When kids — and, okay, adults — have the choice between a candy bar and a “healthy snack”, it can be a little more than challenging to go with the latter option, especially when “healthy snack” is so often synonymous with tasteless and boring. When those between-meal hunger pangs start hitting, you need something yummy in the tummy to help get you through the day. Let’s skip the sugary stuff that hurts your teeth and dig into these 3 yummy snacks that are healthy, hearty, and dentist-approved.
1. Apple Monsters
How cute are these?! While the presentation is totally kid-friendly, anyone will fall for this funny twist on the classic apple with peanut butter.
First, cut a large green apple into six equal wedges. Then, cut out a v-shaped slice on the peel side of each wedge, being careful not to cut all the way through. Smear the bottom of the cutout with peanut butter and place a slice of strawberry on top. Then, poke a few shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds into the top of the cutout — you now have a silly smile with little teeth! Finally, add eyes to your little monster creations. You can do this by putting a little peanut butter on the back of candy eyes, often found in the baking isle at the grocery store, or put two grapes on a toothpick and stick into the apple wedge.
2. Baked Vegetable Chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and slice 1 large sweet potato, 1 large carrot, 1 medium-size beet, and 2 large parsnips into thin rounds. You can do this using a regular kitchen knife, but a mandolin slicer will help you get thinner slices more easily.
Place the veggie slices in a bowl and coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a few grinds of sea salt. Toss to coat all slices thoroughly. Arrange in one even layer on a baking sheet — you may need to do this in batches or use two baking sheets.
Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and dry. Allow to cool on a wire rack — this will help crisp them up further, and also prevent burned tongues!
3. Yogurt Smoothie Ice Pops
In a blender, combine 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with a variety of your favorite fruits — they can be fresh or frozen. We recommend 1/2 cup hulled strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 banana, and a squeeze of orange juice. Blend until smooth and pour into ice pop molds. Freeze until solid and voila! A decadent snack that’s filled with guilt-free ingredients that all promote strong, healthy teeth.
See? Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring, hard to make, or expensive. In fact, you can make all of these treats using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! The best part is that each ingredient has been shown to improve the health of your teeth, and all of these snacks will be kind to your waistline, too. Remember, no matter what kind of snack you eat, it’s still important to brush and floss regularly to help prevent decay-causing plaque buildups. Do you have a favorite healthy snack recipe you (and your kids!) simply love? Give us the details in the comments — we’re hungry!