Fun Food Ideas for Kids

Fun Food Ideas for Kids

Most of us probably don't know many kids who would choose broccoli over french fries. Unfortunately, statistics surrounding childhood obesity indicate that's more of a problem than we'd like it to be.

 Fun Snacks for Younger Kids

 Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or gross. Help your kids learn that with these fun snack ideas and recipes for toddler and pre-schoolers:

  • When planning snacks for toddlers and young children, remember to choose foods that aren’t choking hazards.
  • Make sure snacks are nutritious and easy to prepare.
  • Avoid junk food and foods with too much added sugar and salt.

Snack ideas for young children:

Fruit Snacks

  • Fresh fruit.
  • Be sure fruit is cut into small slices, not small circles.
  • Apples Peaches Frozen Fruit Cubes (Freeze pureed applesauce, crushed peaches, pears, apricots, fruit juice or any fruit into ice cube trays.)
  • Canned fruit packed in light syrup or water.
  • Bananas or melons.
  • Gelatin with canned or fresh fruit (be sure to cut fruit in small pieces no larger than 1⁄4 inch cubes for infants and no larger than 1⁄2 inch cubes for toddlers.)

Vegetable Snacks

  • Fresh vegetables.
  • Frozen vegetables or canned vegetables with no added sodium or salt.
  • Soft-cooked vegetables such as carrots, asparagus tips, green beans, etc., served with a cottage cheese or yogurt-blended dried buttermilk dressing dip.
  • Raw vegetable strips served with small amounts of cream cheese. (Avoid raw celery and carrots because they are a choking hazard.)

Bread / Grain Snacks

  • Bagels with various soft cream spreads (avoid spreads with nuts).
  • Flour or corn tortillas with refried beans, canned chili and sprinkled with grated cheese, possibly topped with yogurt or sour cream.
  • Potato skins sprinkled with shredded cheese, broiled and topped with either yogurt or sour cream.
  • English muffins or pita bread topped with spaghetti sauce, grated cheese and lean cuts of turkey or other lean meats, broiled or baked and cut into fourths.
  • Quick breads or muffins made with carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, bananas, dates and squash (other fruits and vegetables may be used).
  • Pita bread with lean sliced meat such as chicken or turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomato in an open pocket.

Dairy Snacks

 

  • Yogurt with applesauce or pureed fruit.
  • Orange creamsicles made from orange juice, yogurt and water.
  • Yogurt dip with bananas.
  • Yogurt Frost (combine yogurt and fruit juice and add pureed or very soft fruit, if desired).
  • Fruit Shake (blend milk with bananas or a peach and add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Be sure to blend very well).

Combination Snacks

  • Kabobs made with any combination of cheese, fruit, vegetables and sliced or cubed cooked meat (remove the toothpicks before serving).
  • Parfait made with yogurt and pureed or chopped fruit. Remember If using milk, yogurt or citrus fruit, be sure the children have no intolerances or allergies before serving.
  • Limit liquid snacks, especially sweetened fruit juices. Give children water and milk when thirsty.
  • Avoid using sweetened cookies like Oreos®. Instead, use graham crackers, animal crackers and plain cookies like Vanilla Wafers.
  • Avoid sticky snack foods that will stick to the child’s teeth.

AVOID foods that are known choking hazards, such as:

  • Hot dogs (unless cut into bits, such as quarters lengthwise before being sliced).
  • Whole grapes or cherry tomatoes.
  • Hard candies, including jelly beans.
  • Nuts. 
  • Popcorn.
  • Raw carrots, celery, green beans or any hard vegetable.
  • Seeds (such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds).
  • Large chunks of any food such as meat or potatoes.
  • Large chunks of peanut butter — always use the creamy kind and spread it thinly onto a cracker or toast. Never give a heaping spoonful of peanut butter to a toddler.