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Tuesday
Jun262012

4th of July Healthy Eats and Sweet Treats- Part 1

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. This is not to say that I do not get really excited about other holidays like Halloween and Christmas, but the 4th of July is a great time to gather with friends and family to celebrate without the pressure of gifts, baked goods, complex decorating schemes, etc. The colors and theme are already picked for you, and gatherings are usually held outdoors so you don’t have to stress about the fact that you have not dusted your woodwork since Christmas. This past weekend I hosted one such event in our backyard. Instead of making a fancy dessert, I decided to make a healthy snack and a sweet treat. Both featured the colors red, white and blue and a star-theme. Today’s post will feature the Healthy Eats portion of our dessert; check back tomorrow for the Sweet Treat.

One thing I really liked about both of these snacks/desserts (other than their tastiness) is that my daughter Maggie could assist during different stages. She is 4 so it didn’t necessarily make the preparation go faster, but it did give her a chance to work on some kitchen skills and for me to work on some patience skills.

Healthy Eats: 4th of July Fruit Stacks

{inspired by the fruit flag featured on The Kitchn: }

Ingredients needed:

Watermelon

Bananas

Blueberries

2.5 inch star-shaped cookie cutter (it could be bigger or smaller-this is just what I used)

4-inch skewers

The first thing I did was cut a slice off of the watermelon, lay it flat on a cookie sheet (it keeps the juice from going everywhere) and cut the rind off. I then set the child loose on punching out star-shaped watermelon “cookies”.

This lasted about 3 minutes until I got tired of helping her get the cookie cutter unstuck (I cut the first slice to thick), and she became more interested in eating the watermelon than making stars.

I then had an epiphany that slicing the watermelon vertically would make it easier to cut thin even slices, which would make it easier to cut out stars; the star-shaped cookie cutter I used was about 1-inch thick.

It went a little faster then; Maggie supervised and I punched out the watermelon stars. When we were done we had about 28 stars. We also had a lot of scraps which I did not want to waste, so we saved them to snack on this week. (She wore the yellow hard hat you see in the background while supervising, but did not want it on for her big modeling moment.)

Once we had our stars ready to go; I sliced up some bananas, washed the blueberries and modeled for the child how to skewer the fruit to make a red, white and blue fruit tower without poking her eye out or stabbing her finger. While I organized the watermelon stars into leftover cupcake wrappers I found in the closet (some were stars-perfect!) the child worked off the cost of the mango smoothie I bought her at Target earlier that day and skewered all of the fruit towers. I was impressed. 

We served them at the party an hour later, and the only regret I had was that I did not dip the banana slices in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. The supervisor gave them two-thumbs up, and they were enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. For the really little ones we took the skewer out before putting the fruit on their plates. These would also be cute for a patriotic brunch. You could also use longer skewers and skewer the stars sideways, alternating banana pieces and blueberries if you wanted something a little more substantial.

Come back tomorrow to check out the “Sweet Treat” in Part 2 of this post!

References (1)

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  • Response
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