Halloween is lurking around the corner and the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season is in the air. We can look forward to costumes, parties, spooky decorations and the never ending supply of high fructose corn syrup straight though until January. Arm yourself with a bag of tricks to incorporate nourishing food into the sugary mix. Make the process fun while nourishing your children with wholesome holiday food.

One of the best ways to make food fun is to get your little chefs involved in the action. Make it a special event by presenting them with their own apron and kitchen utensils. Involve them with  menu planning and gathering ingredients. Children love to scoop, measure, mix and press buttons.

Presentation is so important to little ones. Prepare the table with holiday inspired placemats, napkins, plates, cups and straws. Etsy and eBay have a wonderful vintage selection or you can easily find these items at your local market.

Break the rules and let them play with their food. Make it a game and you will be amazed what they actually eat! Turn it into an art project and see what they can come up with. This doesn’t have to be messy or complicated, it can be as easy as sticking a piece of celery into a peeled orange to create a pumpkin, or placing blueberry and banana “eyes” on a piece of teddy bear toast. They will linger at the table longer and you may actually get a chance to finish your meal.

Be mindful of your language concerning food. Instead of “Finish your food before you (fill in the blank)” Try ” I am so excited for you to try this, I made it just for you.” Enthusiasm is infectious.

Here is an Autumn Menu with recipes for Little Ones to get you started!

Menu

STARTER
Pumpkin Dip with honey graham crackers and sliced apples

MAIN
Chicken Satay with Soy Dipping Sauce
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

DESERT
Boo Nanas

Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Dip:

1/2 can Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
6 oz Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Vanilla
Whirl in food processor and serve with sliced apples and graham crackers

 

Chicken Satay & Dipping Sauce:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast pounded, cut into strips and poached in chicken broth.
 Thread the chicken on a stick and service with dipping sauce.
For the sauce, combine the following ingredients and whirl in food processor until smooth.
  • 1/2 cup Nut Butter or Sunflower Seed Butter
  • 2 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • Splash Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Clove Garlic

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

Cut 1 Sweet Potato into french fry shape
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon
Roast at 400 degrees until crispy outside
Serve with catsup

 

BOO NANAS:

Cut a banana in half and insert stick on flat side
Roll first in honey, then roll in coconut flakes
Add two raisins for eyes and a chocolate chip for the mouth
ENJOY!
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