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Fun Kid Snack Ideas for After School...
or Whenever

Every parent wants to find the perfect fun kid snack, but kids can be hard to please-- at least, while sticking to good nutrition. A child gets a good portion of his daily calories from small snacks throughout the day. It is worth your time to treat these mini meals like opportunities to build strong bodies… and good habits, too.

Tricks to Make Food Fun. Two tricks tend to bring food to the fun side of life. First, bring the food down to size. Children live in a world that is too big most of the time and a few items in miniature can seem really fun. Snacks that are closer to child size proportions are likely to feel like they were specially made for kids and that is definitely appealing.

Second, make the food interactive for kids' hands… or their imaginations! Snacks that encourage kids to be hands-on with their food are engaging and more likely to be munched down in the process of playing. For younger kids it is helpful to pre-cut and portion out the supplies for snacks like a "make your own nachos" or mini pizzas. An open faced peanut butter sandwich can become a work of art with cut fruit for little artists to use for decoration. Dried fruits, yogurt covered pretzels and even vegetables cut into shapes can inspire small artists. Even celery stalks can become imaginary paint brushes.

The fun kid snack recipes below are small in size but big on flavor.


Sea Shell Kid Snack Recipe

Sea shell kids stuffed shell snackWhether you make tuna salad or classic egg salad, these shells are great for grab and go snacking. Substitute leftover puff pastry shells or use cherry tomatoes to hold the tuna salad.

This recipe also tastes great with shredded chicken, imitation crab meat, a vegetarian filling… whatever! They're simple to make and store, and just as importantly, this kid snack is fun to eat.

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Ingredients:
8 jumbo pasta shells
10 ounces canned tuna, drained
2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon pickle relish (optional)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions: 1. Cook pasta shells according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. In a bowl combine tuna, mayonnaise and relish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Fill each shell with tuna salad and sprinkle the top with cheese.


Recipe for Art-time... in a Snack!

Snack time can be just as busy as other times, but try a little creative thinking to get your child's imagination going wild! How? Make colored milk or tasty spreadables into paints and the bread into a canvas. Younger children may not always have the coordination for this project, but you can paint a picture to use in their sandwich and still bring a smile.

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Ingredients:
2 slices of bread

Choice of:
Food coloring, and
1 cup 2% milk

or:
Assorted jams, jellies, and nut butters

Directions: 1. Divide milk into small cups and add 3-4 drops of a different food coloring to each cup.

2. Use a paintbrush to paint with the colored milk. Do not let the bread get too wet. Place bread in toaster until lightly toasted and enjoy.

3. If your child would prefer to finger paint, try using jams and nut butters in rainbow colors like strawberry, blueberry, orange or grape.

Tip: For a larger canvas, this idea also works great with flour tortillas!


"Puzzled" Kid Snack Sandwich

kids puzzled sandwich snack ideaGames are at the heart of this fun kid snack! This type of snack can be put in a lunch box for playing during recess or while resting after a bike ride in the park.

Many of the best snacks are simply new ways of serving familiar foods. The Puzzled Sandwich uses your child?s favorite sandwich materials to create a puzzle for little hands to solve before eating.

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Ingredients:
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 slices oven roasted turkey
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 1. Spread mayonnaise on each piece of bread. Place turkey on one side and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining bread. Make sure the top and bottom will stick together. You may choose to use just one piece of turkey or add a tiny amount of mayonnaise between the turkey slices to keep everything together.

2. Use a paring knife to cut the sandwich into irregular shapes like a puzzle. Or, use a cookie cutter for the center piece, and cut the pieces around it into smaller pieces. Leave the crusts on for the beginning puzzle solver, but remove crusts and repeat shapes for kids who are more experienced with puzzles. For advanced puzzles, try using whole grain bread slices in shapes other than squares.

Creating a fun kid snack can make the smallest meal of the day feel like the best time of the day!


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More Fun Kids' Recipes

Want to feed your kids full of healthy snacks that they'll love eating? You'll find tons at Kid Snack Recipe Central, including

Hilarious Green Goo Smoothies

and...

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