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5 Food crafts for kids

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Crafts you can eat!

If you love crafting with your kids, you'll adore these fun and imaginative food crafts for kids -- and you can eat the results.

sugar cookies

Messy decorated cookies

Kids love decorating things -- whether it's a sheet of construction paper or a plate of cookies. Here's an easy way to let them get messy with their cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Sprinkles, sprinkles and more sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Prepare the cookies according to package directions. Allow them to cool completely.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and water, stirring well.
  3. Set up decorating stations by lining two baking sheets with aluminum foil and topping each with a mesh cooling rack. Divide the cookies evenly between them.
  4. Set out the sprinkles so your kids can choose their own. Working with one cookie at a time, brush with the sugar/water mixture and then allow the child to decorate his cookie as desired. Repeat this process until all the cookies have been decorated.
  5. Allow the glaze to dry before eating.

Bunny pear salad

This adorable salad is all about the presentation, which is cute enough to eat -- good thing you can. This edible craft recipe comes from a childhood friend, who submitted it to our elementary school cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 4 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
  • 2 pears, cut in half (peeled, if desired)
  • 8 raisins
  • 2 maraschino cherries, halved
  • 8 almond slices
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese

Directions:

  1. Lay a leaf of lettuce on each of four plates. Top with a half of a pear.
  2. On the narrow end of each pair, place two raisins (eyes), half of a maraschino cherry (nose) and two almond slices (ears).
  3. Place a 1-tablespoon ball of cottage cheese next to the fatter end of the pair (tail). Serve immediately.

TIP

Pick up a pint-sized apron for your child and help her decorate it with fabric paint. She'll love wearing her special creation in the kitchen!

Homemade play dough

Technically they shouldn't be eating play dough, of course, but this easy recipe is made completely with food-grade ingredients. Think of it as playing with food in a good way. The recipe comes from my kids' school, where parents take turns making play dough each month.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Gel food coloring

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil and water in a medium saucepan. Add gel food coloring (color will darken as dough cooks). Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing.
  2. Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate-covered pretzel rod People

These are as yummy as they are easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 pretzel rods
  • Mini M&Ms and sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler set over hot water. Stir frequently until just melted smooth.
  2. Use a spoon to coat about half of each pretzel with chocolate. Hold the rod by the chocolate-free end and gently shake the chocolate down and off to smooth.
  3. Transfer the rods to a waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet and decorate with Mini M&Ms for eyes and sprinkles for the nose and mouth. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before eating.

Sweet homemade soft pretzel hearts

Is there anything not totally adorable about these? Warm homemade soft pretzels are sweetened with cinnamon and sugar -- and they're hearts!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Pour yeast into the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes. It should foam. Add sugar and stir well to combine. Add flour and salt, stirring. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well for 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough looks smooth.
  3. Divide dough into 10 pieces. Roll each into a long, thin rope, and then form it into a heart shape. Place onto prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  4. Brush all pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Bake or 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown.

More ways to get kids involved in the kitchen

Kid-friendly recipes from A to Z
8 Recipes you can make with the kids
Kids a-cookin': Tropical Fruit Dip

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