Foods Kids Can Top, Drizzle or Dunk in Maple Syrup
It’s the perfect time of year to begin the day with your favorite breakfast food topped off with maple syrup to celebrate National Maple Syrup Day. This popular American treat is largely supplied by our northern neighbor, Canada, which produces more than five million gallons of maple syrup annually. According to the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia contribute seven percent of the total Canadian production.
Using pure maple syrup can be a healthy alternative to sugar as it’s a natural energy source, providing simple carbohydrates that are easily digestible and other vital nutrients that boost the immune system. Pure maple syrup offers a sweet flavor a lot of kids crave at breakfast time, and you don’t have to smother a pancake in it for them to enjoy. Mainly because syrup goes with everything.
Try drizzling maple syrup over some of these snack time favorites, or even better for little fingers and hands: embrace the sticky and dunk the snacks:
- Granola: drizzle pure maple syrup over your favorite granola mixture for a salty-sweet flavor party. Here is a recipe for Crunchy Maple Granola you can make at home with oats, almonds, pecans and dried fruit.
- Chicken Kebabs: boneless, skinless, cubed chicken breast cooked on a kebab stick with apples or pineapples layered in between can be a tasty snack for little ones you can even prepare in advance. Drizzle kebabs with pure maple syrup or inspire kids to use the kebab stick as a syrup-dunking tool. Check out this recipe for
Fruity Chicken Kebabs.
- Root vegetables. That’s right: vegetables. Try roasting cubes of sweet potato, carrots, beets and butternut squash before topping them off with a pure maple syrup glaze as soon as they come out of the oven. Kids won’t be able to resist this Maple Cinnamon Glazed Root Vegetables recipe and neither will you.
The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers says that maple syrup is 100% pure and natural, and producers must adhere to strict guidelines and standards set forth by Canadian law and the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers throughout the production process. Each maple harvest season, the sugar trees are tapped in a slightly different area than the previous year, preserving the health and enforcing the sustainable growth of the trees. Talk to your kids about where their syrup comes from.
Encouraging healthy eating at a young age is a gift that lasts a lifetime, just like a love for pure maple syrup! Good physical health is a critical component of brain development and pure maple syrup can help get kids excited about foods (like root veggies!) that they may not normally find appealing. You can even keep a small jar up your sleeve, just like Buddy, The Elf, and never go without. Happy National Maple Syrup Day!