11 Kids’ Snacks That Make Eating Fruits and Vegetables Fun
Ask any parent what his or her biggest challenge is when it comes to teaching children about healthy eating and the odds are good that the response will be how difficult it can be to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables — especially when it comes to the ones that children have never tried before. Unless they’re drowning in creamy ranch dressing or dipped into smooth, sugary peanut butter, it can be tricky to get children to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Luckily, there is an easier (and healthier) way to get your kids to eat more produce.
It’s natural for children to be suspicious of new foods; they lack the life experience to know whether or not a food is safe to consume. Even if you tell your children that a food is good or OK to eat, they still have a natural aversion to anything that’s not sweet (a survival mechanism that all people share — it helps us to avoid eating something poisonous) and could be scared of anything that looks strange or unfamiliar. Many pediatricians recommend giving your child a new food as many as 10 times before expecting that they’ll become familiar with it, but how do you get a child to try a new food once, let alone multiple times?
Every child is different, but making healthy eating fun can help. Kids like to play, and giving them a plate of playful food (and allowing them to play with it) can encourage them to try new fruits and vegetables. When you’re cooking for your children, choose fruits and vegetables in a wide range of colors, cut them into a variety of different shapes, and then make art on the plate. Kids will love “flowers” with halved cherry tomato petals and green pepper stems and “boats” made out of sliced pears and triangles of red pepper. Make meal and snack time even more fun by letting your children help you create their healthy plates.
Need a few great ideas to help get you started? Here are 11 fun and healthy snacks that will have your children eating their fruits and vegetables in no time.
They may look like colorful versions of corn-chip nachos, but these all-vegetable nachos will have your kids eating bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado.
Even the pickiest eaters will love this fun snack. Let older children help you assemble the “turtles” using halved green apples, green grapes, and chocolate chips.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
A special thanks to Bolthouse Farms and Katherine McCord of Weelicious. Most of the amazing fruit and vegetable creations used in this story were created by them and are a part of Bolthouse Farms' UnBake Sale initiatve which inspires parents and kids to create healthy snacks from fruits and vegetables, all while helping schools continue to raise much-needed funds. Click here to learn more about the UnBake Sale.