Healthy snacks fit into the MyPlate food groups and include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Children may get a sizable portion of their daily nutrients from snacks, so the content of the snacks should contribute to their MyPlate recommendations. Here are some ideas to help you create healthy holiday snacks:
- Use whole grain cereals to make rice cereal treats. Then make holiday shapes such as turkeys or Christmas trees.
- Serve a healthy trail mix made of peanuts, pretzels, and whole grain cereals or crackers in an individual bag or cup decorated with fun holiday cutouts instead of cookies or candies.
- Use whole grain flour when making cutout cookies. Decorate with a light, colorful glaze.
- Serve an oatmeal cookie on a plate surrounded by thin slices of red and green apples fanned out like turkey feathers. Use raisins for the eyes and cheese pieces for the feet and bill.
- Serve fun snacks like apple smiles made from apple slices, peanut butter, and miniature marshmallows, or ants on a log made from celery, peanut butter, and raisins. They aren't necessarily holiday themed, but they are fun any time of the year.
- Choose holiday cookie recipes that include fruits such as dried cranberries, dates, or raisins.
- Serve hot chocolate made from scratch with fat free or low fat milk. Or, if choosing instant hot chocolate powder, choose ones with less sugar and added calcium.
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 2 cups crispy rice cereal
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Wash hands with soap and water. Coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray.
- Combine oats and cereal in a large bowl and set aside. Bring brown sugar and syrup to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal, stirring until coated. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in raisins and chips. Press into prepared pan.
- Calories 130
- Total Fat 4.5g
- Saturated Fat 1.5g
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 40mg
- Total Carbohydrates 21g
- Fiber 1g
- Total Sugars 14g, includes 11g Added Sugars
- Protein 3g
- Vitamin D 0%
- Calcium 0%
- Iron 6%
- Potassium 2%
Nebraska Extension's Healthy Bites: Eating Healthier Over the Holidays
This newsletter has been peer-reviewed.