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Healthy Fun Food for Kids

May 18, 2012
by Shannon Hepburn

My nephew went through a long phase of eating only white foods. Really. That said, I’m not going to try and pretend to tell you how to get your kids to eat healthy food.  I’d rather share some thoughts about my family’s experiences with food and a few recipes.

This was my son’s breakfast yesterday.  The weird looking food on the bottom plate is mochi.  Mochi (pronounced mo-chi) is Japanese pounded rice that is then formed into a dense cake or chewy balls.  This is cinnamon raisin mochi, stuffed with a tiny spoonful of raw honey.

 

THOUGHTS

  • Presentation matters.  We use lots of little plates, tiny bowls, little utensils and fun small glasses.
  • There’s room for food to be playful ~ I remember knocking on a pea pod with my young son and opening the “door” to reveal the pea pod family, naming them and deciding who to eat first.
  • Small food is more appealing than big food – mini muffins, “baby” hamburgers/sliders, silver dollar pancakes, cracker sandwiches, melon balls etc…
  • It’s fun to eat with something besides a fork – finger food night, kid chopsticks (they’re connected at the top), toothpicks, silly straws, sporks…
  • When offering a new food, we’d put it on a tiny plate and call it an “elf bite.”  Or perhaps try a fairy bite or a mouse bite – whatever your child’s favorite animal is.  Bruce the bear (our son’s beloved stuffie) was always the tester. If he liked it (and he always did!) there was a good chance our son would take the bite too.
  • Make the food talk.  Sounds goofy, but it’s kinda fun when the tree (broccoli) is protesting “no, no don’t eat me please, noooooo!”

MORNING FOOD

  • Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
  • Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins

FOOD ON A STICK

  • Salad on A Stick
  • The “Good” Dressing
  • Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt-Honey Dipping Sauce

ROUND FOOD

  • Turkey Meatballs

SCULPTURAL FOOD

This is more of a suggestion than a recipe and it totally flies in the face of “don’t play with your food,” but making sculptures with various kinds/shapes of food & toothpicks is super fun.  Set out a bowl of toothpicks and small plates of some favorites and some undiscovered foods.

FOODS TO TRY

EAT WELL AND BE WELL