Jun 3, 2010

Healthy "Snack-tivities" That Kids Love

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. Who knew? It's also National Candy Month. Does that make sense to you? Regardless, a healthy diet includes generous amounts of colorful, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. And as children are inherently creative and inventive, I suggest putting that creativity to use in creating healthy snacks!

You don't need more than some basics --- fresh fruit, fresh veggies, dried fruit, dried veggies, nuts, seeds, hummus, and yogurt! When children choose their ingredients, make it themselves, and name it, they are thoroughly engaged, and not only will they love their snacks, they will be recommending their creations to siblings, friends, and even parents!

Here are 5 inspired "snack-tivities" that Ethan loves:

Edible Art
need: dried fruit, nuts and seeds
create: use ingredients to create faces, flowers, turtles (these were unrecognizable to anyone but Ethan and me) and anything else your child can envision

Don't forget that old standby, "bugs on a log" - celery (log) filled with nut butter (dirt) and raisins (bugs) on top
And fresh veggies like peppers and carrots cut into strips are great for art creation too! Faces, stick figures, rockets (yes, Ethan can create a rocket out of anything!)

Flower Edible Art:

Smile Face Edible Art:

A Vegetable Forest

need: fresh veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and hummus or other healthy dip (bean dip)
create: hummus is dirt, cauliflower and broccoli are bushes, asparagus are trees

Veggie Forest Creation (after creating his forest, he pretends a hurricane comes in and knocks down the trees...then he eats them!):

Kid Kebabs

need: wooden skewers and selection of fresh fruit (our favorites are cantelope, kiwi, watermelon, banana, strawberries, melon, apple)
create: Ethan chooses which fruit and in what order (aka design) the fruit chunks go onto the skewer

Cha Cha Cha Chips (yes I did say chips and yes we do like to make up funny names for our fruit and veggie snacks)
need: kale or apples, olive oil + salt or olive oil + cinnamin)
create: for kale, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt; for apples, slice thin, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamin; Ethan loves the "sprinkle" step! Bake at 350. I love to hear Ethan ask (after devouring a bowl of kale chips, "Mommy, I'm still hungry, can we make more Kale chips?"

Frozen Fun
need: frozen peas, corn, carrots, green beans
create: put straight into a bowl (or a measuring cup!) for finger picking fun

Ethan loves the frozen veggies:

And, of course, always have apples on hand! in your bag... in your car... A hungry child loves to chomp on a apple and can create designs as he/she eats. Ethan loves to bite 2 eyes, then a nose, then a mouth.

Apple Face:

So when the snack attacks hit, go for the "snack-tivities"! More ideas at my "Eat Your Fruit and Veggies" post.

Happy Grazing!!


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