Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Heart Healthy Snack For Mom & the Kids!

Snacks can be tricky as many kids like bite-size foods that are typically high in sugar and low in nutrients.  However, snacking can be healthy if you choose the right ingredients!  In honor of National Heart Health Month, let us introduce you to peanut butter balls…a delicious, fast, on-the-go treat for you and your kids.  Whether for a mid-morning mom snack or a quick, healthy bite for the kids between school and practice, peanut butter balls will fill you up with quality nutrition and give you long-lasting energy.

Let’s breakdown the “Peanut Butter Balls” ingredients...The key ingredient to this bite is oatmeal. Rich in fiber and B-vitamins, oats are a great whole grain at any time of day. Oats actually contain soluble fiber which helps lower total cholesterol and can protect the heart. Non-fat dry milk powder is a good source of protein and calcium which contributes to the maintenance of bone health as kids grown and develop and as moms age. Natural peanut butter is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (the “good” fat), vitamin E and protein. Finally honey is a natural sweetener, made with no artificial ingredients.

“The Peanut Butter Balls” Recipe 
•    ¼ cup honey
•    ½ cup natural peanut butter
•    ½ cup non-fat dry milk powder
•    1 cup uncooked oatmeal

Mix honey and peanut butter together. Stir in the non-fat dry milk powder and the oatmeal. Mix well and roll into 24 bite-size balls. Refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts per Serving (1 ball) -- Calories: 66, Carbohydrate: 5 gm, Fiber: 1 gm, Protein: 2.5 gm, Fat: 3 gm, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Grab 2-3 balls for a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Add a glass of low-fat milk and you have a variety of nutrient-rich ingredients for you and your kids!

If you have a question for the dietitian, visit www.texashealth.org/askamy 

Click here for more heart healthy recipes from Texas Health. 

Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a Registered Dietitian with Texas Health's Ben Hogan Sports Medicine program and the Executive Health program.

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