These are little bursts of flavour and crunchy goodness. Be warned though: you may find yourself stealing your children's lunchbox snacks! They seem too good to be healthy, but they really are. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Spread out on a tray lined with foil. Drizzle with a good dose of healthy olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a generous splash of paprika and cumin to taste. Proceed to rub it all together with your hands, getting the chickpeas (and hands) nicely coated in all that deliciousness. Pop in the oven at 200 degrees and roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until you have your desired crispiness. Take it out the oven and leave to cool (or singe off your tongue, your choice). They are now ready to add to your children's lunchbox as a snack. Use any leftovers in a salad!
Nut Butter And Apples
Sure, you could buy healthy nut butter from the shops, but why not make your own? It's quicker than going out to the shops with the children, after all. Grab about 100g to 200g of raw nuts (cashews, almonds, etc), preferably organic. You can use them as is or roast them in the oven first for fuller flavour. Throw them into the food processor and let the whizzing do its magic. Whiz and whiz and whiz, and when you think you've done enough whizzing, whiz some more. Once it has become a thick butter, cut quarters of apples, pears, or carrot sticks and dip them into a good teaspoon of nut butter. Fruit and veg will be transformed in your children's mouths.
Ants On A Log
We have to tell the kids not to play with their food for a reason — their minds are exploring their world. So, any food that will stimulate their imagination is a winner. Introducing ants on a log. Cut the big ends of celery stalk (so that they look like a boat). Fill with chunky fat free cottage cheese and top with raisins. If you have a hard time getting them to eat the raisins (even after telling them about the ants on a log thing), you can use nuts, grapes, seeds, or simply leave them out altogether.
I know, right? How do we always forget this dietary fibre? I'm not talking about the microwave, instant version. Make it yourself in a pot on the stove! It is super speedy and much healthier! Add a pinch of salt, if you like. Or sprinkle with some spice to add flavour and avoid the salt. Tell your child that you are spoiling them with "movie food" and they will be over the moon for their lunchbox treat (Mom points, for the win!).
You can make a far more healthy hummus at home than the shop-bought variety, using that wonderful equipment again — the food processor. Plus, we've got a delicious but simple way to make it. Food processor, check. Cooked or canned and drained chickpeas, in. A tablespoon of olive oil, in. The juice of a lemon, in. Garlic clove, in. A pinch of salt, in — if desired. Whiz until preferred consistency is achieved. Add olive oil or lemon juice to taste and you've got yourself some fresh, delicious, crazy healthy hummus. Topped with this stuff, you'll take rice cakes to a tasty new level.