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news News Thursday, May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 7:58 AM - Thursday, May 28, 2020 7:58 AM

Can I have a snack?

Fun, healthy recipes to enjoy and entertain your child

Can I have a snack?

After weeks in quarantine, and with months of time at home still ahead this summer – most parents have lost track of how many times they’ve heard the same question: “Can I have a snack?”

To help, we sat down with the Greenville Shriners Hospital nutritionist, Sara Ausmus, to find recipes your children will not only enjoy eating, but are simple and fun to create in the kitchen.

Each recipe can be made with typical household ingredients in under 30 minutes. While teaching your child the importance of making healthy choices, you can also take this opportunity to engage their mind by having your child assist in measuring each ingredient. Meanwhile, all recipes focus on a key nutrient your child needs in their everyday diet. You can take this time to discuss what “nutritional value” is, and why it is important.

Fezzy’s Fruit Dip

Servings: 4

  • 5.3 ounces non-fat, vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, preferably natural
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 small apple, banana, or 1 ounce pretzels

Mix together yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon until smooth. Cut up fruit and enjoy! This dip is also yummy with pretzels or graham crackers. 

Nutrition facts: 75 calories, 5 grams protein, 2.25 grams added sugar, 0.75 gram fiber, 3% daily calcium per 3-tablespoon serving of fruit dip.

Fezzy’s Fruit Dip is a quick and easy, protein-packed snack. It contains less calories than a serving of cream cheese fruit dip or plain peanut butter. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats, but it is also very energy-dense. A 3 tablespoon serving of Fezzy’s Fruit Dip contains less than half the calories you would receive from 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and about 70% less added sugar than two tablespoons of a cream cheese dip.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy “POP”ables


  • 2.5 cups oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter, preferably natural
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Measure peanut butter and warm for 30 seconds in microwave for easier stirring. Stir together all ingredients until oats are coated. Spoon mixture onto hand and roll into one-inch balls. Energy bites should be about the size of a ping pong ball, and this recipe makes 32 energy bites.

Nutrition facts: 88 calories, 2.8 grams protein, 3.2 grams added sugar, 1.4 grams fiber, less than 1% daily calcium per energy bite.

Energy bites are a fun way to fit more whole grains into snacks with less added sugar than most store-bought granola bars. Whole grains supply our bodies with more key nutrients than refined grains, which contain only one part of the grain kernel. Fiber-rich oats and protein from the peanut butter promotes a feeling of fullness and gives your child lasting energy until their next meal.

Shriners’ Smoothies

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Smoothie


  • 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

Freeze banana ahead of time – slice it for quicker freezing. Measure ingredients and pour into blender. Blend until smooth and pour into two glasses. Enjoy this creamy treat!

**To reduce sugar: Switch chocolate milk for 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Nutrition facts: 213 calories, 8 grams protein, 9 grams added sugar, 1.5 grams fiber, 15% daily calcium, 15% daily vitamin D per 8-ounce serving.

Strawberry Smoothie


  • 1.5 cups frozen strawberries or fruit of your choice
  • 4 ounces plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2-4 ounces orange juice

Measure ingredients and place in blender. Blend until smooth, pour into two glasses and enjoy! Our other favorite flavors are strawberry banana, mixed berry, mango, and peach smoothies. Sometimes we add a handful of spinach to add some extra nutrition!

Nutrition facts: 92 calories, 10.7 grams protein, 6.25 grams added sugar, 4.7 grams fiber, 11% daily calcium per 10-ounce serving.

Our Shriners Smoothies are a cool treat to enjoy after playing outside on a warm day or year-round. The Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Smoothie is a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients that help keep your child’s bones and teeth strong throughout their lifetime. Vitamin D supports calcium absorption, and calcium is better absorbed as bones form during childhood and adolescence. Our Strawberry Smoothie is full of fiber. Adequate fiber intake can reduce constipation and may reduce your child’s risk of developing diabetes or heart disease.

Let’s make eating healthy FUN!

Fruit dipPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy “POP”ablespeanut butter chocolate banana smoothiestrawberry smoothie

Pictured: (top right) Patients making snacks, (bottom, left to right) Fezzy's Fruit Dip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy “POP”ables, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Smoothie, Strawberry Smoothie.