Nowhere in our mommy agreement does it say that we are required to hand-craft snacks for our kids. If you’re into making granola bars from scratch or love to bake your own potato chips, then honey, go for the gold! But you’re more likely to see us reaching for the store-bought snacks instead.
Thankfully, Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear and ABC’s daytime talk show The Chew, recently spoke with us about his partnership with The National Mango Board and revealed some of his easy go-to snacks that can benefit from the addition of the super sweet power fruit.
As Clinton notes, mangoes are on the Clean 15, which is a list of fruits and veggies that are less likely to harbor pesticides after they’ve been washed, indicating which fresh produce items are considered okay to buy conventionally grown versus organic.
While not necessarily a foodie himself, Clinton says brushing elbows with some of the amazing chefs on The Chew has allowed him to soak up a few great tips from pros such as Michael Simon and Carla Hall. “I’ve learned a lot of great tips in the past few years, but nothing beats getting in the kitchen and experimenting.”
When he says experiment, he doesn’t necessarily mean penning recipes off the cuff. It’s more encouragement to try mixing fresh ingredients in a new way, or if you’re really strapped, throwing in some fresh with a few packaged foods taking up space in your fridge or pantry.
Clinton says he “lived on yogurt as a kid, and it’s only 100 calories in a cup. I was obsessed with yogurt. I would eat like seven yogurts a day as a kid.”
Try taking a cue from this celeb and adding some diced mango bits into your next cup of yogurt for a fresh, sweet zing. After all, we know how scary chemicals can seep into the most convenient of flavored yogurt options for kids. So instead of buying those sweet yogurt tubes or those gross fruit-on-the-bottom (Psst! That “fruit” is loaded with sugar!) cups, opt for slicing and dicing your own fruit and adding it to low-sugar Greek yogurt cups. So much healthier!
In addition to yogurt, Clinton is a big fan of oatmeal, which can also be perked up with a few cubes of sweet mango, or any other in-season fruit for that matter!
Aside from mangos, Clinton also divulges his secret to making no-fuss chicken that can serve as either a hearty dinner entrée or a quick snack. “I like to cook chicken thighs on a fairly high temperature for a long time,” he says. “Drizzle some olive oil, add some salt and pepper to taste, throw it in the oven at 400 degrees until it’s a dark golden brown. It’s only 150 calories per thigh and a really high protein snack.”
Bonus: “Stick them in the fridge, and if you need a snack, they almost taste like fried chicken.” Win!
For those fussy kids who need their sweets, Clinton has even heard about brownie recipes that are made with spinach or beets, and they don’t taste a difference! Yeah, we’re totally trying it.
“Kids follow their parents’ lead,” Clinton says. “If junk food isn’t available, they won’t gravitate toward it. If given the choice between broccoli and Doritos, what kid isn’t going to choose Doritos?”
The point here is to give your kids the sweet they crave with the healthiness you want. With these few simple additions and substitutions, it’s simple to make a quick, easy, healthy snack.