Halal Consumer - Issue 26 - page 8

vegetable toppings to put on their whole-grain pizza, it helps when
they have a say in the process.
For a quick fix, she always keeps yogurt on hand. Add
in a little honey and chopped dates or raisins and
you have a power house of a snack in a jiffy. She
also pops her own popcorn and adds different
herbs and seasonings.
“Smoothies are so popular these days,” Khan
said. “Moms can sneak cucumber or spinach
(little at a time) with the fruit of their choice.
We also like carrots, cucumber, broccoli or
celery with peanut dipping sauce or hum-
mus. Another fun way to do it is to dip apple
wedges in peanut butter and then chopped
nuts or dried fruit so they stick to it.”
Akhtar, however, is not a believer in hiding
healthy foods in other foods. She
feels kids need to know what
they are eating and why it
is good for them. When her
son asks for Nutella sand-
wiches, they agree to add
banana slices which “taste
heavenly together!”
Her “New Food Monday”
rule has worked well for
their family, especially for
her picky younger son. He
has learned to enjoy tur-
key and cheese sandwiches
which are a life-saver for
school lunches.
“He can choose not to like the
new food, but he has to try it,”
Akhtar said. “This gives the child the power he wants, and the
parent the opportunity to show him new foods and continue to
expand his palate”.
Another idea that has worked for Akhtar, would be great for work-
ing parents or older kids who come back from school to empty
homes, is mason jars smoothies. Instead of reaching for cookies
and chips, these are very easy to blend and very healthy too. She
puts fresh cut kale, berries, and bananas in a mason jar and stores
it in the freezer. All she has to do is blend it
with water or pineapple juice after
school, or with Greek yogurt for
breakfast, and her kids have a
nourishing snack.
If your kids are craving carbohy-
drates, Akhtar suggests keeping
healthy sandwiches ready to eat.
She recommends any seed butter
with jam or honey. Sometimes the
same filling on a different type of
whole grain bread or tortilla can
make things interesting. Even roll-
ing and slicing the sandwiches with
a twist can appeal to picky eaters.
Another way to include healthy
snack options in your kids’ home-
from-school routine is to try and
aim for a rainbow of colors every
month. Draw or print a picture of
a rainbow and try to include at least
one item from every color in a healthy after-
school snack. The first person to complete their rainbow
can earn a surprise. Hopefully that will get them to try new
colors of fruits and veggies.
In the same way schools create hot lunch menus for the
entire month, you can do so for healthy snacks. Include
the kids in the menu-making process and be sure to
include a wide variety. This will make grocery shop-
ping easier for you and you will not be wondering what
healthy options to give the kids when they get off the bus.
KIRAN ANSARI
is a writer and mom to Yusuf, 11 and Hana, 8. Since work-
ing on this story, she has been trying to keep a healthy snack ready for them
when they come home from school.
HALAL CONSUMER
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Fall 2013
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