School’s out! One way to get creative with all this extra time and to eat nutritiously is to make and eat healthy snacks. Like an arts and crafts project, making a snack can be a great summertime activity. Bonus: the kids get to eat their artwork and you get to sneak nutritious foods into their day for a healthy diet.
Some works of art need the following elements:
- Foundation – slices of whole wheat bread, tortillas, English muffins, lettuce leaves, rice cakes, zucchini or cucumber rounds, apple or pineapple slices.
- Glue – peanut butter, low-fat cream cheese, cheese spread, hummus, refried beans, low-fat yogurt, jam, pizza sauce, or low-fat ranch dressing.
- Bling – seeds, nuts, grapes, raisins, match stick carrots, olives, beans, low-fat granola, diced fruits and veggies.
Start from the foundation and work up to the bling. Create faces, animals, or landscapes. Let the plate be your canvas. It’s a great way to try a new food or sample a food prepared in a totally different way.
For other works of art, use toothpicks, skewers, popsicle sticks, or edible pretzel rods to make shish kabobs. Cut out cheese shapes with small cookie cutters and add to the stick alternating with cut-up fruits and vegetables. Make a beautiful edible bouquet.
Kids also are more likely to enjoy new foods if they are served in fun containers. Try using mugs, champagne glasses, ice cream cones, or party hats.
Be sure to include nutritious foods from all the food groups as your artists create throughout the summer: load up on fruits and vegetables, incorporate whole grains, and go lean on the dairy and protein.
No sitting around loading up on unhealthy “junk” foods out of boredom this summer. The time for healthy edible snack art is now.