Leader of the snack pack

In the thousands of decisions we made while raising The Kid, there are two biggies that I really regret.

We really made a huge boo-boo when we picked the “free will” option for our child.

free will

I honestly don’t know what the heck we were thinking.  If I hadn’t been an abstaining pregnant woman, I would’ve thought a disastrous decision like that could have only been made under the influence of hard liquor.  Maybe it was a virulent, raging case of pregnancy brain.

Life would run so much more smoothly if The Kid (and Petey too, for that matter), just accepted that I always know best.  Frankly, everybody’s life would be simpler and happier if the population of earth would just do what I say.

The second regret are the eats we fed to our offspring during childhood.  At the time, my cooking abilities were not only lacking, so was my interest and desire for kitchen work.  After school snackage was an embarrassment of pre-packaged, processed and fast food.

snack crap

So please, let me be your “don’t bee” and cautionary tale, and offer a healthier, fun alternative.

Roll-ups are extremely flexible.  And not only do they make a great snack, they can adapt to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You’ve got countless options for both the roll and filling.  The kids can get involved, which makes a greater likelihood of it being eaten; and not traded in the lunchroom, or fed to the dog.

The outer roll part can be anything that’s malleable and flat.   Whole grain or veggie wraps.  Crust-less whole wheat bread that has been subjected to a couple of passes by a rolling pin works really well.

And then there’s the unexpected roll of an omelet.  Japanese folks and Koreans are already familiar with them.  Half sushi, half frittata, they’re cheap and nutritious.

Omelet roll

2 eggs

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon butter

Salt & pepper

Have your filling prepped and ready to go before you start the eggs.

With an egg beater or immersion blender, beat eggs and water until lighter in color, and foamy.

Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet on medium.  Drop in half the butter and let melt.  Pour in half the egg mixture and swirl pan to cover the entire bottom.  When the egg has cooked enough to flip, do so, and cook just for a minute, or until set.  Remove to a piece of plastic wrap.

Repeat with second egg.  While still warm, fill and roll.  Refrigerate until cool, and slice each into 4 segments while still wrapped with plastic to make sure it stays together. 

Serves 4 as a snack, or 2 as a meal.

Using something gooey as the foundation is helpful.  Cream cheese or its lower fat sibling Neufchatel is a great choice and works as well for cucumber and spinach as it does for shaved apples and a dusting of cinnamon/sugar.

One roll-up that is bound to be a favorite is a nutty banana.  Schmear a little almond butter on your wrapper and then lay a whole banana on top, cut for length.  Roll it up, and slice.  Or, even simpler, use peanut butter and jelly (this is really yummy on the flattened whole wheat).

For the lunchbox, use an egg wrapper or whole grain wrap, and layer soft cheese, and thin slices of rotisserie chicken, then layer Roma tomatoes sliced into strips and baby spinach leaves down the center.  Roll, secure with toothpicks, and slice.  Round out the meal with some sliced veggies and a small bowl of hummus or tzatziki, for dipping.  Fruit kabobs are a fun dessert that can be tailored to season and taste.

Eating well should be second nature.  Don’t make a big deal of it and it will become a life-long habit for your offspring.  We eventually cleaned up our diets, and now our child eats well, and stays away from most processed grub by choice.

But don’t be too strict about things, or fast and processed foods will be forbidden fruit, and that’s the surest way to overdo it.  Because even The Kid will tell you there’s nothing wrong with an infrequent visit to JJ Fish and Chicken, or the Dog House.

Thanks for your time.

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