Ideas for snacks that kids can make, and tips for teaching kids to make healthy eating choices. Download the free printable kids’ recipes and “today I ate a rainbow” chart. 
I ate a rainbow free printable chart for kids
Free printable chart to help kids eat a rainbow every day. Click here for the download. 

Last week my 8 year old and I were in charge of leading a Girl Scouts badge. We had so much fun teaching a kids cooking class at the Santa Barbara Public Market a few months ago, we jumped at the chance to lead the “snacks” badge. We love making cutesy foods like our bear rice cakes and heart fruit skewers, but for this badge we decided to teach the girls how to make a few simple recipes they can use for the rest of their lives.

Food education is something that many other countries focus on more than we do here in the US. In Japan, it is now the law that children learn about healthy eating starting in kindergarten. (source) Children are not innately picky and wired to only eat chicken nuggets. But we must teach them how to eat from a young age. 

We started the lesson with a little discussion on healthy food choices. Some of the questions I asked the girls were: 
  • What is the purpose of food? (To fuel our body and mind.) 
  • How can you tell if a food is healthy or not? (Nutrition labels and choosing foods that come from nature, without packaging. We should be able to pronounce all the ingredients on a nutrition label to avoid chemicals and fillers.) 
  • How do fruits and vegetables make you feel inside? How do sweets make you feel? (Tired and grumpy, or focused and strong.) 
  • Why is it important to make healthy food choices? (To be strong and healthy.) 
  • What are some of your favorite delicious natural foods? 
We talked about how fresh fruits and vegetables are beautiful and each color provides important vitamins and minerals. If you could use help getting your kids (or yourself) to eat a wider variety of colors, download the chart above. Depending on age, you can place a sticker or check mark in each box, or write down the specific foods in each color group. 
After our talk we got cooking! I set up three stations with easy snacks that most kids love and we covered almost all the colors.   
1. Fruit Smoothies
2. Trail Mix 
3. Guacamole 
The girls loved all three. I was in charge of the blender and don’t recommend kids use blenders at all. Another parent helped with cutting for the guacamole, but other than that the girls could make everything themselves. It was great to see the girls take pride in what they had made and gobble it up. 
I made printable recipes for kids that you can download for the kids in your life. 

I made these recipes for the kids to use. It’s fun for kids to have a copy of recipes they can make. Feel free to download them here. I am happy to share them with you for educational or personal use only.

The girls were excited to create their own personalized trail mixes. I found these cute spring bags at Michael’s. The ingredients I brought were: almonds, cashews, peanuts, banana chips, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. Please be sure none of the kids in your group have nut allergies if you are going to use this idea.

 It’s hard to keep your fingers out of the guac! Making guacamole with the girls was a tasty way to show them how simple it is to make a delicious snack just using natural ingredients: avocado, tomato, garlic, and lime.

I loved seeing the kids fired up about natural foods. And I realized again how important food education is in a well rounded education. Whether you’re leading a Girl Scouts badge, or just having fun cooking with your own kids, I hope these ideas will help! 

More helpful posts:
How to Get Kids to Eat Healthier 
3 Healthy Snacks Kids Can Make 
Photos of School Lunches Around the World 
“Death to the Chicken Finger: How we created an entire generation of unsophisticated, picky eaters…” 

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