Seasonal Eating: Healthy snacking for the whole family

Local News

We all know eating fruits and vegetables in good for you. Parents, however, sometimes find their little ones resistant to eating enough produce. Practicing seasonal eating is a fun and convenient way to keep things fresh in the kitchen.

Children’s of Alabama clinical nutritionist Kayla Clary urges parents to consider letting nature guide what fills your plates. 

“Fruits that are in season right now are at their peak ripeness, meaning that its been picked right from the vine, and is now on your plate,” said Clary. “Its the richest now in vitamins and minerals that it’s gonna be.”

Here are some of Kayla’s favorite produce-based snacks: 

Frozen Banana Pops (Makes: 6 servings)

 Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas
  • ½ cup yogurt or ¼ cup peanut butter, or both!
  • Toppings: oats, granola, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, crushed graham crackers, shredded coconut

Directions

  • Peel bananas and trim ends. Cut the bananas in half. Carefully insert a popsicle stick into each banana.
  • Spread peanut butter or yogurt on banana.
  • Roll the banana in your toppings.
  • Freeze the bananas for 2-4 hours. Serve or place in a freezer bag for up to a week.

Fruit skewers + PB dip (Makes: 4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp creamy nut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Equal parts blueberries, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple and kiwi
  • 8 skewers

Directions:

  • In a bowl, wisk the yogurt, peanut butter and honey together until smooth and creamy.
  • Assemble skewers – alternate the blueberries, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple and kiwi to make the rainbow!

BerryGood Smoothie (Makes: 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 3-4 ice cubes if desired
  • Optional add ins: 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 Tbsp nut butter, ¼ cup pineapple; can sub 1/2 cup yogurt for ½ cup milk

Directions

  • In a blender, combine all ingredients.
  • Blend on high until smooth. Pour into two glasses, serve immediately.

Watermelon Salsa (Makes: 6 servings)

Ingredients

  • ¼ small onion
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cups watermelon
  • ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Mix onion, tomatoes, watermelon, cilantro and lime juice together; season with salt and pepper.
  • Can alternatively pulse all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Fruit Sandwich (Makes: 2-4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium apples
  • 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter
  • Toppings: raisins, coconut shreds, oats

Directions:

  • Core apple and cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick rounds.
  • Smear one side of half of the apple slices with peanut butter and sprinkle with toppings.
  • Top with remaining apple slices and press down to make a sandwich.

Zucchini Carrot Muffins (Makes: 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup raisins

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325F, spray muffin tin with nonstick spray
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, egg and vanilla. Stir in the mashed banana, honey and applesauce, mixing thoroughly. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated, then fold in the zucchini, carrot and raisins.
  • Pour the batter into muffin cups and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

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