Hello everyone!  Spring is in the air, and with the recent time change the days are getting longer and I am starting to get excited for the warmer weather to arrive.  Am I getting my hopes up, considering the fact that there is still snow on the ground?  Maybe.  But I am going to choose to believe in the power of positive thinking!

At the end of my last post about Tyson’s First Birthday, I mentioned that I wanted to share a fun project that my sister Julia and her husband Fraser put together for the kids at the party.  I was so busy planning the party menu for the adults (and trying to perfect Tyson’s cake recipe) that I actually forgot to consider what all Tyson’s little friends were going to eat.  What kind of nutritionist/kids food blogger am I?  Obviously the kids would have been fine sharing the adult food, but the chili was a little on the spicy side and the other appetizers were not overly nutritious.  Luckily Jules was all over it.  Being pregnant herself, she clearly has children on her mind.

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She offered to make some snack trays for kids and fill them with nutritious and delicious bite-sized finger food.  I said “YES!” without hesitation – this was right up my alley.  I wanted to share this project on the blog because I think it is such a great idea to help make meal time fun for the little ones.  This would be a hit at any party with lots of kiddos.

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This project involved a bit of crafting (Julia is by far the craftiest of the Carere sisters).  She purchased some bright polka-dot plastic trays from the dollar store, as well as some foil muffin cups.  She then put some puffy sticker thingys (I’m sure there is a more technical term here that I am not aware of) on the bottom of the muffin cups and stuck six of them to each tray.  You could use a glue-gun for this but she wanted to be able to easily remove the muffin cups so she could re-use the trays.

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Then they simply filled each muffin cup with a different snack!

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From left to right there was strawberries, carrots, kiwi, rice puffs, peas and quinoa kale patties (which they made these ahead of time using this recipe but used gluten-free bread crumbs and left out the parmesan cheese).

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There are sooooooo many possibilities of what you could fill them with.  You could also use ice-cube trays or muffin trays, or even little bento boxes for a similar effect.

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If you google Bento Box lunches, you will be blown away at how creative some people are.  I sure was, and  I now feel pressure to channel my inner artistic ability when it comes time to make Tyson’s lunches for school in the future!

As predicted, the snack trays were a hit with all the kids at the party, ranging in age from 10 months to four years old.  Some of the kids had never tried quinoa or kale before, so it was great to see some Real Food introductions happening.  I’m starting to realize that kids are very visual when it comes to food.  If it doesn’t look good, they will probably assume it doesn’t taste good and refuse to eat it.  So presenting healthy food in a fun and interesting way goes a long way in making it more appealing to them.

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Thanks for the great idea Auntie Jules and Uncle Frase!

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What creative presentation techniques do you use to make food more appealing to your kids?

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