GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In the upcoming weeks, kids will be heading back to school, and what better time to talk about kids eating healthy than Back-to-School time. Healthy snacks are so important for a child's growth and development. Snacks also provide kids the extra energy needed to make it through the school day, as well as extracurricular activities. It can be difficult to find foods that are both nutritious and tasty for your children. Many of the snacks consumed today are full of sugar, sodium and fat. However, there are many ways to provide and modify snacks that are both healthy and enjoyable for your kids.

For today's On the Menu segment, Mercy Health Registered Dietitian Rebecca Serra shares some key points on modifying back-to-school snacks to best meet your child's nutrition needs.

Recipes

Fruit Kabobs

Ingredients:

1 apple chunk (½ inch piece)

1 cheese cube (½ inch piece)

1 cooked chicken cube (½ inch piece)

1 pineapple chunk (½ inch piece)

Directions:

Assemble mini-kababs on a toothpick or arrange in a stack in the following order: cheese, apple, chicken, pineapple 

Caution: 

Toothpicks can be dangerous for young children. Arrange food in a stack for children under 3 years old.

Dark Chocolate and Blueberry Energy Bites 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups oatmeal

1/3 cup almonds, chopped

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed, optional

½ cup nut butter, peanut or almond are both good options

¼ cup honey

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

1/3 cup dried blueberries, roughly chopped

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Bake oatmeal and almonds for 8-10 minutes at 350°, stirring after 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. (If you want the chocolate blended into the mix, don't cool it. If you want the chunks of chocolate to stay intact, allow the mixture to cool completely first.)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the baked mix with flaxseed, nut butter, honey, chia seeds, blueberries and chocolate chips. Form into 1 ½ inch balls and refrigerate. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to one week or freezer for up to 3 months.

Cucumber Cups

Cut cucumbers into ½ inch thick slices and scoop out seeds with a small spoon or melon baller, leaving bottom intact to form a cup. Fill each cup with hummus and serve.

Homemade Trail Mix

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds

¾ cup cashews

2/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

2 Tbsp. unsweetened dried cranberries

2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!

Courtesy: Rebecca Serra, RD

Check out more back to school content at www.wzzm13.com/backtoschool.

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