Playing With Food: 7 Cute & Creative After-School Snack Ideas For Toddlers

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This is where you actually encourage your toddlers to play with their food. Not every day, maybe once a week. Perhaps a number of you are shaking your heads thinking, ain’t nobody got time for that.

To which, I would generally agree. If I were proposing that you provide such fantastical snack-age for your tots every day after school. Which I’m not. As chief memory maker and food provider to my children, I make time to incorporate fun, age-centric activities involving food for my kids. On occasion.

For a number of reasons, revolving around the inherent pickiness that comes with the toddler stage and my desire to watch them clap their hands with delight over being presented a snack plate that they can’t wait to dig into. Tell stories about. Play with. To watch them gobble up healthy tidbits that otherwise wouldn’t make it into the caverns of their growing bellies. For little effort (I’m talking 15-20 minutes every couple of weeks), making food fun in this way is something that ends in you marveling at how your little one(s) become more connected to the food on their plate. More inquisitive, more positive, less picky.

Click through for 7 easy and fun after-school snack ideas for toddlers…

  • Healthy, Delicious & Fun! 1 of 8

    Making food into art, the easy way.

  • "Flying Fishies" 2 of 8

    Dubbed as such by my 2-year-old, except it sounded more like an exclamation of, "fwyeeng fishiiiieeees!!!"

    What You'll Need:

    • crackers for the sand (I used falafel 'chips')
    • goldfish for the fish (der)
    • bananas and dried apricot for the sun
    • bananas for the clouds
    • small paring knife

    How You Do:

    Follow the picture as a visual guide, and cut and place your ingredients as shown. Use your paring knife to cut the banana into spears to depict the rays of the sun and fluffy clouds floating by.

  • "Senor Bunny" 3 of 8

    This guy is a little more detailed. But the effort is worth it! He would serve wonderfully as a dinner alternative for those nights that you dish the kids an early dinner, get them bathed, storied, and cuddled up and into bed with thoughts of a romantic dinner for two swirling through your mind. 

    Get the instructions here

  • "Punch Buggies & Race Cars" 4 of 8

    Adored by both little boys and girls, you'd be hard-pressed to not hear any muffled VROOM VROOMS announced as they stuff their little faces with glee.

    What You'll Need:

    •  Hummus and seed crackers to act as the pavement  (I used roasted red pepper hummus)
    • Carrots sliced circularly for the wheels
    • Cucumber for the bodies of the cars, the flesh of the cucumber for the windows and door knobs on the cars
    • Apple (with skin on) cut into flames
    • Small paring knife for the detail work

    How You Do:

    Again, follow the picture as a visual guide and cut and arrange your ingredients as shown. 

  • "Tall Sunflowers" 5 of 8

    What You'll Need:

    • Arugula (or any other green), for the grass and the leaves
    • Orange cheddar cheese and almonds for the alternating petals
    • Cucumber for the sunflower stems/stalks
    • Dried apple rounds and raspberries for the sunflower centers

    How You Do:

    Follow the picture above as your visual guide, and cut and arrange your ingredients as shown. 

  • "Eggtastic Crew" 6 of 8

    Another quick meal alternative, or a smaller snack if you choose to do only one of these cute little guys. I boil a dozen eggs up once a week for quick breakfasts, lunch salads and snacks on the go, so making these is as easy as reaching into the fridge.

    Get the instructions here

  • "Big Meow Meow" 7 of 8

    Also as dubbed by my 2-year-old amidst much roaring and nibbling.

    What You'll Need:

    • Dried apricots for the mane
    • Flatbread for the face and ears
    • Fresh (or dried) blueberries for the eyes
    • Dried prune for the nose
    • Thin pear slices (skin on) for the whiskers
    • Thin banana slices and a raspberry for the mouth
    • Sunflower seeds (2) one in each ear for a little detail
    • Small paring knife
    • Cuisine scissors to cut the face out of the flatbread

    How You Do: 

    Picture guide time once again! I'd say it's pretty self-explanatory, no?

  • "I Love You" 8 of 8

    What You'll Need: 

    • Marshmallows for the clouds
    • Oval apple slice for the hot air balloon (skin on)
    • Raspberry for the nose of the hot air balloon
    • Banana spear for the banner
    • Reserved apple peels from detailing the hot air balloon to depict the ribbon attaching the banner to the balloon.
    • Chocolate sauce and paintbrush for lettering
    • Small paring knife

    How You Do:

    Arrange the marshmallows as clouds at the top of a plate. (I always like to use white; it makes the design really pop out.) Cut the banana spear as shown, to resemble a banner. Slice the apple as shown into an oval, and cut long, thin strips of the peel off to reveal the flesh as shown. This will give you a cute, striped effect. Attach the balloon to the banner with some of those peelings and paint whatever message you want on the banana banner!


More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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