Balancing Treats

Posted: October 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

This morning started off with something that I haven’t had in way too long.

A bunch of spinach, a frozen banana, a handful of strawberries, and some almond milk blended into perfection.

A green smoothie made the perfect “Part One” for breakfast this morning. I had to fix something quick that I could chug down while packing up a few special treats that would become breakfast “Part Two” not too long afterwards.

Makenzie’s preschool class had a fall party today and I offered to bring the snacks for this little event. I decided to make two of Makenzie’s favorites – one healthier and one just plain ole cute and sugary.

For starter’s, I did a muffin version of Teri’s Pumpkin Gingerbread.


Full-sized for the adults and some minis for the kiddos.


Then, for the purely kid-fun treat, I made Oreo truffles dipped in white chocolate and turned into either ghosts or pumpkins with the help of edible markers. Aren’t they cute?


I think I have finally figured out the perfect dipping technique!

  • stick lollipop sticks into truffles
  • freeze truffles so stick sets and so they dip easier when cold
  • use a teaspoon of oil to make the chocolate smoother for dipping
  • have styrofoam ready to stick the pops into to dry upright

It’s likely old news to many of you, but I had to share my dipping success since it took me a bazillion years to figure it out.

Breakfast “Part Two” most certainly consisted of a muffin and a truffle for me. Mmmmm! And I have quite a few muffins left over for snacks. Although not too many Oreo pops. I shouldn’t be surprised. What would you have picked as a kid? Winking smile 

Well, unless you’re this kid.


She was way more into the muffins than the Oreos.

Don’t be too impressed. I’m sure she will be begging for her Oreo pop come afternoon snack time. She’s her momma’s kid after all. She loves her sweets, but also enjoys healthier options too. Which is exactly why I went the route I did when choosing snacks for the kids at today’s party.

I don’t want to be the mom that forces food on my own kids, so I certainly won’t take that approach with other children! I think kids can eat healthily without making them – but that’s a whole other topic. I like balance for my kids, so I figured why not approach providing a snack for others the same way? Have a healthier (but still yummy) option and a more standard kid-fare option. Perhaps on some level it’s just going with the status quo, but oh well.

It gives me joy to bring smiles to these faces. Open-mouthed smile


And other kids’ faces…but we’ll let their parents slather their faces all over the internet at their will, not mine. Or I just think my kids are the only ones worthy of space in my post. Shhhh. Hehehe.

Well, it’s time for me to head off for an afternoon six miler! Ciao, bellas!

  • What do you think about kids and treats?

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36 Comments to “Balancing Treats”
  1. OH MY GOSH!! How adorable is she in that princess outfit?? Ah. 🙂 I am in love!

  2. Growing up, we weren’t allowed to have many treats. It didn’t bother us though because we loved eating fruit and raw veggies. We didn’t know any different. I remember making cookies with my mom while snacking on green bell peppers (my fav snack as a kid). I think I’m going to take the same approach with my kids too. I want them to eat mostly healthy things, but they need to be kids and have some fun sugary treats from time to time as well! You got to enjoy life!

  3. I’m so torn on this subject, because I remember how awful I felt being over weight as a kid and how much I was made fun of and how hard it has been to change my eating habits as an adult. I worry that if I ever were to have kids I would be a little crazy about it. I agree though, that teaching them the same balance we hope to practice ourselves is probably the best route. I’ve learned that eliminating treats completely leads no where good. If you can learn balance that young, then adulthood should be a piece of cake! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I always fear trying to eliminate because (from my experience) that led to overdoing it when I could have treaty things and giving food more power if things weren’t “equal”. So interesting how different experiences have different impacts.

  4. I will be using your dipping tips next time, for sure!

    Now that you bring this up–I think a great post for you to do would be children’s nutrition and ways to keep them eating healthy without sacrificing taste. There are so many processed options out there for kids these days, it’s scary!

  5. My mom was pretty tightfisted with treats and unhealthy foods when we were growing up– which I totally get now, but it sucked when other kids had oreos and chips ahoy in their lunches, and my sister and I had pieces of fruit for dessert! It’s so hard to know how to strike a balance– you don’t want to make anything “forbidden,” but on the other hand, you don’t want your kids to grow up on junk! You seem to strike a really nice balance between healthy eats and treats for your kiddos!

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever made that bread into muffins! I need to! Great idea. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the recipe!


    • Tina says:

      I LOVE that recipe! I made it twice last year and foresee it at least a couple more times this year. 🙂

      I think I prefer it as the bread thought. I just did muffins to make it easier single serving for the party.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Sugary snacks and stuff like that weren’t “forbidden” in our house by any means, but for a long time my sister and I had to ask if we could have a cookie or something. And my parents tried to not buy sugary cereals (Fruit Loops, etc) very often, mostly just if they were on sale or something.

    I love the truffle idea! You could probably decorate them for any holiday, huh? I might have to try that over Thanksgiving or Christmas break… 🙂

    LOVE M’s outfit! What a cutie! And that picture of her and B is great!

    • Tina says:

      That’s kind of what we do. They are available and not forbidden…but she doesn’t have free reign to snack on her candy from her “treating” at yesterday’s party at free will either. 😉

  8. Heather says:

    My kids love fruits and veggies and eat healthy a lot of the time but then out of no where my 7 year old will want cheese balls. I am talking about the ones that turn your hands orange. I don’t know where he gets it. I usually steer him towards something a lot less processed though.

    Thanks for the dipping technique I will need to remember that.

  9. Aww cute pics! Those muffin looks great 🙂

  10. Oh my gosh, I could just eat your little ones up! I truly truly hope my kids are like yours and will happily eat healthy treats. I want to believe that if I give them healthy things (my figurative children) that they’ll learn to like it. I don’t want to ban treats but help them learn to like fun stuff in moderation.

  11. You’re kids are just so adorable!
    I don’t give my stepson very many sweets at all, mostly because he doesn’t ask me for them and he knows that they’re treats only in our house. I also make sure that his snacks and dinners are real food not processed stuff, and get things that have the lowest amount of sugar available.
    It’s also difficult because I know his mom gives him crap stuff like Cheetos, gummy snacks, and lollipops nearly every day. But different houses, different rules and just because she thinks it’s okay, doesn’t mean I do. I’d be untrue to our lifestyle to let him eat that way.

  12. Kids and treats = good! I especially loved when we’d get fun treats in was so fun! 🙂

    M looks adorable!

    Those truffle pops look amazing…I love those things!

  13. You are too adorable! You’re kids are so lucky to have such a creative mom! Haha my mom could barely manage to remember to purchase treats for things like that, but the woman can sure make some good cheese dip for a Chiefs football game!

  14. Denise says:

    When Lisa was growing up she loved raisins.

    I have noticed a common theme with your girl – is she really a little girl or a fairy princess. She is always dressed up so frilly and girly. Is this her halloween cosutme or just something she likes to wear?

    • Tina says:

      She LOVES girly! That is her Belle costume for the party in these pictures…but at home she will wear tutus constantly. I don’t know where she gets it! Haha!

  15. Kace says:

    I work in schools, and one time a mom sent in skinny cow sandwiches for her daughters birthday because they were “less calories.”

    I’m all for healthy eating for kids. But in my mind I was like, “bitch you craaaazzzzy… it’s her birthday. and she’s SIX.” Way to set a healthy example!

    • Tina says:

      Plus I would rather send in “full calorie” plain vanilla or similar with way less artificial stuff! Kids would have like ONE serving. Not gonna kill them.

  16. Those pumpkin muffins and truffles look SO delicious! Your kids are so cute! I love the princess dress:) And I don’t have my own kids yet, but growing up my mom would let us have treats in moderation, I think its important to let kids enjoy treats as long as they get healthy food as well!

  17. Stephany says:

    Oh, my goodness. I might have died from the cuteness of M in her princess dress. SO CUTE!

  18. i think that kids should be allowed to have treats just like they should be able to try any other foods. Obviously adults have better reasoning skills, so monitoring how many treats kiddos eat is a good idea, but I don’t plan on not letting my kids to eat treats – that would just isolate them!

  19. Can you believe I’ve never made (or even eaten?!) a oreo truffle?! They sound amazing though. BTW, I’d probably have chosen a pumpkin muffin over oreo truffle as a kid, too!

  20. Robyn says:

    Love M’s costume dress! Will you ever be able to get it off of her?

    Oreo truffles = Oreos, cream cheese, and almond bark? They are a weakness for me too!

    • Tina says:

      Yep. That would be them. So addicting. I think they are my fave dessert. And we have had a daily argument now about how she can’t wear her Belle dress all the time. Haha!

  21. ahh she is the prettiest and cutest princess!! great idea baking those muffins for the kiddos!! IN preschool whenever it was my moms turn to bring in snacks for the kids, she always served mini bagels with colored creamcheese!! (made with food coloring) it was the best mini snack and I will forever remember it!

  22. It's A Want says:

    that green smoothie looks amazing! I’m trying it soon!

  23. Khushboo says:

    I love your approach to food and kids, and it’s exactly how I plan in raising my kids. I want my kids to feel they have the choice, here’s hoping they sometimes choose the healthier options! And I am the first person to agree that treats are delicious, so there’s no way I would always deprive my kids!

  24. Brittany says:

    I haven’t had a green smoothie in too long!! Such cute treats 😀

  25. The muffins look wonderful and I love seeing MaKenzie in Princess Mode!! Too Cute!

  26. Sara says:

    I love the photos of M in her outfit! So cute!

  27. I think moderation is totally key in the sweets department and I think when you allow kids to have some it helps them learn moderation, rather than if you limit them too much and they think they are “bad” for them. Sure you can have way to much of a good thing, but if you don’t allow kids to have any how are they supposed to learn to eat intuitively.

    We weren’t necessarily limited on sweets growing up, my mom helped us to make a lot of good decisions, however unfortunately my own thinking about treats got warped along the way. That is why, after years of struggle I am finally in a place where I can enjoy them again and I want to teach my daughter this from the get go, to enjoy things in moderation!! 🙂

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