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HEALING HERBS: Preparing healthy snacks for children

Annette Maynard-Watson

HEALING HERBS: Preparing healthy snacks for children

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People try to create feelings just the same as love. In the name of love. – In The Name Of Love by Roberta Flack.

For the past three weeks in this column, you have read stories about what research has revealed about the ingredients in some unhealthy snacks called corn curls and the health risk associated  with persistent consumption.  

Corn curls arrived in the Caribbean some years ago and they have created a relationship of trust with many people. They are also the favourite snacks of many. In fact, it is important to note that many schoolchildren are lured into eating corn curls because of many unsuspecting reasons.

I have witnessed a group of girls consuming corn curls and they were competing to see which girl would have the most yellow-coloured fingers and tongue. This is a very unhealthy and sick game to play. Therefore, parents and leaders in society have to provide educational forums to educate children about unhealthy snacks.

However, as a fitting conclusion to the previous articles which were dedicated to informing readers about unhealthy snacks, I will again offer some healthy alternatives. These alternatives can  be packed into the lunchboxes of children or  can be prepared and sold by snack vendors.

It is also good to introduce a “fruit day” each week for education and mass-scale consumption of healthy snacks at school. Delicious Caribbean silent doctors like guava, golden apples, bananas, gooseberries, soursop and the others can be consumed during the fruit day.  

Additionally, organic farmers in every territory in the Caribbean can be invited to have closer ties with schools and fruit day. Teachers can also ensure that during snack time and fundraising events, money is exchanged for healthier snacks. Heads of departments in food and nutrition areas can also liaise with farmers and have more tours to fruit and vegetables farms. They can also introduce healthy snack preparations during food science classes.

As promised, I will offer some healthy snacks which can be served by food vendors, teachers and canteen operators. Baked onion rings, raisins, chunked water melon with guavas, homemade trail mix-flax, pumpkin, almonds and sunflower seeds, carrot with avocado dip; sliced cucumber dipped in hummus, lentil cakes, peanut punch made with almond breeze milk; sea moss, lentil  bakes, spiced gooseberries, sea grapes, dunks and all types of silent doctors prepared  and well presented.

Finally, my dream would be to pass through a school and witness students sitting in the lunchroom dining on healthy snacks. My favourite is carrot sticks with a hummus dip. All done in the name of love.

• Annette Maynard-Watson is a teacher and herbal educator.

DISCLAIMER: It is not our intention to prescribe  or make specific claims for any products. Any attempts to diagnose or treat real illness should come under  the direccton of your health care provider.