As a feeding therapist, I encourage parents to allow kids to eat and enjoy all types of food, including desserts! With that said, I like to introduce desserts to children that they can help make. Getting kids involved in the kitchen helps to educate them on the foods / tastes they will (hopefully) enjoy – even veggies! Here are three of my kid friendly Valentine’s Day desserts to make with your children this week.
Mini Cherry Pie: This has been my go-to dessert dating back to my college days (when I had no money and no time, but I had a sweet tooth!). It’s a fun and yummy dessert that takes 10 minutes from start to finish and helps develop fine motor skills and food-based sensory play.
Can of cherry pie filling
Place several graham crackers in a large zip lock bag. Have your child roll a rolling pin over the crackers, crushing them until the crackers resemble crust. Place a handful of the crumbs into a small bowl, like the Mini Bowl, and gently press down to make your crust. Next, have your child scoop some cherry pie filling from the can and pour it onto the graham cracker crust. Spray whipped cream on top and have your kids finish it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon or more graham crumbs. Easy peasy!
Mini Raspberry Crepes: Introducing crepes to children in dessert form can eventually lead to healthier crepe options (e.g., chicken salad crepes or cheese and veggie crepes). I like to start with a dessert option that is sweet, but also has a little protein (like cream cheese).
Ready-to-use round crepes
I prefer to buy the ready-to-use, slightly sweet French style crepes. Since they are large in size, I use a Mason jar lid as a cookie cutter to create three mini crepes.
Once you have your crepes cut, place a spoonful of cream cheese on one side of the crepe. Have your child cut raspberries in half and place them onto the cream cheese. Next, gently roll the crepe and apply a little pressure at the ends so it stays rolled in place. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter on some cheddar cheese and place it on top. Ta da!
Micro Chocolate Fruit Cups: I teach parents to use my micro-bite technique so kids can explore new foods in a less stressful way. I like to use this strategy with desserts as well; it is an excellent tactic to introduce a variety of new fruits to a finicky toddler! Your kids will love these fruit cups and, dare I say, you will too!
Chocolate cordial tasting cups
Cream cheese (or peanut/almond butter)
Valentine’s Day sprinkles
Fill up your chocolate cordial tasting cup with a spoonful of cream cheese (or peanut/almond butter). Take a small heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut out some mango, cantaloupe, honeydew and strawberry hearts. Have your child place the heart on top of the cup for a quick micro-bite dessert. Have fun with different decoration styles and fruits (as pictured). You can even squirt some whipped cream and sprinkle some festive Valentine’s Day sprinkles on top!
I hope you find feeding success with these kid friendly Valentine’s Day desserts! What desserts do you make with your kids? We would love to see your creations, so be sure to tag us with #ezpzfun #myezpzmat!
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz