So this one’s a little extra fun. Chocolate isn’t necessarily healthy as such, although the darker varieties are better for you than milk chocolate, but it’s sure fun. It’s not all that hard to get most kids to eat fruit, but adding a layer of chocolate might just make them beg for even more of it.
Slice the fruit into easy to eat pieces. Make sure the sliced edges aren’t too damp for the chocolate – it may not stick well if the fruit has too much moisture.
Melt chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so until it’s smooth. Try not to overmelt your chocolate.
Prepare a silpat or line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Make sure there’s room in your freezer.
Dip each piece of fruit into the melted chocolate and allow the excess to drizzle off. Place on silpat or paper. Use a toothpick to dip pieces that aren’t easy to manage by hand. A fork will also work.
Freeze until chocolate hardens. It’s best to keep the fruit from freezing in most cases, so 5-10 minutes should be plenty. The fruit may not be as appealing if you freeze and then defrost it.
I loved pudding pops as a kids. Chocolate, of course. While these are probably the least healthy suggestion I’ll give during this entire 30 days, they’re also a lot of fun and you can make them healthier with some additions.
1 3.9 oz (small) package pudding mix
2 cups milk
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping
Make pudding according to package directions. Allow mix to cool if using a cooked pudding. Mix in whipped topping. Pour into popsicle molds.
You can add fresh fruit to make this healthier. Real whipped cream rather than whipped topping is another option. You can also be more ambitious than I am and make your own pudding. This will let you have more control over all of the ingredients. There’s a good recipe at Rodale for chocolate pudding. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine you could use avocado chocolate mousse rather than chocolate pudding to make these healthier.
You can also have fun and use more than one flavor of pudding. There are some really fun ideas at Our Best Bites.
Like many others, I have a strong fondness for chocolate. It’s not quite a food group or anything like that, but a nice piece of a good quality chocolate helps to make up for a lot of stresses. The only problem is not not all brands of chocolate are anywhere near equal when it comes to the ethics of the company.
There is a large problem in the cocoa industry with child labor and slavery. This is a huge issue, and to me the most important reason to pay attention to the ethics of the companies you buy chocolate from.
Sustainability is also a concern. Not all cocoa farming methods have a focus on being sustainable or are organic.
It’s not always so simple to figure out which brands are the most ethical to buy as different sources have different guidelines to determine how ethical a chocolate company may be. Green & Black’s gets an A from Better World Shopper, but only 1.5/20 on Ethical Consumer’s default chart. You have to decide which factors matter to you.
It can be frustrating to lose a favored brand to the realization that they may not be entirely up to par with their business practices. I’ve long been fond of Ghirardelli, and they only got a C from Better World Shopper, as there’s no sign that they buy Fair Trade cocoa or anything like that, so it’s time to switch. I’m glad they aren’t the worst, but I wish they’d be better, because their chocolate tastes wonderful.