A note from Jeana:
Eating is a basic need for all living creatures. Sure, eating healthy is what everyone wants to do, but what happens when life gets busy, budgets don't allow for $500 per week to spend on this months most sought after foods and when your kids look at the super healthy dinner you made with a face of disgust? Well, I'm here to share the good news that THERE IS A SOLUTION! Read the following recipe that was created by an awesome friend of mine who just so happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Mom!
Involve Your Kids in Creating Donut Apples:
Activity and following information created by Kacie Barnes, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Snack time is a great opportunity to get your little one involved in the kitchen with you. I find that for my 2.5 year old, this is the best time to do a kitchen activity because he's not cranky and starving like at some meal times. Also, snacks are quick to prepare so your little one won't get bored or impatient. And, you generally aren't using the stove or oven so it's the safest time to be in the kitchen!
Today I wanted to share with you a fun snacktivity (snack-activity...is that too cheesy? haha!) that has been a recent favorite with my toddler.
THIS WAS SO FUN! I've talked before about how I like to get him involved in the kitchen, but this was an extra special activity. He was SO excited to help make and eat this healthy treat!
How to Make Donut Apples
The donut apple shape is so fun and easy. All you do is slice the apple horizontally- the opposite way from how you would normally slice it- so that your knife goes through the core with each slice. You want slices about 1/4 inch thick. Now, you take a small round cookie cutter to cut out the core part of each slice. Or you can use a knife, but the cookie cutter is easier if you have one.
Then it's the fun part! You can stick with one "icing," but I did a couple different ones this day. Ideas for healthy "icing" include:
- coconut butter
- peanut butter
- almond butter
- chocolate hazelnut butter (YUM)
- greek yogurt
- whipped cream cheese mixed with a drizzle of honey
I spread the "icing" onto the apple slices for my 2.5 year old, but if your child is a bit older, they can help with this part. Or, you can just cut the apple into regular wedges and let them dip into the "icing" instead!
Topping time! My son was thrilled to have his own topping bar and choose how to decorate each "donut." Three toppings is the perfect amount to give them some choices, without having to open every package in your kitchen. Here are some ideas:
- ground flax
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
- mini chocolate chips
- raisins or craisins
- finely chopped nuts
My personal favorite combination was coconut butter topped with raisins and this cereal. My son's favorite was anything with chocolate!
Why I love this snack
Snack time is a great time of the day to serve fruit, which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Apples are plenty nutritious on their own, but adding some healthy fats and proteins, like nut butter, nuts, or seeds, helps keep your little one fully satisfied until their next meal. And, I love snacks that you can easily customize to incorporate your little one's favorites. My son LOVES chocolate chips (who doesn't?) and this is a way that he can enjoy a couple as part of a healthy, balanced snack. Yet he feels like he's getting an extra special treat!
Don't have apples on hand? Try it with banana slices or even pear or orange slices. No one besides you and your little ones will enjoy this treat, so no need to worry about it being Pinterest-perfect pretty!
I hope you enjoy this tasty, nutritious snack!
About the Author----Kacie Barnes is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master in Clinical Nutrition. She blogs at mamaknowsnutrition.com where she shares family friendly recipes, tips and tricks on feeding little ones, and answers to commonly asked nutrition questions, like "should my toddler drink almond milk?" You can follow her on Instagram @mamaknowsnutritionrd and Facebook at Mama Knows Nutrition.