Friday, June 19, 2009

Kids in the Kitchen: Nut butter snacks

Summer is a great time to be in the kitchen with your kids. Each of these snacks can handle a great degree of variation and creativity in the recipe, so make it fun. These nutty snacks are high in protein and can help your child make it through a looong afternoon. Each recipe has modifications for kids on allergy restricted diets.

Nutty Frozen Pops
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 cup nut butter: peanut, almond, cashew or even soy nut butter
1 cup flavored milk: vanilla or chocolate, rice, cow, goat, soy or hemp
Mix the gelatin with boiling water until it is dissolved. Using a beater or whisk, blend in the nut butter and then stir in the milk. Pour into small paper cups or popsicle molds, place in the freezer. After 20-30 minutes, when starting to freeze, place popsicle sticks in the cups.
Be creative: mix in chopped strawberries, blueberries or banana.

Nut Butter Balls ( or Bees or Worms or Butterflies or ?)
This is my favorite recipe almost of all the recipes I have ever made. It can be adapted to meet almost any shape or holiday design. Read Miss Spider's Tea Party and make spiders. How about the Hungry Caterpillar and make caterpillars and butterflies. St. Patrick Shamrocks or Easter Eggs. They taste like candy but are loaded with nutrition. Depending on the nut butter you choose, you may need to adjust the amount of dry and wet ingredients.

1/2 cup honey
1 cup nut butter: almond, peanut, cashew,hazelnut or soy
1 cup nonfat milk powder (if dairy allergic, can use almond meal or ground dry cereal- use a coffee grinder or food processor )
Mix these all together and then form into shapes.
Now comes the fun, decorate!
Butterflies- shape into a long oval and add corn flakes as wings.
Spiders- shape into a ball and add pretzels for legs
Caterpillars-shape into logs and roll in coconut for furry caterpillars or make stripes
by dipping the side of a damp toothpick in cocoa powder then pressing it on the caterpillar
Ladybugs-make balls and use mini chocolate chips for polka dots
Balls- form into a ball roll into coconut, mini chips, wheat germ or chopped
cereals (color possibilities are endless, plus a great way to get rid of stale cereal).
Even the plain balls call for a bit of creativity-make baseballs or golf-balls.
Refrigerate a short time after shaping


  1. Hi Nicole,
    Great meeting the other nite. Question: Isn't gelatin a beef product? I'm puzzled about gelatin as my son is allergic to beef. He does like marshmellows though and they don't cause him any harm--but I wonder sometimes about jello--etc. Thoughts?

  2. Hi Theresa,
    I posted the recipe and there is a good reason you have a question about gelatin because there is no firm answer. Knox gelatin is made from beef and/or pork. Other gelatin is made from beef, pork or chicken. The products often list the ingredients just like that , beef, chicken OR pork, so you really don't know. Gelatin is a highly refined product and some kids can tolerate it, others cannot. But as always, when in doubt, avoid. There are good alternatives to gelatin- cornstarch, agar or carageenan.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Good healthy recipe. One can even go for some innovative ideas like Ice cream cone can be filled with cheese, veggie and tomato chopped or a tuna fish salad which a great snack, involve the child in building their own meals from sandwiches, cheese cubes, and dried fruit or serve the meal in innovative plates and cups. To know more on tactics on healthy snacks for kids, refer Fun healthy snacks for kids