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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Keeping The Kids Content With Healthy Snacks

By Sherrie Norris

During this unexpected break from school, and life as we knew it just a week ago, we’re all trying to adjust to a “new normal.” While we try not to cave into the chaos and fear that surrounds us in these uncertain times, it is especially important that we try to keep the younger kids, especially, from sensing our unrest. Hopefully, our families with kids at home now are coming up with innovative ways to keep boredom at bay and keep everyone well fed.

Providing nutritious foods and snacks might be a challenge for many, but thankfully, our community and school system have come together to make sure kids are being fed daily, our food pantries are trying to meet additional needs and neighbors are helping neighbors.

Yes, our routines are knocked out of balance, right now, but hopefully with a few handy tips, we can keep the kids happy and healthy by preparing food and snacks that are fun and nutritious. We also hope that we will have ongoing access to things like fresh veggies and fruit, handi-snack packs, Jell-O, cheese and yogurt.

Even with just the basics right now, we can make food fun. Cut the PBJs with various cookie cutters and, if available, use other bread-like products such as pitas, bagels, English muffins, buns and tortilla wraps for hand-held choices. It might take a little experimenting to see what works for your family, but try to make the best of what you have on hand.


Flour tortillas

Sliced turkey, ham, bologna or any sandwich meat

Cheese, if desired (shredded works best)

Shredded lettuce

Mayonnaise, mustard, cream cheese, salsa, or even ketchup

Spread tortilla with condiment of choice; top with meat, cheese, lettuce, etc. and roll up tightly. Wrap each one in plastic and refrigerate overnight. You might want to cut it in half, especially for smaller hands.


Snack On A Straw

Cut fruit, meat, cheese, etc. into chunks.

Thread onto a straw, a metal or wooden skewer.



Spread inside pocket of sandwich-size pita bread with small amount of marinara or pizza sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and microwave until cheese melts. Add chopped meats or veggies, if desired, before cheese.



1 can refrigerated crescent rolls

1 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1 cup finely chopped ham

½ cup shredded cheese

Unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles; press seams to seal. Combine mayonnaise and mustard; spread over rectangles, leaving ½-inch border. Sprinkle ham and cheese evenly over half of each rectangle; moisten edges with water. Fold dough over, and pinch edges to seal. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes until puffed and golden.


Peanut Butter Snack

Ritz crackers

Peanut Butter

Melted Chocolate

Spread peanut butter between crackers; dip in chocolate. Cool on waxed paper.


Peanut Butter Dip with Pretzels And Fruit

½ cup peanut butter
½ cup vanilla yogurt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup raisins
2 cups miniature pretzel twists
Apple slices and banana chunks
In small bowl, combine first four ingredients. Mix well. Keep refrigerated. Serve with pretzels and fruit.

Scrambled Egg Melts

4 eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. margarine or butter
2 English muffins, split and toasted
4 slices Canadian bacon
4 slices American cheese

In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Beat until well blended. Melt margarine in medium skillet over medium heat. Add egg mixture, cook 3 to 4 minutes or until eggs are set, stirring occasionally. Place English muffins split side up on small cookie sheet. Place 1 slice Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Spoon scrambled eggs evenly over bacon. Top with cheese. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 1 minutes or until cheese is melted, or toast in toaster oven.

Oven-Fried Apple Pies

1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 large can Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Biscuits
1 cup apple pie filling
4 Tsp. butter, melted

Heat oven to 375. Spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press or roll each to form 5-inch rounds. Place on sprayed cookie sheets. Place 2 Tbsp. pie filling slightly off center each biscuit round on one cookie sheet. Fold biscuits over filling, press edges with fork to seal. Prick top of each 3 times with fork. Brush each with melted butter; sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown, noting that some of the filling may bubble out at edges. Repeat with biscuit rounds on second cookie sheet. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.