This post was sponsored by the California Dried Plum Board. All opinions are my own
Happy New Year! If you have resolutions this year to feed your family better, I encourage starting small. For example, one good area to start with could be daily snacks.
Snacks are a struggle for many of the moms I work with, when feeding their kids. One step to healthy snacking for kids is to offer set "snack" times, rather than allowing your child open access to the pantry. This will allow them to have an appetite come meal time.
As for what to offer for snacks, it doesn't have to be chocolate-dipped granola bars and fishy crackers. Keep it simple, and just think of offering 2 food groups. Here are a few simple ideas:
1) Peanut butter on whole grain crackers
2) Boiled egg and fruit
3) Berries and yogurt
4) Fruit smoothie
5) Veggies and hummus dip
6) Energy balls with nuts and fruit (see recipe below)
These prune energy balls taste like chocolate and are an easy, balanced snack to take on-the-go. Give them a try!
3/4 cup (75mL) almonds and walnuts mix
1 cup (250mL) California prunes
1/4 cup (50mL) chia seeds
2 Tbsp (30mL) cocoa powder
2 Tbsp (30mL) smooth nut butter
coconut oil, to blend
1/3 cup (75ml) desiccated coconut
1) Place nuts in bowl of a food processor with knife blade and blitz for 10 seconds.
2) Add California prunes, chia, cocoa and nut butter and blend until smooth.
3) Add a small amount of coconut oil, a few drops at a time, until the mixture is sticky, and holds its shape when you roll a small amount between your fingers.
4) Take a tablespoon (15mL) of the mixture and roll into a ball. Continue creating balls until mixture is all gone.
5) Place coconut onto a small plate and roll balls into the coconut, to coat.
6) Place balls in an air-tight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to a week.
Speaking of healthy snacks, prunes and kids.....many of my clients also struggle with constipated babies or children. Prunes are often the go-to solution, but do you know why? Not only do prunes contain fibre, but they also contain sorbitol and phenolic acids. The sorbitol helps draw water into bowels to make bowel movements easier to pass.
Another great health benefits of prunes besides intestinal health, is that one daily serving (5-6) prunes helps slow bone loss. They have some important bone-building nutrients such as vitamin K and Magnesium.
Prunes also a portable nutritious snack without added sugar. Keep some in your car for snack-attacks, mixed with nuts for a balanced snack. Prunes can also be a good addition to salads, baked goods and entrees. Check out some more recipe ideas on the California Dried Plums website here.