nutritious snacks

Nutritious Easter Snack for Kids and Bunnies

nutritious Easter snackToday, 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.

nutritious Easter snackTo make the dirt was simple. After washing hands, we opened a tin of refried black beans. Since the beans are already soft, they do not need mashing. We stirred in a small spoon of olive oil and one of lime juice. The only spice we used was cumin. Once it was all mixed, I scooped the dirt into a bowl and Little Sister smoothed it out to make the garden.

nutritious Easter snackNext came the fun part, planting the carrots in the garden. Small carrots are needed for this so use a package of baby carrots. Adult hands need to poke a hole in the big end of the carrots. A skewer works for this or cocktail toothpicks. Child hands can plant the carrots in the dirt. To make the green tops of the carrot, stick a bit of parsley, small spinach leaf, or other greens into the little hole.

nutritious Easter snackBefore we even got the garden moved to the table, Little Sister started dipping and eating the baby carrots. Big Sister wasn’t sure about eating dirt but tried a little tiny bite. Soon, we were all munching on the carrots and the yummy dirt. This carrot garden can be served as a snack or as an appetizer.

Cooking with kids has valuable benefits. When children are part of the process of preparing and serving food, they are less reluctant to try unfamiliar things. Kids increase their awareness of different possibilities and make better choices. Much of our being with others happens around food so kitchen time becomes connecting time.

What’s cooking at your house this Easter?

Dinosaur and Turkey Fruit Snacks for Kids

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, turkeys are the closest living creature to a dinosaur. They both have wish bones. A dinosaur wish bone would be for really big wishes.

dinosaur fruit snackThe base for each creature is half an apple. For the dinosaur, kids can push a grape onto the end of a toothpick. These are the bony plates and about 4-6 are needed  for each row. Adult hands can help push these grape-toothpicks into the apple to make a row. Some dinosaurs only have 1 row of bony plates, and some have 2. If your child wants a dinosaur with 2 rows, use  another 4-6. Raisins can be used for eyes. Attach an eye on each side with half a toothpick. Bits of cheese on toothpicks can be used for the nose and tail, or another fruit such as bits of banana or orange.

turkey fruit snackFor the turkey, again start with half an apple. This time extra long toothpicks or skewers are needed. Kids can push 3 or more grapes onto each skewer, then adults can push the skewers into the apple to make the big fan tail. Attach 2 eyes, both in the front, with small toothpicks. The beak can be a bit of cheese or carrot.

These are colorful to display on the table for the whole family. For both of these, be careful when eating to take out the toothpicks.

Not only are kitchens great places to be together, they are full of fun and learning. There’s counting, colors, shapes, sizes, comparing, following instructions, making decisions, using language purposefully, planning, organizing and more. Kids are more likely to eat when they have been involved in preparation and make healthy food choices. Aren’t these almost too cute to gobble up?

Kindergarten Readiness – Pirates #12

Pirate Cookie Shape

What is a pirate’s favorite food? Fish and ships!
To finish off this series of learning activities, pirates are going to look for treasure in the kitchen. Just in case they need some food for long trips here is a snack idea: a few chocolate ships, oops, chocolate chips, unsweetened cereal like cheerios, raisins, sunflower seeds, cranberries, chopped nuts can be used if allergies aren’t an issue, and swimming in all of this some fishy crackers. A little container of Pirate Mix is a nutritious snack. Helping make their own snacks encourages kids to be responsible for themselves, a significant self skill.

Here’s another idea: pirate fruit swords. The swords are kebob skewers. Cut some fruit into chunks and put it on a plate. Bananas, grapes, watermelon, orange sections. pineapple and apple pieces, and strawberries will work. Although it’s more fun to run the fruit thru with the skewer it’s safer to carefully put the sections onto it. Try making a pattern with the fruit pieces, banana, orange, grape, banana, orange, grape, etc. Patterning is a basic skill that comes up in language, math, music, and more. Along with rhyming and word sounds it’s one that requires lots of repetition. When washing dishes, first wash a spoon, then a fork, then a spoon, then a fork. Sorting  the laundry can be pattern practice, too. This goes in the dark pile, this goes in the light pile, dark, light, etc.  When pirates walk that makes a pattern, too. Left foot, peg leg, left foot, peg leg. What would the pattern be if the pirate has only a right foot? Right foot, peg, leg, right foot, peg leg. Right to 123kindergarten! Have you enjoyed this pirate series of learning ideas?