Creative ways to avoid food ‘boredom’ at home with children 

If getting your children to eat a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a challenge, turn mealtime into a fun time. Children get excited about tasting food when they are part of the process. Let your children help select fruits and veggies at the store, and when it’s time to prepare a meal, let your little “sous chef” add ingredients, tear and wash lettuce, scrub veggies or stir the batter. This can create a sense of ownership which is important in forming skills and positive experiences around food.

Little Stars - Creative ways to avoid food ‘boredom’ at home with children

Here are some fun snack ideas to whip up with your children at home:

Sweet and Savory Stoplights

Little Stars - Sweet and Savory Stoplights

For the fruity stoplights you’ll need:

Graham crackers (or substitute crackers of your choice), cream cheese spread, sliced strawberries, halved apricots, and sliced kiwi.

Just spread the cream cheese onto a graham cracker and arrange the sliced fruits on top of the spread cheese to resemble a traffic light!

For the vegetable stoplights you’ll need:

Some celery, cream cheese spread, and red, yellow, and green bell peppers.

Simply spread cream cheese, onto a stick of celery, cut into 3-inch stalks.  Cut circles out of peppers in all three colors.  Arrange your circles on the celery like a stoplight! Then poke a skewer into the bottom, although this part is not essential.

Celery Snails & Caterpillars

Little Stars - Celery Snails & Caterpillars

For the snails you’ll need:

Celery stalks, peanut butter or cream cheese, cheese slices, apple slices, orange slices, kiwi slices, cucumber slices, tomato slices, cashews, and an olive or two.

Fill celery stalks with peanut butter or cream cheese and top with an apple, orange, kiwi, cucumber or tomato slice shell and a cashew head. Use peanut butter or cream cheese to glue on the eyes (for the eyes you can cut circles in the cheese slices and top it off with tiny pieces of sliced olives).

For the caterpillars you’ll need:

Celery stalks, peanut butter or cream cheese, grapes, blueberries, grape tomatoes, cheese slices, an olive, and celery or radish matchsticks for the antennae.

Fill celery stalks with peanut butter or cream cheese and top with grapes, blueberries or grape tomatoes for the body and head. Use peanut butter or cream cheese to glue on the eyes (same as for the snails) and celery or radish matchstick for the antennae.

Rice Cake Owls

Little Stars - Rice Cake Owls

You’ll need:

Deli meat slices of your choice (chicken, ham, etc.), rice cakes, boiled eggs, sultanas, cheese slices, cucumber slices and carrot sticks.

Lay a slice of meat on top of the rice cake. Carefully slice a boiled egg and use the two middle slices as eyes, placing the sultanas on for eyeballs.

Using a knife, cut a small triangle for the beak and fashion feet out of the cheese like in the image. Cut a cucumber slice in half to use as wings and use another to make the ears.

Once positioned on a plate, place a sliced carrots stick lengthways underneath the owl to serve as a tree branch.

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