Here's the deal. Kids like fruit. Kids like veggies. Kids like to have fun.
Problem solved - make eating their 5-a-day of fruits/veggies FUN!
If you just cut up strawberries and and put them in a bowl, chances are those berries become boring to all the other food in the house. Why do you think they love fruit snacks, animal crackers & Goldfish so much? They can play with them.
Here are some of my favorites to keep fruits & veggies fun!
Fruit and Veggie Stoplights
(courtesy of Super Healthy Kids)
- Graham cracker sheets
- Cream cheese (preferably light or Neufchâtel)
- Strawberries, sliced
- Apricots, halved
- Kiwi, sliced
To make it, simply spread a light layer of cream cheese onto a full graham cracker sheet. Top with a strawberry slice, apricot half, and a kiwi slice.
- Celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
- Cream cheese or Laughing Cow cheese
- Red, yellow, and green bell peppers, cut into circles
To make it, spread a small amount of cream cheese or Laughing Cow cheese onto a 3-inch piece of celery. Arrange pepper circles on the celery like a stoplight.
Tuna Fish Sandwich
(courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine)
Ingredients (adapted to my taste):
- Whole wheat bread
- 1 (5-ounce) can of tuna
- 1/2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 of an avocado, smashed
- salt & pepper to taste
- pea, carrot & red bell pepper (for the eye and mouth)
veggies eye and mouth (we used a pea, a carrot, and a red pepper.)
(courtesy of my girl, Giada De Laurentiis)
- 2 cups dried bread crumbs, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 8 ounces ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 8 ounces small pasta, such as pennette, shells, or elbows
- 2 cups grated Parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups grated white Cheddar
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cups chopped broccoli, blanched,* see Cook's Note
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, blanched
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 2 (12-cup) muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of the bread crumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato, broccoli and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon onto a serving platter.
*Cook's Note: To blanch vegetables, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until very crisp. Using a small strainer, remove the vegetables and immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain and use.