An Apple for Teacher (and Students too!)
The start of a new school year is an exciting time for children and parents. It brings new teachers, old friends, fresh school supplies and an opportunity to adjust the family routine. If the lazy days of summer brought about a few lazy habits in the kitchen, now is a great opportunity to renew the commitment to offer healthy foods for a healthy family. Meals don’t have to be difficult. Visit The Produce Lady recipe page for quick, easy-to-prepare, healthy recipes the whole family will enjoy.
While we tend to focus on three meals a day, don’t overlook the after-school snack. Whether your kids will be enjoying some free play or buckling down for homework immediately after school, refueling their minds and bodies is essential. Remember to keep healthy snacks in a kid-friendly location, but discourage turning this snack into a supper spoiler. One way is to pre-portion the snack foods. Keep a designated water bottle in the fridge for each child to curb the reach for a sugary drink.
Fresh produce is a great snack by itself, since it’s often naturally available in a single-serve portion, like oranges, apples, bananas or peaches. Berries and grapes are easily doled out as well, just make sure all fresh produce is washed prior to eating. If you need to add a little kick to the fruits or veggies, try these kid-tested, Produce Lady-approved after-school snacks.
- 1 apple
- 5 tbsp. peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. raisins
- 5 tbsp. granola
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
Wash and core apple. Slice crosswise to make 10 thin apple disks. Spread 1 tbsp. of peanut butter on 5 of the apple disks. Sprinkle raisins, granola and cinnamon over peanut butter. Top each loaded apple disk with one of the 5 remaining apple disks. Serves 2.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sliced peaches (they can be either fresh or canned; if using canned peaches, use peaches packed in their own juice instead of syrup)
- 1 tsp. sugar
Pour the milk into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Pop the “milk cubes” out of the tray and put them into the blender. Add the peaches and sugar to the blender. With the lid in place, blend on high speed until everything is mixed together and smooth. Pour your peach freeze into 4-ounce serving dishes and serve right away. Serves 3.
- 1 8-inch whole wheat or flour tortilla
- 1 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 tbsp. strawberry jam or apple sauce
- 3 tbsp. raisins or cranberries
- 1 large banana
Spread peanut butter on one side of tortilla, then add strawberry jam or apple sauce. Sprinkle with raisins or cranberries. Wrap the tortilla around peeled banana and cut in half.
- 1 green, yellow or red pepper, washed
- 1 bunch of celery, washed
- 1 carrot, washed and peeled
- 2 tbsp. favorite salad dressing
Cut the pepper in half and remove seeds. Set one half aside to use as your bowl. Cut the other half into narrow slices. Cut the carrot and celery into narrow sticks about four inches long. Put salad dressing in the bottom of your pepper bowl. Arrange celery sticks, carrot sticks and pepper slices in the pepper bowl. Serves 1.
FRUIT BLAST SMOOTHIE
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt
- 1 cup frozen unsweetened fruit, such as blueberries, strawberries or peaches
- 1 tsp. honey
Put all the ingredients into a blender. Process until smooth. Serves 2.
FROZEN FRUIT POPS
- Assorted fruit (grapes, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, melon, etc.)
- 2 tbsp. honey
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
Slice the fruit into small wedges and skewer them onto a Popsicle stick, like a shish kebab. To prevent discoloration, generously brush on a mixture of honey and orange juice. Freeze in an airtight container. Serves 4.