October 28, 2010

Lunch or Snack - Super Simple Cheese & Crackers

Total Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes
1 Milk & Alternatives (50 grams of cheese)
1 Grain Products (35 grams of whole grain crackers)

I have always loved snacking on cheese and crackers.  I often serve them with a side of grapes as an afternoon snack for my boys.  I also send Aidan to school with cheese and crackers for his snack.  There are so many different variations to try.

When purchasing crackers to send to school, make sure that you choose nut free crackers.  Not all brands will have the nut-free symbol, but many are approved by schools.  Ask your child's school for a list of approved nut-free brands - most should have a list available.  Also, read the label.  Look for crackers that are low in sodium and high in fibre.

PC Mini Chefs Funshines Biscuits
PC Blue Menu Snack Crackers
Honey Maid Grahams
Dare Breton Minis or Vinta Crackers

**You can also substitute traditional flat crackers for animal cookies.

Now, onto the cheese.  Cows don't produce orange milk.  Why are we buying orange cheese?  Most orange cheese contains 'natural' food colour that is not natural to a milk product.  There are so many delicious white cheeses that your children will love.

White cheddar - semi-hard cheese; sharp flavour
Havarti -semi-soft cheese; creamy texture; mild flavour (don't stop with plain havarti, try jalapeno or garlic & herb)
Gouda - semi-hard cheese; sweet, fruity flavour
Babybel - semi-soft cheese; covered with it's signature red wax coating
Swiss - hard cheese; mild, sweet, nut-like flavour; full of holes (fun for kids!)
Dolce Provolone - semi-soft; smooth texture; mild flavour

Cheese and crackers are a perfect school snack or lunch for your little one.  If you are serving for lunch, add an apple or some fresh raw veggies for a balanced meal.

1. If you are concerned with serving your children high fat snacks, you can find low-fat versions of most of these cheeses at your local grocery store.
2. Add some sliced, low-sodium ham or turkey for a protein kick.  No need to buy expensive, salt-ridden Lunchables when you can make them yourself!

Happy eating!

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