Being a mom of two little ones, time is never something you seem to want to waste, or have a lot of. Regardless, you want to make sure what you are feeding your kids, and yourself, is nutritious overall and tastes good.
I often try to make sure that whatever I am making the kids, is the same, or similar, to what I am going to eat (who wants to make 3 different meals each meal). Having said all that, kids need snacks and, I really believe, treats as well. Now giving cookies, candies, and so forth, in moderation is fine…kids are only kids once right. However, if you want to make them enjoy eating nutritious foods too, there are ways to make some good foods into treats as well. I found that when grocery shopping, I was getting frustrated with the amount of sugar in any kids treat. I mean really, no one needs to have that much sugar and not getting anything else out of it.
I also felt, through the day that I enjoyed an occasional treat, but trying to lose the baby weight, I didn’t want to eat anything sugar-filled. I have a certain taste for subtle sweet, but yummy and light in nature.
Luckily, I found that messing around in the kitchen often resulted in not only satisfying my cravings, but my toddler loved them too!
Here are some guilt-free items I often make at home. They are low in sugar, super-healthy, and I promise so tasty.
I make these on the regular, love them, and they are always a hit at my house. I know the immediate connotation to milkshakes is ice cream, but I don’t remember the last time I used ice cream in a milkshake. The taste is not compromised by just sticking to milk and frozen fruits, and you can play around and make it different every time.
I just add milk, ice, a banana, vanilla and blend away. This is the simple basic recipe. But 90% of the time I remix this by adding various different ingredients. Here are my favourite combinations (make your own, play around).
Milk, frozen strawberries, banana, vanilla, 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
Milk, frozen blueberries, bran muffin, a dab of chocolate syrup
Milk, oranges, strawberries, banana, ice (you may need to strain the pulp of the oranges slightly)
Milk, mixed frozen berries, vanilla greek yogurt, peach slices
I sometimes add in almond milk, or nut butters to any combinations for a boost of protein
Peanut Butter Banana Pucks
I love these. Now they never turn out as pretty as I intend, but my kid doesn’t care. When they are done, you can eat as a frozen treat, or use them in a milkshake!
Ingredients: Bananas, Peanut Butter, Cocoa or Melting Chocolate, Margarine
1. Slice Bananas (however many you want, and however thick you want).
2. Spread them on baking sheets, covered with wax paper.
3. On each slice, top with a nut butter of choice (I use peanut or almond, and always opt for natural).
4. On low heat, simmer some water. Place a small bowl above the pot of water.
5. Within that bowl, add your desired amount of cocoa or melting chocolate. If the chocolate is dry and not melting smoothly, add a teaspoon of margarine. Mix consistently in the bowl, until you have a smooth chocolate dipping sauce
6. Remove the chocolate from the heat, one by one dip the banana slices in the chocolate sauce. Coat as much as you like (just the tops or the whole thing, it’s up to you). Once coated, place back on the wax paper. Do this one by one until done.
7. Place in the freezer until fully chilled and chocolate has set.
– I use a toothpick to lift each slice into the chocolate sauce.
– Once frozen, I usually freezer bag them, for the occasional treat. To my admission, they can be rich, so you may not want to have a lot at once.
|Natural Peanut Butter – ready to top a banana slice|
Yogurt or Milk Pops
I cannot say enough, how awesome these are. In fact, we rarely buy popsicles because of this! I used an old family tradition of making milk pops with my grandfather. He used to just take milk, food colouring, add sugar and freeze them. I grew up on these (as did many other Fijian families), and I wanted to have those yummy special treats carry on within my own family. So I do these classic pops, but often slightly remix (and often I don’t need to add sugar).
All you need to do is mix this up, I use a blender. And freeze in popcicle molds. Here are some concoctions I have tried and my kid eats it up!
Classic: Milk, vanilla, food colouring, a touch of sugar
Milk, strawberries and coconut shavings (sweetened)
Milk, blueberries, and a touch of orange juice
Milk, vanilla, mango, a splash of pineapple juice or orange juice
-Substitute the milk for yogurt in any recipe, for a more creamy taste
-Feel free to add sugar to sweeten, in moderation. With the fresh and ripe fruit, I rarely feel the need.
-I sometimes add the food colouring of the natural colour, to just make the pop brighter, or sometimes do without it completely
|Strawberry coconut milk pops in the making|
|Milk pops ready to be frozen|
Banana ice cream (without the cream)
I saw this first on a kids TV show, and they called it banana swirl. I had to try it, and sure enough, when you take frozen bananas and just blend them (in a decent blender), it creams together beautifully, looking just like ice cream. Except, without the cream and no added sugar. Add some sprinkles and topping, and you can seriously pull it off as actual ice cream. So why not!
You can keep it simple, just bananas. However, I find that adding a touch of milk and vanilla, makes it just a tad softer/creamier, and I just love the vanilla taste, so can’t do without it.
I have added other frozen fruits, or a touch of chocolate syrup sometimes as well as just bananas.
1. Slice bananas
2. Freeze, in a freezer bag
3. Once frozen, add in a blender (with or without milk or vanilla) and blend away.
– If you opt to use with milk, remember to add just a touch, as you don’t want to make it too soft or liquidy. I add about a tablespoon at a time, only because I don’t have an industrial blender and this makes it softer.
– Feel free to mix it up and try different combinations, add other frozen fruits to give it a bit more excitement, or to create your own unique “ice” cream. However, just be sure it is frozen to keep the ice cream texture in tact.
|Simple, delicious banana ice cream|
Your kids will love these treats, and I am pretty sure you will too!