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Now that my son is in middle school, his appetite has gone through the roof. Schools here in Nashville already started a week ago and when he comes home he is *starving* and needs food right away. Since I am not always there when he gets home, I make sure my hungry youngster has an after-school snack that can tide him over until dinner time. To me, an after-school snack should be more than just a filler. Cookies and sweets won’t do it. Having healthy food selections available at home provides my son the opportunity to customize his own signature snack. This makes him happy because the snack becomes his creation. This has helped my son become more confident and comfortable in the kitchen.
My son LOVES smoothies. They are his favorite snack and we make them every day. Smoothies are nutritious, tasty and super-easy to whip up. I have bags of ready-to-blend fruit in the freezer so that all he has to do is toss it into the blender. Since everything is cut up and frozen beforehand, there’s really no prep work involved – and who doesn’t love that?I usually stock up on fresh fruit when it goes on sale and freeze it in these Ziploc® brand Freezer bags. To make life easier, Ziploc® brand just introduced new Ziploc® brand Storage, Snack and Freezer bags with Easy Open Tabs.
The new Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs can store fruits, meat, craft materials, school supplies and other household items.
To make frozen fruit at home, start with washing, peeling and cutting up your fruit as you normally would. Then, line the fruit pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and pop them in the freezer until frozen – around 1 or 2 hours. Make sure the fruit pieces are not touching each other so they don’t freeze together and create a giant, frozen, fruity mass.
Once frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and store in freezer bags. You can also use frozen fruits in your waffle batter, muffins, as toppings for oatmeal or yogurt. I also freeze kale, which I add to smoothies. Kale is a power food and as long as my son doesn’t see or taste it, he doesn’t mind having kale in his smoothies. The same goes for spinach and avocado.
When it’s time to make the smoothie, my son simply blends the fruit of his choice with orange juice, almond milk or milk. Sometimes he adds yogurt. If the fruit isn’t spinning in the blender, he knows to add a little more juice, water or milk. He blends until all the fruit chunks are gone. The thing I love about our blender is the spout on the front, which makes it super easy to serve.If my son wants a snack to go with his smoothie, I have various bags of graham crackers, trail mix, cereals, etc. Once in a while, he makes his own popcorn. Did you know that you can make your own bags of microwave popcorn? Just take 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels and add them to a brown paper lunch bag. Use a plastic-only clip to hold the bag closed and then microwave it like normal. I prepare a couple of bags ahead of time so all my son has to do is stick the bag in the microwave.
Here’s one more snack idea. In addition to smoothies, my child loves fruit parfaits. I stock the fridge with these Ziploc® brand containers with One Press Seal, filled with yogurt, berries and granola. These containers are extremely easy to open and close.
Back-to-school time is a good time for me to stock up on storage bags and containers at my local Kroger, especially when they are on sale. Luckily, Ziploc® brand has the following product promotions going on between now and 8/30. $0.50 off regular retail price on:
Ziploc® brand Sandwich bags with Easy Open Tabs 40ct
Ziploc® brand Sandwich bags with Easy Open Tabs 90ct
Ziploc® brand Snack bags with Easy Open Tabs 90ct
I have shown you how Ziploc® brand products help me stay organized for back to school and throughout the year. How do you get organized and ready for back to school? I always love to hear your ideas!