We’re always on the lookout for kid-friendly snacks that do double duty as holiday treats that are healthy and easy to make. We think we’ve found some outstanding recipes that your family will definitely want to to try this year.
As with any food, holiday or not, there are a few things that don’t change just because it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or New Years. Number one is portion control. We’re including the link to our Hand Guide for Portion Control here. Print it out and have it handy e.g. on the fridge, front and center. TIP: Share a treat with your kids or a friend. You’ll get to taste a bite of what you love plus share the love. Number two, snack rules still apply. Ail to keep your snacks under 200 calories, which means that if it’s something rich, like a holiday cookie or chocolate, you have to really watch portion control as a parent. Make sure you know what they are serving at your kids holiday party so you can decide, with your kids, on what’s enough and what’s too much. It’s your responsibility.
OK, so here are three really great holiday snack ideas that we think your family will love. They are still snacks, but are healthier alternatives to packaged treats and snack cakes and can ALL be portion controlled. As a side note, these are also all vegan and gluten free, coincidentally.
Dark Chocolate Covered Dehydrated Oranges
It’s simple and easy to dehydrate fruit in the oven. You don’t need a dehydrator, just use the lowest setting possible and make sure the oven is supervised by someone at all times. We love the combination of crispy thin slices or tart citrus dipped in dark chocolate. Low fat and relatively low sure, but it hits all teh right cravings. Try this with different fruits, as well! Here’s some great tips from The Kitchn on oven drying fruit here.
Cocoa Cinnamon popcorn With Spicy Pecans
This is something anyone can do, including the kids. We found a great recipe for cocoa cinnamon popcorn from recipesandafork.com here, but we think you could do this with less sugar. Just remember to get unsweetened cocoa and then you can add as little powdered sugar as you’d like. If you’d like, you can add a little protein and antioxidants with some nuts to add to the mix. We think this recipe for toasted, spiced pecans would go well. Here’s a recipe from Whole Foods kitchen here and we think you could make this with butter or without and opt instead for a vegetable oil spray to carve out a few calories. Our mouths are watering already!
Low Sugar, Low Fat Pumpkin Spice Coconut Macaroons
If we could give an award for deliciousness, it would be to ChocolateCoveredKatie.com. This recipe for soft, chewy coconut macaroons uses unsweetened coconut and NO refined sugar, just maple or agave and doesn’t require eggs. Best of all, you can do this in under 5 minutes. We added pumpkin pie spice to our mix. It seems like there’s always a bottle or container of this leftover every year and this is a perfect use for it.
Chocolate Sorbet with Cranberries
Last but not least, the chocolate. This is once of the most decadent things we’ve sampled in a long time. Check out this recipe from chocolateandzucchini.com here. What makes this dish so great? For one, it has no dairy, such and milk and cream, and no eggs. Traditional ice cream usually contains a mixture of all of those. This is a sorbet, so the liquid is mainly water. We think you can cut the sugar with honey, but using 1/2 sugar and 1/2 honey, as well. The one think you won’t miss is the velvety, frosty, chocolate goodness. We added some cranberries to ours for a little tart pop. Your family will love you for making this chocolate lover’s alternative and we bet it will end up on your permanent roster.
We hope you’ll take into consideration these family friendly, healthier holiday snack options. We think their good enough for company and easy enough for every day. As long as you can remember portion control and that snacks need to be monitored in order to balance your dietary regimen, the holidays should be a breeze.
Let us know what you think of these and if you have any healthy holiday recipes to share, we’d love to hear! Happy Thanksgiving!
The AllStride Team