Exciting and Healthy School Snacks

Now that school is back in full swing, it’s important that kids have the right snacks to fuel their bodies! It can be tricky to find healthy snacks that your children actually like, but with a little preparation, you can win them over with healthy snacks.

  • Ants on a log – This is a fun snack that kids can make that only involves three ingredients – celery, peanut butter, and raisins. It’s the prefect mix of veggies (celery), fruit (raisins), and protein (peanut butter)!

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  • Smoothies – Smoothies can be a healthy and quick snack for children on the go. Whether it’s a strawberry, blueberry, or mango smoothie, you are sure to find one that your children love. This can be a simple way to get your child to eat more protein, fruit, and potentially veggies!

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  • Pickles in a blanket – Spread cream cheese on a piece of turkey or ham then place a pickle in the middle and roll it up to make a simple snack!

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  • Apple moons or banana boats – Take sliced bananas or apples and put peanut butter and granola on the sides to create an apple moon or banana boat.

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It’s important for snacks to include protein to helpkids feel fuller longer and have enough energy for all of their activities. Protein is vital for growing bodies and it helps build and repair lean muscles. Protein works with other nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones. A simple way to add some protein into your children’s snacls is with a glass of milk which is full of essential amino acids!

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You can’t forget about the fruits and veggies! Fruits and veggies are low in fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol, and have a wide variety of health benefits. Although it can be tricky to get little ones to eat veggies, there are a few tricks to add more veggies into your children’s diet. You can hide the veggies in your cooking such as mixing cooked veggies into eggs, pasta, quesadillas, or smoothies. Let your kids help you with the shopping and try to see how many different color fruits and veggies you can incoroporate into a meal or snack. You can also introduce new veggies with a dip or hummus. Find a way to make fruits and veggies more exciting and you might be surprised if your kid finds a new favorite food!

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What is your favorite snack for your children?

Looking Back on State Fair Food

As many state fairs have recently come to a close, it’s fun to look back at some of the unique fair foods across the nation. State fairs are known for their unique food offerings especially deep fried food and food on a stick.

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Here are a few unique items at state fairs around the nation:

  • Spam sushi (Minnesota) – Grilled Spam, sushi rice, fried egg and wasabi are rolled in dried seaweed to create grilled Spam. The Spam Museum is in Austin, Minnesota, so this fair food ties well into the state’s Spam pride.
  • Spam curds (Minnesota) – The Minnesota State Fair has another unique Spam treat with Spam curds which are cubes of cheese-flavored Spam battered, deep-fried, and smothered in ranch dressing.
  • Fried Jelly beans (Massachusetts) – Jelly Belly beans are rolled in funnel cake batter and fried to create a unique sweet treat.
  • Alligator on a stick (Illinois) – This is a popular choice at the Illinois state fair. Alligator on a stick tastes like pork and has a similar texture to veal.
  • Deep Fried Scorpion (Arizona) – Scorpions are battered, fried, and served plain or dipped in chocolate.
  • Sautéed mealworms (Arizona) – Mealworms are cooked in olive oil, sautéed in garlic, and smothered in enough barbecue sauce to give a similar consistency to fried onions.
  • Fried Moon Pie (Texas) – This sugary treat includes a marshmallow and graham-cracker sandwich confection that’s deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Krispy Kreme Burgers (North Carolina) – A beef patty is sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts with optional bacon and cheese to create a sweet and salty meal.
  • Hot Beef Sundae (Indiana) – A new type of sundae includes layered mashed potatoes, marinated beef, gravy, cheese, corn “sprinkles” and a cherry (tomato).
  • Deep fried butter (Texas) – You can even get some deep fried butter at the Texas state fair. Butter is battered and flash friend to create a warm biscuit with a buttery center.

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These are just a few of the unique food offerings at fairs around the nation this year. You can always find cheese curds, mini donuts, corn dogs, and the typical fair food, but it’s always fun to try something new.

Which fair food is your favorite and which unique fair food did you try this year?

Snacks are Becoming the New Breakfast

What do you typically eat for breakfast? Today, almost 25% of people are snacking instead of eating a full meal for breakfast. This trend is especially popular for younger adults and those with children in the household. Consumers embrace snacking and people are now eating smaller, more frequent meals. This has changed people’s relationship with traditional breakfast foods.

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Today, people are turning to quick, grab-and-go breakfast snacks throughout the day. With little time in your day, it can be difficult to spend extra time in the morning to cook a full breakfast so breakfast snacks all you to get a quick meal to start the day.

Some popular breakfasts snacks include:

  • Yogurt and granola
  • Smoothies
  • Granola/protein bars
  • Muffins
  • Fruit
  • Leftovers from previous meals

Breakfast is no longer limited to a single meal in the morning, but people are eating breakfast foods throughout the day. Many restaurants such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell are fueling this trend by providing breakfast all day long. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so be sure to start your day off with a breakfast that will give you energy for the day!

What are some of your favorite breakfast foods?

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Photographing Your Food

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Did you know that posting your food on Instagram is scientifically proven to have benefits? According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, there are benefits that come with taking pictures of the food we eat. By taking a picture of your food it forces you to have to wait before eating and this gives you delayed gratification, making you feel that the food actually tastes better. This is the case for indulgent or fancier meals, but not necessarily the case for simple meals such as cereal or toast. Food photographs can also increase excitement for a meal by sharing it with your friends and family.

People tend to take pictures of their food for a variety of reasons but some common reasons include:

  • To remember a special event
  • To share a meal you are proud  that you made yourself  (Most common reason)
  • To share a meal to show that someone important made for you
  • It’s a special treat or unique meal
  • It looks beautiful or like art
  • To show that you are eating healthy meals

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According to a web psychologist, Digital Blonde, the most common food dishes to be posted are: art dish, steak, and Christmas dinner. In terms of treats, the most common desserts that people post are cake, chocolate pudding, and fruit dessert. Some people don’t just consider the finished product on a plate of the people eating it, but also the ingredients used to make the product.

Some popular food photography include:

  • The lonely food item – Bloggers have embraced melancholic food by taking a picture of a single food item against a plain background with soft window light.
  • The Flash – Some people use flash in food photography to add color to the image. This trend is often used in advertisements and commercials. When using flash for food photography, it’s important to use caution to ensure that the images show the real qualities of the food.
  • #struggleplate – This is a funny food trend that has become popular over the past year to show food failures, but if this is a trend you
  • #foodporn – This is a popular hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to share delicious food and meals. This has been included in advertisements, cooking shows, blogs, and all over social media.

The trend of taking pictures of food is especially important for restaurant owners. People are taking photographs of their food before they even eat the meal. If the meal is displayed attractively, the consumer is more likely to snap a picture and share it with their friends. The challenge is to create savory dishes and meals that have the greatest create discussions and food photography.

Let us know in the comments if you ever take pictures of your food. If so, what types of food do you tend to take pictures of and do you share the pictures with your friends?