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Pumpkin Cuties for Preschool Snacks

preschool pumpkins


Do you ever feel bombarded with sugary, processed treats for your kiddos?  They love it, of course…which makes thinking of healthier alternatives for school snacks a difficult process.  I like to get creative and have fun with these mom challenges.  Some of my creations have been a hit, like these fall inspired pumpkins.  Others…not so much (trail mix!  Who knew?!).  Fellow mom warriors, I dare you to experiment and be willing to fail with a little bit of persistence!

My favorite thing about this healthy creation?  It is so EASY!!!  Buy a bag of tangerines (also know as Cuties in our household) and two celery stalks.  Peel the tangerines.  Chop the celery into skinny “pumpkin stems.” Place stems in cutie.  Refrigerate.  ENJOY!!

Nutritional Benefits of Tangerines:

FIBER: Tangerines contain a generous amount of fiber, a specialized type of carbohydrate. Each cup of tangerine sections — approximately 2 medium tangerines — provides 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. Your body doesn’t break fiber down into energy like it does with other carbohydrates; fiber passes through your digestive tract, loosening your stool to help keep you regular. Fiber fights obesity, and it also can help lower blood cholesterol levels, which in turn can help reduce your risk of coronary heart disease. Each 1-cup serving of tangerines provides 14 and 9 percent of the recommended daily fiber intakes for women and men, respectively, as set by the Institute of Medicine.

VITAMIN C: Tangerines serve as an excellent source of vitamin C. Each 1-cup serving of sections provides 52 milligrams, which is 58 percent of the daily intake for men, and 69 percent of the intake for women, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C helps synthesize collagen, a protein your body needs to maintain strong skin and bones. It also contributes to healthy teeth, promotes efficient wound healing and acts as an antioxidant to prevent genetic mutations.

VITAMIN A: A tangerine’s orange hue comes from its carotenoids — a family of pigments that also serve as sources of vitamin A. You need vitamin A for good vision, especially at night, and for healthy cell development. Getting enough vitamin A in your diet also nourishes your immune system and promotes healthy wound healing. A 1-cup serving of tangerines boosts your vitamin A intake by 1,328 international units, or 44 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 60 percent for women, as set by the Institute of Medicine.


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