Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Healthy Snacks for Children

I've been looking for some healthy snacks for children recently since so many delicious fruits and vegetables are in season now.

Fruit Skewers

The fruit skewers have a variety of fruit that I put on bamboo skewers. They do have a not-so-healthy component on two of them (brownies). However, I told my daughters that in order to have the brownies, they needed to eat the fruit to get to the brownies.

Fruit skewers.
A new way to serve fruit to Sophia and Olivia.
They liked having their fruit on "spears."

Eating all the different types of fruit was a bit challenging for Olivia due to sensory integration issues. However, she did the best she could to get through the blueberries in order to get to the brownies.

Had the brownies not been there, chances are she probably wouldn't have been motivated enough to eat the fruit. Hopefully some day, with persistence and patience, she will enjoy eating blueberries and a wider variety of fruit than grapes, strawberries, and peaches. (Eating fruit as it is is a huge accomplishment given where she started.)

Vegetable and Cheese Plate

One of the ideas I want to try is making a simple plate with a variety of vegetables and dips or spreads. For example, having celery sticks with peanut butter; a cracker with a cream cheese spread topped with tomatoes and fresh basil; cheddar cheese slices; and carrots sticks with a sour cream dip.

Muffin Tin Meal

A couple of years ago, I used to make muffin tin meals for Sophia and Olivia. Sometimes they had their own muffin tin, and other times it was used as a "serving platter" from which they could choose what they wanted to eat.

They always enjoyed the muffin tin meals; and ended up sampling healthy food that they may not have normally eaten had it simply been on their plate.

Tuesday's Terrific Tin
A muffin tin meal that I made a few years ago.
Top row: green grapes, pistachios, teddy grahams, and carrots.
Middle row: peanuts, dairy-free cheese, swiss cheese, and celery.
Bottom row: dried pineapple, sesame sticks, pickles, and red grapes.

Some of the other muffin tin meals I've seen use small cutters (like cookie cutters) for fruits and vegetables. Little flower-shaped apples and star-shaped honeydew melons may seem more appealing to younger children.

Fruit-Stuffed Strawberries

These fruit-stuffed strawberries have the green leaves removed, are cored, and a little slice from the bottom removed so they can sit upright. 

I used bing cherries, peaches, kiwi, pears, and grapes inside the strawberries. The cherries are placed at the bottom or center of the strawberries so they don't discolor the rest of the light-colored fruit.

Fruit-stuffed strawberries.
Each strawberry has five different types 
of fruit inside of it.

A note about the strawberries - unless you have jumbo strawberries, the amount cut-up fruit inside the strawberries is minimal. However, if you eat them in one or two bites, the flavor with all the different types of fruit is wonderful!


Fishcake_random said...

I have found with my DD that reverse psychology works well. If I tell her she can't have it cause its mummy's special food she only wants it more lol
x x x

Our Little World said...

Awesome ideas. Can't wait to make pretty snacks like that when Ella is older.

FrugalFoodieMama said...

Love the fruit skewers! Those would be fun with chocolate fondue too. ;)