It’s back to school time! I oftentimes see kids for in-home feeding therapy right after the bell rings, and they are starving for that after-school snack! Here are a few ideas to get your kids involved in their snack time PLUS some quick and healthy fruit recipes.
Popsicle Stick Craft: Have your kids decorate one side of the Popsicle sticks to be used in some of the below recipes. They can embellish their sticks with crayons, markers, puffy paints, stamps or stickers! The most important thing about this craft is that they gain some personal ownership of their after-school snack.
Crayons, markers, puffy paints, stamps or stickers
Fruit Bombs: Fruit bombs are my personal favorite snack from childhood, and I still eat this recipe every week as an adult. It’s also a HUGE hit in feeding therapy! Parents are usually shocked that their child will try some of these hot spices, but with the word bomb in the title kids are just too curious and have to try a bite! You can buy ‘Chili con Limon’ seasoning or you can make it yourself by mixing lime juice, salt and chili powder.
Mixed fruit (watermelon, mangos, pineapple, kiwi or cucumber are my favorite for this recipe)
Toppings (lime juice, chili powder and salt or ‘Chili con Limon’ seasoning)
Step 1: Cut up the fruit
Step 2: Place your child’s decorated Popsicle sticks in each piece of fruit (decorated side sticking out). Place them into the Happy Bowl.
Step 3: Sprinkle the spicy toppings over the fruit
Step 4: Place your Fruit Bombs in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to let the spices sink in and fruit to cool. Bam!
Yogurt Bark: This ezpz after-school snack can be as simple as yogurt and your child’s favorite cereal OR you can make it hearty and healthy with some additional toppings. I usually try to avoid using sugary foods in my recipes and moms rejoice that their kids aren’t bouncing off the walls after therapy! However, colorful fruity cereal has such bold colors that I like to crush it into crumbs and use it as an edible decoration. You can learn more about the importance of using crumbs in feeding therapy with picky eaters on our blog and video with Marsha Dunn Klein here.
Toppings (Chia seeds, hemp seeds, granola, dried blueberries, etc.)
Step 1: Pour yogurt into your Happy Mat and spread evenly. If it’s very thin it will break apart too easily; if it’s too thick it takes more than 4 hours to freeze.
Step 2: Pour cereal crumbs (and any other toppings) onto the yogurt
Step 3: Freeze for about 4 hours
Step 4: Bend your Happy Mat slowly back and forth and your bark will pop out! Break the bark apart into safe bite-size pieces for your kids and serve immediately to avoid it softening. Yum!
Banana Pops: This is my favorite food-play activity and kids really love getting involved in making this recipe. There is a ton of research on how important it is for kids to touch and play with food in order to learn how to eat it.
Toppings (granola, mini chocolate or peanut butter chips, dried fruit, sugar, shredded coconut, cinnamon, etc.)
Step 1: Pour yogurt into the bowl portion of your Happy Bowl
Step 2: Peel the bananas, cut them in half and place your child’s decorated Popsicle stick in each one (decorated side sticking out)
Step 3: Pour cereal and any other toppings around the mat portion of your Happy Bowl
Step 4: Dip your banana into the yogurt so all the toppings will stick on it
Step 5: Hold the stick and roll your banana onto the cereal and other toppings
Step 5: Gently place your banana pops face down into the Happy Bowl and place in the freezer for one hour
What are some of your child’s favorite back to school or after-school fruit snacks? Which of these recipes are you going to try? Comment below or tag us by using the hashtags #ezpzfun #ezpzbook #BackToSchool.
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz