Since our cooking in the kitchen is often pretty messy, this kids’ chocolate smoothie messy play wasn’t so different, and the messy was yummy and playful.Making bread requires hands to be totally involved in the mixing and kneading so it’s not so far-fetched to have a child be really hands-on when making a smoothie. Of course, to make this one Little Sister did wash her hands well.
Once kids have washed their hands, have them peel a banana. Place the banana on a freshly cleaned tray or big plastic plate. With fingers, kids squish and smooth the banana until it’s all mushed up, almost like finger paint. Since their hands and the dish are clean, they can smooth the banana around and draw in it if they want. With fingers or spoon, they can also add in some thick, creamy yogurt and mix it in with the banana. Once kids have played sufficiently with this mess, they scoop up the banana yogurt mush and put it in a glass or cup. They may need some help getting the good stuff off the tray.
Before going on to the next part, Little Sister wanted to wash her hands because her fingers were so slippery. We poured some chocolate milk into the cup with the banana and yogurt mixture. Using a small whisk, Little Sister stirred it together. It was smooth enough to drink, but not as much fun as slurping it off the whisk. This was a variation on licking-the-beater but fit better in her mouth.
Messy play is often very sensory, and this chocolate smoothie messy play activitywas both. At first, Little Sister liked the feeling of squishing the banana but then wanted to wash it off. Much like adults do with dough. Food preparation often includes making a mess and cooking with kids helps them develop a positive connection to food and encourages healthy choices. After this, washing up was another sensory experience. Maybe we could say it was de-messy play?
What do Easter bunnies eat? They eat carrots and here are two quick, easy, and nutritious Easter bunny carrot snacks kids can help make. Yummy too.
Carrots grow in a garden, in the dirt. To make a garden, open a tin of refried black beans. Using refried beans is much easier for mixing because they are already mashed. Kids can stir in a spoon of olive oil and a spoon of lime juice. Kids do not like as much spice as adults so we only added a bit of cumin. It doesn’t take much to add a little flavor.
Scoop this into a clear bowl and smooth down. The most fun part is planting the carrots in the garden. Little Sister did this by herself, using peeled baby carrots.
For the stem, adults need to poke a hole in the end of the carrot with a skewer. Poke in a small lettuce, celery, or spinach leaf or a stem of parsley. Rabbit-kids can munch on the carrots and dirt.
For a variation, instead of using black beans, open a tin of chick peas and make hummus. Drain the chick peas, and mash. Mix in a spoon or two of lemon juice and olive oil. Add some tahini (sesame seed paste) or nut butter. We skip the garlic at our house but do add cumin. Bunny-kids can plant carrots in this or just dip and munch.
Spending time together in the kitchen and cooking with kids is both fun and learning. Kids can help measure, stir, and mix. Even though the order of adding ingredients is not important in these snacks, there is still sequencing. The carrots can’t get planted until the black bean dip or hummus is made. When kids are part of the preparation, they are more likely to try different foods and make better food choices. These Easter bunny carrot snacks are great for between meals or maybe could they be an appetizer for the whole family?
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?
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 … Continue reading Simple Christmas Cooking with Kids –Christmas Red and Green Snack
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
Today, we made a nutritious Easter snack for kids and bunnies that was quick, easy, and really yummy with an extra ingredient of silly fun. What do bunnies eat? Carrots. Where do carrots grow? In a garden in the dirt. So we made some dirt and planted a garden of carrots. To make the dirt … Continue reading Nutritious Easter Snack for Kids and Bunnies
Giving kids something to do in the kitchen while adults are preparing a meal helps them feel included and can keep them safely occupied. If you are busy today, here is an idea for a nutritious fruit snack that can be either a dinosaur or a turkey, or you can make one of each. After all, … Continue reading Dinosaur and Turkey Fruit Snacks for Kids