The following post is from Alison of Alison’s Wonderland Recipes:
After such a harsh winter, I’m more than ready to leave the cold behind, and the the boys I nanny for feel the same way. They have a major case of spring fever, so I’ve been looking for fun ways to incorporate the season into their daily routine.
As a food blogger, food is never far from my mind, so I wanted to develop some spring-themed snacks for the boys to enjoy. After a day of wild kitchen experimentation, I came up with three healthy snack ideas to share with them: Nature Scene Picture Plates, Fruit Flowers with Peanut Butter Fluff Dip, and Pink Lemonade Berry Popsicles. The results were delicious, and gone in minutes!
- NATURE SCENE PICTURE PLATES: food decorator pens, plain white paper plates, various fruits and vegetables (what you use will depend on the scene you want to make)
- FRUIT FLOWERS WITH PEANUT BUTTER FLUFF DIP: 1 part peanut butter, 2 parts whipped topping, 1 celery stick, 1 granny smith apple, ¼ cup blueberries, 3 sliced strawberries, 3 red apples (any variety)
- PINK LEMONADE BERRY POPSICLES: 12 blueberries, 4 sliced strawberries, 1 cup pink lemonade
- NATURE SCENE PICTURE PLATES: With the food decorator pens, draw a nature scene on a plain white paper plate. Cut fruit and vegetables into small pieces and arrange them into plant and animal shapes. You can also use crackers, dipping sauce, or anything else that you know will be a hit with your child. The pens are food safe, so feel free to draw faces or details on any fruit/vegetable that has a smooth, flat skin on it. With older children, you can even set out the pens and ingredients for them to make their own nature scene!
- FRUIT FLOWERS WITH PEANUT BUTTER FLUFF DIP: Combine the peanut butter and and whipped topping in a medium-sized bowl. Briskly fold together until the mixture is smooth and a uniform color. Transfer to a small serving bowl and place the serving bowl on a large platter. Place a celery stalk at one end of the serving bowl to create a stem and use an oval or leaf-shaped cookie cutter to cut two leaves from a granny smith apple. Place these at the bottom of the stem. Cut red apples with any generic shape cookie cutters you might have (hearts, circles, stars, diamonds, etc.). Arrange these with the blueberries and strawberries around the serving bowl to create a blossom.
- PINK LEMONADE BERRY POPSICLES: Arrange blueberries and strawberries in a popsicle mold. Depending on the size of your mold, you'll want 4-6 pieces of fruit per popsicle (my mold makes 4 wide, flat popsicles). Arrange the fruit in a staggered pattern. This allows for open space between the fruit, making the popsicle more sturdy. Fill the popsicle mold with pink lemonade and chill for 2 hours. Just before serving, run hot water over the sides of the mold for 10-15 seconds. This should loosen the popsicle from the mold and allow it to slip out with a gentle tug.
I love that these recipes have an endless capacity for customization, yet are simple enough to include kids in the cooking process. The picture plates were especially fun to make, and they’re a great rainy day activity!
What’s your favorite way to incorporate the seasons into your child’s routine?
|Alison Walsh, founder of Alison’s Wonderland Recipes, is waiting for the day when reading Mark Twain and drinking tea is accepted as an Olympic sport. Until then, she nannies, blogs about food, and watches Star Trek with her husband. You can follow Alison on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Bloglovin’.|