A colorful birthday with fresh fruits and vegetables! Easy to prepare, they come in skewers, salads, dips, smoothies… The stars of this unique snack are them!
4 tips for a successful snack:
Make fresh fruit and vegetables cohabit with the sweets, cakes and sodas often requested on this occasion? An idea full of common sense, fun and easy to implement. For Margherita Caroli, pediatrician and nutritionist, director of the nutrition unit at ASL Brindisi (Italy), in children, “food acceptance and food preferences are defined by patience, joy and curiosity”.
So it’s your turn to play…
1 Get them involved. This will sharpen the children’s interest. Preparation of fruit skewers or lollipops to dip in sugar beads or poppy seeds … The most impatient are allowed to bite! What if you organized a contest during which each team wins a prize (best plate decoration, most unexpected recipe, etc.) ?
2 Optimize the presentation. The fun starts with the eyes. Choose colorful plates, glasses and napkins to highlight the gourmet aspect of the preparations. Arrange the pieces of fruit by creating fun shapes: animals, faces, objects… The youngest (4 to 6 years old) will be served at the table, the older ones will have a buffet.
3 Portion out according to their appetite. The bites and other mini fruit tarts (banana, strawberry, raspberry, kiwi …) are eaten according to the child’s appetite and rhythm. Small portions allow them to taste several dishes. No more cake slices forgotten on the plate.
4 Tell them stories. The origin of such a fruit, the large family to which this vegetable belongs, the region of origin, old nicknames, historical anecdotes, seasonality… Don’t hesitate to stage this presentation in the form of riddles, for example. You can get inspiration from the site www.lesfruitsetlegumesfrais.com.
The traditional cake can be made with seasonal fruits but also with carrots, zucchini, potatoes or pumpkin.
In summer, alternate slices of watermelon and melon for a two-color 100% fruity cake! Chocolate remains the number one sin of the little ones and adults alike.
In advance, you can make chocolate fruit lollipops by pricking pieces of fruit on wooden skewers.
Chocolate strawberries (c) Jon Gonzalo Torróntegui CC BY 2. 0
Serve hot chocolate in a fondue bowl with fruit, marshmallow cubes and dried fruit (under your supervision).
For a fresh version, the fruit lollipops are coated with melted chocolate (dark, white or praline), placed upside down on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and placed in the fridge for 1 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer.
are garnished with homemade jam or fruit coulis, compote, strawberries, pineapple or apples tempered in a little butter… for the most gourmet, expect a cloud of whipped cream!
The potato, a gluten-free asset
For children who are intolerant to gluten – the protein contained in certain cereals – the potato is one of the alternatives, just like rice or corn starch. Potato starch, but also a fresh mashed potato with a little milk, can be used instead of wheat flour to make pancakes, waffles or cakes.
From sweet to savoury …
Children tend to think primarily of sweet (and therefore fruit), but the festive atmosphere offers a good opportunity to stimulate their curiosity about taste and surprise their taste buds! Make way for vegetables too!
On the fruit side
, treat them to fruit salads (depending on the season: apples, bananas, melons, strawberries, grapes, watermelons…) presented in a half watermelon or a hollowed out half pineapple. Offer the children to “customize” their salad with grated coconut, chocolate chips, multicolored sugar beads
On the vegetable side , offer vegetable dips (cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and zucchini sticks) to dip in cottage cheese, cherry tomato and mozzarella bean skewers, diced cantaloupe and grapes, etc.
Strawberry Smoothie (c) daisy. r CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
For 4 large glasses of milkshakes, count 4 peaches and 8 apricots (or their equivalent in weight with other fruits) for 75 cl of milk, 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream and the juice of half a lemon. Blend in a blender or in a hand blender. Made up of 100% fruit and vegetables (possibly with a little milk, spices and fresh herbs added), the smoothie can also be prepared in a blender or blender. Children love its velvety texture!
To make “just like the grown-ups”, moisten the rims of the glasses in a bowl of fresh lemon juice and then in another with sugar, without forgetting the colored straws.