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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2015:06:08 18:14:35

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Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Christina Hitchcock scours cookbooks, recipe boxes and the internet to bring you only the BEST recipes that have her seal of approval.

Experts recommend children be physically active for at least 60 minutes each day. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your kids are getting the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day:

• Make it fun. Kids will be excited to participate in activities that are fun and engaging.

• Limit the amount of screen time. Cut back on video games, streaming and TV

• Set a regular schedule for daily physical activity — it can be as simple as playing outside when they get home from school.

• Encourage your children to participate in age-appropriate activities. Keep them interested by trying a variety of activities.

• Set a good example. Incorporate healthier choices and be a positive

role model.

Encouraging your children to be active will help them develop healthier habits as adults. In addition, kids who are active tend to sleep more soundly, handle challenges better and perform well in school.

Children who are active need wholesom, nutritious foods, too. Not only are you keeping hunger in check but you are replenishing energy and nutrients that were burned. In addition to well-balanced meals, your children need snacks that will help them stay healthy and grow strong.

Wholesome doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many nutritious snacks that are easy and flavorful. Some ideas are:

• Granola — one of my favorite power snacks.  It’s so easy to make a big batch and customize it with your favorite mix-ins.  You can get my favorite easy recipe at itisakeeper.com/nepafamilytimes.

• Greek yogurt  — This is a protein-packed powerhouse snack.  You can eat it plain or stir in your favorite fruit and nuts.

• Whole grains — One of the easiest changes you can make is to swap processed white grains for 100 percent whole grains.  Look for the whole grain versions of your favorite snacks.

• Nut butters  Whether you prefer peanut butter, almond butter or something else, nut butters pack protein in your snack. Spread them on fruit, rice cakes or drizzle over popcorn for a pick-me-up.

• Smoothies — These are one of my favorite snacks. Kids feel like these are a treat but they are actually getting lots of power nutrients.  You can get my pineapple mango smoothie recipe atitisakeeper.com/nepafamilytimes.

• Hummus  — Feel like some dip? Try hummus. It’s perfect for dipping veggies or whole grain crackers. Get my recipe at itisakeeper.com/nepafamilytimes.

• Avocados  — You can eat them sliced, halved or smashed, but what ever way you choose, you’ll be getting lots of good Omega-3. I have a great recipe atitisakeeper.com/nepafamilytimes.

• Nuts I always keep individual packs of nuts in my bag and car for a quick snack after sports practices.  

These No Bake Energy Bites are another wholesome snack idea. I love how easy they are to make and my family loves how they taste. I usually make a big batch and keep them in the refrigerator for a quick after-school snack or post-game treat.

No Bake Energy Bites

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup peanut butter (or any

other nut butter)

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup oats

2/3 cup coconut

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup ground flax (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla until combined.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Roll into bite sized balls.

5. Store in refrigerator.

You can find more easy slow cooker recipes and ideas atitisakeeper.com/nepafamilytimes.