Grind flax seeds just before preparing.
• Chop nuts for garnish.
• Toast coconut for garnish.

Directions:
In a medium bowl mash together banana and almond butter with an electric hand mixer.
• Stir in oatmeal and flax seed.
• Chill mixture for one hour and then roll into 1-inch balls.
• Roll each ball into desired garnish.
• Chill until firm.

Comments:
Banana Spheres can be frozen up to 3 months. These taste great straight from the freezer.
Recipe can be made with any nut or seed butter.  Mini chocolate chips taste great stirred into spheres.

White Bean Dip

Ingredients:
Pita Chips:
• 6 whole grain pitas
• 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
• Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Basil Bean Dip
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1-2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
• ½ - 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
• 1 ½ cups cannellini or other white bean, soaked and cooked
• 1 lemon, juiced
• ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt
• ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
• 1 Tb fresh basil (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut pita into 6-8 wedges and spread onto 2 cookie sheets.
2. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper.
3. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 6-8 minutes or until crisp.
4. In a small skillet over medium heat cook oil, garlic and thyme until garlic is golden brown.
5. Combine all ingredients (excluding pita chip ingredients) in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
6. If mixture is too thick add one Tbsp. water and blend

Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are always a hit, but these have some added touches that kids love. Be sure to make plenty to keep in the fridge for a quick and tasty snack.

Ingredients
6 eggs
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
3 Tablespoons cheddar, finely shredded
½ Tablespoon mustard – Dijon or yellow work great

Directions
1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat and let stand in hot water for 18 minutes. Remove from stove and run cool water over eggs until cool enough to peel. Peel eggs and set aside until completely cooled or refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Cut cooled eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks into a small bowl. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, bacon and cheese. (Magic Bullet with the cross blade works great – blend until smooth.)
3. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and refrigerate until serving.

Popcorn Crunch - 8 cups

Ingredients
Butter to smear bowl
8 cups freshly popped organic popcorn
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Pinch baking soda

Directions
1. Heat oven to 300° degrees.
2. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Smear butter in a large bowl and fill with popcorn.
4. Meanwhile bring syrup, cinnamon and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over, Medium heat. Boil 4 minutes swirling the pan occasionally.
5. Remove from heat and add baking soda stirring until mixture is creamy.
6. Pour mixture over popcorn and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir until combined.
7. Pour popcorn on baking sheets and bake until popcorn is dry to the touch; about
8. 15 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes.

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