When it comes to treats, chocolate often tops the list. Would these kids nutritious valentine chocolate treats appeal to anyone at your house?
Food appeals to kids for more than taste. They also like the way food feels and we’ve all seen little ones get hands-on and in with what they are eating. A smoothie not only goes down smooth, hands get to make it that way. **Before peeling a banana, let your little one roll and squeeze it. They can’t do it too hard or the banana will split open, but they should be able to start making the banana mushy. Open it into a big measuring cup and continue smooshing. We added a bit of chocolate milk and some yogurt and stirred that in too. A quick whip with the hand blender made it creamy and smooth. This is easy to adapt if your child has any food sensitivity issues. The banana adds the sweetness and smoothness to practically any liquid.
As well as to the senses of taste and touch, food includes the sense of sight. Kids respond to the colors and shapes of food. Let kids pick out three or four, or even more, of their favorite fruits. Besides bananas, strawberries, apples, oranges, and grapes go with chocolate. Kids can help with the preparation. Wash the fruits and slice into pieces. With a plastic picnic knife, kids can slice the bananas and grapes. Bigger hands might need to do the apples and grapes. Use some chocolate milk or melted chocolate with some yogurt to make a dip. With fingers or forks kids dip the fruit pieces into the chocolate ‘mud’. Despite the name, it’s yummy.
Kids like to help and involving them in the kitchen encourages a healthy relationship to food. They are also very sensory and hands-on. These kids nutritious valentine chocolate treats definitely include the senses and hands. What treats do you and your child make for Valentine’s Day?
Today’s play-of-the-day is a favorite activity for this time of year, baking Christmas cookies with kids. What’s the top cookie at your house? And why do we leave cookies for Santa?
I don’t know about your FB feed, but there were and still are lots of posts for baking cookies yesterday and today. From all over, one side of the continent to the other. Is it something in the air? This must be more than the Baking Fairy sprinkling flour dust.
Baking cookies is a highly sensory activity. While it’s mostly hands that are involved in the sense of touch, there are so many different textures and sensations. The dry flour, the slippery batter, and thick dough are just a few. The spices fill the air with scents, especially the one of cookies in the oven. Conversations, spoons clanking against the bowl, and music in the background stimulate the sense of hearing. Our eyes follow all the action especially the one of watching for slight changes to tell us the cookies are done. The best is coming, tasting the fresh, warm cookies.
Perhaps, with all the impact on our hearts and minds, we are craving a physical activity. It’s not a vigorous, demanding task, but it involves lots of muscles on a more gentle basis. Of course, minds are busy too and there is a layer of remembering for our hearts, of baking cookies over the years. Of connecting with people who are important to us, especially if we can only visit them in our memories.
We know kids are definitely attracted to sensory activities. They also crave the feeling of belonging and are proud they are considered grown up enough to help. There’s learning too in a way that is highly relevant. Knowing how to make cookies comes with it’s own wonderfully delicious prize.
Baking Christmas cookies with kids contains many extra ingredients. Thinking about all of this, it’s no wonder cookies are the treat we leave for Santa Claus. What kind do you leave on the plate?
Christmas cooking with kids doesn’t have to be complicated. You can make simple and special Christmas snacks with red and green veggies or fruit and dips. Kids love to help in the kitchen. Being included in making traditional foods and yummy baked treats creates memories that last a lifetime. Besides the goodies, snacks are fun to make together too.
To make a Christmas veggie and dip snack or appetizer, check what you have in the fridge. Broccoli, celery, and snap peas are green. Even if they are fruits since they are the part of a plant with seeds, tomatoes are eaten like veggies. Peppers, cucumbers, and peas are actually called vegetable fruits. Little tomatoes can be eaten in one bite but are better cut in half so kids don’t choke. Include some Frosty noses, that is carrots, either slices or baby ones and some cauliflower which is white like snow. Little hands can wash the veggies and big hands can slice the pieces. Stirring is doable for kids as long as the bowl stays on the counter or table. They can mix up a dip they like and there is one Christmas snack.
A fruit and dip snack can be made with strawberries, raspberries, bananas, honeydew melon, kiwis, red and green grapes, apples, and pears, and Christmas oranges. This time, kids can slice the soft fruit like the bananas and grapes. Fruit yogurt makes a tasty dip. Another idea is to use any favorite and available fruits cut into pieces. Sprinkle over some shredded coconut to look like snow.
Having kids in the kitchen to be part of food preparation means adults have to be watchful but it’s so valuable. Kids develop a healthier and more realistic attitude to foods and to eating. Knowing how to prepare food is a life-skill. When they are involved, kids feel like they belong and they have something to contribute. This is food and nutrition for hearts. What will you do for some Christmas cooking with kids?
After finding a nice, small pumpkin with a flat bottom we were able to make this fun pumpkin dip snack. It’s great for dipping either veggies or fruit, making it nutritious too. **Unless this is for the family and half the neighborhood, use a small pumpkin.** Start by cutting off a small slice on the … Continue reading Veggies or Fruit Pumpkin Dip Snack – Halloween or Thanksgiving
Carrots + Dip = Pumpkin Patch Halloween has wonderful treats, but they can still be nutritious like this Halloween carrots hummus snack. As a trick, the good kind, this one is also fun. Finger foods and dips are popular with kids. It’s like combining eating and playing with food. Kids also like to help in … Continue reading Halloween Carrots Hummus Snack – Nutritious, Colorful, and Fun
This Olympic Snacks for Kids is both fun and nutritious. We can capitalize on the interest of what our bodies can do to encourage healthy snacking. What shape are the gold, silver, and bronze medals? They are circles. The Olympic Rings are round too. To make this snack start with some round crackers. Cover the … Continue reading Olympics #11: Olympic Snacks for Kids – Medals & Rings for Nutrition
These couple of nutritious and playful ideas for some space snack fun do not need a lot of space in your kitchen, just some imagination and creativity. Nut Butter Planet Wraps: To make these planet wraps, you can use either pita bread, tortillas, or another kind of wrap. Put a spoonful of peanut or other … Continue reading Space Activities #22: Space Snack Fun – Cooking with Kids
Sensory play is very important for kids including taste and smell as well as seeing, hearing, and touching which they can do with a Traffic Light Smoothie. Safety is important too, so parents and caregivers tell kids about red lights and stop signs. They are pretty familiar with traffic lights. Traffic lights are red, yellow, … Continue reading Transportation Activities#18: Traffic Light Smoothie
Playing, having fun, and learning can all happen at the same time. 1 2 3. This bubble cake combines more than ingredients. It’s easy for cooking with kids. There’s hardly anything to wash up since you mix it and cook it in the same pan. Sometimes, this Bubble Cake is known by another name, Puddle … Continue reading Cooking with Kids – Bubble Cake aka Puddle Cake
Every home in the world has a kitchen space and every culture has unique foods. How about some kids Cinco de Mayo agua fresca for today’s learn and play? Cinco de Mayo is of course a special day of celebration for Mexican families and Mexican culture. Agua fresca can be translated as fresh water, but … Continue reading Cooking with Kids: Kids Cinco de Mayo Agua Fresca