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Summer snacks that will have kids asking for fruit

Blackberry tacos

Submitted photo For a healthy snack, try a Blackberry Cream Cheese Taco from the Plants for Human Health Institute.

Submitted photo For a healthy snack, try a Blackberry Cream Cheese Taco from the Plants for Human Health Institute.

By Megan Bame

Plants for Human Health Institute

KANNAPOLIS – Summertime seems to provide more opportunity for kids to snack, but don’t be fooled by junk food packaged and marketed as good snack options.

First, take advantage of fresh fruits that come into season through the summer. Blueberries and blackberries are availably locally now, with peaches and melons soon to come.

Keep the fridge stocked with ready-to-eat fruit choices. Also, it’s a great time to take the opportunity to teach your children a few quick and easy snack options that will provide a healthy boost of energy and strengthen their immune system.

The best part is, you can share a fun experience in the kitchen and enjoy some tasty treats together. Here are a few recipes from N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) to get you started.

Blueberry Chocolate Bark
1 cup chocolate yogurt
3/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Mix all ingredients together. Pour in a cake pan. Put in the freezer until frozen. Cut into bars. Wrap individually to store in the freezer.

Blackberry Cream Cheese Taco
1 flour tortilla
2 Tbsp. cream cheese
Handful of blackberries
Handful of almonds
1 Tbsp. local honey

Spread cream cheese onto tortilla. Top with blackberries and almonds. Drizzle honey over toppings and rollup as a taco.

Craving more?
Aubrey Mast is offering several opportunities for hands-on learning through classes this summer. Working with parish nurse Shirley Allen, Mast will  teach a fermentation class at Concordia Lutheran Church, 185 Concordia Church Road, China Grove. Fermented foods immediately target inflammation and digestion issues. Attend the class to learn the benefits of fermentation as well as multiple options for preparing fermented foods and beverages.

For a more comprehensive look at how foods affect human health, sign up for the Healthy Living Series, a three-part class taught for three consecutive Tuesdays, starting July 12. There is a $10 fee. Space is limited at the Cabarrus Health Alliance Community Kitchen, 300 Mooresville Road, Kannapolis, so advance registration is required.

Mast also teamed up with the Cabarrus County Public Library and has held demonstrations at the Concord and Kannapolis branches.

She will be at the Mt. Pleasant Public Library, 8556 Cook Street, Mt. Pleasant, on Wednesday to share PHHI research and practical applications through food choices and preparation for improved health and disease prevention.

For more information about PHHI’s research and the interaction between food and human health, visit the Healthy Living section of the PHHI website, plantsforhumanhealth.ncsu.edu. Browse by food crop, body system or specific ailment. Also explore healthy recipes, find an up-to-date class schedule and other resources, including the “Smart Snacks” recipe handout.

Summer Healthy Living Classes
Today, 6-7:30 p.m., Concordia Lutheran Church, Family Life Center, Fermentation Class, $10, Register Online

Wednesday, 12:30-1 p.m., Mt. Pleasant Public Library, Healthy Living Demonstration, free, walk-ins welcome.

July 12, 19, 26, 1-3 p.m., Cabarrus Health Alliance, Healthy Living Series, $10, Register Online

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