Easy ways to avoid food ‘boredom’ at home with children

By Karla Gilbert

Karla Gilbert is an accredited Nutrition and Health Coach, and a mum of two girls. She shares her top tips on fun snack ideas to try with your children at home.

In some states around Australia, eating out is a difficult proposition during these times. With some lock downs still in place, there is the sound of clanging pots and pans, as a focus shines on the home kitchen in efforts to avoid social situations. Children generally love the thought of eating out as it usually involves a ‘treat’, but what if we could replicate this at home with a healthy twist?

Serving up healthy meals in novel ways is a great avenue to entice fussy or ‘bored’ eaters. Usually, if we remotely link food preparation to pretend play it is a sure-fire winner, so encourage your children to be involved. When there is a connection made with creating a meal, a sense of ownership takes place, which is so vital in forming skills and positive experiences around food.

Here are some fun snack ideas to whip up with your children at home.

Quick Fruit Fairy Wands

These fruit fairy wands are super simple.

  • Have a couple of skewers on hand
  • Place the grapes on first, or berries if they are in season
  • With a star shaped cookie cutter, make some watermelon stars
  • On hot days, place the wands in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving

Pirate Boat Fruit Snacks

Now time for some pirate fun!

  • Cut an orange into two halves and then into ‘smiley’ faces eights
  • Chop up some bananas into round shapes and in half diagonally then into sections for the pirate body. You could also use a grape for the body.
  • Again, with toothpicks or skewers, slide the banana pieces on and stick in the middle of the orange ‘boat’
  • For extra squeals of happiness place in the freezer for a few hours.

Owl Rice Cakes

Have fun making this cute rice cake owl snack or light lunch for your children. They won’t even catch on to the fact that it is healthy! I used sliced chicken for this owl, but you can use whatever your child prefers. You also easily swap the vegetables in this recipe, it’s really all about being able to create the shapes.

  • 1 slice deli meat of your choice (chicken, ham, etc.)
  • 1 rice cake
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 2 sultanas
  • 1 slice of cheese
  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • 1 carrot stick

1. Lay the meat on top of the rice cake.
2. Carefully slice your boiled egg and use the two middle slices as eyes, place sultanas on for here for eyeballs.
3. Using a knife cut a small triangle for the beak and fashion feet out of cheese, as shown in picture.
4. Cut one cucumber slice in half and use as wings, then with another slice make the ears.
5. Once positioned on a plate, place a carrot length ways underneath the owl to serve as a tree branch.