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, 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 to do is replace a few ingredients in an already tasty recipe. By replacing regular ﬂour with whole wheat ﬂour, you cut out a lot of fat and sugar and add a healthy dose of ﬁber. The best part is that your kids will be none-the-wiser.
Banana Pudding. A healthy dessert, to begin with, you can turn this creamy treat into a healthy slam dunk that your kids will love! You can eliminate the excess saturated fat using low-fat milk, fat free condensed milk, and plenty of vanilla extract. The bananas naturally sweeten the dish, and vitamin B-6 is added to the mix; use egg whites only, and you'll also lower the cholesterol!
Peppermint-Pretzel Bark. Make even larger quantities for gifting this easy microwave treat by skipping the jelly-roll pan and covering your counter with parchment. It'll take longer to harden at room temperature, but you can make large batches without pans or the refrigerator.
Gingerbread Cookies. This is your recipe for those who may need more kitchen skills. You and your kids can build gingerbread people. What a great family activity for the holidays.
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 their hearts – and for you, knowing they'll be eating healthy and not complaining!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie Bars. What kid doesn't like peanut butter and jelly? They're everything you love about a classic PB&J sandwich, but in cookie form (i.e., way better). These peanut butter and jelly bars feature a chewy cookie layer, topped with a sweet-tart jammy layer, and finished with a crunchy peanut butter streusel.
Sugared Cranberries. Another recipe for the kitchen-challenged, this treat is exactly what it sounds like cranberries covered in sugar. Even though 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 precisely what this is.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Kids with Celiac disease appreciate cookies a little more than kids who can eat any cookie at any time. Having said that, use the holidays to make 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.
Healthy Diabetic Christmas Cake. Okay, give this dessert a different name before you tell your kids what it is, but the treat will still taste just as delicious! People with diabetes have it just as severely 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!)
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.)