Back to School: Healthy Snacks

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Getting kids to eat healthier can sometimes be a challenge. Now that school is back in session, it may be even harder to find and prepare healthy foods that they like.

That's where Keoni Chang comes in. Foodland's corporate chef, shows us healthy alternatives to common snack foods. His tips: focus on flavor profiles that your child already enjoys and get him or her involved in the making of the snack.

Instead of chips, put together a custom trail mix with air-popped popcorn, granola, pretzels and dried fruit.

Instead of soda, give your keiki a smoothie made with yogurt and fruit. It can be prepared the night before and poured into a thermos for breakfast. It can also be frozen into popsicles for an on-the-go snack.

And for a quick meal, try whole wheat pasta with high-quality tomato sauce and meatballs made of turkey instead of beef. Whole wheat pasta is full of fiber and can help kids feel full. They are available in a variety of shapes that kids may find fun to eat. High-quality tomato sauce is healthier than canned, high-sugar sauces, or make the sauce yourself to control the ingredients.

Recipes courtesy of Keoni Chang:

Popcorn Granola Snack Mix
Yield: 12


  • 3 cups popcorn (air popped is healthier)
  • 2 cups granola
  • 1-1/2  cups peanuts or almonds (optional)
  • 1 cup pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup assorted Dried Fruits like raisins, dried apples or pineapple
  • 1 cup roasted soy nuts


1. Combine ingredients together, store in an airtight container.

Fruit Smoothies
Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 each container (8 ounces) vanilla-flavored nonfat yogurt
  • 1 each banana, sliced (pre frozen will give you a better smoothie)
  • 1 cup frozen fruit – think strawberries, blueberries or peaches
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


1. In a blender, whip together all ingredients. Serve in glasses or pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lean turkey meat
  • 26 ounces Tomato Sauce or store-bought marinara sauce
  • 1 pound cooked pasta


1. Add the onion, garlic, egg, milk, bread crumbs, ketchup, Parmesan, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 2 inch-diameter meatballs. Reserve on a plate.

2. Heat the tomato sauce and bring to a slow simmer. Place all the meatballs into the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs cook through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust for seasoning.

3. You may add pasta to the sauce and heat, or pour sauce over hot pasta and garnish with meatballs and Parmesan.

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