I’m a big believer in involving my kids around the kitchen as much as possible to introduce healthy eating habits at an early age. I introduced my own littles to fun in the kitchen with pudding art when they were around 18 months old. Spreading out white paper on the table, tapping it down and having bowls of pudding that they could dip their fingers into and draw on the paper…and even eat! They LOVED this and I enjoyed watching their faces light up.
As the kids got older they helped with rolling cookies, washing veggies and setting our dinner table. Now, they help in making their own snacks, using the vegetable peeler and stirring mixtures. The older they get, the more responsibility they are given- and funny thing…they think it’s FUN to be in the kitchen. They enjoy eating new foods and being part of the action in the kitchen.
I enjoy sharing my own experiences with others and ways in which they can introduce good, healthy foods to their little ones. Putting on cooking demonstrations at our local farmers markets is something that I have done since 2011 and now I am able to share in those experiences with my kiddos.
Cora recently was my “sous chef” at a SNAP “Food Stamp” Day we held at Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) where I work. Our market just launched a Double Up Food Stamp Program, which allows food stamp participants the ability to double their money on fruit and vegetables at our market. (See photos below.)
We explained to participants how to make homemade baby food using local products from FMO, how the Double Up Program worked and we prepared a variety of quick and easy side dishes for participants to sample.
Here are some of my kid’s favorite homemade snacks that we make at our house. Enjoy!
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Tortilla Pizzas: Tortillas, market salsa, topped with market cheese
- Zucchini Muffins
- Graham crackers topped with local jam and cream cheese
- Sliced apples dipped in peanut butter and rolled in peanuts or granola
- Yogurt Parfaits
- Make your own veggie chips by purchasing local veggies and baking them in the oven sprinkled with olive oil and salt.
- Veggies and market hummus (Red Top Oven makes the most amazing hummus)
- Protein Bites
- Pumpkin muffins made with homemade pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin smoothies or any kind of smoothie
- Seasonal fruit drizzled with local honey
- Celery sticks filled with peanut butter and raisins
- Wheat Thin crackers covered with fruit yogurt and banana slices
- Corn chips and local salsa from the market