Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Baby Guide 2015 | Home RSS
 
 
 

Homemade Post-Game Snacks

April 2, 2014
By Heidi Maness Hartwiger - Natural Parent, Natural Child , OVParent

It's a blooming miracle! The snow finally melted! No longer dressed like penguins, the kids run around in sweat shirts. Waiting for the daffodil buds to open, we celebrate green-up time. Just as certain as robins return, and the leaves begin as a pale haze on the trees, the fliers arrive announcing spring sports signups.

Time to take inventory for soccer balls, cleats and shin guards. Lots of juggling and ball bouncing finally moves outside. With three soccer players in my house, we established winter rules - which were inevitably broken. No juggling in the house, dribbling down the hall or kicking the soccer ball against the family room door. Times have not changed. Soccer remains the recreational sport of choice in our neighborhood. The kids next door are outside juggling and kicking their soccer balls over the wood pile.

Another neighborhood favorite is baseball in various forms depending on age - tee-ball, coach pitch, etc. This means a lot of pitch and catch in yards. Sometimes the word spreads throughout the neighborhood, and kids of all sizes take over the street to play what they call "Switch." The batter gets five chances to hit the ball and either hits the ball or after five pitches someone yells "switch" and the batter moves to the field, the pitcher becomes the batter and someone from the field becomes pitcher.

Article Photos

Along with the organized sports comes the inevitable parent participation. Along with carpools, here comes the sign-up sheet for the post-practice or post-game snacks. It seems like a no brainer to stop by a big box store to buy prepackaged snacks in bulk. If you take a little time to read the ingredients, you might have second thoughts on your selections.

Through family experience, conversations with neighborhood kids and thoughtful survey responses from my daughter's fourth-grade class, I learned that the boys like to grab a post game "hunk" of something and be moving along. On the other hand, post-game snacks for girls have evolved into a social event as the girls choose to linger and talk as they munch on "pieces" of things in little bags.

Fresh fruit is a halftime snack and always a post-game option. Unfortunately some is wasted. Six bites from an apple, and it is tossed. For less waste, slice and bag apples. Offer half a banana still in the peel. Bananas are easy to eat but a challenge "open" without squeezing into mush.

In raising four athletic kids and helping with five sports-oriented grandkids, I have collected recipes for homemade, easy to fix and kid-approved post-game snacks. Although the activities of young adults have morphed into lifetime sports like Ultimate Frisbee, golf, swimming and running, their desire for snacks afterward remains. My snack goal has been to help replace burned calories in a healthy way. The following recipes are easy "make aheads," and so simple the kids can help.

BUDDY BITES

Buddy Bites do contain nuts but are flour, egg and refined sugar free. To make 25-30 Buddy Bites you will need:

2 cups nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew)

2 cups honey

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats,

1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit/nuts (raisins, apricots and chopped cashews or pecans make a good combination)

In a large pan, combine the nut butter and honey. Stir over medium heat until blended. Remove from heat and stir in the oats. Add the remaining ingredients and shape into walnut size balls. Roll in ground nuts of your choice. Shredded coconut is a rolling option. Refrigerate until firm. Then store in airtight container.

- - -

CHEESY BITES

Cheesy Bites are egg and sugar free. To make 6 dozen bites you will need:

8 ounces finely grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of ground red pepper

1 cup unbleached flour

2 tablespoons cold water

In a large mixing bowl, cream the cheese, butter and salt. Add flour and 1 tablespoon cold water. The dough should form a ball. If still crumbly, add the other tablespoon of water.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a knife, cut strips the length of the dough. Then cut across to form bite size squares. For the kids to help, substitute a pizza roller or a pastry roller for the knife. Using a spatula, move the bite-size squares to a lightly oiled baking pan or cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until crackers are lightly browned. Store in airtight container until serving. For an alternative to squares, use mini-cookie cutters like stars, hearts or little people.

- - -

VERY BERRY SQUARES

Very Berry Squares are egg and peanut free. This recipe is made with fresh or frozen fruits and a tasty option to "cereal" bars. If you come up a little short on fruit, use less sugar and add strawberry, blackberry or raspberry preserves.

For the filling

3 cups of fresh or frozen berries. Can be a berry mix.

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 4-inch cinnamon stick or 2 teaspoons. ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to just a boil, reduce heat and mash berries. Cook filling until berries reach a jam-like consistence. Set aside to cool and prepare crumb mixture.

For the crumb mixture

3/4 cup soft butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional). Blend butter and sugar. Add dry ingredients, then oats and almonds. Firmly press half the mixture in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread the filling. Pat on the remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and the filling bubbles. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. These bars store well and also freeze well.

- Heidi Maness Hartwiger, a Wheeling native, is a writer, teacher and storyteller. She is the author of six books, including her most recent, a novel titled "Fire in Progress." She is a mother of four and a grandmother of five.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web