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Family

Smart Snacking
February 26, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

When I was a kid, I remember my sister and I would argue over who got to go supermarket shopping with my mom on Saturday mornings. My mom always prefaced it with a comment along the lines of “we’re not buying anything unless it’s on sale or I have a coupon.” These days, that’s the least of my worries when the kids are in tow. Snacks have become the real danger strolling up and down the aisles. As Jennifer Steinhauer cited in a ,a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/dining/20gusti.html">New York Times article a few weeks ago, what to eat between meals has become a bit of an obsession when it comes to our children.

Some snacks times are obviously justified. Take after school or pick up from daycare for instance. My girls, having eaten lunch around noon, are understandably hungry come three o’clock. Frankly, even my tummy starts rumbling for a pre-dinner pick me up. That’s when I try to offer some cheese and fruit or yogurt to tide them over. Then there are those times when you just want a snack for the sake of fulfilling a sweet tooth. Moderation combined with healthier fun snack options goes a long way towards helping them make better food choices as they grow up.

That’s where my recipe for oven-dried apple chips comes in handy. This just happens to be the snack my six-year-old requests most often when we’re shopping, and boy are packaged brands expensive. Her almost two-year-old sister has taken a liking to them too, so you can imagine the savings by making them myself. Another added bonus is there’s only one ingredient, and even the kids have no problem pronouncing it: apples!

Oven-dried Apple Chips
makes about four dozen

If you're baking two trays at a time, be sure to rotate the pans halfway through for even baking. For birthday parties and other celebrations swap potatoes for the apples to make your own healthier, oil-free chips—a small sprinkling of sea salt is all you need for flavoring.

1 medium to large apple, cut in half and seeds scooped out
Silicon lined baking sheets
  1. Preheat oven to 225ºF. Use the thinnest slicing blade setting on your Cuisinart Elite Collection food processor to cut the apple halves into thin slices. Place apple slices single layer on a silicon-lined baking sheet. Bake for one hour until crisp and dried. Let stand for two minutes then gently remove with a metal spatula and transfer to a dish or platter and let cool completely before serving. Will keep fresh in an airtight container for up to three days.

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