Getting kids to enjoy a healthy treat can be a challenge. There’s enough unhealthy food paraded around that parents can fight an uphill battle when trying to improve the family diet. However the recipes below both include the activities of children and can make for a memorable project.
Nut Butter and Fresh Apple Butter
If you live in a region that enjoys an apple harvest season, consider making a fun batch of nutty apple butter. This recipe takes only 8 apples, so if you can’t harvest, consider using apples from the grocery. Cook them overnight in the crockpot and wake up to a home that smells amazing! This can be a great option for kids who love apples.
Homemade Potato Chip Coins
Baked sweet potatoes will caramelize on their own and turn into crisp, yummy treats. An adult will need to use the spiralizer or the mandolin for the thinnest cuts, but children can help with washing, peeling and spreading out the slices of sweet potato. These can be dipped in your favorite savory dip as well.
Hummus and Veggies
Homemade hummus is actually quite simple to put together, and you can use the food processor or mash them by hand in a mortar and pestle. You can also mix this up in a stand mixer if you’ve got the patience. While it’s blending, prep the veggies your family likes best and cut up the carrots, celery and cucumbers before letting children pick out their favorites to combine with the homemade hummus.
If you have a source for dried chickpeas, you can mix your hummus with hot beans for a thicker product that will work in sandwiches for lunch.
A fruit parfait is delicious, healthy, easy and also a lovely treat for a brunch or special occasion.
You can assembly line this process for your whole family to help out with. Once you have all the fruit washed and sliced, let children help out by spooning in a bottom layer of yogurt, topping it with a bit of fruit, layering in some fresh granola, and adding more layers as you prefer. Parfaits are fun because each child can make theirs how they would like. To make this really special, consider making it in plastic wine glasses for a special presentation.
You can also ramp up the flavor by using a thicker Greek or low carb yoghurt for one layer or mixing frozen raspberries into one layer of yoghurt. Each child can make their own parfait in any order they want with minimal time required.
Even little fingers can help peel overripe bananas when making a healthy banana bread recipe. Get them settled in at the table and give them a plate, then allow them to make a bit of a mess taking the peels off. You can even give older children a fork and put them to work mashing the bananas prior to mixing up the batter. Other projects include cracking eggs and measuring out flour which kids can also easily help out with.
Banana bread is very easy to make and you can usually make quite a few small loaves depending on the recipe. This could be a great time to give a few to friends, family, or some neighbours.
Fresh fruit on a stick with individual containers of dip can be a really fun way for children to enjoy their own plate, reduce mess as well as conflict, and celebrate the sweet fruits of summer. Strawberries, pineapple chunks, banana slices and grapes will all spear well when constructing the skewers, and the fruit dip can easily get spooned into a disposable container with a lid for easy cleanup after a picnic.
This would be a terrific treat at a birthday party or another children’s event that will eventually include a lot of processed sugars, and best of all, it’s portable. This is why it can be a great healthy treat idea for everyone.
The process of making food pretty is something that falls by the wayside when we have a lot to do. However, the recipes noted above are loaded with treats both tasty and delicious. Best of all, with the exception of the sweet potatoes, a lot of the prep work can be done by the children themselves. Make sure the tasks given to each child are age-appropriate so that they are learning different skills but also are not given a task that they may not be able to do easily.