Vegetarian Snacks for Childrenby Shelley Frost
Kids and snacking are a natural combination. There are plenty of meat-free possibilities at snack time, many that are a healthy option for your child. The vegetarian snack options are also versatile, allowing you to change them up or substitute other ingredients based on what your kids prefer and what you have on hand.
A whole wheat tortilla creates the base for this vegetarian snack. You can easily customize the roll-up based on your child's taste preferences. Both sweet or savory fillings are a possibility. Start by spreading a dip or spread onto the tortilla. Ideas include hummus, cream cheese, nut butter, spreadable cheese or jam. Sprinkle in chopped vegetables, fresh fruit pieces, dried fruit, coconut flakes, shredded cheese or nuts. Roll up the tortilla from one edge to the other before serving the snack.
Homemade vegetable chips satisfy a salty craving for your kids. Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and parsnip work well as vegetable chips. Wash the vegetables and slice them thinly into chip-like pieces. Toss the slices in a small amount of vegetable oil. You just need enough to lightly coat all of the pieces. Start with one or two teaspoons and add more as needed. Add your choice of seasonings, such as garlic salt or pepper. Bake the chips at 400 degrees on a baking sheet until they are just crispy. This will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the chips once during the baking for an even crisp.
Waffles aren't just for breakfast. They work well as a quick snack. You can either make a large batch of homemade waffles or keep frozen waffles on hand. Cut the waffles into strips for an easy finger snack. Syrup is always a topping option, but there are healthier ideas. Try spreading the waffle strips with yogurt, peanut butter or jam for something different. Sliced fruit also works well on the waffles.
Muffins are another traditional breakfast food that also works well as a snack. Homemade muffins allow you to customize the ingredients list, but there are also muffin mixes available. To increase the health value of the muffins, replace some or all of the oil with applesauce. Shredded carrots and zucchini go well in muffins and add a serving of vegetables to the snack. Most kids won't notice the veggies. Mix and match the other mix-ins, which could include dried fruit, coconut, nuts or canned pumpkin.
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