The 12 Days of Christmas: Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids During the Holidays
Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.
  1. Day 1: Awesome Applesauce
    • Prep time: 10 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      2 small red apples
      2 tbsp. lemon juice
      2 tsp. sugar
      2 pinches of cinnamon
    • Directions:
      1. Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces. Throw out the core.
      2. Put the apple pieces and lemon juice into the blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is very smooth.
      3. Pour the mixture into two small bowls and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.
      4. Enjoy your awesome applesauce!
    • Serves: 2
    • Serving size: 1 bowl (half the recipe)
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      84 calories
      0 g protein
      0 g fat
      22 g carbohydrate
      2 g fiber
      0 mg cholesterol
      3 mg sodium
      14 mg calcium
      0.3 mg iron
  2. Day 2: Banana Bread external image recipe_cards_1.gif
    • Prep time: about 90 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      2 eggs
      1¾ c. sifted flour
      2 tsp. baking powder
      ¼ tsp. baking soda
      ½ tsp. salt
      1/3 c. vegetable oil
      2/3 c. sugar
      1 c. mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
    • Directions:
      • Preheat the oven to 350� F (180� C).
      • Beat eggs well in a small bowl.
      • In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
      • In a large bowl, add the vegetable oil. Add the sugar a little bit at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy.
      • Add the eggs to the mixture in the large bowl and beat well.
      • . Add some of the flour mixture to the large bowl and beat well. Then add some of the mashed bananas and beat some more. Continue adding flour, then bananas, then flour, then bananas, until everything is mixed in.
      • Pour mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 70 minutes.
      • Flip your banana bread out of the pan, let it cool for a bit, and cut it into slices to eat and share!
    • Serves: 16
    • Serving size: 1 slice
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      145 calories
      2 g protein
      5 g fat
      24 g carbohydrate
      1 g fiber
      27 mg cholesterol
      155 mg sodium
      37 mg calcium
      0.8 mg iron
  3. Day 3: Berry Muffins external image recipe1209_1.jpg
    • Prep time: about 40 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1 c. flour
      1 c. oatmeal
      3 tbsp. sugar
      1 tsp. salt
      4 tsp. baking powder
      1 c. blueberries, washed
      1 egg
      1 c. milk
      ¼ c. vegetable oil
      nonstick cooking spray
    • Directions:
      1. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).
      2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
      3. Mix in blueberries.
      4. In another bowl, break the egg and use a fork to beat it just a little bit. Then add the milk and vegetable oil, and mix.
      5. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl.
      6. Using a mixing spoon, mix about 25 or 30 times. Don't mix too much! Your muffin mixture should be lumpy, not smooth.
      7. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or lightly spray with nonstick spray. Spoon in the muffin mix. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way up.
      8. Bake for about 20 minutes.
      9. When muffins are finished baking, remove from muffin tin and cool them on a wire rack.
      10. Enjoy your berry tasty muffins!
    • Serves: 12
    • Serving size: 1 muffin
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      136 calories
      3 g protein
      6 g fat
      19 g carbohydrate
      1 g fiber
      18 mg cholesterol
      344 mg sodium
      86 mg calcium
      0.9 mg iron
  4. Day 4: Fun Fruit Kabobs
    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1 apple
      1 banana
      1/3 c. red seedless grapes
      1/3 c. green seedless grapes
      2/3 cup pineapple chunks
      1 cup nonfat yogurt
      ¼ c. dried coconut, shredded
    • Directions:
      1. Prepare the fruit by washing the grapes, washing the apples and cutting them into small squares, peeling the bananas and cutting them into chunks, and cutting the pineapple into chunks, if it's fresh. Put the fruit onto a large plate.
      2. Spread coconut onto another large plate.
      3. Slide pieces of fruit onto the skewer and design your own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit you want! Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end.
      4. Hold your kabob at the ends and roll it in the yogurt, so the fruit gets covered. Then roll it in the coconut.
      5. Repeat these steps with another skewer.
    • Serves: 4
    • Serving size: 1 kabob
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      141 calories
      3 g fat
      28 g carbohydrate
      3 g fat
      1 mg cholesterol
      2 g saturated fat
      52 mg sodium
      103 mg calcium
      0.5 mg iron
      3 g fiber
  5. Day 5: Frozen Yogurt Pops external image chef-clipart-free-chef-clipart-clipart-food-chef-boy-1med.gif
    • Prep time: about 1 to 2 hours
    • Ingredients: 1 8-oz. container of your favorite flavor of yogurt
    • Directions:
      1. Pour yogurt into paper cups. Fill them almost to the top.
      2. Stretch a small piece of plastic wrap across the top of each cup.
      3. Using the popsicle stick, poke a hole in the plastic wrap. Stand the stick straight up in the center of the cup.
      4. Put the cups in the freezer until the yogurt is frozen solid.
      5. Remove the plastic wrap, peel away the paper cup, and eat your pop!
    • Serves: 3 to 4
    • Serving size: 1 pop
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      127 calories
      5 g protein
      2 g fat
      21 g carbohydrate
      0 g fiber
      7 mg cholesterol
      73 mg sodium
      262 mg calcium
      0 mg iron
  6. Day 6: Homemade Pretzels
    • Prep time: about 30 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1 tbsp. yeast
      ½ c. warm water
      1 tsp. honey
      1-1/3 c. flour
      1 tsp. salt
    • Directions:
      • Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit (165° Celsius).
      • Put the yeast in a small bowl with the water and honey. Stir a little, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
      • Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
      • After the 5 minutes is up, check on the yeast mixture. It should be bigger than before and a little bubbly. Add this mixture to the flour and salt mixture.
      • Stir everything together. Use a spoon to start. Finish with your hands. The dough is ready when it's still a little crumbly and flaky.
      • Put the dough on the cutting board and knead it like you are playing with clay. Knead it into one big ball.
      • Break off a piece of dough that's about the size of a big gumball or superball. Use your hands to roll it into a skinny snake.
      • Twist the snake into a medium-size pretzel shape, and put it on the cookie sheet. Do this with all the dough, making 12 pretzels.
      • Bake your pretzels for 10 minutes. Let them cool and take a bite!
    • Serves: 12
    • Serving size: 1 pretzel
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      56 calories
      1 g protein
      0 g fat
      12 g carbohydrate
      0 g fiber
      0 mg cholesterol
      192 mg sodium
      2 mg calcium
      0.7 mg iron external image recipe1209_3.jpg
  7. Day 7: Simple Snack Mix
    • Prep time: 5 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1 cup whole grain cereal (squares or Os work best)
      ¼ cup dried fruit of your choice
      ¼ cup nuts, such as walnut pieces, slivered almonds, or pistachios
      ¼ cup small, whole-grain snack crackers or pretzels
    • Directions:
      1. Measure out ingredients.
      2. Combine in large bowl.
    • Makes: Three to four ½-cup servings
  8. Day 8: Zucchini Muffins
    • Prep time: 30 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1½ c. shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
      2 c. whole-grain pancake or biscuit mix
      1 tsp. cinnamon
      1 teaspoon allspice
      2 eggs
      ¾ c. brown sugar
      ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
      2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
      powdered sugar (enough to dust the muffins)
    • Directions:
      • Wash zucchini and remove ends.
      • Shred zucchini using largest holes on grater.
      • Wrap grated zucchini in a couple of paper towels and squeeze to remove water.
      • Measure 1½ cups of squeezed-dry zucchini.
      • Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
      • Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
      • In a large bowl, mix whole-grain pancake mix (or biscuit mix) with spices.
      • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, and lemon juice.
      • Fold the egg-sugar mixture and shredded zucchini into the pancake-spice mixture; do not overmix.
      • Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter.
      • Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden.
      • Remove muffins from tin (with help from your adult assistant) and cool on a wire rack.
      • Sprinkle muffins with a dusting of powdered sugar.
    • Makes: About a dozen muffins.
  9. Day 9: Strawberry Smoothies
    • Prep time: 5 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      2 ice cubes
      1 c. milk
      1/3 c. cottage cheese
      2/3 c. frozen strawberries
      1½ tsp. sugar
      1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • Directions:
      1. Pour all of the ingredients into the blender.
      2. Put the lid on the blender and blend for 45 to 60 seconds until smooth.
      3. Pour your smoothie into a glass and enjoy.
    • Serves: 1
    • Serving size: 1 large glass
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      289 calories
      19 g protein
      2 g fat
      49 g carbohydrate
      3 g fiber
      7 mg cholesterol
      430 mg sodium
      369 mg calcium
      0.8 mg iron
  10. Day 10: Edible Veggie Bowls
    • Prep time: about 10 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1 green, yellow, or red pepper, washed
      1 bunch of celery, washed
      1 carrot, washed and peeled
      your favorite salad dressing
    • Directions:
      • Cut the pepper in half (from side to side). Clean out the seeds and gunk from the inside. Now you have two pieces. One will be your pepper-shaped bowl.
      • Cut the other half of the pepper into skinny slices.
      • Cut the carrot into skinny sticks about 4" long.
      • Cut celery into skinny sticks so each one is about 4" long.
      • Put a little salad dressing in the bottom of your pepper bowl.
      • Put celery sticks, carrot sticks, and pepper slices into the pepper bowl.
      • Now you've got a portable veggie treat! You can pull out the veggies and eat them with a little dressing. Then when you're finished with the veggies, it's time to eat the bowl!
    • Serves: 1
    • Serving size: 1 veggie bowl
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      93 calories
      3 g protein
      1 g fat
      22 g carbohydrate
      4 g fiber
      0 mg cholesterol
      98 mg sodium
      71 mg calcium
      0.7 mg iron
  11. Day 11: Super Strawberry Bars external image recipe1209_4.jpg
    • Prep time: 45 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      1 c. flour
      1 c. rolled oats
      ½ c. butter or margarine, softened
      1/3 c. light brown sugar
      ¼ tsp. baking powder
      1/8 tsp. salt
      ¾ c. strawberry jam
    • Directions:
      • Preheat oven to 350� Fahrenheit (180� Celsius).
      • In a large bowl, mix everything together except the strawberry jam.
      • Measure out 2 cups of this mixture. Leave the rest in the bowl, and set it aside.
      • Take the 2 cups of the mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan. You can use your hands or a spoon. Make sure you cover the entire bottom of the pan!
      • Using a large spoon, spread the strawberry jam on top of the mixture in the pan. Spread it evenly all over.
      • Take the mixture that was left in the bowl, and spread it over the strawberry jam. Press it down lightly.
      • Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes.
      • Cut the bars into 12 squares to eat and share!
    • Serves: 12
    • Serving size: 1 square
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      211 calories
      2 g protein
      9 g fat
      32 g carbohydrate
      1 g fiber
      22 mg cholesterol
      126 mg sodium
      16 mg calcium
      0.9 mg iron
  12. Day 12: Yogurt on the Go
    • Prep time: 5 minutes
    • Ingredients:
      ¾ c. light fruit-flavored yogurt
      1 tbsp. raisins
      1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
      1/3 c. strawberries
    • Directions: Mix all ingredients in a plastic cup.
    • Serves: 1
    • Serving size: approximately 1¼ cup
    • Nutritional analysis (per serving):
      232 calories
      7 g protein
      4 g fat
      0 g sat. fat
      40 g carbohydrate
      3 g fiber
      3 mg cholesterol
      88 mg sodium
      222 mg calcium
      0.9 mg iron
All recipes listed above for “The 12 Days of Christmas: Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids During the Holidays” were obtained from www.KidsHealth.org. Kids Health provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens and is part of The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media.
(see addendum to this article)