Fun Foods And Kitchen Activities For Kids
Having kids can bring many challenges even in little things like eating. I wish I had a little more of a challenge to convince myself to eat, it's more like convincing myself not to eat.
Children can come up with all kinds of excuses at mealtime and pick and poke at their food with this dumbfounded gaze into another world of princesses or pirates. What frustrates me more than anything is when I pay for a nice meal at a restaurant and an hour later I hear a little person moaning in the back seat, " I'm hungry, when are we gonna eat?" Reminding them we just ate they respond with this mental block excuse," Oh! I forgot."
We as adults usually stuff ourselves to the gills at dinner time so it's hard to understand and know how to deal with these antics in a calm, creative way.
Here is some ideas especially great for stay-at-home moms or daycare to make eating a thrill and an anticipated adventure for little ones.
Keep It Simple Yummy And Fun
- Apples: First cut in half cross-ways so the kids can see the star in the middle. Take craft sticks and let them spread peanut butter or let them dip it in caramel dip. Apples are very healthy, my kids favorite snack.
- Make their own applesauce: Put three sliced apples into two cups of boiled water. Boil, mash( let kids do this with the back of the spoon), add sugar and cinnamon to taste. They can even make several batches of this and put in little jars and give as gifts with a label telling who made it.
- Make their own butter: Put 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream and 1 tsp of salt into a tightly sealed container.Shake several times until butter forms. You might want to sing songs or tell stories and jokes in between to pass time. With a plastic knife or wooden craft stick let them butter their bread, biscuit or crackers.
- Green Eggs And Ham:Your kids love the Dr. Suess book "Green Eggs And Ham" so read it to them and make it with them. All it will take is to add little green food coloring to the eggs and use sliced ham or even lunch meat.
- Peanut Butter Play Dough:Mix 1 cup of peanut butter, 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 cup of nonfat powdered dry milk, then form into silly shapes before eating with a side of graham or vanilla wafers.
- Octopus Hot Dogs: Slice a hot dog two to three ways, leaving around an inch uncut at the top of the hot dog. Spread the legs out on a saucer. Then make mustard eyes nose and mouth. They love it. You can also put your octopus on a bed of ramen noodles.
- Cookies: Let the children roll out the cookie dough and cut out neat shapes with cookie cutter. Invest in cake-decorating tips or just let them ice it and put sprinkles or candy to decorate. It is also yummy to dip half of a cookie in melted chocolate or almond bark.
- Veggie Tales At The Ranch: Play your kids veggie tales and have them to act out their own veggie play with broccoli, celery, baby carrots, cauliflower and other veggies that are good raw. They can name them after their favorite characters and dip them in Ranch dressing ( bottled or homemade).
- Fun-Shaped Pancakes: Learn the art of creating fun shapes while your pouring pancake better into the skillet, when your all done your kids get to guess what they are. Try hearts, boats, lips, teddy bears, puppies or you can even pour it in a heat proof cookie cutter.
- Cheese Dip Swimming Pool: Most kids love cheese dip. They might eat a bigger helping if they act like it's a swimming pool and they are diving in, then diving back into their mouths. They can tell you a story from their own imagination. Be sure to smile and encourage their creativity.
- Piggy's In A Blanket: This is an old favorite of most of us. Use refrigerator biscuits, hot-dogs and cheese for this quick, yummy treat. Let them help you put the cheesy pj's on the piggy's and wrap them in a blanket. This is a great take-a-long snack.
- Pizza Pictures: Make a homemade pizza, have your kids to design a picture scene out of the toppings. Take your time and let them detail it with all the cheeses and different kinds of veggies. You can add a little green food color to the cheese to make grass, you can make green pepper cars with pepperoni wheels and olive head lights. You can have them make the pizza a picture of themselves. This would be a great craft idea for a group of kids, they can make small personal pan pizza's. Also a fun pizza party idea.
- Homemade Bread: Children love playing with squishy things. Let the children participate in the long process of making homemade yeast bread or rolls. Educate them about yeast and how it's alive and rises. Then let them knead the dough and form the rolls. They will enjoy the anticipation of checking on the dough too see if it is rising.
- Tea Parties And Picnics: Turning lunch time and snack time into tea parties using their little play dinnerware and tea pitcher make it more interesting and often they keep asking for refills.
- Play Restaurant: Play restaurant, give them a menu choice, take their orders and be their waiter or waitress. Kids love when adults break down and play with them. Deliver their food and ask if they need refills etc.
- Kiss The Little Cook: Get your kids an apron and chef hat and include them in the simple safe parts of your cooking. Let them help set the table, teach them how to do it proper, and give them a kiss on the cheek and allot of praise as the family sits down and eats what they helped you prepare.Kids are not pesky flies in the kitchen, if trained right they can cut allot of kitchen time. You can even have one cleaning up as you cook:.)
- Creating Recipes: Parents you can have allot of memory making fun with this idea. Create a family recipe book. Teach your children about basic ingredients and how food cooks then let them create their own recipe's and name them. Have a taste testing party and try out their creations.Warning!Adult supervision required, you never know what their creations might consist of, may explode. Once the recipe is perfected they can take a picture of it with themselves for the book. "Grandma would enjoy a copy I'm sure."
- Fishin Goldfish: All you need is a can of their favorite soup and goldfish crackers. The spoon is the fishing pole and they have to catch all the fish out of the pond. After they are all gone, re-stock the pond until the soup is all ate.
- Smiley Cheese And Crackers: Somehow a bright cheesy grin makes this favorite snack more edible and they will want more:.) Use the squirt cheese for an easy smiley face:.)
- Real Juice Ice Pops: Let them make their own Popsicles out of fruit juice, this will be a healthy tasty treat. You can even pour fruit juice into ice trays and let them add it to their water for extra flavor and color.
- A Watermelon Whale: Kids go crazy over this!!! Take an oval watermelon and cut out a zig zag big wide open mouth. Cut out two eyes or draw them on, you can also make a tail out of the peel you cut out. The zig zag is the scary teeth. Scoop out all the melon meat and either cut it into to chunks or use a melon ball scoop. Add other fruits and fill the whale full. This is a good way to get kids eat allot of fruit. You can also make a good dip with Cool Whip, Cream Cheese and Brown or Powdered Sugar. It would also be cute to tell them the story of Jonah and the whale and do an object lesson.
- Phonics and Number Lesson: You can teach your kids their phonics and numbers with food. This would be great for homeschooling. Each day have a new phonic and number. Make a food that has the phonic sound in it and a snack they can count. Example: The letter M - Meatloaf and 4 Big Marshmallows. Some of the more difficult letter you might have to create a fantasy name for the food.
There are so many ideas to make food-time fun for kids and getting them nice and full while your at it. I would love to hear some of your ideas. Please add them to my comment box. Enjoy your children, they won't be little long. They won't remember all the money you spent, the prestigious clubs or all the fancy things near as much as the simple little things and the precious time you shared with them.