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Healthy treats for your kids this summer

Getting your kids to eat healthy can sometimes be a chore. The lure of sweet, fatty, and salty snacks can be hard to resist. Nevertheless, there are great healthy alternatives to our favorite snacks and desserts. Kale chips and smoothies are an awesome option for your children to snack on this summer. They're full of vitamins and have great nutritional value, plus they taste great. Your kids are sure to enjoy these treats, and your mind can rest knowing that you're little ones are eating fruit and vegetables willingly.

A photo of a boy eating watermelon
A photo of a boy eating watermelon
Photo: Kathleen Tyler Conklin at Flickr

Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 pinch sea salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. Cut away inner ribs from each kale leaf and discard; tear the leaves into pieces of uniform size. (I made my pieces about the size of a small potato chip.) Wash torn kale pieces and spin dry in a salad spinner or dry with paper towels until they're very dry.
3. Put the kale pieces into a large resealable bag (or use a bowl if you don't mind getting your hands oily). Add about half the olive oil; seal and squeeze the bag so the oil gets distributed evenly on the kale pieces. Add the remaining oil and squeeze the bag more, until all kale pieces are evenly coated with oil and slightly 'massaged.' Sprinkle the vinegar over the kale leaves, reseal the bag, and shake to spread the vinegar evenly over the leaves. Spread the leaves evenly onto a baking sheet.
4. Roast in the preheated oven until mostly crisp, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Groovy Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 (6 ounce) tub vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Directions:
1. Place the banana, grapes, yogurt, apple and spinach into a blender. Cover, and blend until smooth, stopping frequently to push down anything stuck to the sides. Pour into glasses and serve.