Posts Tagged ‘healthy snacks’

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Friday, November 30th, 2012

It may be the end of November, but I figure there’s still time to share one last pumpkin treat before the holiday baking begins in earnest. You need something healthy for those lunchboxes and after-school snacks to offset the Christmas cookies, right? These soft-baked granola bars are easy to put together (even with little helpers). I made them for my son’s school bake sale — a not-too-sweet treat you can still feel good about.

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Recipe: Pumpkin Granola Bars
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes 10-12 bars

  • 3 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, sugar, spices and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
4. Pour batter into baking pan and press down with spatula. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Let cool completely, then cut into rectangles.
Ever made homemade granola bars? Here are a few other varieties from around the web:

Eat, Play, Go: NatureBox, DW’s Unicorn Adventure & Farm-to-Street Party

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Happy Friday! We’ve nibbled and noshed our way through the first month of our summer break with no slowing down in sight. Here are just a few things I’ve been meaning to tell you about… and remember, the Ball jar giveaway ends tonight so go comment, quick!

NatureBox snacks

EAT: Ever find yourself in a rut at snack time or when packing camp or school lunches? Enter NatureBox — a monthly subscription service of healthy snacks. I don’t know about your kids, but my oldest is definitely at the point where I can offer something and have him turn up his nose. When someone else offers it, it’s suddenly magical. And if it comes in a “treasure box” in the mail? Jackpot! Our sample box contained firecrackers (sweet chili flavored), dried cherries, Sunshine vegetable chips (in yellow, green, orange and purple!), nutty granola and honey fig bars. We loved the carrot and taro in the Sunshine chips in particular. My son wondered, “Why would someone give a kid a firecracker to eat?” But then ate them, all. At $19.95 a box, which contains 4-6 different snacks, it’s pretty in line with the high-end snacks at Whole Foods. They share the same criteria we do: no HFCS or artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. Visit their website to learn more. If you’d like to try it out, the promo code HEALTHY may be used for 25% off your first month of subscription (if choosing month-to-month — 6-month subscriptions receive 1 month free and 12-month subscriptions receive 3 months free).

DW's Unicorn Adventure

PLAY: Within the first ten days of summer vacation we made one round-trip drive to New York and promptly followed that with an unplanned road trip to North Carolina (after the crazy DC storms knocked out our power during a 100-degree heat wave). So new iPhone games were definitely deployed to help keep the kids happy on the road. And a new offering from PBS Kids was right up our alley: DW’s Unicorn Adventure. In the game, Arthur’s little sister D.W. must find healthy foods to fuel up (the rainbow of fruits and vegetables), while avoiding bad foods that zap your energy (soda, doughnuts and chips). Yes, it’s a bit simplistic, but I have to admit to smiling when I hear my 5-year-old exclaim, “Oh no, a doughnut!” And while it’s just challenging enough to keep him interested, my two-year-old finds it easy enough to play around with, too.

eat local first dc

GO: There are *so* many food festivals and parties this summer in DC. Tomorrow, the Think Local First folks cap off their Eat Local First week with a Farm-to-Street Block Party, 1:00-7:00pm on V Street NW between 13th and 14th. The foodie tots enjoyed the event last year (especially the blueberry lemonade from Busboys and Poets); those 21 or over will enjoy the beer garden featuring local brews from DC Brau, Chocolate City and 3 Stars Brewery. Visit the website for details, or just purchase tickets at the event ($15 includes food tickets; kids enter free).

Disclaimer: I received a sample NatureBox and a free download of the DW game for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions, as always, are my own and/or that of the foodie tots.

Kooky Spooky Halloween Party Treats

Friday, October 29th, 2010

What do you get when you combine four 4-year-olds, Halloween costumes, and make-your-own popcorn ball Jack o’Lanterns? Sweet, sticky fun! With a small dash of chaos. 😉

Kids Halloween Luncheon Menu

  • nuts & dried cranberries
  • “Goblins” on a Log
  • Monster (Carrot) Fingers
  • “Pumpkin” Grilled Cheese
  • local Apple Cider

It was a beautiful day, but cooperation for organized games was a little lacking … we managed the pillow case race and one round of the “pumpkin walk” before the kids ran back inside to play.

The party centerpiece — White Chocolate Seckel Pear Ghosts — doubled as party favors, and we decorated popcorn ball Jack o’Lanterns before wrapping up with the boy’s favorite Halloween show: Word World’s “Kooky Spooky Halloween” (we <3 PBS Kids!). So much fun!

Recipe: Popcorn Balls


  • a large bowl of plain, air-popped popcorn (about 8 cups)
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • pinch salt
  • to decorate: white chocolate candies, candy corn, gummy worms &/or licorice ropes.

Instructions: In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When completely melted, stir in salt and marshmallows, stirring to coat marshmallows with butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows are melted into a smooth liquid. Remove from heat. Pour melted marshmallow over popcorn, stirring with nonstick spray-coated wooden spoons until thoroughly combined. Oil hands, then grab a large handful and roll into a ball. Set on wax or parchment paper and let rest.

To make Jack o’Lanterns: Melt a small piece of white chocolate bark. Provide kids each a small assortment of candy (candy corn, gummy worms, etc.), a popsicle stick and a little bowl of melted white chocolate. Have them use the popsicle stick to apply the white chocolate “glue” and attach candies.

Makes 8 balls. Wrap uneaten balls in plastic wrap, but they’re best eaten the same day you make them. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!