Here comes Peter CottonTail lalala …. That song has been stuck in my head all week. Easter is just around the corner and I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with a few fun Easter activities to do with Joey. Both boys have been sick all week and it’s been raining non-stop, so getting outside hasn’t really been an option. As much as I want to dye Easter eggs with the boys (or with Joey while we let the baby watch), the idea of letting a 3 year old dip eggs into colored dye inside the house gives me anxiety. I would see it going very well or very, very badly 😉 When the weather clears up, I am all about doing this- but outside where messes don’t matter as much.
I was looking online for fun Easter-themed snacks and desserts to make and came across some really adorable ideas. However almost all of them were cake pops. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about enjoying cake. But, if we are going to make an entire batch of cake pops, we are going to end up eating the whole batch ourselves. And I just don’t think any of us need that much extra sugar right now. So instead, I decided to come up with a cake pop alternative that tastes just as good, is just as fun to make, but is packed full of nutritious ingredients so it can actually be a legit snack and not just an occasional dessert. Enter my High Protein Easter Bunny Cake Pops.
I think I am a little too excited about how these cake pops came out. They taste even better than I expected, but they also look like real little Easter bunnies. If you follow me on Instagram, you will understand why I am so excited that these guys really look like a bunny after my epic Pinterest Fail attempt at making chocolate-covered strawberry bunnies. Just check out the picture and you will see what I mean. I don’t think I need to tell you what they actually resemble (hint: it’s a certain smiley face brown emoji haha).
The best part about these cake pops is that they are rich in protein and healthy fat with very little added sugar. So the dietitian in me is beyond excited that the new ‘dessert’ in the house is more nutritionally equivalent to a well-rounded breakfast smoothie. If you make them yourself, tag me and share your pictures. I would love to see how they turn out!
These high protein cake pops make the perfect healthy Easter dessert.
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla
- 1 tsp mini dark chocolate chips
- 8 pairs candy eye-balls
- 2 straws edible grass
In a small bowl, heat peanut butter in the microwave until it thins out and can be easily mixed (about 30 seconds).
Stir oats and protein powder into the peanut butter to create a dough.
Place dough in refrigerator for about 5 minutes to allow it to slightly harden and become moldable.
Press dough into silicon bunny shaped baking sheet (or mold dough into bunny shape).
Place molded dough into the freezer and allow to harden for 20 minutes.
Remove from freezer and place lollipop sticks into each ‘bunny’
Dip the bunnies into the Greek yogurt until completely covered and place onto wax paper.
Decorate the bunnies by added candy eyes, edible-grass ‘whiskers,’ and using a chocolate chip for the nose.
Place back in freezer for 1 hour until the yogurt has hardened completely. Serve chilled and enjoy!
Serving size= 1 pop
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Calories 107 Carbs: 5gm Fiber: 1 gm Protein: 7gm Fat: 7gm Saturated Fat: 1gm Sodium: 62mg
Me & my little chef whipping up a batch of our favorite breakfast cookies!
The holidays are one of my favorite times of year, but I have to admit, I could live without seeing yet another Christmas cookie. Don’t get me wrong – I love them! But that’s the problem. Everywhere I turn, there’s a sugar cookie, a frosted cookie, a chocolate chip cookie …. you get the picture. And all of those cookies can be hard to resist. And my little man has been becoming quite the cookie monster as well. So what’s a mom to do? Improvise! There’s no need to say ‘no’ to all cookies, instead just make healthy ones that taste just as good. So that’s what I set out to do. After a little trial and error, I was able to create these super easy high protein banana chocolate chip cookies that contain absolutely no added sugar! Since these cookies are packed full of whole grains, fruit, and protein, they can even be eaten as a healthy addition to breakfast or any meal where you need a bit of a sweet fix.
High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie Recipe
- 1 large banana, mashed
- ¾ cup low fat Greek yogurt, vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup oat flour
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash large banana and add in Greek yogurt; mix well. Whisk egg and add to liquid ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients (everything but the chocolate chips) and mix well. Add in chocolate chips and mix until evening distributed.
Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are light brown. Serve warm or cooled and store leftovers in refrigerator.
Makes 18 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
64 calories 9gm carbs 3gm protein 1.5gm fat
The Halloween countdown is on!
With only a few days left until Halloween, why not get into the spirit by treating yourself and your family with healthy ‘treats’ that are more fun to eat than any candy! It’s amazing how much nutrition you can pack into your family when their food becomes artwork. And don’t worry, I have very limited artistic abilities, so if I can pull this off, you can too! All of these ‘food art’ ideas took less than five minutes to create and were a major hit. Please make sure to share your favorite ways of having fun with your food too 🙂
Banana Ghost, Cheesy Pumpkin, and Peanut Butter & Apple Witch
High Protein Ghosts with Antioxidant Packed Pumpkins
Stuffed Pepper Jack-o-Latern
Peanut Butter Ghostly Graveyard
Yes, it’s a little but of work. But it’s also a lot of fun! And just look at the reaction it gets 🙂
What food art creations do you and your family love?
It’s that time of year again- back to school time! Sure, it may seem like having the kids in school all day will give you a bit for free time to devote to planning and preparing nutritious meals, but that isn’t always the case. Before I had my son, I had this idea in my head that when I went back to work and he headed off to daycare, that you basically just drop your child off, kiss and hug them, and then spend the rest of the day working. I didn’t really give thought to the time needed to plan out lunches and snacks for the day, clean out the lunch boxes from the night before, prep healthy breakfasts we could eat before we head out in the morning, and find time to prepare a healthy dinner as well. Honestly, those first few weeks of adjusting to a new schedule stressed me out more than I could have ever expected. And I think many parents feel the same way.
Whenever you and your family are adjusting to a new schedule, such as the one at the start of the school year, it’s normal to feel a bit stressed and overwhelmed. I see this in so many of my client. That first week or two of the new school year is pretty much a whirlwind filled with grabbing meals and snacks mindlessly on the run. If this sounds like you, I wanted to help take away some of that stress. That’s why I teamed up with my friends over at Chobani to develop my top five quick-fix lunches for all of you busy moms out there. These simple lunches can be pulled together in minutes and are packed full of the healthy nutrients that your little ones needs. Feel free to mix and match these options up for a well-balanced, stress-free start to the school day.
Some kids are more snackers than meal eaters. I get this since I am more likely to graze on food throughout the day than to sit down to a big meal. For snack lovers, try using a compartmentalized bento box to offer a variety of bite sized options. The small portions and increased variety are a great way to prevent your child from feeling ‘overwhelmed’ at mealtime. This is also a great way to introduce new foods in kid-friendly portions. For a balanced lunch, pair together a whole grain muffin, carrot sticks with hummus for a dip, turkey breast, strawberries, and almonds. To save time, spend one day per week washing and slicing variety of fruits and vegetable so you can just grab and go when packing a lunch. For mini muffins, I usually make these in batches of 24 and freeze them. If you pop one in the lunchbox in the morning, it will typically thaw by lunchtime. Round out the lunch with an adorable Doc McStuffins squeezable pouch of Chobani Kids, which contains two times as much protein than the leading kid’s yogurt and 25% less sugar. With a varied lunch such as this one, even if your child does not finish all the foods offered, you can still feel reassured that she consumed a variety of essential nutrients.
If you are packing meals for daycare, it can be easy to run out of ideas for soft food options that provide your little one with the nutrition that he needs. For toddlers, adequate protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for development and growth. That’s why I love this combination of applesauce, diced butternut squash, whole grain tortellini, and a broccoli & carrot quiche for a mix of antioxidants, protein, and fiber. To round out the lunchbox, I add in a squeezable Chobani yogurt, which is made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients, real fruit, and provides 12mg of DHA omega-3 fatty acids to help promote healthy brain development.
Picky Eater Perfection
If you have a picky eater at home, you are probably no stranger to having your child’s lunchbox return home after the school day completely untouched. To make lunch more appealing to even the pickiest child, liven it up by adding a mix of fun shapes and colors. It doesn’t have to take long to make a ‘fun’ lunchbox. I use a combination of colorful silicone shapes to hold bite-sized snacks along with cookie cutters to decorate sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and even cheese slices. For the best results, look for the cookie cutters that have a spring-loaded punch. These can cut through more challenging foods like bread and vegetables much more quickly than the standard cutters. Sometimes all it takes is a touch of food art to turn the pickiest eater into an adventurous eater.
The goal of your child’s lunch should be to fuel both her body and her mind. One way to accomplish this is to make sure to include at least one or two “brain foods” into even lunchbox. Foods rich is omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, walnuts, edamame, and Chobani Tots which contains 12 mg of DHA Omega 3 per serving, can make great additions to any meal. Round these brain foods out with antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables and you have a delicious recipe for academic success. For a quick and easy lunchbox, pack together a tuna sandwich on whole grain bread along with a handful of walnuts, blueberries, and edamame. Toss in a Chobani Tots squeezable yogurt for an added boost of DHA.
The Chocolate Lover
Do you have a chocolate lover? I do and sometimes it can be a challenge to get him to eat a meal without the constant begging for “dark treats” as he likes to call chocolate chips. So why not give him what he wants? Of course I don’t mean feed your child chocolate every lunch, but you can incorporate it in a healthy way to make both mom and child happy (and in our house this makes my junk-food loving husband quite happy as well).
I take Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt, which contains no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, or flavors, and top it with a small sprinkling of mini dark chocolate chips. This makes the perfect ‘dessert’ for any meal while providing a good source of protein and calcium. You can even try mixing one teaspoon of 100% cocoa powder into one cup of Chobani for a delicious chocolate ‘mousse.’
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Chobani. All opinions are my own.