Amidst all the fun and festivities of the holiday season, we are all too aware of how easy it is to get off track when it comes to eating. We’re all still recovering from our Thanksgiving feasts, and whether your halls are decked out in the red and green of Christmas, or shimmering in the blue and white decorations of Hanukkah, one thing everyone has in common is more upcoming holiday indulgences to tempt our taste buds and test out will power.
During the holidays, make sure your children don’t miss out on their fruits and veggies, by serving them the recommended two-to-five cups per day. Teach your family to make the right choices by sharing the following holiday-themed snack ideas that are not only nutrient-packed, but fun and festive too!
1. Holiday Muffins
Frost your favorite whole grain or fruit and fiber type muffins with a cream cheese frosting made from low-fat or non-fat cream cheese blended with just a tablespoon of powdered sugar (note: the lower the fat, the higher the protein content, which will help kids feel satisfied longer).
Then decorate them by dipping the frosted muffin tops into sprinkles or crushed up M&M’s in your favorite holiday colors. If you want to avoid the added sugar, try using chopped strawberries, kiwis, or blueberries for a festive treat that will also help your family reach their daily nutrition goals.
2. Strawberry Snowmen
If you have left over pureed cottage cheese or cream cheese, or even a thick Greek yogurt on hand, you can make these adorable strawberry snowmen. Just cut the tips off the strawberries, add a dollop of filling, and then replace the tips as hats.
Decorate with two chocolate sprinkles or black sesame seeds for eyes, and a few dots of the filling for buttons and little pompoms for the hats!
3. Winter Wonderland Smoothies
1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries, partially thawed, not drained
1/4 cup water (if needed)
2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt*
1 peppermint candy cane, finely crushed
Green decorating gel
- Place strawberries in blender, cover and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water, as needed. When it reaches the desired consistency, pour mixture into a pitcher.
- Pipe decorating gel around rim of three 8-ounce glasses.
- Place crushed candy canes on a plate and then gently dip the rims of each glass into the candy.
- Carefully pour the yogurt and blended strawberries at the same time into each glass, creating a half-and-half design. Serve with a spoon.
*You can vary the recipe by blending one cup of frozen Naked Juice Green Machine with the yogurt for a Christmas color effect, as well as an added nutrient boost – Or – If your party is Hanukkah themed, swap out the strawberries for blueberries, use blue decorating gel instead of green, and rim the glasses with crushed white candy instead.
4. Cookie Cutter Fruits and Veggies
Use seasonal cookie cutters (like snowmen, snowflakes, and Santa) to cut up bell peppers, cucumbers, apples, pears, watermelon, strawberries, bananas, pineapples, and cheese slices into fun shapes.
Let your kids dunk these fruits and vegetables instead of chips in their favorite dips, like hummus, low-fat yogurt and pureed cottage cheese (see the next tip for an easy recipe). This wide range of produce will ensure your kids are getting an important variety of vitamins and minerals.
5. Holiday Dip
Puree low fat cottage cheese. Then puree fresh spinach leaves. Blend them together and add grated Parmesan cheese to taste, then garnish with your red pepper cutouts. You can also put the mixture in a shallow casserole dish, sprinkle with grated cheese, and bake for a warm delicious snack that’s loaded with protein, calcium, vitamins A and C, just to name a few. Or just blend your cottage cheese with drained, defrosted strawberries for a sweet, nutritious red dip that will go great with your cutout fruits.
6. Fresh Fruit Popsicles
Seasonal fruits in festive holiday colors such as:
Kiwis, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Strawberries, finely chopped
Apples, thinly sliced
Red fruit punch (can use yogurt instead)
- Combine fruit in a mixing bowl and then arrange in eight 3-ounce popsicle molds.
- Pour enough juice or yogurt into each mold to just cover the fruit.
- Insert popsicle sticks and then freeze until solid (about six hours).
7. Fruit Soda
What can you do with all that left over fruit? Put it in a pitcher with some seltzer water and a splash of your favorite red 100% juice for kid friendly fruit soda.