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Easy, Healthy, and Fun Recipes to Make with Kids

Easy, healthy, and fun recipes abound; their ingredients and the food preparation teamwork necessary between nannies and the young children in their care are the makings of quality time for all involved.  Here are some great recipes ideas that yield good food and great times.

Holiday ideas:  Easter eggs

You’ll need hard-boiled eggs; an egg carton; paper toweling; several medium-size mixing bowls (one for each color you want to use); a deep, slotted serving spoon; boiling water; white vinegar; and liquid food coloring.  Put paper toweling all over your work surface so as not to make a lot of messes.   In each of your mixing bowls, pour enough boiling water to completely cover an egg,  1 teaspoon vinegar, and 20 drops of food coloring (a different color in each bowl).  Place a cooled, hard-boiled egg on your deep, slotted serving spoon and lower the egg into a mixing bowl.  Using the spoon, turn or roll the egg in the colored liquid occasionally so that the color is evenly distributed over the egg shell.  For lighter colors, take the egg out after a minute or two.  For darker colors, leave the egg in the colored liquid for up to five minutes.

When the egg is colored as desired, use your spoon to remove the egg from the mixing bowl and place it in the egg carton.  Repeat until all eggs are colored.  (You can get really creative if you want . . . for example, you can wrap your eggs in rubber bands or color them with crayons before dipping them in the dye to stripe or pattern the color on the egg shell. )  Kids love this activity: they get to be creative and make something that is uniquely their own.  Meanwhile, eggs are proteins, which represents one of the five food groups.  (Note: always refrigerate Easter eggs once you are done decorating them.)

July 4th kebabs

You’ll need shish-kebab skewers, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, pineapple juice, and a knife.  Start by washing your produce.  Cut greens off the strawberries.  Peel and thickly slice the bananas.  Skewer the produce in a red-white-blue color pattern.  For example: strawberry, banana, blueberry, raspberry, banana, blueberry, etc.  Dip fruit on skewer in pineapple juice so that the bananas don’t brown so rapidly.  Most kids love fruits, so making a themed, fruity food is tasty as well as fun . . . and healthy.  (Note: the pineapple juice does not preserve the bananas for a lengthy period of time.  The kebabs should still be eaten shortly.)

Mummy brats

You’ll need some pre-cooked bratwurst, raw crescent roll dough, ketchup or mustard, a cookie sheet, and a knife.  Unroll the crescent roll dough and push dough together at the seams to eliminate the perforations.  Cut dough into strips.  Wind a strip around a bratwurst so that each row of wrap touches the prior row . . . until you get to the top of the bratwurst.  At the top of the brat, leave a small gap between two rows of wrap.  Repeat until all brats are wrapped.  Place wrapped brats on a cookie sheet.  Bake per crescent roll baking instructions.  Before serving, place two dots of mustard or ketchup in the small gap between rows at the top of the brats (these two dots are the mummy’s eyes.)  Kids love this activity because they get to make mummies . . . and then eat them!

Weather-related idea:  snow ice cream

You’ll need 8 cups clean snow (steer clear of the yellow stuff), 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.  Mix together all of the ingredients except the snow.  Place mixture in the freezer to chill while you gather the 8 cups of snow.

Mix the snow with the chilled mixture. (You can get really creative if you want . . . for example, you can add flavorings like chocolate, accents like sprinkles, or colors with food coloring.)  Kids love this activity because they get to play with snow and make ice cream to boot!

What’s not to love about that?  (Note: you’ll want to eat this right away because it melts quickly. )

Animal-themed ideas:  turtles

You’ll need green apples, green grapes, toothpicks, and semi-sweet chocolate chips (the mini-morsels).  Start by washing your produce.  Cut green apples in half, from top to bottom, not around the middle.  Lay each half cut-side down.  This is the turtle’s shell.  Stick four toothpicks in each of the green apple halves: these should be placed near the bottom of the green apple halves, approximately where the turtle’s legs would be.  Slide one green grape on each toothpick: the toothpick should slide easily into the hole where the stem once entered the grape.  The turtles now have their legs.  Put a toothpick in the front of each apple half, near the bottom, and slide a green grape on as noted above.  These are the turtles’ heads.  Using a toothpick, poke two small holes in the turtles’ heads where the eyes should be.  In each of these holes, place one small chocolate chip. Voila!  The turtles are done!  Kids love fruits, animals, and making things: this activity involves all of these!

Spiders

You’ll need red apples, stick pretzels, and a knife.  Start by washing the apples.  Cut apples in half, from top to bottom, not around the middle.  Lay each half cut-side down.  These are the spiders’ bodies.  Using the knife cut small openings in each of the apple halves: these openings should be placed where the legs (four on each side) and eyes should be placed.  Place full-length pretzel sticks in each leg opening.  In the eye openings, place broken pretzel sticks; you only need enough length to fill the opening, not protrude beyond it.  Voila!  The spiders are done!

Butterflies

You’ll need red, orange, and yellow bell peppers and a knife.  Start by washing the peppers.  Cut out the stems.  Cut peppers in half, from top to bottom, not around the middle.   Remove all seeds.  Cut most of the pepper halves into the shapes of butterfly wings.  Cut a few pepper halves into strips to be used as butterfly antennae.  Mix and match the colors of butterfly wings and antennae.  Voila!  The beautiful, colorful butterflies are done!

The examples above are but a few of the easy, healthy, and fun foods that nannies and children can prepare together!  Imagination alone limits the possibilities!

For more information about fun that nannies and children can share, please visit Nannies4hire.com.

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