Tag: kid-friendly food

5 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love

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Got a finicky eater? Or maybe your kids are just getting a little bored with the same old sandwiches? Here are some fun twists on snacks to get healthy fruits and vegetables into your children while having some good creative fun in the kitchen.

 

  1. Shish Kabobs

You know how cute food on skewers can be, whether they’re in the shape of those little plastic swords, or simple swizzle sticks, they all suddenly become tiny little shish kabobs when you slide pieces of fruits or vegetables onto them. You can turn snack time into a kiddie cookout with these adorable treats, making them a fun choice for birthday parties and sleepovers.

Some recommended fruits for skewers would be: strawberries cut into bite-sized chunks, pineapple pieces, Clementine orange slices, pitted cherries, grapes, kiwi rounds, banana slices, apple pieces, raspberries and blueberries.

Bonus: Give the kids small dipping bowls full of yogurt. Kids love to dip!

 

  1. Mini-Pizzas

When I was a child, my mom would make the most delicious fruit pizza by using sugar cookie dough as “pizza dough,” baking it into a giant pizza-sized cookie, and then covering it with cream cheese and pieces of fruit. It was an absolutely delicious dessert.

Now you can make a healthier, mini-version of this treat by using whole grain English muffins instead of the sugar cookie. Just toast an the muffin, spread cream cheese on it, and place cut up pieces of fruit into the cream cheese to make it look like a tiny, fruity pizza. Kids will love the novelty of having a mini-pizza for breakfast, and you can feel good about getting some healthy fruit and whole grains into them.

These also double as an afternoon snack or dinner if you use marinara or pizza sauce instead of the cream cheese, and a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. If you can get some mushrooms and green peppers on them as well, even better!

 

  1. Pinwheels

Wraps cut into pinwheels are an adorable and easy-to-eat alternative to the daily lunchbox sandwich. Just spread hummus or cream cheese across a tortilla, then layer on fresh baby spinach, thinly-sliced tomato, and ham or turkey deli meat (or cheese if you have a vegetarian). After rolling your tortilla into a tight burrito shape, slice it into circles or pinwheels, and place them into your child’s plastic sandwich box for a fun surprise.

 

  1. Rainbow Pasta Salad

Children love rainbows and bright colors. It’s all about presentation with kids, and if you can serve them something happy and cheerful, you have a much better chance of getting them to eat it. This is where the rainbow pasta salad comes in. You know the spiral-shaped noodles that come in spinach green, carrot orange and beet red? So pretty.

These noodles can be cooked and served warm in a kid-friendly butter sauce, with fresh tomatoes, peas or carrots. It can also be served as a cold pasta salad if you prefer. Rather than mixing in vinaigrette dressing as you might for an adult’s cold pasta salad, mix in a light amount of ranch dressing, or any other dressing your child likes.

 

  1. Toothpick Party

It’s hors d’oeuvres for little people who can’t spell “hors d’oeuvres,” and somehow that just makes it really cute. Cube cheese, fruit, meats and vegetables, stick toothpicks into everything, and voila! Now it’s a party. The novelty of being able to grab a variety of different foods and the instant gratification of “toothpick nibbling” will entice the pickiest eater into trying new foods, and give any occasion a fun, celebratory feel.

 

Sometimes all it takes to get hesitant children to try new foods is a fresh perspective and a little creative fun. Give these funky, fresh ideas a try, and maybe your kids will find a new favorite snack today.

After School Specials: Super Snack Ideas for Healthy, Happy Kids

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When kids get home from school, they’re a few hours past lunch time, hungry and needing a snack to tide them over until dinner. But chips, crackers and other simple carbohydrates can be a waste of calories that could have instead provided growing children with the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and strong.

So what’s the solution? Healthy snacks, of course. By feeding kids the right foods after school, you can make sure that every calorie counts; and when snacks are properly prepared, even the pickiest little one will eat fruits and vegetables instead of empty starches.

Below are some creative ways to make good nutrition tasty and appealing so kids will snack on real food instead of junk.

 

1. Freeze the Fruit—

Dieting women have known for years that frozen grapes make a refreshing, low-fat replacement for ice cream, but any fruit can be frozen if your children like cold treats.

Mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas and peaches can all be frozen to create a healthy snack that tastes great with a dollop of Greek yogurt for added protein.

If you have a high-power blender, frozen bananas can be turned into a treat with a surprisingly similar texture to soft serve ice cream, with peanut butter, cocoa powder, assorted fruits or other natural flavors added if desired.

 

2. Prep the Veggies—

Often, we have the celery, carrot sticks, fresh broccoli and cauliflower sitting in the refrigerator drawer, waiting to be used, but we forget to prepare it in time for snacks.

Rather than waiting until you have hungry children clamoring at your feet, cut up fresh vegetables during the day and place them in a sealed container with a bit of cold water to retain moisture.

When kids get home from school, instead of grabbing salty, processed nibbles, you can give freshly sliced vegetables with ranch dip or hummus to snack on.

 

3. Find the Fruit Bowl—

This seems like an obvious, classic way to promote healthful eating, and many of us grew up with a bowl of fruit on the table for quick snacking.

But our world has become much more convenience-minded in the last few decades, making many reach for chips, crackers and other processed junk foods instead of that good old apple we used to enjoy.

To get back into this great habit, buy apples, oranges, nectarines, peaches, bananas and other kid-friendly foods, wash and dry so they’re ready to eat, and keep the bowl within constant reach of little hands.

Children don’t get to control much in their lives, and being given the option to grab something from the fruit bowl whenever they want will make them happy. And if they lose their appetite for dinner because they had too much fruit… is that really a bad thing?

 

4. Mix It Up—

Kids love variety and choices, and a really healthy, fun way to give them this is with homemade trail mixes in individual servings they can grab and go, making your life easier.

Use sandwich bags to blend assorted nuts, dried fruits (without added sugar) like raisins, cranberries, blueberries and banana chips or apple rings. Some grocery stores now carry dried blueberries, mango, papaya and even dried kiwi, so get creative.

If you have a picky child, allowing them to help make multiple bags of their own special blend of trail mix can also encourage them to want to eat their creations.

 

5. Smoothie Sailing—

A great way to get fruits and vegetables into kids without a fuss is by making icy smoothies in the blender that taste like a shake, but are actually nutritious.

By adding dairy milk, almond milk, or yogurt, you’ll give children valuable calcium needed for growing bones.

Mild vegetables like carrots and spinach can also be juiced for fruit smoothies to increase the vitamin content as long as berries, oranges or apples are added to sweeten it up.

 

6. English Pizzas—

English muffin halves make adorable mini-pizzas when toasted and covered with marinara sauce, and kids love the novelty of having their very own pizza to top with shredded cheese and vegetables.

Have the vegetable toppings diced before kids get home so they’ll be ready to go, and muffins pre-toasted. All kids will have to do is spread the sauce, add the cheese and veggies, and let a grown-up microwave or bake pizzas in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Use whole grain muffins to increase the fiber and nutritional content of this fresh, fun treat.

 

Snack time doesn’t have to be junk food time: it can actually be a great way to get fruits, vegetables and other nutritious fare into kids’ diets in a completely delicious way. Use the after-school snack tips above, or find other innovative ideas to replace empty calories with wholesome, healthful and enjoyable foods your kids will love.