Parents, you need this in your life: say hello to Smart Snacks, the new recipe book that helps you boost brainpower and maintain moods.
“Mummy, I’m hungry!” “More!” “Cracker! Pweez!” Sound familiar? (You’re a mum. Of course it does!) Yep. We used to be cool. Now we’re just some little person’s snack slave.
If your brain is ready to spontaneously combust after YET ANOTHER demand for a snack and you’re reluctant to give in to the easy option – high-sugar, processed food – we hear you. While we’re firm believers of ‘everything in moderation’, we can’t help but go ga-ga whenever we find healthy, yummy and highly appealing recipes to get us through the mini-me munchies. Bonus points if they’re quick and easy to make, too!
Someone else who’s all for good food that doesn’t take hours to prepare is Flip Shelton, an Australian writer and mum to a now-10-year-old. At the school gates, she’d constantly hear the mums lament: “Got any ideas for afternoon snacks or the kids’ lunchbox?” And that’s when her own idea took hold.
“I saw a real need for lunchbox and afternoon tea suggestions,” Flip says. “Every day at the school gate, parents would be swapping ideas. Rushed and stressed, many would default to a commercially produced snack, which wasn’t ideal nutritionally. I thought that I could genuinely help parents with simple solutions to a daily problem – because I know that daily battle!”
On a mission to create speedy yet nutritious recipes to get parents through the school years, Flip enlisted child and adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg for his advice. The result? Smart Snacks, a book that’s packed full of mood-boosting food for kids and teens.
“As a child and adolescent psychologist who has toiled for 30 years in the vineyards of young people’s mental health, it seems at times as if we are losing the battle to promote their wellbeing,” Michael adds. “Research shows that eating a constant diet of junk food can increase the likelihood of psychological problems and impact parts of the brain associated with memory and learning.
“Flip and I wrote the book to provide parents with a raft of recipes and ideas for substituting processed snacks and sugary drinks with alternatives that are packed with nourishment, to help tip the balance towards a healthier diet.”
Your new kitchen BFF
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then this new recipe book could well be your latest kitchen BFF. There are chapters dedicated to smoothies (“Perfect for digestion when exam nerves are peaking!” says Flip), fast food suggestions to keep hanger at bay and smarter sweet treats that aren’t laden with processed sugars.
Sound good? We think so, too! And, to give you a taster of Smart Snacks, we’ll be running three recipes over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out.
Listen in on our office chitchat and you’ll likely hear us chatting about our kids’ latest Oscar-worthy tantrum performance, our current Netflix obsessions and our latest reads. But above all else, we love chatting food, especially what to give our little snack monsters. It’s why we’re currently crushing on Smart Snacks, a book that’s packed full of mood-boosting food for kids and teens. Written by mum, media personality and muesli maestro Flip Shelton and child and adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, it’s packed full of speedy yet nutritious recipes to get parents through the school years.
We promised to bring you three yummy recipes from the book, and here’s the first drop: fruitcicles!
“These look visually spectacular if you add lots of different colours and shapes,” says Flip. “Most fruits work well so you can’t go wrong: just choose the flavours you and the kids love. Fruitcicles are also a simple way to increase the amount of fruit eaten in a day.”
Even better, these icy poles are dairy-, egg-, gluten-, nut-, grain- and wheat-free – and are perfect for keeping cool in Singapore’s tropical heat!
- 2–3 cups (500–750 ml) coconut water
- blueberries and raspberries, fresh or frozen
- kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced
- strawberries, sliced thinly
- mango, peeled and thinly sliced
- starfruit, thinly sliced
- grapes, left whole or cut into halves
- banana, chopped into rounds
- Half fill your icy pole moulds with coconut water.
- Add your favourite fruit to each mould. You can add as much or as little fruit as you like.
- Top up with coconut water so the moulds are almost full.
- Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
Next week: Venus bars you’ll fall in love with!
Extract from Smart Snacks by Flip Shelton & Michael Carr-Gregg, published by Penguin Random House Australia on 5 February 2019. Photography by Grant Cutelli.
Want more nom-worthy, nutritious recipes? Get your hands on a copy of Smart Snacks by Flip Shelton and Michael Carr-Gregg (Penguin Random House Australia) from Book Depository or other book retailers.
About the authors
Flip is a mum who’s all about good food and healthy food choices. As well as writing for various magazines, newspapers and online publications, she’s also inspired people about food on popular radio stations and TV networks in Australia. When she’s not busy writing cookbooks (Smart Snacks is her third!), she’s busy running her own muesli production business.
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Michael is a dad to two sons and the author of a whopping 13 books. He is one of Australia’s highest-profile child and adolescent psychologists and makes regular appearances as the resident expert on national TV networks and radio stations. Michael has also worked as an academic, researcher and political lobbyist.