July marks the first full month where the kids will be home from school. Planning after-school snacks can be exhaustive and by now, we bet your kids are tired of the same snacks every day. You don’t want them to reach for junk, so why not whip up an easy kid-friendly snack? This month, Eat Your Way to Debt Relief will focus on kid-friendly snacks that are affordable and easy to prepare.
Popcorn is a highly underrated snack food. Sure, when you get it at the movie theaters, it comes swimming in fake butter and drenched in trans fats. But if you make it at home, you’ll find that not only is it delicious and nutritious, you can also customize it and add flavors that even the pickiest eater will enjoy.
As a whole grain, popcorn provides complex carbohydrates, which are better for you than simple carbohydrates. Packed with fiber and naturally low in fat, popcorn is a satisfying snack that fills you up with no guilt.
Avoiding oil? You can use a hot air popper for popcorn, available for less than $20 on Amazon. This a fun and safe way to make popcorn, though it admittedly does not taste as good as freshly popped in hot oil. But a spritz of oil will help any flavorings stick to each kernel. Add your own salt and pepper for flavor, and you can even add some garlic powder or cayenne for a little kick. Air-popped popcorn clocks in at 31 calories per cup, while oil-popped popcorn is still only 55 calories per cup.
There’s always a classic bag of microwave popcorn too, though many of those come loaded with butter. I recommend Newman’s Own Natural Flavor for an easy microwaveable brand that you can customize with flavors.
Here are some other popcorn ideas:
- Truffle oil with a handful of finely chopped rosemary (sauté the rosemary in olive oil first)
- Grated parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese and Bacon Salt
- Curry powder and melted coconut oil (unrefined)
- Powdered sugar and cinnamon
- Asiago cheese and herbs de Provence
- Cumin, chili powder, and lime
What are some ways you like to jazz up your popcorn? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, congratulations to Arin Donelson, the winner of a $25 Amazon gift card! Stay tuned for more exciting giveaways from Talking Cents.