If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you may know my sister Emily and I share much alike, especially in our quest for food zen. One area where we differ, however, is our children's affinity and influence with food.
Emily's child, my darling and perfect nephew, has a very healthy perspective on food, meaning he has very little emotional relationship. He will eat a variety of foods and enough to sustain him throughout the day, but that's where it ends. If food is in front of him, he's cool, otherwise, he carries on with life, cheerful and content not pondering if and when his next meal might come.
My children are not like that. Food plays a dominating role throughout their day. It comes as no surprise that "eat" was a first word for both. Each meal must be on time (early and often if they had their choice) and plentiful. They wrote the cookbook on Hangry and you do not want to have that one in your library.
Although I prefer happy children around me, I don't want to feel like I am running a 24 hour snack bar diner. Other than the basic three meals a day, I offer one small snack in the morning, usually a piece of fruit, and a more sustaining protein packed snack in the afternoon, that will hopefully carry them to dinner (which is not always the case but I have an antidote for that I will be sharing in a later post). Snacks are like crack for kids. Those little packages that end up in our landfill are convenient, easy, and always welcomed by little people. In fact, I am firm believer that if they could figure out how to fill a package with brussell sprouts and broccoli, my kids would beg for them. Alas, when I decide it's a good day to wear my clever mom hat (and we all know that is not every day), I like to offer a better option than a plastic pouch of empty calories.
Seeing as Fall, or "Fall," has ushered its way in ever so sweetly, I would like your permission to slap you with just one more reason why the food scene this time of year is worthy of all the hoopla and praise.
Introducing my favorite Peanut Butter Apple Dip with a Fall Spice Twist.
This apple dip is loved by all in our household. It is barely sweetened, with maple syrup, one of those clean sugars. There are two doses of protein for strength and plenty of healthy fat to keep that brain growing. And just because apples don't scream fall enough, I added a little baking spice to liven things up. Don't just stop at apples, though. Graham crackers would be amazing too. Or your finger straight into the bowl, not that I've done that at all.
So if your children are more like mine than my sister's, you may want to throw this one into your snack rotation. I bet even my nephew would get excited by this one.
Hey sis, and nephew, try this...
Peanut Butter and Spice Apple Dip
1/2 cup peanut butter, the no sugar kind
1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt
2 Tablespoon maple syrup (omit if you use a peanut butter with added sugar)
1 teaspoon (or less to taste) any favorite baking spice
Mix it all up and enjoy. Store in the fridge. Or eat it in one big bite!