Choco-Bites Recipe: A Great Dessert or Snack

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Holidays, Nutrition: Health, Mealtime

With Valentine's Day sneaking up on us -- as it does every year -- it's time we found a healthy alternative to the traditional candy treats that have been popping up on store shelves for months now. Instead of stocking up on chocolate hearts, bars, cupids, etc., try this healthier, homemade Valentine's snack. Little ones will love them -- and can even help you with the cooking process, too.

While kids can certainly be picky eaters, what child can say no to chocolate? (And what mother, for that matter?) Chocolate is a favourite food for many people, as it not only satisfies a sweet tooth but is extremely pleasant on the tongue with its blend of smoothness -- which, unfortunately, is often due to its high fat content.

Avoiding excess fat in your diet is always a good idea, but this doesn't mean that you have to steer clear of chocolate for the rest of your life. Rather, find healthier ways to eat it, so that it does not spike your blood sugar. It's also a good idea not to have it at every meal, but rather as an occasional treat. I personally am a big fan of chocolate, so I developed this quick and easy recipe that is sure to be a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. It has a great amount of fibre, thanks to whole grain cereal, which makes the little chocolate it contains affect your body in a different way. You may also opt for darker chocolate chips instead of the recommended semi-sweet ones, as that will cut back the sugar content just slightly.



Choco-Bites

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Minute
Serves 4 (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup each)

1 cup Shreddies
1 cup whole grain O-shaped cereal
1/4 cup almonds (unsalted)
3 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, mix the Shreddies, O-shaped cereal and almonds.
2. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Mix with a spoon. If the chocolate chips are not completely melted, put back in the microwave and melt for an additional 20 seconds. Mix with a spoon again.
3. Pour melted chocolate chips over the the cereal and nut mixture. Arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool for 30 minutes, or place in the refrigerator.

Tip: Do not over-heat the chocolate chips as chocolate can burn easily. You know it is burnt if it forms solid pieces and starts to smell. Twenty-second increments in the microwave is the safest way to melt.

Per Serving: 169 calories, 8.1g fat, 4.4g protein, 22.9g carbohydrates, 7.8g sugar, 3.7g fibre, 141mg sodium, 3.3mg iron, 170mg potassium

Karla Heintz (B.Sc.) is a nutrition educator and author of Picky? Not Me, Mom! A Parents' Guide to Children's Nutrition.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.