Vacation time from school is usually rest and relaxation time for the kids and I. But food and children’s nutrition never takes a back seat in my kitchen. I make sure that they always have healthy, enjoyable meals – snacks included.
I noticed that vacation time also meant more lat night snacks since I allow the kids to feel a little “night life” (at home, of course). We do a little late night TV watching, and/or play Scrabble or board games. I usually prepare a little something for them so that they can sleep in by mornings, but not enough that they forego breakfast completely.
One mutual favorite is my frozen banana shake.
I usually put a cup of soymilk and 1 cup of frozen banana chunks in a blender, blending it until smooth. I vary this by sometimes using a little chocolate and/or strawberry syrup to taste, but plain works fine for them too. I use soy milk because it’s healthier and less fattening than regular cow’s milk. They don’t complain so maybe they don’t know the difference yet. And I usually prepare the bananas ahead of time by cutting them into chunks and freezing them in a zip lock bag for at least 8 hours. (In my case, it doesn’t last longer than a week but you can actually freeze/store bananas for up to a month.)
I also have a hand-me-down recipe that’s a bit vegan in approach (so again, less fattening since we are talking about a late night snack where you won’t be able to burn your calories unlike if you’re awake and active).
I make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies by mixing the dry ingredients (pre-sift 1 and ½ cups of unbleached whole wheat flour, a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of salt and ¾ teaspoon baking soda) in a bowl. In a different bowl, mix ¾ cup canola oil (vegetable oil will do, but canola is much healthier) and ¼ cup soy milk (healthier and again, my kids won’t know the difference). Pour liquid mix to the dry mix and blend well. In a separate bowl, mix 1 ¼ cups of uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal, ¾ cup of raisins and a cup of chocolate chips, then add to the previous mixture. Stir well. Spoon batter onto a greased cookie sheet and flatten the dollops with the back of a spoon. (There should be at least a ½ inch of space in between cookies.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops and bottoms are slightly brown.
To complete this, I add a glass of milk for each kid. That usually puts in a drowsy state a few minutes after. These two recipes are an essential part of my kids’ lives. And that leaves me as a contented mom – I did my part, my way.