Having a picky eater at home is a challenge for many parents. Trying to get nutritious fruits and vegetables into their child’s tummy seems impossible – but have no fear, these ideas will make mealtime an interesting and creative experience. Nutrition is in and fussing out!
The key to this process is getting truly creative with foods. Young children eat with their eyes and cute edible constructions will stimulate interest in most toddlers and preschool age children. Here are a few ideas to try:
Sailboat regatta eggs
Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut them in half lengthwise.
Remove the yolks and mash them in a bowl with some mayonnaise and mustard.
Spoon the mixture back inside the egg white boats. You can decorate the tops with chopped carrots, chopped green pepper and sliced olives.
Cut construction paper into boat sails and invite the kids to decorate them with crayons.
Attach a toothpick to each sail with tape and insert it into the egg boat.
Serve these yummy boats on a lettuce leaf.
After letting the kiddos do a ‘wave run’ with the boats first, see how fast they can gobble them up!
Gather lettuce leaves, using both green and red lettuce varieties.
Place the lettuce on a plate to resemble butterfly wings.
Take a carrot stick and insert it in the center of the wings as the insect’s body.
An olive makes the perfect head and sliced olives can decorate the wings, just like the black marks of a Monarch butterfly.
Cut two tiny strips of red pepper for the antennae.
Present this salad to your youngsters with their favorite dressing.
Create a fruit tree
Place a pineapple ring on top of a lettuce leaf on the plate.
Take a banana half and stand it on its end in the center of the pineapple ring.
Invite the kiddos to spear a piece of fruit (grapes, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.) onto a toothpick and stick the other end into their banana tree.
Fill the tree with as many limbs of fruit that it can stand.
What a fun way to get a variety of fruit into your child’s meal without a fuss!
NOTE: Toothpicks are sharp and parental supervision is needed while making the meal and eating it. A variation to toothpicks would be thin coffee stirrer straws.
Snacktivities by Mary Ann F. Kohl, Robins Lane Press, 2001
Butterfly salad adapted from my post on Education.com