Making food fun is normally a food proof way to get little ones more excited about eating up their vegetables. My children love this caterpillar snack idea – it’s perfect to go alongside The Hungry Caterpillar book, or a caterpillar and butterfly life cycle topic, which they are studying at the moment.
This fun food idea is made using Organix rice cakes along with some raw vegetables to make a healthy kids snack. The rice cakes are suitable from 7 months, so even babies and toddlers can enjoy this healthy snack.
This caterpillar fun food plate is just one of the fun ideas that Organix have come up with recently, using their products to create healthy snacks for kids and I will be sharing them these ideas with you one by one.
Ingredients for your healthy Caterpillar snack
- 2 carrot and tomato rice cakes
- ¼ red pepper
- 4cm piece of celery
- ¼ cherry tomato
- 6 thin slices cucumber
- 8 nibs of sweetcorn
- 1 small salad leaf
How to make the fun caterpillar snack
Cut the red pepper into eight little squares, about 1cm square. Plus two little triangles. Cut the celery into two long thin sticks for antenna.
Create your picture: Layer the cucumber slices in a caterpillar wiggle across the plate.
Add a rice cake head and a rice cake sun.
Add red pepper feet and eyes, a tomato smile, antenna and a leafy snack.
Being creative and playful with food is great for little ones growing up as they try new foods for the first time and start learning to feed themselves. The challenge for parents can be how to introduce variety and come up with new ideas to present food that will help make it fun for their little ones.
In a new survey from Organix, mums rated the top two things to encourage a positive attitude towards food as making mealtimes fun for your child (76%) and allowing your child to play with and experiment with their food (75%).
Finger foods are a great way of offering variety to your child, as they provide a whole new world of exciting tastes, textures, shapes and colours to your baby, in foods that are easy for them to grab and get hold of so they feel more in control of their choices.
Playing with finger foods helps little ones learn
Mixing up textures, shapes and colours and encouraging little ones to play and experiment with food helps them gather sensory information and learn how to accept new foods.
From chewy pasta, to crispy rice cakes, melt in the mouth corn puffs, crumbly baby biscuits and squishy strawberries, you can offer lots of texture choices to help develop your baby’s curiosity about food and build their confidence and enjoyment.
Unlike in the old days when parents told their little ones off for playing with their food, modern mums see the positive benefits of encouraging little ones to play with their food and have fun:
86% feel it’s important for babies to handle and play with new foods before they taste it.
93% feel it’s important to let a baby play with and experiment with food.
93% recognise that the first year of a baby’s life is about fun – playing with food and developing skills.
Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix , says, “The introduction of finger foods can help to develop a little one’s sense of independence, and parents can encourage a positive attitude to food by making mealtimes fun for their child and allowing them to play with and experiment with their food.”
Frankie explains that as well as encouraging self-feeding, independence and autonomy, finger foods come with lots of other benefits for little ones, like developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, and improving dexterity.
The variety of colours, shapes and sizes of finger foods also gives little ones a range of sensory experiences. Psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin says, “This is important as babies learn through their senses in the first two years of life. So when you introduce a new food to your child, by giving them an opportunity to touch it, squish it and rub it between their hands, you are allowing them to use all of the resources they have to learn about that food.”
Follow our healthy foods board on Pinterest for more ideas
and look out for more fun and healthy snack ideas from Organix soon.