Lately it seems, my kids have been fighting me on the healthy snack front. They want chips, I offer carrots. They want candy, I offer fruit. It seems the only thing we can agree on is cheese. Of course they want to eat the whole brick instead of one serving sized slice. I am all for kids snacking, I know it’s good for them, but only when the snack is worth something. In an effort to keep the peace and not feed my kids crap I have been experimenting with creative kiddo snacks. Here are some of the crazy snacks I’ve come up with.

First was grape caterpillars and cheese butterflies. I took tooth picks and skewered a few grapes. On the end grape I dabbed two dots of honey and put on two mini chocolate chips for eyes. The honey served as glue. You can skip those if you’d like though. For the cheese, I just took regular slices of cheddar and used a cookie cutter to shape them like butterflies.

Another favorite is the traditional ants on a log. Celery, peanut butter, and raisins. A simple way to make snacks interesting is by “theming” them. We use cookie cutters on just about anything. Fruit, cheese, and pitas are the easiest thing to use the cookie cutters on.

When my kids are just insisting that they need a certain snack, we compromise. Fresh popped popcorn for my end, a tablespoon of chocolate chips mixed in. When they want pudding, I have them use it as a dip for fresh fruit. When they want chips they get zucchini or squash chips mixed in with their choice of flavor. I know what you’re thinking, your kids are just going to eat the junk and leave the healthy stuff. Our rule here is, if you don’t eat an equal amount of healthy versus junky, you don’t get your next snack. It works well for us. Everyone is happy, and I am happy knowing they are getting some good in them too.

-Stephanie Wright

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