This post was originally published 18 March 2014, and has been updated.
We made these cute little Cheese Monsters for my nephew’s 5th birthday party. Healthy party food ftw!
A sharp knife (a filleting knife is perfect), a few googly eyes in different sizes, some non-toxic kids PVA glue, a tiny bit of wool for hair and a couple of packets of mini Babybel cheeses all come together to make a plate of monsterlicious treats.Continue readingCheese Monsters
Oops, I’m a bit behind in bringing you details of my daughter JJ’s 6th birthday party. She chose a “Spooky, Scary, Sixth Birthday” party theme, which is a little unusual for a May party, but who says you can’t have Halloween twice a year? Fun!
One of the items we served was this bowl of cute Fruit Mummies.
They were quite easy to make (see below). I especially loved that they could be made a few days ahead of the party, so it doesn’t add to the last minute prep panic. In fact, these photos were taken calmly a few days before the party, (so I didn’t have to worry about trying to grab a last minute shot while the party guests were arriving!)
I also love that our fruit mummies provide a healthy snack option that everyone could eat, including party guests with various food allergies. (We had friends coming who were allergic to eggs, dairy, nuts, gluten, food colouring, deadly nightshades and more…)
And afterwards, anything that wasn’t eaten wasn’t wasted. We just put the left over mummified fruit into our regular fruit bowl to eat the next day.
How to make fruit mummies
Non-toxic, clear-drying glue
Cut the steamers into strips about 40cm (15in) long. Our streamers were quite wide, so I also our strips in half lengthwise, which doubled the number of strips.
Wrap a strip around a piece of fruit, securing with stickytape. Glue a pair of googly eyes on to the opposite side as the tape.
Tip: If you are using fruit where the skin will be removed (like a banana or mandarin), then you can also glue the googly eyes to the skin of the fruit, so that it looks like the eyes are peeping out through the bandages.
Tip 2: You don’t have to use the same sized googly eyes. Mismatched googly eyes can add to the spooky look.
JJ helped me make a couple. I made the rest, simply because we had a party worth to do! But they are easy enough that preschoolers and up could make them (especially if you use fruit like bananas, mandarins or oranges where it doesn’t matter if a tiny bit of glue gets onto the skin.)
I’ll be bringing you more ideas from JJ’s birthday party shortly, but in the meantime, you might also like the Spooky Oranges that we made a few years ago. Or you can check out our Halloween page for more ghoulish ideas.
I’ve also added our Halloween pinterest board below for more inspiration…
A friend of mine asked my opinions on healthy eating for kids, and I jotted down these ideas for her. It’s quite a list apparently!
These are roughly in priority order (high fibre, low sugar and no artificial colours is a huge factor in deciding what goes on our weekly grocery shopping list). We try to use this list as a general guideline for our daily eating habits, but we do make exceptions for birthdays etc.
Have a look through below and see what parts you agree with.
We’re usually an eat-the-whole-fruit type household, but recently Bee had been asking about juice, and how it is made. We had some regular and blood oranges in our fruit bowl, so we made some freshly squeezed orange juice for a little afternoon fun in the kitchen.
Bee, who had just turned three, is fiercely independent. She loved taking charge of the juicing process, almost as much as she enjoyed drinking the juice afterwards. She’d squeeze a little bit, and then pour and drink it, and then squeeze some more.
We also added some of the orange pulp back into our drink – it’s tasty and high in fibre!
Then we tried the blood oranges. They’re in season for such a short time, we always grab some whenever we can.
It was fun to directly compare the size, colour, texture and flavour of the two types of oranges, side by side. Such striking colour!
We’re all about trying a wide variety of delicious food in our house. We have a little rule about new foods or “foods that the kids are still learning to like” – they don’t have to like it, and don’t have to finish it, but they do have to taste it, every single time it is served. Otherwise, how will they know if their tastebuds have learned to like it yet? (This rule has really helped the kids to “learn” how to like lots of veggies that they initially rejected. That, and serving as a starter before their main meal, when their appetite is at its best!)
So, whilst Bee initially baulked at actually drinking the blood orange juice, she did give it a try, and discovered that the actually rather liked it! Not as much as the regular orange juice, mind you, but enough that she went back for a second and third sip. Win!
Once Bee was finished with her orange juicing fun, I went back and rejuiced them, extracting a lot more juice that I got to drink afterwards. Double win!
Don’t throw the orange peel away afterwards – did you know you can use it to make an orange skin bird feeder to encourage some wild birds into your backyard?
And, here are some of our other fresh fruit ideas:
Here’s a fun ‘rainy day’ healthy snack idea that little kids can help make (Bee was a 2.5 year old toddler here), using blueberries for storm clouds, cheese for rain and a multigrain wrap for the umbrella.
You can sing along to some wet weather nursery rhymes while you munch. Here are a few of our favourites:
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring
He went to bed with a bump on his head
And couldn’t wake up in the morning.
I’m having so much fun coming up with healthy snacks for the kids. It’s slightly addictive! Remember the Incy Wincy Spider cheese snack we made a few weeks ago? Well, I *may* have been coerced by tiny little people into making about a dozen versions of this since then. So I figured it’s high time we added a new nursery rhyme character to our repertoire. This time, it’s Humpty Dumpty!
Sing along if you know how the nursery rhyme goes….
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
couldn’t put Humpty together again.
We’re going through a little creative snack phase at our place. It all started when we made a healthy platter of fruit, veg & cheese ‘flowers’ a few weeks back. Ever since then, the kids have been begging for ‘picture snacks’, and we’ve had lots of fun coming up with different ideas.
Here’s one that we made for Incy Wincy Spider. Or is it Itsy Bitsy spider? To be honest, I’m not even sure what we sing at our place – we seem to alternate between the two! Either way, I’m sure you know how this popular nursery rhyme goes…
Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the waterspout
Down came the rain, and washed poor Incy out
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain
So Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again.
To make an Incy Wincy spider snack like this, you will need:
mini cheese wheel
What to do
Cut or break the pretzels until you have eight that are roughly spider leg shaped. I found the star shaped pretzels worked better, but there were still quite a few casualties. (Luckily we had hungry mouths that were keen to help ‘clear away’ any mistakes.)
Use your knife to make tiny incisions in the cheese wheel for the legs and eyes, and then push in eight pretzel legs and the two smallest currants for eyes.
Cut a thick slice of orange into quarters, using one quarter for the sun. Cut a second quarter into tiny segments and add as sun rays.
Two rectangular crackers stacked vertically can act as a spout, and a cheese strip can act as a long spider web.
Then just add some thinly sliced cucumber grass, and you have a cute (and healthy) little Incy Wincy / Itsy Bitsy Spider snack! Yum!
This post is a part of a little series called Rhyme Time, where some of my blogging buddies and I are bringing you fun ideas for various popular nursery rhymes. Pop over and check out these fun Incy Wincy Spider ideas from my blogging friends:
Speaking of Pinterest, you might also like our Fun & Healthy Snacks for Kids pinterest board. I’m always adding great ideas I find around web over there. And of course, there’s our Danya Banya board, which has all the fun activity posts from this blog.