Fruits and veggies look more appealing to kids when it’s cut into fun shapes! While it might look like a lot of work, it takes only a minute to do and it’s fun! This post is brought to you by one of our partner Registered Dietitians, Jodi Danen.
I sure do. Looking at picture after picture of perfectly crafted lunches in those cute little trays brings a smile to my face, and then dread to my heart.
The lunches I make look nothing like these. The picture in my head of what the lunch will look like compared to the actual lunch is a classic example of a Pinterest FAIL!
I had to take things down a notch. I learned to simply make healthy foods a bit more fun.
Making food fun for kids helps immensely in getting them to eat foods they may not normally like.
While fruit doesn’t usually need the coaxing that veggies may, watermelon still looks more appealing to kids when it’s cut into fun shapes! While it might look like a lot of work, it takes only a minute to do.
How to Easily Cut Fruit & Veggie Shapes
Fruits and veggies can be cut into shapes easily. Start by cutting them horizontally into slices. Use small cookie cutters or small containers that have shapes you could use to push through the fruit or softer veggies. For those firm veggies like carrots and radishes, cookie cutters work best.
Grab a cutting board, veggies or fruit, some cheese, and you’re ready to start.
Veggies that work well include cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, radishes and mushrooms.
Fruits that are easy to work with include watermelon, cantaloupe, muskmelon, pineapple, apples (brush with a little lemon juice mixed with water to avoid them browning) and strawberries. Get creative and try your kid’s favorites!
To cut strawberries into hearts cut a V-shape into the top when cutting the stem off. Slice in half. Perfect hearts.
Cut shapes out of the fruit or veggie, then use the same cutter to cut a piece of cheese or another fruit or veggie and fill the space left. Mix and match, or let your kids mix and match as part of the fun at lunch!
Kids love to dunk their food.
Take advantage of this fact and get more fruits and veggies into children in a tasty way.
These fruit dips have a yogurt base and the veggie dips have a sour cream base. They can easily be made while packing lunches and all recipes make enough to put in several lunchboxes.
For the fruit dips, use a base of vanilla or plain Greek yogurt. Look for yogurt brands with the lowest added sugar. If your kids are like mine, they want all the mix-ins used below in their lunchbox. I like that these dips cut down on sugar but still give the flavor that kids are looking for.
I hope these simple recipes and tips helped you with some fun lunchbox ideas. You don’t have to spend lots of time coming up with Pinterest worthy lunches, you can take the easy route and get your children eating more fruit and veggies while you’re at it!
4 Veggie Dip Recipes
- Ketch Me if You Can: 2 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 Tbsp. ketchup
- Not So Hidden Ranch: 2 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 Tbsp. ranch dressing
- South of the Border: 2 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 Tbsp. salsa
- Tangy BBQ: 2 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 Tbsp. BBQ sauce
Just mix your ingredients together and serve with veggies for dipping!
4 Fruit Dip Recipes
- Caramel Apple: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. caramel
- Peanut Butter Bliss: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
- Hot Fudge Sundae: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. chocolate sauce
- Marshmallow Creme: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. marshmallow fluff
Mix your ingredients together and serve with fruit for dipping!