Get creative with healthy party snacks for kids

As we all know, it can be a bit of a struggle trying to motivate our little ones to eat a healthy diet that is varied and high in nutritional value. With one in four Australian children being overweight or obese and our health care system struggling to cope with associated illnesses, we need to act now more than ever.

Luckily kids are highly motivated by colours, shapes and textures and it just so happens that some of the healthiest simple foods are rich in these properties. Kids also love to be included when it comes to making things, so what could be better than some hands-on colourful and creative play, with the added bonus of being able to eat their own creation at the end?

Time to get creative with healthy snacks!

Apple and Grape Cars

This super simple and super nutritious snack can be made by cutting apples into ½ inch slices. Then put toothpicks into each end of the apple slice and add your grape wheels!

I like to use dry spaghetti sticks instead of toothpicks for the younger kids and mix it up with red and green grapes and apples. Then we ‘drive’ our cars into some cream cheese…mmm.

Idea/photo courtesy of parenting.com /Abbey Rodriguez

Egg Chicks

It’s amazing what you can do with a few hard-boiled eggs and some carrot and yellow pepper shapes!
The sesame/poppy seed eyes are a very clever touch, I just picked a few off of our seeded batch sliced loaf!
We struggled with the flowers and found we needed thicker cucumber wedges, but that was ok – we just ate the first attempt.

Idea/photo courtesy of artsycraftsymom.com

Very Hungry Caterpillar Sandwiches

It’s the iconic character the Very Hungry Caterpillar from Eric Carle’s much-read children’s book. Just sandwiches shaped with a cookie cutter, you can choose a healthy filling of your choice. I didn’t want to use any toothpicks to hold the eyes so I stuck them on with cream cheese.

Idea/photo courtesy of kidspot.com.au

Teddy Bear Toast

Toast some rye or wheat bread. Spread peanut butter on the entire surface. Place two banana slices in the top corners of the toast as the ears and one slice in the middle for the bear’s snout. Place a blueberry on the snout for the nose, and finish it off with raisins or more berries for eyes. We like to make various bears with different spreads and fruits.

Idea/photo courtesy of parenting.com / Abbey Rodriguez

Strawberry Flower

It’s amazing the things you will find you and your little one can create with just some slices of fruit or veg. This flower doesn’t even involve and sticking or balancing, but it’s amazing how much more appealing a simple snack can be to a child when it involves some artwork! Just adding a smiley face to a meal can brighten the day no end.

Idea/photo courtesy of parenting.com / Abbey Rodriguez

When your child goes off to preschool or an early learning centre, make sure they have some healthy snacks to take along or choose somewhere like Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning and Childcare, where they have their own nutritional policies, and healthy eating habits are an important part of their philosophy.

“We believe that good eating habits are an essential part of our educational programs. The planning, preparation and serving of meals at Cherry Bridge Station is a vital part of our quality of care. All our meals are prepared on the premises in our own fully equipped kitchen.”

I know we have always been told not to play with our food, but nobody ever said it needed to be boring.