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MILWAUKEE, WI – Busy schedules, including work, school, extracurricular activities and more, often cause healthy eating to fall to the wayside. Kids can end up munching on pizza, snacks, and junk food too frequently, instead of freshly prepared, well-rounded meals.
As the school year approaches, it’s important to consider nutritious meal and snack options for children, and one of the best ways to implement healthy eating into their diet is to make the food fun and tasty and easy for parents to prepare. Consider following the recipes below to help your child eat right (and have fun while doing it), says TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization:
1. Popcorn-Banana Mix
a. Mix together popcorn and banana chips in a large bowl.
b. Add additional treats, such as dried berries or nuts, for greater variety.
2. Fruity Faces
a. Use a fruit that can easily be cut in half, such as a grapefruit or orange.
b. Halve the fruit and adorn it with a cluster of grapes, representing hair.
c. Add three grapes – two for the eyes and one for a nose.
d. Use two strawberries as ears.
e. Blueberries make the smile.
3. Apple Art
a. Slice an apple and use slivered almonds as skewer decorations on top.
4. Icy Delight
a. Blend together two cups ice, one cup juice, and one and one-half cups assorted fruit in a blender. Add more juice if necessary.
b. Pour into individual cups and place in the freezer for at least three hours.
c. When ready to taste, remove from freezer and let sit on counter for a few minutes to thaw. Makes four servings.
5. Berry Delicious
a. Add fresh berries to yogurt.
b. Top with granola for an extra, nutritious treat.
6. Fruit or Vegetable Skewers
a. Place a variety of fruits or vegetables on a skewer and enjoy.
7. Cool Carrots
a. Set out a bowl of carrots with three individual dipping sauces, like peanut butter, low-fat ranch dressing, Italian dressing, or avocado dip.
8. Banana Hot Dog
a. Peel a banana and place it between a slice of whole wheat toast.
b. Top with peanut butter or chocolate.
Whether parents make these recipes for lunch, after-school snacks, or post-sports treats, children will appreciate their silly nature while eating well – and they can satisfy the adult palate, as well.
TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the original, nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization, was established more than 62 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success. Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.