(Family Features) Another school year is underway and with it comes homework, play dates, team sports and more, which can make the task of feeding your kids healthy snacks a daunting one.
Fortunately, there are several ways parents can make snack time easier and more nutritious. Healthy, convenient and naturally sweet options, such as California raisins, are a great solution for snack time throughout the school year.
“California raisins are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit parents can feel good about giving their kids,” says Larry Blagg, senior vice president of marketing for the California Raisin Marketing Board. “The ingredient list says it all – raisins.”
Because they are 100-percent fruit with no added sugar, raisins contain zero empty calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food-a-Pedia website. In fact, a recent study presented at the Canadian Nutrition Society, found that children who eat raisins as an after-school snack may prevent excessive calorie intake and may increase satiety (or feeling full) when compared to other common snacks.
For naturally sweet and satisfying ways to avoid falling into a snacking rut, follow these simple tips:
1.) Don’t leave snacking to chance. Avoid unhealthy snacks by preparing nutritious options ahead of time. Try a no-fuss option like a hearty trail or snack mix and add California raisins for sweetness without the sugar.
2.) Make grab-and-go snacks. Make snacks that are portable. On busy days, having go-to snacks that travel well in backpacks, lunch boxes, your purse or car will save time and satisfy hungry tummies.
3.) Involve the kids. Create healthy habits by involving kids in snack preparation. When kids are engaged in creating their own snacks, parents can make valuable connections between food choices and nutrition. Choose fun and simple recipes kids can make on their own or with little help.
4.) Don’t forget the fun. Remind kids that snacking healthy can be creative and fun. Introduce them to the rainbow of colors, shapes, and tastes included in a healthy diet.
5.) Remind kids: healthy is tasty. It really is possible to make healthy snacks kids won’t trade at recess. Prepare wholesome snacks, like this chewy and delicious Honey Nut Raisin Snack Mix, made with naturally sweet California raisins.
For more information about California raisins and more great recipes, please visit www.loveyourraisins.com, and sign up for a California Raisins snack pack on the California raisins Facebook page at facebook.com/californiaraisins.
Honey Nut Raisin Snack Mix
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups brown crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup rolled gluten-free oats
- 2 cups California raisins
- 1/2 cup California golden raisins
- Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add honey, almond butter and cinnamon and bring to full boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in cereal, almonds and oats. Spread 1-inch thick on baking sheet then separate into 1-inch clusters. Let cool completely, then sprinkle in raisins. Store in an airtight container.
- Note: For crunchy clusters, spread cooked mixture 1-inch thick on a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir to form clusters and let cool completely. Sprinkle in raisins.