Eating healthy doesn't mean sacrificing taste so The Balancing Act did some research and found our top "Smart Healthy Snacks" picks for moms and kids! Banana Popsicles * 3 bananas * 6 Popsicle sticks * 1/4 cup natural peanut butter, softened * 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or walnuts, granola, crispy rice cereal, or sunflower seeds How: Peel the bananas. Cut them in half, widthwise, and push a Popsicle stick through the cut end of each half. Spread peanut butter on the bananas, and then roll them in the nuts, cereal, or seeds. Wrap them in waxed paper and freeze for three hours. Why: A single pop contains 16 percent of the recommended daily dietary-fiber intake for an adult. The potassium content of the bananas can help reduce bloating in mom, while the peanut butter and nuts or seeds provide fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Veggies and Dip How: Prepare your own ranch dip with low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt and ranch seasonings. Or, for sour-cream-and-onion dip, mix nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage 0%) with one packet Lipton's Onion Soup Mix. Why: Kids love anything that requires their hands to be moving, so dipping is always a favorite. Carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, pepper slices, and cherry tomatoes will disappear in an instant if there's a tub of dip to go with them. Pizza How: Slice whole-wheat pitas in half. Let the kids smear on a bit of jarred tomato sauce, sprinkle it lightly with shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese, and top it with chopped vegetables (for an additional fiber boost) and a little bit of precooked chicken. Heat for a few minutes in the toaster oven or microwave until the cheese is melted. Why: No kid can resist pizza! Pizza doesn't have to be laden with fat-it can be a perfectly healthy snack. Not only will this snack allow you to feel full on few calories, but, according to a study in the April issue of the research journal Obesity, low-fat dairy products can boost weight-loss efforts. Mom-Friendly PB&J How: For a healthy update to this old favorite, use half of a Thomas' Light English Muffin, which is filled with hearty whole grains, fiber, and protein. Use only one tablespoon of peanut butter. Polaner makes delicious sugar-free jellies, and they also have an all-natural line, if sugar-free isn't your thing. Why: Peanut butter is a healthy monounsaturated fat that not only lowers cholesterol but also slows down digestion to help keep you feeling satisfied until dinner. Healthy Trail Mix How: Mix whole-wheat pretzels, wheat Chex, Craisins or raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts (optional) together. Why: Kids love this sweet and crunchy mix of ingredients that's high in energy-boosting protein. Credited to: Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D
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