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Fun fruit recipes for your kids

Yvette Stines has written about health, beauty, education and entertainment for numerous publications. She holds a Masters of Education and a Masters of Science in Holistic Nutrition.

Fun kid-friendly fruit recipes

Fruits are a healthy and nutritious snack for the whole family - and especially important as part of your child's diet. Kids have a natural affinity for sweets, and fruit can be a natural sweet that is also good for them. If your family isn't inclined to eat fruit, try these fun kid-friendly recipes that make eating fruit fun.

Face made out of Fruit

Create a healthy fruit habit

Inevitably, most kids gravitate towards sweets, such as candy and desserts. However, children can also acquire a deep affection for fruit and healthy snacks – if they are encouraged to create a fruit habit.

Show your kids that fruits are part of your family's lifestyle. LaToniya Jones, a non-profit executive director and educational consultant, gets her son, age seven, to eat healthy by "showing him how yummy fruits are, by eating them regularly and making them apart of our meals and snacks," she says.

You can also get creative with meals, arranging fruit into fun animals or shapes that also give dishes a vibrant inviting color.

Another trick is to make fruit attractive to your kids by showing them that fruits can change the colors of everyday dishes.

For example, swirl pureed blueberries and pureed raspberries into hot cereal to create a pinwheel effect. Puree kiwi into smoothies for a neat green drink. Let your kids use their imaginations to include fruit in every meal. The more interesting you make fruit, the more likely they will eat it.

Fun fruit recipes for kids


Recipes adapted from Creative Cooks Kitchen

Teddy Bear Pancakes

Serves 4

You will need a metal cookie cutter in the shape of a teddy bear for this dish.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk or milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Raisins
Cherries
Apple with skin
Orange peel and slices

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, buttermilk or milk, egg and oil. Preheat nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-high heat and place a teddy bear shaped cookie cutter on cooking surface.

2. Pour the batter into the cookie cutter. Cook pancakes until tops are bubbly, about 2 minutes. Lift up cookie cutter, flip teddy bear pancake. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes longer.

3. To decorate teddy bear pancake as a boy, use raisins for eyes, a cherry slice for a mouth, apple slices for a vest and a sliver of orange peel for a bow tie. For a teddy bear girl, use raisins for eyes, cherry slices for a mouth and bow, slivers of orange peel for hair, and orange slices or sliced strawberries to make a dress or skirt.

Sunny-Side Up Waffles

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 home-style or buttermilk toaster waffles
2 small containers of plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt
4 fresh peach or apricot halves

Directions:
Toast the waffles until crisp. Put one waffle on a plate and top with a heaping spoonful of yogurt. Smooth the yogurt around with the back of the spoon. Place apricot or peach half round side up in the center of the waffle. Repeat with the remaining three waffles.

Fruit Salad in a Whale-Shaped Watermelon Bowl

Serves a crowd

This is the perfect project for a birthday party or sleepover.

Ingredients:
One large watermelon
Two cantaloupes
2 honeydew melons, peeled, seeded, diced
Two teaspoons for grated lime peel
Three cups of sliced fresh strawberries
Two cups of black or red seedless grapes

Directions:
1. Wash all of the fruit and pat-dry. Using a water-soluble marker, draw an outline of a whale on the watermelon. Using a large sharp knife, carefully cut melon along marker line. Remover excess rind and set aside.

2. Use a melon baller to scoop out all of the watermelon flesh and place melon balls in a large bowl. With a vegetable peeler even out scalloped edges of watermelon and set aside.

3. Make a fruit salad with the watermelon balls, honeydew, lime peel, strawberries and grapes. Fill whale-shaped watermelon "bowl" with fruit salad and serve.

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