Back to school snacks for hungry students

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Courtesy of Family Features

Kid-friendly meals with a tropical twist

Is your family tired of eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Not sure if trying a new recipe fits into your busy schedule? It’s easier than you think to break out of the usual routine, especially when you have a quick, kid-friendly recipe that brings a taste of the tropics to your meals.

Mangos make the difference in this recipe — adding a splash of color and vibrant flavor to a hot panini. And adding mango to the menu provides plenty of good nutrition. Mangos are an excellent source of vitamins C and A. Vitamin C promotes healthy immune function, while vitamin A is important for vision and bone growth.

When choosing a mango, don’t rely on color alone. Instead, gently squeeze the mango. A ripe mango will be firm with just a little give, like a ripe peach or avocado. If your mango isn’t ripe, keep it out on the counter; it will continue to ripen at room temperature, becoming sweeter and softer over several days. Once ripe, move it to the refrigerator, where whole, ripe mangos will keep for up to five days.

For more quick and easy recipes for your busy weeknights, visit www.mango.org.

RECIPE: Chicken and mango panini
Serves 4
1/2  loaf Italian bread, (8, 1/2-inch slices)
8 slices deli-sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup whole basil leaves
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and sliced thin
2 cooked chicken breasts (about 1 pound total), sliced thin

Layer half of the cheese on 4 slices of bread; divide basil, red onion, mango, chicken and remaining cheese among bread slices. Top with second slice of bread.

Heat grill pan, panini press or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place 2 sandwiches in pan (close lid or weigh down sandwiches in skillet with heavy pot). Cook sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Nutrition Information: Each serving (1 sandwich) contains 438 calories, 40g carbohydrate (13% Daily Value), 3g fiber (11% Daily Value), 40g protein (81% Daily Value), 12g fat (19% Daily Value), 6g saturated fat (28% Daily Value), 100mg cholesterol (33% Daily Value), 746mg sodium (31% Daily Value), and 644mg potassium (18% Daily Value).


“Super” snacking is easy with grapes

Snacking is an integral part of the American lifestyle, but adults and kids often gravitate toward less healthy choices. Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., celebrity chef, best-selling author and TV host, has a solution that appeals to both adults and kids.

The original super snack
Why are grapes such a “super” snack?

• One serving (3/4 cup) of grapes contains just 90 calories, no fat, no cholesterol and virtually no sodium.
• Grapes of every color contain a variety of antioxidants and other polyphenols — natural components in grapes that appear to contribute to a healthy heart.
Ellie’s Tips for Strategic Snacking:
• Snack only when truly hungry
• Plan ahead for a healthy snack under 200 calories
• Eat regular and balanced meals to prevent hunger munching
For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/GrapesfromCalifornia.

RECIPE: Grapes in a canoe — Pictured above
Created by Ellie Krieger — Makes: 4 servings

4 large celery stalks
8 teaspoons peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup red grapes
32 thin pretzel sticks, preferably whole wheat

If necessary, make a slice or two on the spine of each piece of celery, so they lay flat on a plate. Spread 2 teaspoons peanut butter or almond butter into each celery stalk.

Place the grapes in a row inside the celery, pressing them lightly into the nut butter. Position 8 pretzel sticks along the sides of each celery “canoe” to look like oars for the grape “rowers.”

Nutritional analysis per serving (1 canoe): Calories 120; Total Fat 6 g; Protein 4 g; Carbohydrate 16 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 200 mg.

—Courtesy of Family Features