Whole Foods Market Provides Kid-Friendly Recipes, Snack Ideas

Children will be heading back to school soon, and that means it’s time to dust off the lunch boxes and stock up on after-school snacks. This year, reach for snacks that provide sustainable energy with complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Whole Foods’ website offers many quick and easy kid-friendly recipes to take the guesswork out of preparing healthy snacks. Tara Treffrey, director of culinary for the Southwest Region of Whole Foods Market, gives some great Mom-approved options your kids will love.

“Many parents struggle with how to ensure kids are getting what they need from after-school snacks while still giving them what they want,” Tara says. “Our chewy coconut granola bars use ingredients like unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened coconut flakes and dried fruit instead of refined sugar and candy like many conventional snack offerings.”

She says the key is for parents to prepare large quantities of healthy snacks ahead of time and have them readily available.

“Keeping easy-to-eat snacks in the car or in a kid-accessible spot in your kitchen means you can nourish kids quickly after school or practice without having to stop for fast food or snacks that are high in sugar and salt,” Tara says. “Making big batches of granola bars, snack mix or dehydrated fruits is a time-efficient and fun way to always have the perfect snack for hungry kids.”

Tara says incorporating children in the shopping and prepping process will encourage them to eat healthier and try new things.

“Getting kids excited about eating healthy can be fun and easy. It starts by having them help at the store, letting them select vegetables and proteins that they get to cook with later, choosing fun and whimsical recipes and letting them help in the kitchen.”

For healthy, family-friendly recipes, visit WholeFoodsMarket.com/Healthy-Eating.

 

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars

Recipe Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats 
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 
  • 1 cup dried fruit such as dried cranberries, raisins and/or chopped dried apricots 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans 
  • 1/4 cup oat flour* 
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with a long sheet of parchment paper, allowing for 2-inch overhang on each side.

Spread oats and coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until just golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir together cooled toasted oats and coconut, dried fruit, walnuts and oat flour. In a small bowl, stir together applesauce, honey and vanilla until evenly blended. Stir applesauce mixture into oat mixture until combined. Spread mixture in the prepared baking pan, pressing down to compact. 

Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store the bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

*Oat flour is available in the bulk department, or you can make a quick batch by whirring quick-cooking rolled oats in a blender or food processor until powdery.

Nutritional Info: 

Per Serving: Serving size: 1 bar, 220 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 31g carbohydrates, (4g dietary fiber, 18g sugar), 4g protein