Making Food Fun~Frugally!

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on August 1, 2011

As you all know, I’m an MVP Generation Go Ambassador-and I’ve been talking each week about ideas to keep your family healthy and active!  So far we’ve discussed Meal Planning, Kids and Youth Sports,  active role models and discovering your community.  This week’s MVP Generation Go topic was to talk about fabulous fun recipes for kids!

Of course the intent of the MVP Generation Go program is to encourage families to live a healthy, active lifestyle.  Part of a healthy lifestyle is eating healthy and nutritious food-which can be a challenge if you’ve got a picky eater on your hands!

Never fear-there are ways to get even the pickiest kid to eat things that are good for them–and without spending a fortune!  Here are 4 great ideas to help make food more fun (and therefore more likely to get eaten).  As an added bonus-they don’t cost a thing!

1. Change the name.

Would a rose smell as sweet if it were named “Skunk Cabbage?”.  I don’t know. . .but I do know that Buddy wouldn’t touch pea soup with a ten foot pole until I renamed it “Shrek Swamp Slime Stew”!

And let’s face it-“Peanut Butter Stuffed Celery with Raisins”  just doesn’t sound anywhere near as interesting as “Ants on a Log”.

Photo by Mitchell Bartlett

So get creative and try your hand at renaming a few things on your dinner menu!

2.  Make it look cool

Yes, names can make a difference but looks can help even more!  Kids are visual creatures–most kids believe that if it looks cool, it must taste good.  Use that to your advantage!  With a little creativity you can take everyday foods and make them look interesting.  (note:  I’m not saying hotdogs are health food)

Photo by Angela

spear uncooked spaghetti through hot dogs before boiling! Photo by Jeremy Felt

Even something as small as cutting a sandwich into a different shape can make it more appealing to picky little eaters:

Photo by me :)

3.  Make it small

Kids are fascinated by little things.  You can take advantage of this little quirk by making “Muffin Tin” lunches for them.

Photo by Connie Krebs

Photo by Lisa Clark

Try cutting up vegetables and keeping them in the fridge, then at snack time you can fill one muffin tin hole with dip and the rest with a variety of vegetables.  I bet they all get eaten!

4.  Sneak it in

There are tons of great recipes out there spurred by the book “Deceptively Delicious” on how to sneak veggies into food your kids normally eat.   Things like Butternut Macaroni and Cheese  and Black Bean Brownies.  You can also just jazz up the nutritional content of your favorite recipes with a few substitutions or additions.  Try adding 1/2 cup or so of pureed carrots or butternut squash to your regular spaghetti recipe, or making Jello Jigglers for a snack with juice instead of water.

There you have it, 4 great ways to make food fun for kids!

Now, here’s your chance to share more ideas AND be entered in to win a $50 Visa Giftcard courtesy of Kids Fun Plaza! :)

This giveaway starts today, August 1st and ends at midnight EST on Sunday August 7th.  Winners will be announced next Monday.

To enter, we would like to know what your favorite fun snack is for your kids!

For an additional entry you can:

Tweet your ideas about how to get out and get active using the #GenerationGo hashtag (one entry).

Don’t forget to head on over to the MVP Generation Go Facebook page andgive them a “like”! You’ll see all the great posts by the other Ambassadors-and to see their gift card giveaways as well!

*****This is a sponsored post*****

DISCLOSURE: I am an MVP Generation Go ambassador.  MVP Has provided me with compensation for this post.  My participation is voluntary and my opinion is always my own.  The $50 Gift Card for this giveaway was provided by Kids Fun Plaza.

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