Thanks to the many parents who chimed in with healthy snack ideas for this week’s issue of the Bridge. Buzz Ferver of Worcester says his kids love nori sheets, cut into tiny squares. According to the Eden Foods website, nori (a toasted sea vegetable which is dried and flattened into sheets) provides minerals, vitamins, trace minerals, iodine, and protein.
Jenny Stone Muilenburg of Seattle notes, “my kids will eat almost any vegetable that’s been roasted and salted: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, garbanzo beans…” For that last one she recommends Mark Bittman’s recipe for roasted chickpeas. Once roasted, these chickpeas are a great finger food for kids above the age of choking risk.
Special thanks to Montpelier naturopath Lydia Faesy, ND, for sharing some recommendations for healthy snacks for children. She suggests making nut butter balls from a combination of nut butter, dried milk, raisins, honey, coconut, seeds, granola, and/or wheat germ, all mixed together and baked, or unbaked and rolled in coconut flakes. Careful about taking these to school, though — to accommodate students with allergies, many schools restrict snacks that contain tree nuts.
In a fact sheet, Faesy cautions that “food should not be used as a reward or punishment, because the attention is taken away from the value of eating healthy foods.” Faesy encourages tasting many different kinds of foods, and involving children to take part in snack choices and preparation, noting, “what you feed your children now creates their eating likes, dislikes, and habits for the future.”