St. Patty’s Day Fun Snacks!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is SO much more fun with kids! It’s all about the magic of Leprechauns (and trying to catch one!), making Irish soda bread and corned beef with cabbage (hey, the cabbage is healthy!), sporting all the green we can find, and enjoying these fun, nutritious snacks.  Avoid the fake shakes and try these recipes with your little ones.  Don’t forget to come back and comment to let me know how you all liked them!

Green Smoothie
Try this tropical Shamrock shake, loaded with protein and vitamins A and C!

YIELD|  4 servings

Ingredients
2 c. frozen mango
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 c. white grape juice
1 c. plain nonfat yogurt (regular or Greek)
1/3 c. nonfat dry milk
1 c. packed fresh baby spinach or kale (thoroughly washed and patted dry)

Directions
Blend mango, pineapple, and white grape juice.  Mixture may be slightly chunky.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add ice as desired for thicker consistency.

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Rainbow Fruit Snack
This pretty snack makes a fun way to try new foods while enjoying some trusty favorites.  Building the shopping list in advance, or choosing by color while at the grocery store, provides an excellent opportunity for teaching children about all the foods that are the color of the rainbow.  Kids may be more willing to try new foods they’ve helped choose or prepare, as well.

Ingredients
RED| 1 lb. container strawberries OR 1 lb. cherries, pitted OR 2 pints raspberries OR 4 c. small watermelon cubes

ORANGE|  4 mandarin oranges (or use 1 can mandarin orange segments) OR 2 c. diced mango OR 1 c. dried apricots (quartered) OR 2 c. small cantaloupe cubes

YELLOW|  1 small can pineapple chunks OR 2 bananas, sliced

GREEN|  2 kiwi OR 1 lb. green grapes OR 1 c. small honeydew cubes

BLUE|  1 pint fresh blueberries

PURPLE|  1 lb. red or black seedless grapes OR blackberries OR 2 red or black plums, diced

1/2 c. real whipped cream OR 1 c. Honey Vanilla Yogurt* (clouds)
1/2 c. Golden raisins (pot of gold)

*Honey Vanilla Yogurt
1 c. plain nonfat yogurt (Greek or regular) 1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions
1.  Wash, peel (kiwi and bananas), remove rinds (melons), and slice or cube fruits in preparation.
2.  Divide rainbow ingredients evenly between 4 large plates, keeping the fruits separated into distinct sections.  Give each child a separate plate to assemble their rainbow on.  
3.  Divide yogurt or whipped cream evenly between 4 small dipping bowls or ramekins.
4.  Divide raisins evenly between 4 small dipping bowls or ramekins.
5.  Allow children to assemble their rainbows, adding their ‘clouds’ and ‘pots of gold’ at the ends.  The clouds make an excellent fruit dip!

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