Every parent wants their kid to have a healthy diet, but somehow our children always seem to ﬁnd a way to sneak in junk food. Holidays make this task even harder because cakes and cookies and candies are being oﬀered from every direction you turn. The trick is to offer your kid a healthy alternative – especially if they don't realize it's a healthy snack (wink, wink). Check out these recipes that kids are guaranteed to love!
Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies. Sometimes all you need is to replace a few ingredients in an already tasty recipe. By replacing regular ﬂour with whole wheat ﬂour, you cut out a good deal of fat and sugar and add a healthy dose of ﬁber. The best part: your kids will be none-the-wiser.
Banana Pudding. A healthy dessert, to begin with, you can turn this creamy treat into a slam dunk that's healthy and that your kids will love! By using low-fat milk, fat free condensed milk, and plenty of vanilla extract you can cut out the excess saturated fat. The bananas naturally sweeten the dish and also add vitamin B-6 to the mix; use egg whites only and you'll lower the cholesterol as well!
White Chocolate Holiday Bark. This treat was one of my favorites when I was a kid. It isn't low in calories, but it is low in cholesterol and sodium. The cranberries and almonds in this recipe add antioxidants – but don't tell the kids. All they need to hear is 'chocolate!'
Snowman on a Stick. For those of you who may be lacking in kitchen skills, this is your recipe. Using banana slices, apple slices, grapes, bits of carrot, pretzels, and chocolate chips you and your kids can build snowmen! Not only is this a great family activity for the holidays, but it doesn't get much healthier than this (and those who could burn water only have to worry about cutting their ﬁngers off)!
Chocolate Cherry Heart Smart Cookies. This recipe offers another whole wheat treat packed with cherries, oats, and chocolate. These cookies are a treat for the kids and for their hearts – and a treat for you knowing they'll be eating healthy and not complaining!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints. What kid doesn't like peanut butter and jelly? The classic sandwich makes a great holiday treat when it's turned into a cookie! This is a fun one to make with your kids as well because they can put their thumbprints in the cookies for the jam. It's a bit high on calories, but you can't beat the protein!
Sugared Cranberries. Another recipe for the kitchen-challenged, this treat is exactly what it sounds like: cranberries covered in sugar. Despite the fact that there's a lot of sugar, the beneﬁts of cranberries far outweigh the disadvantages of eating sugar in this recipe. Enjoy the golden opportunity to get your kids to eat cranberries and think they're eating candy because that's exactly what this is.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins. Stepping up from PB&J cookies, these muffins make a great breakfast treat. The jam is inside the muffins, so when the muffins have warmed the jam just oozes from the muffins and into your mouth! Of course, the peanut butter provides a shot of protein for the day and by using whole wheat ﬂour your kids get a decent amount of ﬁber as well. Can't beat that!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Kids with Celiac disease appreciate cookies a little more than kids that can eat any cookie any time. Having said that, use the holidays as an opportunity to make some gluten-free cookies for your gluten-free kid! If you don't want to make cookies from scratch, there are some great gluten-free cookie mixes out there that taste just like regular cookies.
http://www.elanaspantry.com/chocolate-chip-cookies/ (gluten-free baking mixes: http://www.be)ycrocker.com/products/gluten-‐free-‐baking-‐mixes)
Healthy Diabetic Christmas Cake. Okay, so maybe give this dessert a different name before you tell your kids what it is, but the treat will still taste just as delicious!
Diabetics have it just as badly as those with Celiac around the holidays, and it's even harder for kids because they sometimes don't understand why they're so different. This recipe will give your diabetic kid a holiday cake he can eat (and he won't even know it's healthy)! Hmm… maybe you can switch this one out with your hubby's usual dessert, too!
These are just a fraction of the healthy holiday treats just waiting to be baked. If you're really feeling inventive this season, you can create your own healthy recipe by following a few tips on replacing sweeteners and ﬂours.(http://www.mummums.com/uncategorized/creating-healthy-holiday-treats-for-kids/). Don't let the holidays get you and your kids down this year… start baking! (Or start putting banana slices on sticks – don't overexert yourself.)