It’s summer!…And the heat wave has definitely taken over! Here’s a guest post from Craig, an Editor at Cake Journal who — thank goodness — is sharing with us 10 easy ways to enjoy sweet and healthy treats that will keep our kids’ little fingers busy too. The best part is: there’s no baking required.
When it comes to feeding kids, it’s no secret that they love the sweet stuff. Unfortunately, most sweets are quite unhealthy and require hours in the kitchen baking a loaf or a cake. The good news is, there are tasty (and healthy) alternatives that you can make in your kitchen, all without an oven. In addition to being perfect for little hands, the kids can help with making them as well!
1. Frozen Fruit Pops
– 1 Cup Plain (or vanilla) Yogurt
– 2 Tbsp Honey or Agave
– 1 Cup Frozen Fruit (your choice)
– Popsicle Sticks
– Paper Cups
Have your kids measure each of the ingredients out, allowing the frozen fruit some time to slightly thaw. From here, have them pour each ingredient (aside from the sticks and cups) into the blender. Once finished, place the top on and blend until smooth or slightly chunky.
Pour the mixture from the blender into a measuring cup. Then, have the kids pour the fruit mixture into each paper cup until 3/4 filled. Next, the Popsicle sticks should be placed in the middle of each cup before they’re all placed in the freezer. Freeze for a few hours, or until solid.
2. Ants on a Log
– Peanut Butter (or sunflower butter)
Chop the celery into medium-sized logs and then thoroughly wash and dry. After this, fill a plastic baggie with peanut butter and snip off a corner with scissors. From here, have the kids squeeze peanut butter inside each of the celery logs. To finish, top the peanut butter with raisins.
– Vanilla Yogurt
– Fresh Strawberries (chopped)
– Fresh Blueberries (halved)
Have the kids place two spoonfuls of yogurt into individual cups (the bottom should be covered). From here, have them sprinkle the strawberries and blueberries until the yogurt is covered. After this, the layer of granola should be sprinkled on top. Have them continue to layer until each cup is filled with delicious parfait!
4. Cat-Face Rice Crackers
– Bananas (sliced)
– Rice Cakes (apple or unflavored)
– Peanut Butter (or substitute)
– Carrot (thinly sliced into triangle shape)
– Coconut Strings
Have the kids spread peanut butter on each of the rice cakes until covered with a thin layer. After this, the carrot triangles should be placed at the top of each cake to resemble ears. Kids can have fun assembling the cat faces on the rice cakes, using the sliced bananas as the base of the nose, the coconut strings as the whiskers, and the raisins as the eyes and nose.
5. Fruit and Cheese Skewers
– Strawberries (sliced)
– Cheese (any variety, cubed)
While skewers can be used, it’s recommended to use toothpicks for smaller children who are practicing their fine motor skills. These are easy to create, with each child given the freedom to assemble the skewer (or toothpick) how they’d like. Simply push each food onto the toothpick until it’s full. Enjoy!
6. Fruit and Nut Bars
– 1 Cup Dried Cherries
– 1 Tsp Honey
– 1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds
– 1/2 Cup Almond or Peanut Butter
– 2 Cups Honey Nut Cheerios
– 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
To begin, soak the cherries in a bowl of hot water for around 10 minutes, then puree them in a food processor with the vanilla. Have the kids then pour all but 1/2 cup of the cereal into the food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are combined. After this, the kids can get messy.
Have them mix the cherry mixture, seeds, honey, almond or peanut butter and remaining cherries in a bowl until combined. After this, simply roll spoonfuls of the mixture into small balls and store in an airtight container.
7. Chocolate Dipped Fruit
– Dark Chocolate (or, any kind that your kids would love to have)
Over the stove, melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water (to prevent burning). After this, let your kids have fun dipping their favorite fruit in the chocolate (have them use toothpicks to hold the fruit to avoid messy fingers). Place the dipped fruit on a plate covered with parchment paper and store in the freezer for a sweet treat any time.
8. Fruit Fizz
– Watermelon (diced)
– Grapes (halved)
– Strawberries (diced)
– Pineapple (diced)
– Kiwi (diced)
– Ginger Ale
– Pineapple Juice
After slicing and dicing the fruits, let your kids layer it into their cups any way they like. Once finished, pour ginger ale on top, leaving room for a splash of pineapple juice. Stir with a spoon. Have the kids eat the fruits while sipping on their drinks.
9. Peanut Butter Pinwheels
– Whole Wheat Tortillas
– Bananas (sliced)
– Strawberries (sliced)
– Peanut Butter (or alternative)
Have the kids spread peanut butter on top of the tortilla so it’s covered. From here, they can sprinkle on their favorite fruits as well as granola, making sure to leave space around the outside of the tortilla. Once finished, roll the tortilla up and cut into slices to create sweet pinwheel treats.
10. Snack Mix
– Honey Nut Cheerios
– Dark Chocolate Chips
– Almonds (these can be left out)
– Plain Popcorn
– Banana Chips
The best part about this recipe is that you control the amount of each ingredient that you add. Let your kids measure out portions of each ingredient in a large bowl, gently stirring as they go. Once they are satisfied, store the mix in an airtight container to munch on at any time.
Sweet Treats Without the Work
No oven? No problem! Grab your kids and make any of the recipes above without the danger or heat of an oven. Each is tasty as well as healthy, so you won’t feel any guilt about allowing them to indulge.
Craig spends most of his time finding every excuse to test out new baking recipes. He writes about everything from cake recipes to fun baking projects to vegan baking.
If you enjoyed these recipes, go indulge some more! Visit: CakeJournal
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