Make Healthy Eating Fun With Fun Plate Specials
For kids of all sizes, establishing healthy eating habits from a young age will promote healthy living long after baby birds leave the nest. However, many parents struggle to introduce healthy foods, especially to picky eaters.
One solution? Fun Plate Specials.
Fun Plate Specials meld your favorite healthy ingredients with the bright colors, quirky characters, and funky art that kids love. By turning mealtimes into times for creativity, parents can get kids involved in the fun. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about the ingredients that go into their lunches, as well as the basics of food safety, sustainability, and seasonality.
We’ve created a quick and easy lunch-and-dessert combo that’s sure to have your kiddos racing to set the table.
Sally the Sandwich Kid: Sally’s fashion sense includes the best of seasonal produce: green apples, Rainier cherries, and fresh banana slices. We went with a simple PB&J sandwich, but you can mix it up with your kids’ favorites! Lunch meats, hummus and veggies, or bright toppings like lettuce and tomatoes make for excellent accessories. These sandwich characters are easily customizable with different outfits, hair styles, and accessories. For a fun challenge, have your kids create sandwich versions of themselves!
- 1 kid-sized sandwich, cut in a circle
- ½ green apple, sliced
- 1 serving raisins
- ½ banana, sliced
- 4 Rainier cherries, halved and seeded
- Additional fruit or veggies as a side dish
- Wash and slice all the ingredients.
- Arrange raisins in a smiley face on top of the sandwich.
- Lay out banana slices to make Sally’s hair.
- For the hair bow, halve or chop cherries and arrange into bow shape.
- Create Sally’s dress by layering green apple slices on top of each other.
- Use remaining raisins to create Sally’s arms and legs.
- Optional: Serve with additional fruit on the side.
Dive-In Dessert Mermaids: These mermaids are a fun, whimsical way to present your kids’ favorite healthy sweet treats in a new and exciting way. We used vanilla pudding as the base to hold everything together, but you can also swap out with vanilla or plain yogurt, sugar-free Jello, or your favorite nut spread for a pop of protein. This “mix and match” dessert is the perfect pairing for healthy dipping sticks, like fruit chips, apple slices, or even celery sticks.
- 1 large Graham cracker
- ½ cup low-fat vanilla pudding (we used about half of one container)
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter (or alternate nut spread)
- 1 Tbsp hazelnut spread
- 1 Rainier cherry, halved
- 2 Tbsp mixed berries
- 2 Tbsp chopped peaches
- Additional Graham crackers or apple sticks, for dipping
- Cut the Graham crackers into two large triangles and four small triangles.
- Top Graham crackers with nut butter or hazelnut spread, then arrange in tail shapes.
- Top tails with mixed berries.
- Spread pudding to form torsos and arms.
- Create “clothes” by pressing peaches into torsos.
- Spread nut butter or hazelnut spread in shape of flowing hair and/or beards.
- Press cherry half into “hair” to create the mermaids’ faces.
- Serve with additional Graham crackers or apple slices for dipping.
Versatile meals like Fun Plate Specials give you and your kids the fun of an arts and crafts day with the deliciousness of a healthy, balanced lunch. You can make Fun Plate Specials for any meal, like these apple porridge breakfast specials! Plus, any ingredient can be swapped in or out for kids with food sensitivities. Just be sure your plates pop with creativity and color, and your kiddos are sure to “dive” in!
If you’re short on time, you don’t have to be short on creativity! We still play with our food, even if we only have a couple of minutes…
New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.