Maybe the kids are refusing to eat a balanced meal.
Or, maybe you’re feeling a bit lazy and want to just indulge without the guilt.
Or, maybe you just want to have another healthy snack in your arsenal that the kids like and you can feel good about.
Turn Your Popcorn into A Full Meal
Well, I am here to tell you that popcorn can be (ALMOST) a full meal! (You’re welcome.) And, even better? It takes two, maybe three ingredients to achieve a delicious snack that will have you patting yourself on the back for your sneaky, healthy ways!
First, air pop some popcorn. Did you know that popcorn is considered a whole grain? By air popping it, you are leaving out all of the junk and added fats — however, if you’d prefer to use an olive oil, coconut oil, or butter to pop the popcorn, that can add some essential fatty acids and vitamins to your day — as long as you’re keeping your daily intake at a reasonable amount.
Next, add some cheesy flavour — with Nutritional Yeast! Nutritional Yeast is a protein substitute that is vegan- and paleo-friendly, delivering B-vitamins, all 18 essential amino acids, and is a complete (and natural) source of protein.
I tend to stop here and serve as-is. The kids love the “cheese popcorn” and I love that they are getting a whole grain, complete source of protein, lots of vitamins, and some healthy fats — so even if they didn’t eat all of their lunch, I know that this will cover some of the basics.
However, if you want to add some veggies to the mix, you can use shredded or dehydrated vegetables to kick up the health quotient. I tend to not add those because for me the whole point of this snack is that the kids feel like they are having a “treat” and eat the whole thing up without hesitation… vegetable shreds might cause some hesitation.
(Ella liked salted, dried green beans and dried seaweed but those add unnecessary salt and I don’t think made this snack more healthful.)
However, I do sometimes sprinkle this healthy popcorn on top of soup for a crunchy contrast.
Would your kids enjoy this cheesy popcorn snack?
What would you add to it to make it even more enticing and healthful?