According to MyPlate.gov, snacks can help kids get nutrients needed to grow. This blog will show some ideas to help you make creative snacks with veggies & fruits. By making food fun, you may encourage your child to try something new. If possible, involve your child in food preparation or cooking. Kids like to try their creations!
Concerned about the cost of fresh vegetables and fruits? Select vegetables & fruits when they are “in season” or on sale. Make sure to buy enough, but not too much where you end up throwing it away.
- Winter “In Season” vegetables & fruits include kiwi and citrus fruits like tangerines, clementines, oranges and grapefruit.
- Spring “In Season” vegetables & fruits include snow peas, broccoli, greens, asparagus, strawberries and spinach.
- Veggies & fruits that are readily available “year round” include bananas, celery, carrots, apples, potatoes & onions.
Here are some recipe ideas to try:
- Veggie Kid. Add light ranch dip for the face of the kid and make the body out of vegetables & fruits you may have on hand.
- Cheese and Crackers. Try the convenience of single serving string cheese and pair it with whole wheat crackers. To ramp up the veggies, add a few carrot sticks or apple wedges.
- Make a fun “character” fruit tray. Easy and fun! The eyes in this fruit tray are hardboiled eggs. Watch the children “gobble” up the fruit.
Need more inspiration? Try these:
- Apple Smiles made with peanut butter and raisins.
- Fruit Kabobs. Use your favorite fruits for this fun snack!
- Crunchy Berry Parfait. Use your favorite fruits in this easy favorite.
- Cowboy Caviar. A favorite of adults and kids alike! Serve with whole grain chips, fill celery sticks or top a salad with this tasty salsa.
Remember that some children don’t like foods that are mixed up. If this is the case, serve them individually.
- Make it easy to choose add-ins. Try hummus, creamy vegetable dip made with yogurt, or applesauce with a little “crunch” (granola or cereal) and cinnamon.
- Let them pick a new vegetable or fruit to try if you take them grocery shopping.
What ideas do you have to add more veggies & fruits to your day? Post your ideas in the comment section.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (2017). Spend Smart. Eat Smart. http://extension.iastate.edu
USDA (2016). MyPlate snack tips for parents. MyPlate, MyWins. www.choosemyplate.gov
USDA What’s Cooking? Recipe Finder available from https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/
Jennifer Driesbach, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Treber, email@example.com
Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin county, email@example.com