Like avocado toast? What about acai bowls? Check out these kid-friendly recipes that are good for their teeth

Healthy snack alternatives

Sponsored by Hawaii Dental Service

When it comes to snack time this summer, give your kids something that not only will give them the energy they need, but will also help with good oral health. A lot of snacks are bad for children’s teeth and overall health, but Chef Jared Brown of Fat Cheeks Hawaii and 8th grade student Allyson Tamayose are in the HI Now kitchen with host Jobeth Devera, ready to share a few easy-to-make healthy snack alternatives.

Many parents are often too busy to prepare healthy snacks, so the default is often unhealthy. Brown says the most important thing to do is avoid sugars. “I try to eat a variety of foods, lots of nuts and grains, and stay away from anything with added sugars like sodas and juices,” he explains.

First up on the menu? A healthier, local twist on the acai bowl. Instead of using expensive acai and fruit concentrates as bulking agents, Chef Brown blends poi with frozen mixed berries, apple bananas and almond milk to create an ice-cold, dense blend that parents can serve immediately or store for later. It can be topped just as you would an acai bowl — with grains, oats, local fruits and granola.

The second healthy snack is a local twist on the popular avocado toast, and it’s better for your teeth! It starts with slices of toasted multi grain whole wheat bread, topped with a seasoned mix of grains, seeds and nuts that have been finely chopped in a food processor. The whole nut and grain spread is then topped with herb-infused ricotta, cherry or grape tomatoes, garlic-infused olive oil, salt and a touch of honey.


Spiced mix nuts and ricotta toast

Serves 2-4


2oz Cashews

2oz Macadamia

1oz Pine nuts

1oz Pecans

1cup Whole Milk Ricotta

2-4 slices Multigrain Whole wheat Bread

1 ½ cup Grape tomatoes

4 leaves fresh Mint

½oz Basil

1/2oz Parsley

2 oz Pumpkin seeds

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp chili powder

Extra virgin Olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Take the cashews, macadamia, pine nuts, pecans, cumin and chili powder and blitz in a food processor until thoroughly chopped and combined, season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also toast the nuts. To toast preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10 minutes or until desired color is achieved, blitz or chop by hand once they are cooled. Set aside the mix and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and season with salt, pepper and a simple vinaigrette of equal parts olive oil and white vinegar.
  3. Take all your herbs and finely chop. Combine those herbs with all of your ricotta, season this mix with olive oil, salt and black pepper. If you’d like a little spice you can also add cayenne pepper.
  4. Take 2-4 slices of multigrain bread and either toast in a traditional toaster or toast in a pan with a small amount of oil.
  5. Take your toast spread a generous portion of your herbed ricotta over each slice. Top with your tomatoes pumpkin seeds and chopped nut mixture. To finish, sprinkle a pinch of salt  from at least 8 inches away and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil. For an added touch of sweetness and complexity you can also drizzle honey over the top.


Poi bowl

Serves 2

1oz sliced Strawberry

1oz Diced Papaya

1 oz fresh Blue berries

1 oz diced Mango

2 whole sliced Apple Banana

½ cup Granola

1 cup Trail mix with any kind of small sized dry fruit

7 oz Frozen mixed berries

5 oz Frozen poi

Almond milk to cover

Honey to taste


  1. Take all your frozen ingredients, poi, mixed berries and 1 whole diced peeled banana and place in blender. Add just enough almond milk to cover. Blitz on high for 2 ½ – 3 minutes. If the mixture is not moving in blender you can slowly add additional almond milk until desired thickness is reached. Season with honey.
  2. In the bottom of a small bowl place half of your granola. Drizzle a small amount of honey. Pour or spoon ½ of your blended berry and poi mix over your granola and top with as much trail mix and fresh fruit as you would like and enjoy.

About Fat Cheeks Hawaii:
Fat Cheeks is a pop-up located at Ohana Hale Marketplace in the former Sports Authority building on Ward Avenue. The mom and pop shop serves gourmet sandwiches like brisket and spicy pork as well as yuba for vegetarians.

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