Mix up a nutritious smoothie! If it is tough to get the kids to sit down to enough servings of fruits and vegetables, try preparing some fun! For 4 or 5 to enjoy: Fill a blender 1/2 way up with ice; Add milk to just about 1 ” over the ice. Add 1/2 cup yogurt, a banana and your choice of strawberries, blackberries or raspberries. Go ahead and sneak in a little extra nutrients Try topping your ice with this: pineapple or pineapple juice, chopped spinach, yogurt and banana for a fun green smoothie. Be creative and fill the kids with nutrients.

Makin’ Pizza Pie! Kds love pizza and they will love making their own. Lay out some whole grain English muffins opened on a cookie sheet (foil line it for easy clean up). Mix up a can of tomato sauce with garlic powder and Italian seasoning (to taste) for pizza sauce. Grate jack and/or mozzerella cheese and place in a bowl. Fill several bowls with healthy sides such as thin sliced vegetables including mushrooms, olives, diced broccoli, spinach and a favorite cooked meat such as ham or ground beef (or pepperoni!). Now let the kids spread on some pizza sauce with a spoon, Using small tongs or a spoon, let them sprinkle a little cheese; add ingredients, and cover them with a bit more cheese.  Mom or Dad can pop them into the oven at 375º for 7 minutes, then to broil at 450º for a minute or two, until slightly brown. Cool to a kid-friendly temperature and serve.

Rice Pudding: Heat leftover whole-grain rice (or make a batch) with chopped apple or raisins, nuts, honey and cinnamon with a dash of cinnamon/sugar mixture sprinkled on top.

Dipping is Fun! Vegetables do taste good when you dip them in a favorite salad dressing. Try a sweet poppyseed dressing or some ranch. Give each child their own small cup of dressing as they may double-dip. Cut vegetables in thin slices and in sticks for easy dipping and ease of eating. We use red and orange bell peppers, carrots, broccoli and to make potato sticks, cut potatoes in sticks and bake until lightly tender on a well greased cookie sheet. turning now

Whole Grain Pinwheels: Spread a whole grain tortilla with regular or low fat cream cheese. Sprinkle with finely chopped: olives, chopped spinach, chopped ham or other cooked meat and mushrooms. (Or choose your own toppings to spread over the cream cheese) Now roll it up so you have one long roll. Slice the roll in 1/2″ pieces; lay them out on a platter. Spread a dab of cream cheese and top with an olive slice. Perfect served with small cups of 100% juice or herb tea without caffeine.

Often when kids get agitated or bored, it helps to deliver a nutritious snack. Have some of these snacks on hand to make snack time fun. When traveling or out doing errands, be sure to pack water and snacks. It will make for a much happier time.