Keeping your kids on a healthy path during the summer holidays can be a challenge of note – what with all the sweet treats lurking around every corner. But all is not lost, these holidays try combining a little creativity with the food they eat to encourage them to eat more healthily and have fun while doing it. The more involved they are in preparing these snacks, the more likely they are to try new things. And, when it comes to getting essential nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals, into your child’s diet, these 5 fun, healthier snack options courtesy of OMO are the ideal way to do it.
1. Homemade fish fingers
Fish is an excellent source of protein and this is a really fun and interesting way to get kids trying different types. And, when you make your own fish fingers you’ll know exactly what’s going into them. You should choose a firm fish, as it’ll be easier to cut it into finger shapes. Make sure you cut the fish into the desired shape before getting your kids involved and always store sharp knives away from little fingers. Here’s how to make it:
1. Crack an egg into a clean bowl
2. Fill another bowl with flour, and another with breadcrumbs
3. Let your child dip the pre-cut fish into the flour, then the egg and finally coat them with the breadcrumbs
4. Place your handmade fish fingers on a baking try and cook in the oven until golden brown. Always check the fish is cooked all the way through before serving
2. Fruit vehicles
Fruits are full of vitamins and antioxidants to support the immune system and help boost your child’s energy. To encourage your little ones to eat their five-a-day, why not turn different fruits into their favourite vehicles? Here’s how to do it:
1. Collect lots of different fruits together – try and pick a few your child hasn’t had before and remember to get a range of colours, textures, and shapes
2. Peel, cut, and slice your chosen fruits in different sized and shaped pieces
3. Arrange your fruit to create a fun vehicle. You can get your kids to help with this bit by choosing the fruits they want for different parts of the vehicle
If you’re stuck for ideas on how to make different vehicles then try a fruit boat using a sliced banana as the deck, pineapple triangles for sails, and apple sticks for the masts. Or how about a car? Orange slices for wheels, grapes or berries as headlights and slices of melon for the body.
3. Rice cake faces
Rice cakes are a healthy snack, but some kids can think they’re boring. To add a little interest, why not make faces out of them? Here’s how:
1. Place one or two rice cakes on a plate as the face
2. Add details for the eyes first – boiled egg slices are a good choice and full of protein, vitamin B, zinc and iron
3. Add other facial features such as a nose and mouth. A slice of cucumber is great for a whacky grin and a cherry tomato makes a great nose!
4. Add some hair. If you’ve got a spiraliser, you can fashion some green hair from curly courgettes, or go for a spikier look with grated cheese
If you’re worried about your rice cake face slipping out of place then why not use a healthy spread or something like hummus to help the vegetables stick.
4. Vegetable cupcakes
Kids love cake! But wouldn’t it be great if cakes didn’t have to come loaded with sugar? Well, they don’t! Rather than using frosting on top of your bakes, try fruit or veg purees. Here’s how to make these creative ‘cakes’:
1. Blend your fruits to create a puree. You can add a little low fat cream if you like
2. Cover your cakes with purees before decorating
3. Prepare bowls of crushed nuts and seeds to use as sprinkles. Your kids won’t even know they’re getting extra calcium, magnesium and other vital nutrients!
The natural sweetness in vegetables like carrot and beetroot make them delicious in cupcakes so why not give them a try for your first purees? You can even put them inside the cake batter if you want!
5. Super smoothies
Smoothies are ideal for mixing flavours and getting loads of goodness into your kids. Make it a game by taking turns to put in ‘mystery’ ingredients and having taste challenges to see who can guess what they are. Here’s how to whip up a power smoothie:
1. Prepare a selection of fruit and vegetables for your smoothies – make sure you take care of any dangerous peeling or cutting
2. Get your children to help you put the ingredients in a blender one at a time. Make sure the blender is switched off and unplugged and supervise your child at all times. When adding the secret ingredient, make sure the taste tester leaves the room
3. Place the lid on the blender before plugging it in and turning it on
4. Pulse the fruit and veg until a smooth consistency is reached
5. Serve in glasses with straws and see who can guess the “secret” ingredient
You can let your children name each smoothie they create for even more fun. In addition to the fruit, you can also add Greek yoghurt for protein and a hit of good bacteria too.
With a little creativity, eating well doesn’t have to be boring or problematic. With a few fun activities for kids, you and your little ones can cook up lots of delicious and nutritious treats. For more fun activities to try with the kids visit the OMO website here.