The next time you’re looking for creative ways to enhance some of your kids’ go-to favorites, consider this: Snacking now accounts for more than half of all eating occasions in the U.S. Parents are increasingly challenged to create quick bites that give kids the energy and nutrition they need.
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The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. With fresh mango, it’s easy to transform kitchen staples into snack time adventures. Mango is available year-round and its versatility makes it an excellent addition to your family’s meal plan. It’s packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals and all for just 100 calories per cup.
Stacking nutrient-rich mango and berries with dessert items such as brownies and marshmallows on a kebab can make for fun treats for kids to prepare. Mango popsicles are another popular go-to treat. Just puree fresh-cut mango in a blender or food processor, pour into ice cube trays, insert a Popsicle stick and freeze.
When selecting a mango, don’t judge the fruit by its color. Instead, squeeze it gently to find a ripe mango that “gives” slightly like a peach or avocado. Store your ripe mangos for up to a week in the refrigerator until you’re ready to whip up your favorite snack or keep slices and cubes frozen for up to six months in an airtight container.
Just like adults, kids eat with their eyes first, so it can be fun to turn a traditional personal-size pizza into a Lion Pizza with mango and red bell pepper slices for the mane. The sweet and slightly tangy mango is a good substitute for tomato, making it a natural complement to Italian-style dishes.
You can even pair this Lion Pizza with a viewing of Disney’s “The Jungle Book”—available for the first time on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD on February 11—and you’re likely to create a roaring good time that your kids won’t forget.
Now that you’re in the party mood, think about an adventure-filled, five-night vacation for your family. You can “like” Mango Board on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mangoboard and enter the Jungle Jetsetter Giveaway for your chance to win a Funjet Vacations family getaway to Punta Cana with all-inclusive accommodations at the RIU Palace Punta Cana courtesy of Funjet Vacations.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
4 whole-wheat pitas
1 cup low-sodium pizza sauce
1⁄2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1⁄2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
8 pepperoni slices
8 black olive slices
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into thin strips
1 large red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut into thin strips
4 mushroom slices
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread 1⁄4 cup pizza sauce on one side of each pita. Sprinkle 1⁄8 cup mozzarella cheese in the center of each pita. Sprinkle 1⁄8 cup cheddar cheese around the outer edge of each pita. Place two pepperoni slices in the middle of each pita and top with two olive slices to make the lion’s eyes. Alternate mango and red pepper strips around the edge of each pita, creating the lion’s mane. Add a mushroom slice in the center of each pizza for the lion’s nose. Place the pitas on a large baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 2–3 minutes. Serve warm.