Does pasta, grilled cheese, pizza, and chicken nuggets sound familiar? If you’re the parent of a preschooler, you probably have a restaurant kid’s menu memorized. Those five foods are basic staples in the diet of a preschooler. The trouble is those foods are fine for the occasional dinner out, but preschoolers love to eat them all the time. Would your preschooler eat pizza every day? How about chicken nuggets? We already know the answer is yes. Feeding preschoolers can be frustrating because they don’t like to try new creative foods and prefer their favs, but there are a lot of health benefits to colorful food recipes.
So, what is a colorful plate? A colorful plate or eating the rainbow is a fun way of reminding everyone to add a variety of fruits and veggies to the diet. For preschoolers, switching up the menu and putting creative foods on their plate is important because of all the health benefits of having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. As parents, we know that’s easier said than done, but that’s where the creative food part comes in. With these colorful food recipes on the menu, preschoolers will be on the road to eating a rainbow and liking it.
Does your preschooler turn their noses up at a side of fruits or veggies with dinner? That’s pretty common, but it’s a well-known fact that fruits and veggies taste better when they’re arranged in a face. Well, not really, but kids think so. A fun way to make fruits and veggies a creative food for lunch or dinner is to make a face. All you need to do is take arrange cut-up fruits and vegetables to form a face. For example, bananas make for a great mouth. Strawberries are cool hair while apple slices work as eyebrows. Kids will get a kick out of eating the face and it never gets boring because you can always change up the ingredients and make different facial formations.
- Sun butter (can use Nutella or yogurt)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cut apples into thin slices.
- Use a cookie cutter to make apples into fun seasonal shapes like pumpkins for Halloween.
- Spread a thin layer of sun butter.
- Top with blueberries and pumpkin seeds.
- Plain or vanilla yogurt
- Pumpkin seeds
- Take a medium-sized glass and spoon in a layer of yogurt to cover the bottom.
- Make a layer of cut-up strawberries.
- Cover with yogurt.
- Make a layer of blueberries.
- Cover with yogurt.
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.
- Whole wheat hot dog bun
- Sun butter (can also use peanut butter)
- Diced red apples
- Take the hot dog bun and spread a layer or sun butter.
- Peel the banana and place inside.
- Sprinkle diced red apples on top.
Cheese quesadillas are another mainstay for preschoolers. You can always make a quesadilla a creative food by adding chopped tomatoes and spinach into the cheese mixture before cooking. Some kids though won’t eat it with the tomatoes and spinach inside. Another way would be to make a plain cheese quesadilla and cut it into fours. Then arrange the cut pieces on a plate with the triangles touching like a pinwheel. Fill in the spaces in between with carrot sticks to make a sun. Place an orange slice on top of where the cut quesadillas meet to complete the sun look.
Tacos on their own are a colorful dish. A rainbow of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and more goes into this delicious and healthy meal. Preschoolers though may not love the meat or chicken mixture forming the base of a taco. This is where the creative food part comes in. If you turn a taco on its side, it does look like an open mouth. Set up a taco bar on the table with chopped fruits and veggies your preschooler likes. Carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, apples, and tomatoes are yummy and colorful options. Let preschoolers stuff their own taco mouth. When kiddos have a hand in putting together their meal, they are more apt to eat it. Include meat, chicken, or black beans as a choice. More adventurous eaters may add it to their taco mouth.
Restaurant pizza may not the healthiest, but homemade pizza is. Take ready-made dough and roll it out into small pizzas. Spread your preschooler’s favorite sauce on top, add cheese, and cook. When it’s done, cut the small pie into fours. Arrange the cut pizza pieces to look like hair. Complete the face by using a banana for a mouth, strawberries for the eyes and nose. You can also make a mouth with carrots. Add apple slices as eyebrows.
Eating a rainbow is a simple way to remind everyone of the importance of a colorful plate. Fruits and vegetables add color and so many other important things to our diet. Getting preschoolers to eat a rainbow is a bit more challenging. Many kids don’t like to try new things and stick to their favorite foods. The trick to making a colorful plate for preschoolers is putting together creative foods. These seven recipes are an imaginative twist on kid favs like pizza and quesadillas that make a colorful plate by adding in fruits and veggies preschoolers enjoy and might be encouraged to try.
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