If you’re looking for some healthy snack alternatives for you kids, be sure to try out these recipes from Rania Harris!


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • ¾ cup shredded sweet coconut
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins, dried cherries and apricots and mix until evenly distributed.

Store in an airtight container fitted with a tight fitting lid.

I use about 1/3 of cup of the granola with my yogurt in the morning for a quick and healthy way to start my day. I also add 2 sliced strawberries or some blueberries for more flavor.

Orange Bran Muffins

  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried apple slices
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup bran cereal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup low fat milk


Combine the raisins, dried apples, and orange juice in a small bowl, and allow soaking for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line 16 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, bran cereal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter with the egg and milk.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the fruit mixture with the orange juice and the egg mixture. Combine the batter – but do not over mix. This will create a tender muffin. Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18 – 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Yield: 16 muffins

Fruit Smoothie

  • 1 container (8 ounces) vanilla-flavored nonfat yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries or peaches
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


In a blender, whip together all ingredients. Serve in glasses.

Serves: 2

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ medium red or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and lightly mashed
  • ½ cup medium salsa (low sodium is preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 6 – 6” whole-wheat tortillas
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • Extra salsa for serving


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and red or orange pepper and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, salsa and chili powder. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Portion out the bean mixture and the cheese into 6 equal portions. On each tortilla, Spread about one portion of the bean mixture and one portion of the cheese evenly over half of one tortilla. Sprinkle some of the cilantro over the top. Fold the tortilla in half and press gently with a spatula.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make five additional quesadillas.

Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat.

Grill the quesadillas on the prepared pan until the first side is browned and grill marks appear. Flip the quesadillas over and continue to grill until the flip side is browned and the cheese is melted. You can probably grill 3 quesadillas at one time.

Place quesadillas on a baking sheet and keep warm in 200 degrees oven, while grilling the second batch.

To serve, cut each quesadilla into halves. Serve 2 halves to each person

Serves: 6