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Back to routine: Try these tasty after-school snacks

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Dash of Class: Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

By now, everyone is settling into the routine of school days. Well, maybe. Summer comes with long lazy mornings of rising near lunch time, spending time at the ball field or swimming pool, grabbing a snack from the pantry and possibly an evening dinner with family if there aren’t evening activities planned. In summer, the routine might change every day.

There is something to be said about having a routine. Fortunately, being back in school, routines are be becoming the norm in Hardin County households with children.

For younger children, there is the bedtime routine. I will never forget Mike and I had to sell tickets at a football game on a Friday night when our son was small and my mom watched him. At 8 p.m., Joey announced it was his bedtime. She tried to explain that it was Friday night and he didn’t have to go to bed so early, but he insisted his bedtime was 8 p.m. So, even if you vary a little later or a little earlier, letting the child know exactly what time bedtime is makes for a much smoother transition from their after-dinner activities. For little ones who can’t tell time, show them the time on a digital clock.

Breakfast is another routine that might have lapsed during the summer. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially when your brain has to work in the morning at school and you have nutrients to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

“Eat like a king for breakfast, a commoner for lunch and a pauper for dinner,” I always taught my students.

Another routine for some small children and growing teens is an afternoon snack. Try to keep fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for them to have as a snack and some cookies that are not filled with preservatives, additives, trans fats and so on.

I am giving you some treats to have in the cookie jar or in some plastic sealed containers.

Routines are good for all of us. Children who go through their school years following a routine will be ready for college life as they set their own routines depending on their class schedule and in the years that follow as they take on gainful employment. Getting up without hitting the snooze button numerous times will be easy after having a routine the previous 17 or so years.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,”is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher.

She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs or 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs or egg substitute and yogurt. Whisk in the sugar and oil. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the blueberries.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly.

Store the muffins in a covered container for up to 1 day at room temperature or up to 1 month in the freezer.

Nora’s Note: You might not want to tell the kids the name of these muffins, just call them blueberry muffins. These are a very healthy muffin.

Source: Prevention.com

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 egg, beaten

1 cup sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Scoop level tablespoonfuls and roll into balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets and flatten with a fork.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nora’s Note: Yes, you read it right — these cookies do not have any flour in them.

Source: Taste of Home.com

Chocolate Raspberry Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup butter, cubed

Filling:

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons 2-percent milk

1 cup white baking chips, melted

Glaze:

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons shortening

In a small bowl, combine flour and confectioners’ sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake the bars at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until browned. Spread jam over warm crust.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add white chips; beat until smooth. Spread carefully over jam layer. Cool completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

For glaze, melt chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave; stir until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Cut into bars; chill 1 hour longer or until set. Store them in refrigerator. Yield: 3 dozen.

Source: www.tasteofhome.com

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.