Tis the season for snacking! Well let’s be honest, every season is a time for snacking when you are an athlete, young or old!
Growing kids and young adults need healthy snacks to keep them fueled and ready for busy school days, activities and sports. One of the major pitfalls of snacking is choosing processed, high calorie, convenience foods. Instead of opting for a banana, many teens will grab an energy drink and bag of processed junk food from a vending machine. These items might fill a grumbling belly for a minute, but overall are completely void of nutrition and in the case of energy drinks, are downright dangerous!
Smart snacking on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts can help to sustain busy teens and athletes through their day and into a tough evening of sport practice and homework.
The best tip to keep snacking healthy is to BE PREPARED! When we are hungry our choices become anything that happens to be in front of us at the time, regardless of nutritional value.
This season, try this homemade granola bar recipe and stock your fridge with cut up fruits and veggies that are easy to grab-and-go.
- 1 Cup Almond butter, peanut butter or other nut butter
- ¼ Cup Coconut oil
- ½ Cup Honey
Mix the following dry ingredients in a separate large bowl.
- 2 Cups Rolled Oats
- ¼ Cups Wheat Germ (omit for gluten-free)
- ¼ Cups Ground Flax or Flax seeds (double this if you left out the wheat germ)
- 1 Cup chopped nuts (any nut or combination of nuts you enjoy)
- ½ Cup Unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ Cup Dried fruit like cranberries or raisins
- Optional: other healthy mix-ins that you would enjoy.
Mix melted ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Press into a 9×13 foil or wax paper-lined pan. Refrigerate until cold and firm, cut into desired shape. Store in refrigerator. (Coconut oil softens just above room temperature.)