Getting kids to eat the kind of foods you want them to eat can be challenging. When it comes to fruits, veggies and other “good” stuff, making their food a little more fun can be just the ticket to getting them interested in healthier options. We chatted with Cooking Channel’s Kelsey Nixon, mom to 3-year-old Ollie, about her adorable sandwich art recipes and her tips to getting kids to eat nutritious meals.
SheKnows: What was the inspiration behind creating these cute sandwiches?
Kelsey Nixon: Like so many moms, I’m always looking for ways to get my toddler son excited about eating nutritious foods and whole grains. We love working together to make sandwich art in the kitchen. It’s a great way to tap into his creativity and make mealtime more fun. This is also a great opportunity for me to offer up a variety of vegetables for him to experiment with. When nutritious and fun come together, it’s a surefire win for everyone involved.
SK: What other fun ways do you encourage your son to eat nutritious ingredients?
KN: When I take Ollie grocery shopping with me, I try to reserve a little time to have fun there. For example, I’ll tell him that we’re going to pick out one new red or green vegetable to cook in the kitchen that week and that he’s in charge of picking it. This gets him really excited about trying new veggies that he normally wouldn’t want anything to do with. It’s been a really fun thing for us to do together. Last week, he chose edamame!
SK: Any tips for getting kids involved in the kitchen and in cooking?
KN: My mom had a huge impact on me when it came to cooking simply with her attitude alone. She never complained about cooking and always seemed to enter our kitchen with a spring in her step. My mom was awesome at this, but honestly… I find this mindset a bit harder to pull off all week long. But I think of that attribute often and try to emulate the way my mom approached food and cooking in such a positive way in our home. I think it’s important to make the kitchen an inviting place to be for your kids. Think of simple tasks to have them help with for dinner prep, take them grocery shopping with you, or maybe even assign them one day a week where they get to pick what the family will cook and eat that night. The more involvement, the better.
Recipes courtesy of Kelsey Nixon
Lion sandwich recipe
- 2 slices Nature’s Harvest Butter Top Made with Whole Grain Wheat Bread
- 2 slices deli turkey
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1 slice cheddar cheese, cut into small triangles
- 1 string cheese stick, sliced into rounds
- 2 blueberries
- 1 baby zucchini
- 1 strawberry
- Using a drinking glass, press 2 circles into the center of each slice of bread. Transfer 1 circle to the center of the plate to assemble.
- Top with deli turkey slices and shredded carrots. Arrange the cheddar cheese triangles around the edge of the bread circle. Top with the remaining bread circle.
- Decorate the face by using 2 string cheese rounds topped with blueberries for the eyes. For the nose, cut off the top end of the baby zucchini for the center, and thinly slice the zucchini for 3 whiskers on each side. Slice the bottom third of a strawberry to make the lion’s mouth.