Thursday, March 13, 2008

Snack Time

When the kids come home from school, the first thing they want is a snack. It's the same thing with adults. When I come into the house, the first place I head for is the kitchen. So, what's the snack going to be? The pantry could be my first go-to place. Chips are easy to grab, as are cookies, but they're not very healthy. So, what kind of strategy will make snack time a healthy food time? The easy thing to do is to have only healthy snacks in the pantry. However, if you're like me, that's a lot easier said than done. Both kids and husbands have a way of adding snacks to the grocery cart.

One thing I've found that works every time is to have some pre-prepared snacks ready for whoever gets to the kitchen and wants a snack. A basket of fruit on the counter makes grabbing an apple or a pear easy. I've recently taken that one step further by cutting up the fruit into slices, arranging them on a snack plate and setting it in the refrigerator. Yep, I set it right up front, where it's the first thing anyone will see. I include mostly fruit, then might add a few healthy nuts, and a dipping sauce or some crackers. This strategy works for both kids and adults.

Last summer, I set a bowl of apples on the counter at a summer cabin. When the kids (and adults) got back from a hike, the apples were the first thing everyone saw ... and it was moments until that bowl full of apples was an empty bowl! More recently, we were visiting some health-conscious friends. They set out a large, beautiful platter brimming with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple. Off to the side, was a small, plain plate of crackers. You guessed it - we all dove into the fruit, enjoying the vibrant colors of springtime bounty. Most all of the crackers remained on the plate throughout the afternoon. Snack time is meant to be enjoyed! So, enjoy your healthy fruit snacks!

Stealthy Cooking Tip
Keep the healthy stuff where you can see it!

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