Food Shapes taste so much better! Who said: "Don't play with food?"
Well ... HERE WE DO but we eat our healthy snacks too!
The rule: Eat what you build!
Perfect after-school, road trip, Saturday lunch or sports field snacks for kids that are both yummy and nutritious!
Food shapes are simple to create:
Use cookie cutters to press out shapes from cheese, sliced cold meats and bread.
Cut veggies in strips and slices.
Use the off-cuts from cheese and cold meats mixed with cream cheese and whip up a savory dip - too thick, add a little milk.
Add loads of freshly sliced fruit, seeds and nuts, baked ginger snaps, oat bars, cheese straws and pretzels and walla.... You have healthy snacks that your kids will love to create fun pictures with AND eat!
On the road?
It's great to stop on the side of the road to snack under a tree but what if you don't want to stop and the kids get hungry in the car?
A quick lining of plastic wrap over a small tray will provide space to build creative healthy snacks on that won't slide around and catch all the crumbs up - ready to roll up and dispose of!
Bite-sized healthy snacks packed up in little airtight containers are just right when you're peckish.
Other fun road trip foods to pack:
Mini Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Small Quiches, Dips & Pates,
Boiled eggs, Spring Rolls, Samoosas,
Cocktail Meatballs, Sausages and Pies.
Mini whole wheat bagels with cream cheese & salmon slices or cream cheese & salami or goats cheese & roasted red onions.
Sandwiches with old time favorites like ham and cheese
or try something new: Thin pear or fig slices & Camembert cheese on rye bread.
Mini foods encourage kids to eat; large big portions often overwhelm them. Allowing kids to build, select and try their own fun creations will encourage them to eat.
Freeze fruit juices and water in bottles for a refreshing drink to cool down! It also helps to keep perishables in the cooler bag cold and fresh.
Healthy snacks to nibble on:
Pretzels, Crisps, Baked flavored rice cakes, cookies and crackers, Snack-size dried fruit (such as raisins, fruit sticks, mango slices),
nuts and trail mixes, POP CORN!! and More POP CORN!!
Two cooler bags, one for refrigerated and another for non-refrigerated items.
A few plastic shopping bags to use for garbage will keep the car tidy.
Wet wipes, napkins, a few plastic utensils and a roll of kitchen towel paper are handy items to have.
Small containers or sachets of salt, pepper, relish and mustard will spice up any meal.
(Collect them from take-out meals and keep them in a small container for road trips!)
Tips to keep food fresh and everyone healthy
You don't want to get sick from food on a road trip, yet thousands do.
A few basic rules and avoiding hazardous food can help keep everyone healthy and free from food poisoning.
Bacteria, yeasts and moulds are the three micro-organisms that make us sick - they are all around us, we can not avoid them completely but we can control their growth on our food.
Dry foods are safe, moist foods in particular meats and diary products carry bacteria.
Sanitize your cooler box between trips with water and household bleach.
Keep cold foods below 40 degrees Fahrenheit / 4 degrees Celsius or colder. A simple cheap thermometer in the cooler bag will give you peace of mind.
Keep dirty hands out of the cooler box - wash or wipe hands and surrounding areas of the cooler with disinfectant wipes.
Leaving food out on a picnic table for an hour can multiply bacterial growth instantly - placing it back into the cold cooler will cause bacteria to become inactive.
Foods such as meats and egg based dressings that have been in a cooler above 40 degrees should be discarded.
Raw sliced or chopped onions attract bacteria, roast onions beforehand or cut fresh onions for use - discarding left over onions.
Cheese in the original air and moisture tight packaging will keep a long time, even at temperatures above 40 degrees.
Do not keep fish, poultry or ground meat in a cooler for longer than a day.
Need something to pack all your healthy snacks in?
Cooler Boxes, Picnic Bags & Other Handy Gadgets
A HEALTHY EASY TREAT!
Holy Moly Cannoli Cones - From HUNGRY GIRL 1-2-3
These might actually be the cutest food items in that entire book. But let’s put adorableness aside for a moment . . . they TASTE AWESOME!!! Try serving these at parties and your events will immediately become 37 percent more enjoyable or tuck this mixture safely away in the bottom of your cooler box for an awesome treat at a viewpoint on a road trip.
(Makes 6 Servings)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free ricotta cheese
2/3 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
2½ tablespoons Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 tablespoon sugar-free fat-free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
6 sugar cones (like the kind by Keebler)
Place all ingredients except chocolate chips and sugar cones in a medium bowl.
Using a handheld electric mixer set to high speed, mix until fully combined and
fluffy. Fold in half of the chocolate chips.
Transfer mixture to a large plastic bag, squeezing it down toward one bottom corner of
the bag. Snip that corner off with scissors, so that you have a makeshift piping bag.
Gently squeeze the ricotta mixture into the cones, evenly distributing it among them.
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly on top of the filling in each cone.