Summertime Snack Savings - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Summertime Snack Savings

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "I have to buy more breakfast, I have to buy more lunch. When we do have a lot of children here, I have to put the kitchen closed sign up, so that it's not constantly being raided, " says Julie VanEram.

It's a moment most moms can relate to, and certainly the Van Eram's.  They have five kids, plus friends and family that like to hang out at the house.

"I don't think I had any less than eight (children) since Thursday so, it can really, really pile up!"

Of course, so can the grocery bill, especially during the summer when kids are at home all day.

So how can parents keep healthy snacks around the house that shave extra from the wallet and the waistline?

We introduce Julie to Doctor's Hospital Executive Chef Stacy Varner.

She shows the VanErams how to make some healthy and affordable snacks.

"So, if it's a way to prepare it, maybe where it will last longer, you know, it doesn't have to be eaten within two or three days and something we can really work into our day to day routine, that would be awesome," adds Julie.

Chef Stacy's first tip, maintain a consistent snack schedule.

"If they have 3:30 p.m. snack time after school, you need to adhere to that during the summer, because that way you don't get them, just grazing and going in and out of the refrigerator and all that all day long," says Varner.

Next, pre-portion and pack your own snacks, it saves money and time when kids need to grab something quick.

Another tip, add nutritional value.  You can even hide it from the kids!

One example is Chef Stacy's recipe for "Almost Candy".

It's a trail mix with lots of dried fruit, cereal and some dark chocolate.

"When you put all the ingredients in here, you really, the kids wouldn't know what it is," says Varner.

Something else for parents to keep in mind is to differentiate between a snack and a treat.

"A snack should be something healthy that's like a bridge to bridge their hunger 'till dinnertime," adds Varner.

She makes them a tray filled with veggies and crackers with peanut butter and string cheese.

A treat on the other hand, Chef Stacy says, is more like a dessert.  However, even that can be healthy and cheap.

Chef Stacy shows the VanErams how to separate and freeze grapes and of course bananas.

"You put it on a stick and then you wrap it in plastic wrap then you put it in the freezer and it gets an ice cream consistency once its frozen."

Add some nuts and chocolate and you're really talking a sweet treat!

Finally, get the kids involved.  Experts say they're much more likely to eat it if they've been a part of it.


See more of Chef Stacy's recipes below:

 

Sunrise Pops

Strawberries

Natural Orange Juice

Popsicle Mold

Directions:

Clean and hull strawberries, then puree them.

Pour puree into molds until half full.

Freeze for three hours.

Remove from freezer and fill rest of molds with orange juice.

Put the top on mold and freeze overnight.  Enjoy!

**Note--for a different flavor use natural lemonade instead of orange juice.

 

Dreamsicle Smoothies

2 cups, low-fat, or sugar free vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup skim milk

1 cup (handful) ice cubes

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together to make smoothie.  These can also be enjoyed frozen, just follow recipe and pour into molds to freeze.

**Note--For a more intense orange flavor, add more juice or use frozen concentrate instead.

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