Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1265, (8 - 14 October 2015)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1265, (8 - 14 October 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: Healthy snacks for school

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

It’s school time again, and parents need to help their children make healthy choices. Unfortunately, kids are surrounded by junk food, including salty meals and sugary treats and drinks at school. Aside from ruining the taste buds, most of these foods don’t contain the vitamins and nutrients a child needs.

This can lead to overweight or even obese children, putting kids at risk of asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Obesity also often causes low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.

To provide your kids with more nutritious options that will keep them alert and energetic throughout the school day and fight obesity, snacks should have reduced amounts of fat, salt and sugar. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be at the core of snacking menus.

You can add some protein, but chicken nuggets and hot dogs are not the healthiest options — go for low-fat cheese sticks instead. Different assortments of nuts and dried fruits are also a good option. Whole-wheat bread, English muffins, whole-wheat tortillas and popcorn can give your kids tons of needed fibre, vitamins and minerals.

 

Here are some healthy school snack ideas you can pack for your kids as they head out for school and other fun outings.


Fruity Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
One orange, cut into eighths
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped

Method:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Put the orange wedges, orange juice, egg and oil into a blender and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour the orange mixture into it and stir to make a thick batter. Stir in the dried fruit. Divide the mixture among the muffin tins, filling the tins about three-quarters full. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden. Let cool on a rack and enjoy warm or toasted.

Easy Cheese Crackers

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into four pieces
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon milk

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cheese, butter, flour, salt and cayenne pepper together. Add the milk and use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into the desired shapes. Gently transfer the crackers to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving a 1/4-inch space between them. Try to make the crackers roughly the same size so everything will cook evenly. Bake the crackers on the middle rack of the oven for 10 to12 minutes, or until the edges of the crackers are golden. Cool on a baking sheet set on a wire rack. You can store the crackers in a sealed container for up to five days.

Tortilla Pizzas

Ingredients:
Small corn tortillas
Salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese

Method:
Pile a little salsa and cheese on each tortilla. Cook on a foil-lined tray in a toaster oven until the cheese has melted and is brown at the edges. You can add a layer of refried beans under the salsa, cilantro for garnish, and a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of finely chopped green pepper.

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