Sometimes a great snack is all in the presentation. Fruit on a skewer can be more appealing than plain chopped fruit, even if you don’t add anything else to it.
Get some bamboo skewers and slice up some chunks of fruit. Think about what will go easily on the skewers – you don’t want to stab yourself with the skewers too often, and you don’t want it to be too hard for younger kids to get the fruit off.
Here’s a healthy alternative to potato chips, and many kids like them.
1 bunch kale
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove kale stems and keep the leaves. Wash and thoroughly dry kale. This is very important – damp kale won’t crisp well.
Toss the leaves with olive oil. Make sure all the leaves are coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread leaves out on the paper in a single layer. Place in oven and cook for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Parmesan and other toppings may also work well.
Take your standard apples and celery with peanut butter, and give them some style! Use the celery as the body of the butterfly and set up the apple slices as wings. Coat with peanut butter, and add any toppings that sound good, such as raisins or chocolate chips. You can also use pretzel sticks if your butterflies need antenna.
Cinnamon coated taco shells holding wonderful chopped fruit makes a really fun snack. You can also use cinnamon chips and just dip them in the fruit if that’s easier, but the taco shape is kind of fun, if potentially messy. You know how kids are.
1 lb strawberries
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1-2 tbsp brown sugar if needed for sweetness
flour tortillas (1 per person)
cinnamon and sugar mix
Peel, core and dice each fruit as appropriate. I’m trusting here you know how to deal with each of these fruits. You want small pieces.
Mix all fruits, lime or lemon juice, and brown sugar in a bowl and refrigerate.
Take one flour tortilla per person, brush with melted butter and fold loosely in half to make a taco shell. Sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mix, inside and on top. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes.
Have fun with the fruit and switch it up. You don’t have to use the same fruits all the time. Use whatever’s in season and available in your area as much as possible.
My kids are always eyeing junk like Fruit By The Foot and similar snacks. I consider those close to candy, with perhaps a touch of fruit in them, although it’s really hard to tell. I’d far rather make homemade fruit leather for them and control my ingredients.
Lucky me, I inherited my grandmother’s dehydrator and a recipe book to go with it. Things like fruit leather are very possible for me.
You don’t have to have a dehydrator to make fruit leather, although it does make it easier. Just set your oven to its lowest possible temperature. You can make it work.
3 cups chopped fruit (have fun, mix it up!)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup water as necessary
sugar or honey to taste if necessary (not always)
Preheat oven to its lowest setting or check settings on your dehydrator. Line trays or baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
Puree fruit with lemon juice thoroughly, adding water if necessary. Check for sweetness and add sugar or honey to taste. Pour onto prepared trays and place in oven or dehydrator. Allow to dry for 6-8 hours or until the center is no longer sticky. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Cut into sections. See how fast kids snag fruit leather, then prepare any remains for storage. Roll up extras in pieces of parchment paper and store in an airtight container. These should be good for about a month, if the kids let them last that long.
Many recipes call for boiling the fruit for 10-15 minutes first to soften it, and you can do that if you like. With my blender, things turn out just fine without that step.