Thanksgiving “Snacktivities” to Get Your Kids in the Kitchen
By: Heather is a mom of two boys, ages 6 and 4, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing real cooking to preschoolers. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram, @heather_kidskitchen, where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
Thanksgiving is a hectic (but delicious!) day for everyone. Even more so if you have little ones running around needing your attention and probably wanting snacks.
On my Instagram page, @heather_kidskitchen, I love to share what I call “snacktivities.” These are edible cooking projects that keep kids busy while providing them with a healthy bite to eat. Cooking activities like this not only keep the kiddos occupied and fed, but also get your kids to feel more invested in the snack or meal. When kids are more excited about food, they are more likely to enjoy themselves and try something new.
Since we have enough on our plates during the busy holiday season already, I am sharing two ideas for simple snacktivities for before the Thanksgiving meal. If your children fill up on veggies, cheese, fruit, and yogurt dip made with Healthy Height shake mix, then you won’t be worried when they reach for a dinner roll, takes a couple bites, and run away.
We’ve all been there and want to enjoy the meal and time with family without being concerned with what our kids are or aren’t eating at the dinner table. If you’re the one in charge of cooking and getting the meal onto the table that day (like I will be), designate an older child or other parent to be in charge of the snacktivities.
Lay everything out on a table and let them help themselves, stay busy, and enjoy being part of the meal. Here are two snacktivities to try on Thanksgiving day in your home.
“Cake Batter” Fruit Dip
Healthy Height Vanilla Shake Mix stirred into full-fat Greek yogurt takes fruit from a simple snack to a more nutritious and filling one. Plus, what kid could resist a dip that tastes like birthday cake?
Have your younger Turkey Day guests help measure and mix the dip ingredients, then arrange fruit around a bowl on a platter to look like a turkey with feathers. If you’re feeling crafty, cut some turkey features out of paper and glue them onto cups. Kids can scoop some dip into their own individual cups and arrange the fruit they’d like inside.
- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 4 scoops Healthy Height Vanilla Shake Mix
- 1/4 cup almond butter or sunflower seed butter (optional)
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Sliced fresh fruit, for dipping
Measure ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Serve chilled with fruit.
To create the turkey “taking a dip” use a sliced of pear for the head and legs, two mini chocolate chips for the eyes, a piece of orange for the nose, and a tiny piece of strawberry for the wattle.
Veggie and Cheese Kabobs
Make fruit and veggies more fun by cutting them into bite-size pieces and let the kids design their own pretty pattern on skewers. I like to include some cubes of cheese alongside the veggies to help make the snack more substantial—the cheese might also entice those veggie-skeptics into giving the snack a try.
If you’re worried about little ones pricking themselves with pointed skewers, paper lollipop sticks are a good option for making the kebabs. You can also teach kids to not hold the food in their hands when poking the stick through.
I like to demonstrate the best way to skewer something by leaving the piece of food down on the table and piercing the food with the skewer. After it’s poked through, you can safely push the food down the stick and then repeat the process.
If you’re serving kids under 4, make sure fruit, veggies and cheese are cut into small enough pieces so they’re not a choking hazard.
Want more Thanksgiving tips and ideas?