Sometimes, getting your kids to nosh nutritious snacks after school isn’t easy. But getting a little creative with flavors and ingredients can help your kids choose healthy choices over more processed foods like cookies, chips and candy. Another bonus? These recipes are fun to do together. Start out by making strawberry and cream cheese sandwiches to munch on while you find out what’s going on in second grade. Homemade fruit leathers take a little more time to cook (but they’re simple). Tap into your kids’ imagination with cucumber yogurt boats or a bell pepper octopus.
Update PB&J with this cool, creamy twist. Stock up on plenty of juicy, red berries to make this strawberry and cream cheese sandwich from Eating Well. Mix together softened cream cheese, honey, and orange zest and then spread onto both slices of whole wheat bread. Layer thin-sliced strawberries on the cheese, press the bread slices together, and then cut in half.
Skip the grocery store and make these homemade fruit leathers from Two Peas & Their Pod. Blend together 3 cups of fruit – your pick of apples, peaches or pears. Then add sweetener like honey, agave, or a bit of sugar. Pour the fruit mixture onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment or Silpat) and cook on low temperature until the fruit becomes solid. Your kids can use little cookie cutters to make shapes in the fruit leather.
Turn your kids into sushi fans with this recipe for “sushi” surprise from Martha Stewart. Instead of rice and seaweed, the outside of the sushi is made with flattened bread slices. Roll cucumber and carrot matchsticks in the center with cream cheese to hold them in place.
Regular apples get a crunchy makeover with this recipe for chocolate granola apple wedges from Cooking Light. Dip apple slices into melted chocolate and then granola. Allow the chocolate to set and then enjoy time snacking and talking about your child’s day.
Cut baby cucumbers lengthwise and then scoop out the seeds (great kid job!). Stir together plain yogurt with a dash of sugar, salt and cumin. Add the yogurt to the cucumber as the boat base. Cut cucumber pieces into “flags” and affix with toothpicks into the middle of these cucumber yogurt boats from Chella’s Common Cents.
Inspire your kids to eat more veggies with this bell pepper octopus recipe from Super Healthy Kids. The octopus body is made from a cut bell pepper. Smooth hummus onto a plate and then put the bell pepper in the middle with pepper strips as the tentacles. And the eyes? Use two black olive slices.