Two Healthy Snacks for Kids (Recipes: Apple Chips & Sun Butter Bites)

I‘m not handing out snacks to my kids right now because I’m at Blissdom in Nashville, hanging out with an absolute stellar group of bloggers. Because I’m taking time to soak everything in and network my heart out, I’ve lined up a guest poster today who knows her stuff.

I’m so happy to introduce Cindy from Fix Me a Snack! Her blog is an inspiration to me, because, oddly, although I’m never out of ideas for dinner, snack time tends to get repetitious. You know what I mean? Fortunately Cindy pops up on Twitter frequently and sends out her creative ideas that help liven up our after school snacks. You should definitely give her a follow.

Here’s what Cindy told me about snacking:

“I’ve been blogging about healthy kid snacks for a couple years at Fix Me A Snack. You’d think I’d know a ton about such a seemingly narrow subject by now. But like with most things in life, I’ve found that the more I know the less I know. I see my blog as a record of my family’s favorite recipes and my ongoing quest to cut empty calories out of snack time.

A lot of reforming snack time is completely simple. The majority of our snacks don’t come from packages anymore. If the stuff isn’t in the house, my kids are reaching for the fruit bowl or carrot sticks instead. But one cannot snack on fresh fruits and veggies alone. So I’ve been busy creating and testing recipes for homemade snack goodies.

Unsurprisingly, I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. But I’m honored to share a couple of our favorites as of late: Apple Chips and Sun Butter Bites.”

Photo by Cindy Rowland

Recipe: Sun Butter Bites

Sun Butter Bites
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Recipe type: Snack
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 30 balls
Usually, I make these using almond butter. But my preschooler was more than happy to devour several of them when the almond butter was replaced with an equivalent made from sunflower kernels. These would be great for sending to school as a nut-free snack.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted sun butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir the powdered milk, cereal, wheat germ, flax seed, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the sunflower butter, honey, and vanilla extract with a rubber spatula until combined.
  3. Add the powdered milk mixture and stir until uniform. The mixture may be on the crumbly side.
  4. To form into balls, take a tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze it with your hands more than roll it. I pass it back and forth between my hands squeezing and rolling gently with my fingers as I pass. Note: This might be tough for kids to master! If the mixture is too crumbly, add more of something gooey such as honey or even a tablespoon of vegetable, coconut, or flax oil.
  5. Serve or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw for a couple of minutes before serving.

 

Photo by Cindy Rowland

Recipe: Apple Chips

Two Healthy Snacks for Kids (Recipes: Apple Chips & Sun Butter Bites)
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Recipe type: Snack
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 30 chips
I used some Macoun and Empire apples to make these and they didn’t require any special measures to prevent browning. If you think your apples will brown excessively, dip them in a solution of 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice right after they have been sliced.
Ingredients
  • 3 medium apples
  • Cinnamon sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and core the apples using an apple corer.
  3. Slice off a 1/4? of the top and bottom of the apple and discard. Slice the remaining apple using a mandolin set to 1/8? thick.
  4. Spread the apple rings out onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Try to avoid overlapping the rings. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake for approximately 3 hours, rotating once or twice. Start checking on them around 2 hours. They may be slightly pliable out of the oven, but should crisp up when cool.
  6. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Notes
I’ve also made these same chips using a food dehydrator set to 155 degrees Fahrenheit for around 6 – 8 hours.

 

Thanks so much, Cindy!! I can’t wait to try these out with my boys. My son’s school is indeed nut free and that is a often a challenge when it comes to healthy snacks.

What school-safe, healthy snacks have you been serving to your kids?

 

 

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. I’m definitely going to give the apple chips a try – I think my kids will really enjoy them. They are great way to make plain ol’ apples a little more fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well, looks to me like these would be terrific snacks for anyone…not just kids. We all need healthy snacks, don’t we? I’m making these, for sure!
    cherylk’s last post: Bird Abode

  3. I love apple chips – this is a great idea! I just lack the proper tools… Do you think this would work with mango? I love dried mango but it’s hard to find, I’d love to make it myself

    • I’ve made dried mango in my dehydrator and we love it. Dried kiwis were a hit too – they are surprisingly sour when dried. I’ve heard an oven that can be set to a low temp (150 or so) can be used in place of a dehydrator. But I’ve never tried it.

  4. Great ideas! I’m going to make them for my kids for sure
    Corrine’s last post: Thin Crust Pizza Dough

  5. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says:

    Fabulous little recipes! I love dehydrated apples, but never attempted them without my mother-in-law’s dehyrdrator.
    My toddler isn’t in school yet, but he snacks on almost anything I give him. Lately he really enjoys fuji apples that have been sliced like chips so they’re thin enough for him to chew without difficulty.
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)’s last post: Casting Call- All Things Soup

  6. What great snack ideas! Any thoughts on substituting the powdered milk in the sunbutter bites? My daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.

    • Tough one Kim.
      Are graham crackers dairy-free? I know the homemade graham crackers I’ve made are loaded with butter. But maybe store-bought contain vegetable shortening instead. If so, you could try replacing the milk powder with some graham cracker crumbs.
      I’ll keep thinking about it and see if I can develop something that would meet your needs. I love a challenge!

      • I was just clicking around, and found the recipe. I was about to add a comment asking about substitutes for dry milk powder and I found this comment! I must have posted it (I can’t imagine too many Kims with daughters with the same allergies…) but I don’t remember at all.

        Most commercial graham crackers are dairy free, so I’ll definitely give them a try. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Thanks!

  7. Jenny Coogan says:

    There’s nothing worse than a half-eaten apple that’s gone all brown. I love the apple chips because my toddler can eat them at her leisure and avoid apple waste!

  8. Love the apple crisp recipe! I use a similar technique with pears and with pineapples. Kids love crunchiness, so this is great for the little ones!
    Rivki Locker’s last post: Celery Root and Mushroom Soup

  9. Wow, these look awesome! I love apples and peanut butter, so these can’t be far off.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Really Perfect Shortbread

  10. The sun butter bites are almost identical to “edible playdough” I used to make for my daughter and her friends. The only thing different: no crispy rice cereal.

    I’d plop some in front of each kid, with bowls of decorations (raisins, candy sprinkles, yogurt chips, dried bananas, etc.) and they’d make a work of art and then eat it!

  11. What a fun recipe for a snack! Love this one.
    Robyn | Add a Pinch’s last post: Mingle Monday

  12. I love apple chips and I love that I finally have a recipe to refer to.

  13. These look delicious!!! I think I’ll make the apple chips as one of my Super Bowl snacks. Snacking is a weak area for me. I work from home and am more than a little familiar with the route to the kitchen. I’ve found that I have to outsmart myself and just keep healthy snacks on hand – for my kids as well as their snackaholic mom!
    Joi @ Get Cooking!’s last post: Chica Tips From Ingrid Hoffmann – Advice Thats Simply Delicioso

  14. Perfect snacks! Apple chips are some of my favorites.
    Shaina’s last post: Weekly Menu- Super Bowl Party Food

  15. Such great ideas!
    Kristen’s last post: Godiva Chocolate Infused Vodka – Valentine’s Day Cocktails

  16. I can’t wait to try the apple crisps. I’ve dehydrated crackers and jerky and such in the oven but I’d never thought about trying fruit, I was always afraid it would just get funky.

  17. In response to your question Kim, I’m pretty sure powdered coconut milk would work. I haven’t tried it in this recipe (I make a similar recipe with powdered milk, dried apricots, and brown rice kripies), but usually you can sub powdered coconut milk for powdered milk without too much trouble. You might just get a more fattening final product :)

  18. Conspiracy girl says:

    hi,

    Honestly I haven’t heard of this apple chips. I think it maybe suitable for travelling it’s very handy and not messy….
    And can I sprinkle it too with a powdered milk????

  19. I’m always looking for great snack ideas for kids, I really like these. I may have to share them on my blog as well.

  20. “Apple corer? Mandolin? Those are for suckers,” I scoffed. One hour, several mangled apples, and a few knife wounds later, I think I might be a sucker. But the apple chips? Their flavor more than makes up for their misshapenness. This is what I call a perfect recipe–delicious, nutritious, low-calorie, and easy (with the proper tools). Thanks!!
    moremadder’s last post: travellers must be content

  21. Jenny D says:

    I am always looking for healthy things to put in my daughter’s school lunch and easy snacks at home. Since I don’t buy much pre-packaged stuff its hard to find sources of protein that they will eat and will work in their lunch bags. I used half cup of plain protein powder(a vanilla flavor would probably be great if I could find one with no artificial sugars/stevia) in place of the powdered milk and used 2T of coconut nectar and 2T of pure maple syrup.

    They were so good! Thank you, these are much cheaper than the sunbutter bars I have seen in the store!

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