Spring break is the perfect time to work on building a healthy relationship between your little ones and fresh food! There are many creative ways you can get your kids into the kitchen during your spring break holiday – you can create simple recipes together, find age-appropriate cooking tasks for them to complete, or even expose them to new foods they’re curious about and have never tasted before.
Here are some healthy snacking tips, tricks, and recipes to keep your kids fueled with nutritious food during their spring break holiday!
Fuel Your Kids with Fresh Food During Spring Break
Have Fun with Your Food!
A great way to get more fruits and veggies into children’s bellies is by making them fun! And what better way to make them fun than by creating food art.
Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers are all great fresh veggie options that can be added to your child’s plate to create fun pictures, shapes, and designs. With spring on the horizon, why not create Bell Pepper flowers with green bean stems and broccoli trees? Or build a veggie train made from hollowed-out Bell Peppers that are loaded with Cucumber slices, carrots, celery, and a dip? They can even arrange Cherry Tomatoes on their plates to draw a happy face or a star! Creativity has no boundaries when it comes to food art – the more creative you and your little ones can get, the better.
Not only will fresh veggies be associated with fun, children will also be exposed to them in a pressure-free environment. It’s important to remember that children may not always eat the vegetables and fruits you put in front of them, but the more exposure a child gets to new food through activities like food art, the more likely they will try and enjoy that nutritious food down the road!
Get Your Kids in the Kitchen!
Another great way to ensure your kids are fueled with healthy food during spring break is by getting them involved with healthy meal preparation and cooking tasks.
There are many fun activities that children can help with in the kitchen that will not only expose them to healthy foods, but also encourage them to take a greater interest in cooking and the food preparation process. Depending on their age group, kids can collect ingredients from the fridge, wash produce, chop vegetables, or mix ingredients into a salad. You can download our free Kids in the Kitchen guide to discover a wide range of age-appropriate kitchen tasks that will get your children involved with the cooking process in a fun way!
During spring break, why not try meal planning with your children to decide all the snacks they’ll be eating? Give your children a choice between two healthy snack options when planning each day’s snacks. Presenting children with two available options ensures that you have a say in what foods are offered but that you are giving your children a level of independence, since they are ultimately making the choice between two acceptable options. You can also include them on your trip to the grocery store and encourage them to pick out one or two new fruits or veggies to try during the week.
By including children in food preparation and cooking, you are exposing them to healthy ingredients and helping to build a positive relationship between them and the foods they eat. If you are looking for even more tips and tricks for getting your kids involved in the kitchen, don’t forget to download The Complete Guide to Getting Kids in the Kitchen – it’s free!
Set the Example!
Another great tip for encouraging your children to eat more fresh fruits and veggies during spring break is by eating them yourself. It’s simple – be a positive example for your children by eating the same fresh food you want them to eat!
It’s important for your children to witness the healthy eating example you’re trying to set for them, so try to eat those healthy snacks together whenever possible.
Eating healthy foods together during spring break is an admirable goal, but there are a lot of positive reasons to eat healthy together all the time! Here are some useful tips to help you and your family prioritize eating together!
Dietitian-Approved Tips for Healthy Spring Break Snacking
Here are a few extra tips and tricks from Registered Dietitian and mom of 3 Noelle Martin that will help ensure your little ones eat fresh, nutritious food during their spring break holiday:
- Try adding shredded zucchini to your child’s oatmeal, favorite muffin recipe, or chocolate chip cookies. Zucchini is a great vegetable for adding nutrient density without changing the flavor.
- Create fun “superhero smoothies” for morning snacks. You can make green smoothies by adding fresh Cucumbers, spinach, banana, and frozen pineapple or mango. You can make bright red smoothies by adding roasted beets and frozen berries. And you can make blue smoothies with frozen cauliflower rice and blueberries!
- As a late afternoon snack, set out a plate full of colorful raw veggies and a healthy dip option for your little ones to snack on. There is no pressure for them to finish everything on the plate, but the opportunity is there for them to enjoy a healthy snack leading up to dinner.
- Sometimes children don’t want to try a new food because of the way it is presented to them. For example, if your child is picky about Cucumber slices, try cutting them into sticks instead. Or if they are fussy about celery stalks, chop them into smaller pieces. Switching up the presentation of veggies could be just the change needed to pique a child’s interest in trying it!
- Try asking your children fun and engaging questions about fresh food. For example, if you give them a Cucumber and a carrot, ask them which food they think will be crunchier. You can also ask them mindful questions while they’re eating. What kinds of flavors are they tasting? Why do we get hungry? Why is it important to eat a variety of foods? Learn more about how to practice mindful eating here.
Try New Recipes!
Here are a few fresh recipes you can prepare with your little ones to get them excited about eating healthy over spring break.
Sweet & Savory Pepper Pancakes
If you want to add an extra dose of nutrition to your spring break breakfast menu, why not have your children help you prepare some Sweet & Savory Pepper Pancakes! This recipe is a great option for getting your kids involved with the cooking process – whether it’s throwing all the ingredients into a food processor, or doling out the pancake batter, everyone can lend a hand.
Mini Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
For a refreshing mid-day snack, try serving a batch of Mini Cucumber Tea Sandwiches! These bite-sized snacks are easy and quick to assemble, and not to mention full of fresh flavor. They’re also the perfect size for little hands!
Grilled Vegetable Naan Pizza
Let’s be honest – what kid doesn’t love pizza? Introduce your children to new veggies by letting them build their own personal naan bread pizza! You can have lots of different veggie options available so your little ones can experiment and have fun with the pizza building process.
Mini Sweet Pepper & Orange Cranberry Muffins
Did you know that Peppers can add a healthy sweetness to baked goods and desserts? Blending up Mini Sweet Peppers and adding the puree to your muffin batter is a simple way to make nutrient-dense snacks that satisfy your child’s sweet tooth!
You can also visit the Nature Fresh Farms Recipes page to find lots of fresh-inspired recipes that you can create with your kids!
Have a Happy & Healthy Spring Break!
We hope that these tips, tricks, and recipes help you and your little ones have a fun and nutritious spring break!