Tuesday, June 26, 2012

snack obsessed children (that would be my kids)

I swear I serve my kids three, mostly well-balanced, meals every day! I really do! You'd never know it though. Dinner tends to be the only meal they actually sit and finish.  I think it's a combination of them being starving after playing so hard and trying to get in the clean plate club so they qualify for dessert.

Can I just tell you how tired I am of my kids coming to me a gazillion times a day between 40 minutes after breakfast all the way until dinner telling me they are hungry and want a snack?  I think I'm going to start calling breakfast, lunch, and dinner "snacks" in the hopes that they will actually eat more at meal time.  I'm cool about snacks.  I usually allow a small snack mid morning before lunch and one again in the afternoon.

The girls act starved, like they haven't eaten for days.  They beg, "Mommy, can I please have a snack? I'm so hungry". Almost always with a pathetic look on their faces. When they turn down my fruit or veggie options they ask for popcorn or crackers or cereal.  They are carbaholics.  It's terrible.

I'm on the hunt for healthy snacks to quickly prepare or have on-hand during these situations.  I don't like the girls eating too many crackers before meal time because then they don't eat the meal and the vicious cycle of snacking instead of eating just gets worse.  They get bored with plain fruit or veggies.  We can't get string cheese here.  Yogurt is a special treat in Ethiopia.  I'm working with the basics here and sometimes I just draw a blank.  But...
I might have found a win win snack! Homemade hummus with veggies is their favorite healthy snack right now.  Addie and I made a batch today that was super yummy.  I adjust the ingredients every time I make this recipe and I think I've finally got it down.  First of all, I used to make way too much and it would get munched on for a few days but then the rest would sit in the fridge and rot after they got sick of hummus.  This time I made just enough for a two days.  We use lots of lime juice and garlic to give it a punch.

Homemade hummus for the snack obsessed child

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas (drained but save the juice in a bowl)
(note: I used 380 grams of chickpeas for this recipe because I can only get the cans from Egypt shown in the photo.  380 grams is about 13.5 ounces if you want to get specific)
2 heaping Tbsp of tahini
2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
5-6 cloves of garlic chopped
dash of cumin
Put all the ingredients in the food processor or blender and whirl it up.  Slowly add some of the chick pea juice to the mixture until the texture is smooth and creamy.  This is personal preference so you can add as little or as much as you like.  Same goes with the lime juice and garlic.  We like our hummus seasoned well but you could slowly add both and taste as you go to get the right combination for your family.

Tip: if you like hummus with a smooth texture remove all the casings off the chickpeas before blending them up.  This is very time consuming but it you have a little person to help you this is a great task for a kid.  Addie removed some of the casings but in the end it didn't matter.  If you leave the casings on, the texture is a bit chunkier.  I kind of prefer it this way.

You can serve this right away with a bit of drizzled olive oil and a pinch of paprika.  I couldn't get that far because the girls just dug right in.  We served it with snap peas and carrot sticks.  I've also made home made chips by slicing flour tortillas into triangles and drizzling them with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet and baking them at 350 degrees until they are a crispy.  The girls LOVE this but then it totally defeats the purpose of serving a healthy snack.  I'd rather have my kids eat the veggies.  
I just left this bowl (which is fabulous, don't you think?) out for the afternoon so they could come get a bite when they wanted.  An added bonus was that they didn't bug me about being hungry.  I put the bowl away about 2 hours before dinner so they'd still have an appetite.  But really, if they gorge themselves on this snack I don't feel too bad.

What are your favorite healthy snacks for kids?  I need some other ideas!

1 comment:

Sara said...

sounds delicious!!! we don't do legumes in the house but what a great idea!!! we love veggies with guacamole too. i shouldnt have read this. im so hungry and am wired shut for 3 more weeks lol.