Tag Archives: paleo snacks for kids

Pumpkin Time!

23 Oct

I love the start of fall. The annoying bugs are gone, the sun is warm, and the air is cool. Reminds me that life could be like this everyday if we never left Monterey, but one can only dream! I digress. And, of course, pumpkins. They’re not only the mascots of fall but happen to be nutritional powerhouses full of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. The seeds are also little super foods packed with monounsaturated fat, zinc, magnesium, fiber, iron, protein, L-tryptophan (think anti-depressant), and phytosterols (think cholesterol lowering and cancer preventing).

I have to admit that unsweetened canned pumpkin is somewhat of a staple for me. I use it to make smoothies, eat it as a snack with some cinnamon and nuts, or mix it with cottage cheese as a “dessert.” Canned pumpkin is easy and still packed with the same nutrients as fresh pumpkin (check your labels to make sure they say 100% pumpkin and not pie mix!) but every once in a while it’s fun to slice open a real pumpkin.

Here’s how, plus a perfect way to turn fresh pumpkin seeds into a kid (and adult!) friendly snack:

  1. Slice pumpkin in half.
  2. Scoop out and discard pulp, picking out as many seeds as possible.
  3. Reserve seeds, no need to rinse or clean them from a little excess pulp.
  4. Fill a 9×13 pan with about a half-inch of water.
  5. Place pumpkin skin side up in water.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes until tender.
  7. Scoop out pumpkin, discard skin.
  8. Place in food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
  9. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.
  10. Use in recipes, feed it to your babies, enjoy it on its own as you wish.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Mix about 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil and 1 tsp cinnamon with reserved pumpkin seeds (no need to rinse or clean off excess pulp).
  2. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes until crisp.
  5. Serve or store in airtight container for 1-2 weeks (my batch disappeared within 24 hours!).

Stay tuned for a dinner and dessert recipe this week using Fall’s best super food!

Happy fall y’all,

Heather

For more information on the health benefits of the pumpkin and it’s seeds, read here:

Pumpkin seed info

Pumpkin nutrition info

Fun Shaped Chicken Nuggets

11 Oct

It seems every time we go to the grocery store one of my kids manages to spot the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and begins to beg for them repeatedly. I’ll admit that sometimes I give in because they are kids after all, and chicken in the shape of anything is just plain fun!

Last week I stood my ground though and decided we’d make our own fun shaped nuggets for a change. We were enjoying Fall break off from school, so we had an afternoon of good ol’ fashioned  home economics. The result was delicious–not to mention grain and crazy chemical free!

Chicken Mixture:

1.5 lb chicken breasts, cooked (try boiling them and storing the leftover broth!)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 large apple, cored and sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Breading Mixture:

1 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
olive oil, for brushing tops before baking

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Put all ingredients for chicken mixture into food processor. Pulse until nicely combined into a dough like mixture.
  2. Place mixture on parchment paper and press out flat until about 1/2 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to make shapes. Re-flatten and keep making shapes until mixture is gone. (My son kept sneaking the scraps and giggling as if he just snuck some cookie dough–hilarious!)
  3. Combine almond flour, coconut, and spices on large plate. Place chicken shapes in mixture and flip to coat both sides. Feel free to get creative here with different spices if you like!
  4. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Broil for a minute or two at the end if you want them extra crispy. Serve plain or with my kiddo’s favorite friendly ketchup.
  6. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge. They’re great lunchbox protein options or re-heat well in the toaster oven at home!

Recipe adapted from here.

Easter and Spring treats

4 Apr

Holidays were a big thing in my family growing up. My amazing mom outdid herself on every holiday–big or small. I definitely followed in her footsteps and tend to go nuts for all special events. Here are a few fun ways to ring in Easter and Spring while sparing the kids from a couple of the Easter basket treat induced sugar roller coaster rides!

Great for an after school or post egg hunt snack! I used apples, strawberries, blueberries, cheese cut in circles, carrots, cucumber, and mini almonds but feel free to get creative with what you have on hand! You can even pre-cut everything and have your kids put together their own bunny!

Nut and dairy free version using apples, grapes, carrots, dried apricots, and cucumber!

Found these cuties in Family Fun magazine. My kids LOVED creating them today. Pair with the fruit bunny above and you’ve got a full breakfast or serve alone as a post egg hunt snack! I used hard-boiled eggs, red pepper, dried papaya, carrots, broccoli, and peppercorns.

This really is a low-mental energy craft/snack that the kids will enjoy and remember every year.  

Happy Spring,

Heather

%d bloggers like this: