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Make your own trail mix. Pick and choose from mixed nuts, cranberries, raisins, dried fruit or cereal. For an occa- sional sweet treat, try peanut butter chips or mini-chocolate chips. A fruit bowl is great for summertime splendor. Mix green and red grapes, blueberries, strawberries and kiwi. Sprinkle with lime juice and drizzle with honey. Drain and rinse a can of kidney, can-


nellini, lima or black beans. Heat as instructed and pack for an on-the-go protein punch.


Steam or boil a bag of edamame, in the pod or out.


Baked apple chips take some time


but are much more cost-effective than purchased bags. Thinly slice apples and lay them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on the chips. Bake at 200º F for two hours. Make blueberry, strawberry or apple


muffins. Oftentimes, store-bought muffins have triple the amount of sugar compared to homemade recipes. Make at home, add


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more fruit than called for, and enjoy your healthier home-baked treat. Kids love dipping sauces. Keep peanut or almond butter on hand, and use apple slices or bananas to dip. Hummus is an- other great dipper with carrots, broccoli, bell peppers or celery. Roasted beets drizzled with maple


syrup are a lovely (although colorful on the hands) snack item. Peel a whole fresh beet, cut into wedges and roast at 400º F for 35 to 40 minutes. If your child needs a bit of sweet to balance the beets, drizzle a touch of maple syrup while warm. Be sure to avoid nuts, popcorn or other small-piece choking hazards with young- er children, especially if they are active. Keep this list on hand and add your own


favorites to have an ever-ready source of ideas for simple, wholesome snacks and meals for your family.


Courtney Morris Gardner, MSN, RN, CPNP, practices in Marion, NC. She enjoys cooking, hiking and camping with her husband and twin toddlers.


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