While I loved transitioning my kids from bottles to solid foods, there’s something to be said about the transition from serving your kids food to actually getting them in the kitchen with you to cook. My toddlers might not be the best at kitchen quality-control, but they love topping, stirring, and dipping— when a recipe calls for it. Studies show that the earlier you get your kids involved in the food making process, the more likely they are to try and accept new foods, AND the greater the chance they’ll enjoy doing the dishes for you [actually that’s just wishful thinking]. So here are a few easy recipes to get your kids excited about trying new foods… at their favorite time of the day: snack time!
- Frozen Yogurt Popsicles: This sweet treat is not as messy as a big bowl of yogurt, but just as healthy! With warm weather heading our way this simple recipe can become an interactive activity for your children and you. Just have them stir together the yogurt and fruit and help them pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Cover, freeze, and enjoy!
- Ants and Friends on a Log: You know this one… the classic peanut butter and celery snack. The kids will have fun topping the “log” with “ants” and other “friends.” This is a great snack to add some protein and fiber into their diets. Nut allergies? Swap out the peanut butter for sun butter! If your kids are finicky about eating celery, you can use bananas or apple slices for the “log.”
- Greek Yogurt Banana Split: A healthy twist on the classic indulgent dessert. Peel and split a banana and let the kids do the rest. They can add on the yogurt, chocolate chips, and strawberries as they please. The toppings and yogurt varieties you can use are endless!
- Kid-Friendly Dipped Fruit: Kids can pick out their favorite fruit and dip such as yogurt, peanut butter, or chocolate. Be sure to get your kids involved in the dipping assembly line! And let them do the sprinkling… my two-year old loves doing that.
- Very Healthy Caterpillar: Similar to Ants and Friends on a Log, help your kids create their own, unique healthy caterpillar with new fruits and veggies! This fun activity will help them add fruits and vegetables into their day all while helping their imagination grow. It’s also a great source of calcium to build strong bones.
I get that sometimes it’s easier for Mom and Dad to make a recipe or meal without your child’s help because of the extra time it usually takes PLUS the mess factor— which gets me every time. Just remember the memories you are making will hopefully last a lifetime, both in the kitchen and in life!