Between work, school and extracurricular activities, little time is left for sit-down meals. Americans are turning to snacks for quick-meal solutions. Try these delicious suggestions that are sure to suit a range of snacking occasions.
1) Nutritious Foods in a Pocket
Stuff a pita bread with any combination from the fridge. Try pasta salad tossed with shredded cheese, apple cubes and raisins topped with yogurt, or deli meat and cheese layered with veggies.
2) Glorious Leftovers
Portion leftovers such as lasagna, macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes in microwave-safe containers so kids can "heat and eat" them with a cold glass of chocolate milk.
3) Movie Madness
Before pressing the play button for the next movie, create a spiced up version of traditional popcorn by adding pretzels, cheddar cheese cubes and a tablespoon of taco seasoning to the mix.
4) Nachos in a Minute
Top tortilla chips with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and cook in the microwave until cheese melts; serve with salsa.
5) Anyway Potato
Bake a potato in the microwave. Slice open and add leftover chili stew, broccoli or salsa. Top with shredded cheese and microwave again until cheese melts.
6) Breakfast Anytime
Heat frozen pancakes or French toast in the microwave for a quick snack with a glass of milk and fruit. Or add sliced fruit to a bowl of cereal and milk. It's great — and easy - anytime of day.
7) Grab and Go Foods
Keep the fridge and pantry stocked with flavored milk, fresh fruit, string cheese, bagels and large pretzels.
8) Shake Up Some Nutrition
Kids love milkshakes and they're packed with plenty of calcium and protein. Combine 1 cup milk, 2 to 3 scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of flavored syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy.
9) Spreads Galore
Top bagels with cream cheese or cottage cheese, shredded carrots and zucchini, thawed raspberries or strawberries, or chopped dried fruit.
10) Crispy Cheese Treats
Create Parmesan crisps by baking individual tablespoons of shredded cheese on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees F until the cheese bubbles (about 5 minutes).
Have questions about your child's nutrition? Ask the experts at Nutrition Explorations.