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Healthy Holiday Snacks Children Love to Make and Eat

Take the time to create some holiday magic with your little one.

Healthy Holiday Snacks Children Love to Make and Eat
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Healthy Holiday Snacks Children Love to Make and Eat

Healthy Holiday Snacks Children Love to Make and EatPicky Eaters During the Holidays

Are you serving chicken nuggets, pizza or plain tacos for dinner every night? If you have picky eaters, the answer is probably yes. During the holidays, however, it is often a challenge for parents and families to ensure their picky eaters enjoy traditional meals with the rest of the family. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), picky eating is often the norm for toddlers. After the rapid growth of infancy, when babies usually triple in weight, a toddler’s growth rate – and appetite – tends to slow down, says AAP. For older children, food avoidance can be tied to health-related issues such as undernourishment or anxiety. 

“Picky eating might reach a clinical level for a number of different reasons. Some kids have a heightened sense of smell that makes them taste flavors more intensely than most people,” the Managing Editor for the Child Mind Institute, Rachel Ehmke, said in an article

If you have picky eaters, share your concerns with your pediatrician. Try different strategies to ensure your children eat more well-balanced and nutritious meals. Experts suggest that families offer picky eaters various healthy meal options, and their appetite and eating habits will change over time. The resources below will help you understand some reasons for picky eating, when you should worry, possible treatment plans and simple tips to survive the holidays with picky eaters

Healthy Holiday Snacks and Meal Options

DYK: When you cook with children, you create family bonds and encourage healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

MFE Presents: Healthy Holiday Snacks Children Love to Make and Eat (video)

During the hectic holiday season, picky eaters can be a source of frustration for busy families. The bottom line is that no one wants to stop and make chicken nuggets after cooking a full holiday meal, especially after accommodating vegetarians, vegans, food allergies, and gluten and dairy-free diets. Encourage your children to help select the menu for family dinners and make their own contributions. From Pretzel Polar Bears to Grinch Fruit Kabobs, create holiday magic with your little ones by including them in the meal preparation. Here are MFE’s Top 20-holiday snacks and meal recipes that your little chefs will love to make and eat.

DYK: You can substitute many ingredients for healthier options. Try vanilla beans as a substitute for abstract, swap butter for heart-healthy oil, coco and unsweetened chocolate chips instead of sweetened, plain yogurt for sour cream or dairy-free cheese

The Top 20 Holiday Snacks and Meal Recipes for Little Chefs

For these healthy treats, purchase plenty of eggs, flour, fruit, veggies, cheese and nuts (if there are no allergies).

  1. Pecan Pie Energy Bites
  2. Sesame Cheese Biscuits 
  3. Chocolate Dipped Apple Slices 
  4. Rudolph’s Pre-Flight Cheese Snacks
  5. Grinch Fruit Kabobs
  6. Pretzel Polar Bears
  7. Rudolph Celery Snacks
  8. Peanut Butter Dip
  9. Healthy Strawberry Santas
  10. Holiday Party Veggie Wreath
  11. Banana Snowmen
  12. Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
  13. Gingerbread Granola
  14. Gingerbread Breakfast Smoothie
  15. Snowflake Quesadillas
  16. Superfood Chocolate Bark
  17. Egg Snowman
  18. Apple Tree
  19. Frozen Yogurt Bark
  20. Snowflake Tortilla Crisps 

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month 

The holiday meal is only complete for many families with candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato pie. The healthiest way to serve sweet potatoes is boiled to retain more nutrients. Discover with children how sweet potatoes look, feel, smell and taste. Celebrate National Sweet Potato Month by taking a trip with your family to Sweet Potato Hill at Tasty Acres Farm! Learn more about Sweet Potatoes and Yams

December is Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month

Carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips and beets: get to the root of your picky eaters! Try incorporating as many root vegetables and exotic fruits as possible into your holiday meals this season. Remember: children should explore healthy options to develop a more well-balanced diet. Now is the time to “rediscover our roots” by exploring some traditional dishes recommended by the USDA.

December 22 is National Cookie Exchange Day

Let’s face it: children deserve a treat! December 22 is National Cookie Exchange Day. Make it one of the sweetest days ever by sharing your favorite cookie recipes or, even better, share homemade cookies that your little chefs help to make. This memorable holiday dates back to the Middle Ages in Europe. These early cookie lovers were all about biscuits with cinnamon, ginger and dried fruit. During the 17th Century, the Dutch shared these tasty treats with the U.S.

Today, you can enjoy a cookie or two with ingredient substitutions and without a lot of added sugar. The best part is that with the no-bake recipes, you don’t need to squeeze some of these cookies into your overloaded oven. Here are a few healthy options that your little chefs will love to make and eat.

  1. Snowy Pine Cones
  2. No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies
  3. Pecan Sandies
  4. Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  5. Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
  6. 3-Ingredient No-Bake Toddler Cookies
  7. Holiday Cornflake Cookies
  8. Key Lime Pie Balls
  9. Coconut Holiday Mice
  10. Low Sugar Reindeer Cookies

The Little Chefs Corner

Drop by The Little Chefs Corner to learn more about the benefits of cooking with children. Get tips to introduce your little chefs to new recipes, encourage your picky eater to try different meal options and discover MFE’s favorite healthy recipes children love to make and eat.

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