Make it milk: Fun snacks for kids

Tiramisu, calcium, milk, dessert, snack, National Nutrition Month

This Tiramisu Parfait is easy enough for children to put together, and it packs lots of nutritious calcium from milk. (Photos courtesy California Milk Processor Board)

Chef Gino Campagna, snacks, zucchini dip, tiramisu parfait, National Nutrition Month, California Milk Processors Board

Chef Gino Campagna offers these recipes for kid-friendly snacks and more at

March is National Nutrition Month, and the California Milk Processor Board is partnering with former Disney Chef Gino Campagna to create kid-friendly — and healthful — snack ideas that youngsters can put together themselves. Kids love snacks, but not all snacks are created equal, especially in terms of nutrition. These recipes were developed to give kids plenty of calcium in each serving. The National Institutes of Child Health report that almost 90 percent of girls and more than 80 percent of boys ages 9-13 aren’t getting enough calcium, needed for strong bones.

“We need to engage our kids in grocery shopping and cooking at a young age so that healthy habits stick with them through life,” says Chef Gino, Master Chef at Piccolo Chef, an award-winning children’s cooking school. “Fruits, veggies and low-fat milk can be incorporated into easy-to-make snacks that provide kids the nutrients they need.” Chef Gino has also worked with Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move To Schools” program and Jamie Oliver’s The Food Revolution. Here are some of Chef Gino’s milk-based after-school snacks recipes. For more, visit


2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup of low fat milk
4 square graham crackers

Mix Greek yogurt with 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of milk, mixing until smooth and creamy. Begin by spreading a layer of the yogurt mixture in a small bowl. Next, pour 1/2 cup of milk in a wide bowl and dip one graham cracker in the milk for a few seconds until moist, but not soggy. Lay the cracker over the yogurt and spread another layer of yogurt on top. Repeat with the remaining graham crackers, ending with a layer of yogurt. Last, dust the additional teaspoon of cocoa powder on top of the parfait and refrigerate for one hour before serving — or eat right away. Serves 1. Each serving contains approximately 279 mg of calcium.


1/3 cup of milk
1/2 pound of sliced zucchini
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup basil leaves
A large pinch of salt
Crudités: carrots, celery, radishes, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices

In a blender, combine all the dip ingredients and blend about 60 seconds or until the dip is smooth. Use it for dipping cut-up vegetables or whole wheat crackers as a snack, or as a sauce for pasta. Serves 4. Each serving contains approximately 175 mg of calcium .

* Dip will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days


1 cup low-fat milk
2 cups whole strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
Sugar (optional)
6 Popsicle molds or 5-ounce paper cups with wooden popsicle sticks

In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend about 60 seconds or until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add sugar as needed. Fill the Popsicle molds with the mixture and freeze for a few hours. If using paper cups, freeze until partially frozen and insert sticks, then return to freezer until frozen. Serves 6.

Each serving contains approximately 54 mg of calcium.


(c) Laura Groch 2014


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