Butterfly Snacks

True story…We were recently away with three other families. Together we were eight adults and seven children, ranging in age from seven months to seven years. At dinner time, my husband grilled simple chicken tenders, which seemed like an easy sell with this crowd. He was surprised when they all rejected him. We regrouped and offered again but, this time our “Chicken Strippies,” as we renamed them, were gobbled up by everyone.

Parents, caregivers and teachers alike know how hard it can be to engage children in healthful eating. Sometimes, we just need to give in and turn simple sandwiches into ornate shapes or give our foods creative names. Or we can go the distance and turn making and eating nutritious snacks into an activity as was done with these Butterfly snacks provided by the creative minds at Family Fun Magazine.

Complete this fun snack with some equally engaging trail mixes. I suggest providing small bowls of each option (and encouraging some snacking along the way as well). I selected the (mostly Guiding Star-earning) ingredients below, which provide a mix of good fat, fiber, fruit and a bit of protein, so that the trail mix will not only be fun to make, but nutritionally balanced too.

Ashley's Snack for Pre-K tomorrow.
Ashley’s Snack for Pre-K Tomorrow / MCarls / CC BY 2.0

Simple Trail Mix:   Whole mini or slivered almonds and cashews (dry roasted, unsalted), dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, Original Puffins Cereal

Peanut Butter and Apples: Peanut Butter Cheerios, dried apple slices (cut into smaller pieces), peanuts (for a nut free version, replace with dry roasted soy beans)

Cinnamon Berry Mix: Cinnamon Heart to Heart Cereal, dried strawberries, mini dark chocolate chips, pistachios

Edamame Blend*: Dried edamame, sunflower seeds, small pieces of crystallized ginger, Gluten Free Honey Rice Puffin Cereal

‘Smore Mix: Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch Cereal, Emerald Dark Chocolate Flavor Cocoa Roast Almonds, vanilla yogurt covered raisins

Four P’s*: Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Pretzels, Pear (dried) …oh  my! (use Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks, broken into pieces, for a gluten-free mix)

Chocolate Banana Nut Mix: Dried banana, mini almonds, Cascadian Farm Chocolate O’s

Tart and Buttery Blend: Snyder’s Butter Snaps, sunflower seeds, pecans, dried strawberries

Golden Honey Mix: Golden raisins, Annie’s Homegrown Honey Bunny Grahams, chopped walnuts

Sweet and Salty Mix: Dried Apricot chunks, dry roasted cashews, mini pretzel sticks, Bear Naked Peak Protein Granola

*Indicates a gluten-free option