Healthy Movie Night Snacks for Kids
Words Ashlee Galyean
I think my kids think they would die if they went over an hour without food. Therefore riding in the car, taking a walk, going to bed, playing outside, grocery shopping, watching movies, and a million other things all must include a food component.
It drives me a little crazy if we’re being honest. But on a positive note, I’ve unintentionally fooled them into a somewhat Pavlovian response of requesting apple sticks whenever they’re watching their afternoon shows. I’ll oblige that one.
But truthfully if there’s food involved, aren’t we all a little more apt to get excited? When we plan family movie nights, it’s assumed (and rightly so) that there will be treats and snacks. Because I love health almost as much as I love food, more than a few of our treats are sugar-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and sometimes joy-free (mostly when I get too experimental).
And then at other times I make milkshakes and I’m the world’s greatest mom. I guess we’re all about balance around here.
For a recent movie night we stuck with foods that I deem at least decently healthy but are still very tasty. And most of them require very little prep work.
First: Popcorn. Obviously. And the thing about it is that it’s so simple to make yourself and really only requires three ingredients. The key to good popcorn is good kernels, good butter, and a good healthy salt. The other key to good popcorn is to prevent spillage by adorable but disastrous children. Might I suggest the Flippy Snap Cup? You’re welcome.
Second: Cocoa. It’s colder weather now so we opt for warm drinks instead of our usual milkshakes. Which means the drink portion of the snack night is actually very healthy. Use a milk of your choice (we use almond, cocoa powder, and honey. If I can get away with it—or more likely after I’ve poured the children’s portions—I’ll add a little salt and chili powder just to spice things up. If I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll set up a whole hot cocoa bar for my kiddos.
Third: Fruit. We had apples and pomegranates. I like to keep things festive and seasonal, what can I say? But my kids won’t eat the latter so there’s that. If yours do, tell me how you have successfully expanded your children’s horizons ?
Fourth and lastly: Apple Cake. My brother brought home a recipe book in elementary school with an entry entitled “Grandma’s Autumn Apple Cake” and my family’s been baking and perfecting it ever since. This snack admittedly takes a little more work than the others but it’s still pretty minimal as cakes go.
Grandma’s Autumn Apple Cake
½ to 3/4 cup honey according to taste
¼ cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 to 1 ½ cup of flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 or 3 dashes of nutmeg
Three small or two large grated/shredded honeycrisp apples
- Preheat oven to 350℉ degrees.
- Peel and grate the apples. Mix the honey, butter, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
- Pour batter into butter greased baking dish. Place in oven for 45 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or frost with cream cheese frosting (which is the world’s greatest frosting).
- Honeycrisp apples are the bomb always and forever. You can try other varieties but I wouldn’t.
- Use a food processor to chop them up real good and tiny.
- Bake in a dish that has a lid that seals for easy storing. Like this one. We eat this for days after. It’s especially great for breakfast because, simply put, if there’s one thing I truly hate, it’s making breakfast.
So how do you do movie night? What kinds of snacks do you include?