Snacks on a Stick

Around this time of year, I find it’s harder to get my kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. There just aren’t many choices. And you can only shuffle different varieties of apples around for so long before your kids start complaining.

That’s unless you get a little creative. My solution? A stick. That’s right: There’s something fun about eating your food off a stick. So we’ve come up with a variety of ways to disguise apples, bananas and more as kid-friendly kabobs. These are perfect for dipping or eating on-the-go.

Apples on bamboo

You can find a variety of bamboo stick lengths at Meijer or any other local grocers. I usually pick up the four-inch bamboo skewers. Chop the apples into one-inch cubes and then sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice over the slices. Gently push the apple cubes onto the bamboo sticks. (My youngest likes to then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the apples before she eats her kabob.) Add some variety to your kabob by adding orange pieces, grapes, bananas, canned pineapple chunks, or even cubes of cheddar cheese. For young children, remember to cut the pointed end off the sticks before serving.

Possible dips: cream peanut butter, flavored yogurt, softened cream cheese, pudding

Creative celery sticks

For an edible stick that also sneaks in a good-for-them veggie boost, trim celery stalks into thinner "sticks." Add about a half-teaspoon to a full teaspoon of softened cream cheese to the end of the celery stick. Top with a large, pitted olive. This works well with long carrot sticks, too.

Possible dips: ranch dressing, hummus

Pretzel kabobs

Use pretzel sticks to craft pint-sized fruit kabobs. Sliding the apple chunks onto the pretzel sticks is a little tricky. You’ll need to create a hole with a bamboo stick, or even the pointed end of kitchen utensil (like the end of a hand mixer whisk), before you put on the apple. If you force the apple on without first making the hole, it will become crushed.

Possible dips: honey, creamy peanut butter, flavored yogurt

These snacks are easy to make for your kids and even to serve at parties. When I gave these to my kids this week as an after-school snack, all of them came back for seconds – and thirds. My third grader even threw out the Jolly Rancher she’d gotten as a treat at school in favor of her fruit kabob! These fun snacks are good to the last crumb.

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