An easy way to get kids involved in cooking is by teaching them how to make quick, delicious snacks. If you're busy, prep the ingredients on the weekend, and put them in plastic bags so kids can grab and assemble as they get hungry.
Cheese and Fruit
Kids love cheese
Apple-cheese towers: Thinly sliced apples are combined with favorite cheeses. Alternate slices of apple and cheese, and secure with toothpicks.
Fruit, yogurt and granola parfaits: In a tall glass, let kids layer yogurt, chopped fruit and granola.
Pears and hummus: Pear slices dipped into creamy, store-bought hummus.
Cream cheese and jam on rice cakes: Spread a layer of cream cheese on a rice cake and top with a favorite jam.
Trail mix: In a bowl, have the kids mix almonds, mini chocolate chips, raisins and a lightly sweetened cereal or pretzel rounds. Bag and go.
Homemade granola: In a bowl, combine 3 cups steel-cut oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup maple syrup, almonds pecan or walnuts and 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. vanilla extract. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 325° oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until dry and fragrant. Let cool, and add 1 cup of raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries. Store in two containers. Freeze one, and store the other in the fridge for quick snacks.
Popcorn with ginger and honey: Microwave a bag of butter-flavored popcorn, empty into a bowl, let cool for three minutes and and toss with 1 tbsp. honey and 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root.
Fruit smoothies (with supervision): In a blender, combine 1/2 cup ice cubes, 1 cup milk, 1 cup frozen fruit, 2 tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix on "high" for two minutes (you hold the lid). Optional: Add 2 tbsp. wheat germ or flax seed for added protein and healthy fats.
English muffin pizzas: Mix one can tomato paste with 1 tsp. of sugar and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Spread thinly on English muffins, top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Toast in toaster oven for five minutes or microwave for one minute.
Ants on a log: Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese and top with raisins.
Peanut butter pretzel sandwiches with honey: Spread peanut butter on lattice pretzel squares or rounds, drizzle with honey, and top with a second pretzel.