Kids are constantly eating, aren't they? This is an important key to their development. Kids are chock full of energy, and their growing bones and developing minds and muscles need the nutrients that frequent eating provide.

If you're like a lot of parents and day care providers, however, you're probably getting tired of slicing up bananas for kids snacksand tossing fish shaped crackers in a bowl.

And I know we're all tired of graham crackers and apple juice (brings back a few Sunday School memories, doesn't it?). And just think…if you're tired of serving it, what's the chance the kids are tired of eating it?

Let's explore another option for the kids' munchy time.

The freezer is your friend! Make a few batches of muffins, and when they've completely cooled, peel off their paper cup liners and toss them in a zipped freezer bag.

When it's snack time, wrap them in a slightly dampened paper towel and put them in the microwave for a few seconds. Serve with low-fat margarine or butter-flavored spray, and you've got a yummy, warm kids snack!

Fruity Muffins
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 cup granulated sugar (if you don't mind artificial sweeteners, make this 1/4 cup sugar & 1/4 cup Splenda)
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
-1 egg
-1 cup chopped dates
-1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

Combine first seven ingredients thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix oil, banana and egg. Add the dates and apples to this mixture, then combine with the dry ingredients.

Mix just until blended. Pour into muffin cups/tin that have been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

These muffins are also fabulous cut open and spread with low fat cream cheese. Serve them with a small cup of very cold nonfat (skim) milk, and it's an incredibly filling kids snack that should tide them over until you have dinner with no problem!