These Low-Sugar Snacks Can Satisfy Serious Cravings
Kids enjoy sweets, but their teeth (and their dentists) don’t! Here are some delicious low-sugar recipes they’ll love to make and eat!
Getting your kids to eat healthy foods can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially true if your child prefers sweets and snacks like candy and chips over broccoli and carrots. Of course, a sweet treat here and there is nothing to be ashamed about, especially if you take good care of your teeth every day!
Unfortunately, eating super-sugary foods too often can undoubtedly mean trouble for your teeth. Kids often don’t realize this, and will often reach for the sugary cereals or sodas during snack time. To help your family avoid an impromptu trip to the dentist, however, you can try substituting sugary not-so-good-for-you treats with these fun recipes your kids will love. Not only will they enjoy eating them, but most of the instructions are simple enough that kids can help prepare them!
#1. Hidden Veggie Pizza
This is a fan favorite among kids and adults alike, and it’s packed with veggies your kids won’t even know they’re eating! Start with a pizza dough you like, and some low-sodium and low-sugar tomato sauce, and then add in some spinach or similar veggies to give them that added health benefit!
What You’ll Need:
1 cup of canned tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 – 2 bunches of spinach leaves
Pizza dough (for individual pizzas, use smaller bases)
1 – 2 cups of shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Create the sauce by combining the canned tomatoes, garlic, pizza seasoning, salt and pepper (not too much!) and spinach leaves in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Using the back of a spoon, spread the sauce evenly across the pizza dough base. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake the pizza according to the directions for the dough or base. Top with fresh herbs like parsley, if you like, and then cut into strips or pizza slices and serve!
#2. Peanut Butter Apple “Bagels”
Peanut butter and apples are a great combination, and apples are especially great for your teeth! They act as a natural toothbrush of sorts, which helps remove plaque from your enamel. There are many recipes that make apples appealing. But we think this fun way of presenting a classic favorite offers a new twist your kids won’t be able to resist. Top with granola or berries for added flavor!
What You’ll Need:
1 – 2 Granny Smith apples with the peel intact (each one serves about 2)
¼ – ½ cup of peanut butter
Remove the core from your apples and then cut them into ¼” rings. This should provide around 8 slices.
Spread the peanut butter evenly across each slice and then finish with your favorite toppings. Serve immediately, so the apples retain their crispness!
#3. Healthy Pull-Apart Bread (AKA Monkey Bread)
Another delicious treat the whole family can enjoy is monkey bread! Unfortunately, traditional recipes are chockfull of teeth-harming sugars. Instead, try making this healthy alternative with your kids. For extra sweetness, you can prepare a glaze topping—but feel free to skip this if you want to avoid the extra sugar and fat.
What You’ll Need:
1 ½ cups of self-raising wholemeal (or almond) flour
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (for added sweetness, you can add a small dash of honey)
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 – 2 tsp cinnamon
First, combine the yogurt and flour until a soft and elastic dough forms. Next, knead the dough for approximately five minutes. Use a sprinkle of all-purpose flour for this part.
In a blender, combine the bananas, cinnamon, and dates. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Roll the dough into a rectangular shape, similar to that of a sheet of standard paper.
Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly across the dough, leaving about 2 inches of space around the edge furthest from you. Repeat with the banana mixture.
Roll the dough up pinwheel style (think cinnamon rolls), and slice into ½ inch slices.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then arrange the rolls so that they are touching, but not overcrowded. The idea is that when they bake, they will be stuck together but easy to tear away.
Bake the pull-apart bread at 360˚ F for about 15-20 minutes.
For the glaze, you can combine about two teaspoons of melted butter with one tablespoon of brown sugar and coat the monkey bread about 5 minutes before it’s ready to be pulled out of the over.
#4. Cucumber Hummus Cups (With Pretzel Sticks!)
Of course, incorporating some of your kid’s favorite bites in your recipes can help sell new, healthy snacks. These yummy hummus cups have a bonus crunch factor thanks to a handful of pretzel sticks!
What You’ll Need:
1 – 2 cucumbers
First, peel and chop your cucumber into 1-inch slices. Then, using a melon baller, scoop out the center of the cucumber. Be sure to leave some to act as the bottom of the “cup.”
Fill the center of the cups with about a teaspoon of hummus (feel free to use more or less to suit your preferences). Finally, top with 1 – 2 pretzel sticks and serve immediately.
Healthy Snacks Mean Happy Smiles
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a chore. You can make it fun and enjoyable as long as you dedicate time to finding creative ways to present them to your kids (and picky adults!). We think these recipes will be a hit for all.
At Pediatric Dental Specialist of Greater Nebraska, we strive to offer comprehensive dental services to our patients in any way we can—including healthy snack recommendations! Our team works closely with each patient to provide personalized treatments and comfortable care.
We offer a range of dental health services, including preventative treatment options to help ensure your kids have healthy teeth for years to come! Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.