Kids enjoy helping adults and trying new things. Allowing them to help you make fun and easy snacks helps you get them to try new foods and teaches them about good nutrition. Be sure to adjust serving sizes and not let kids overeat snacks just because they are helping prepare it. Preschoolers only need one-half the portion size of an adult.
Eating well and experimenting with new foods is a good way for adults and kids to improve their diet, mood and physical well-being. Take snack making as an opportunity to get kids to try new and different foods. At the store, direct kids to look for fruits, vegetables and cheeses that look strange or have odd-sounding names. Once home, have kids help you prepare a snack tray containing slices of all the new fruits, vegetables and cheeses. Add whole-grain crackers and ranch dip to the tray, then have a taste-testing snack time with the kids.
Almost any aged child enjoys making and eating snack kebabs. Use bamboo skewers and if necessary, dull the point end for younger children. Give kids with bowls of cubed fruits, cheese, vegetables and whole-grain bread. Allow them to make whatever combination of foods they wish. Offer dips of melted cheese, salsa, cream cheese and ranch dressing for enjoying with the snack kebabs.
Kids love art and food. Combine the two for a fun snack idea. Give kids a variety of regular size and mini cookie cutters. Take out slices of cheese, fruits, soft vegetables like cucumber, deli meats and breads. Have kids examine the cutters and decide on a picture to make with food on their plate by cutting out the various foods with the cookie cutters. After arranging the food on plates, the kids can also add embellishments to their snack-art pictures using squirt bottles of ketchup, ranch dressing and mustard.
Mini Pizza Faces
A mini pizza offers a nourishing snack. Have kids cut bread into a circle with a large cup or cookie cutter. Provide pizza sauce and cheese for kids to spread on the bread. Give kids small bowls containing pizza toppings of sliced pepperoni, olives, peppers and mushrooms. Have kids make faces on top of the cheese with the pizza toppings and then bake to melt the cheese. As an alternative, have kids spread cream cheese on the bread and give them with sliced fruit for embellishing a fruit pizza face.