Delicious and healthy toddler treats

July 14, 2008 4:17:34 PM PDT
Forget the fast food drive through and stay away from the vending machine! Lisa Quinn recently met up with Jennifer Carden, author of the "Toddler Cafe," to find out some of her fun and healthy snack ideas for kids and moms on the go.

Tropical Glop
Dips are fun and interactive for toddlers. They can scoop it up with cut pieces of veggies and fruit or spread it onto slices of bread.

Makes 1-1/2 cups

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • Two 4-ounce fruit cups, tropical or peach, drained
  • 1/2 cup diced or shredded carrots
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsweetened desiccated coconut

    Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 20 seconds to soften. Add the fruit, carrots, and salt to the bowl and use a stick blender to blend for 2 minutes, or until combined.

    To toast the coconut, place it in a dry sauté pan on medium heat and watch closely. When you see it starting to turn light brown, stir the coconut around constantly to brown the rest evenly. Then pour it onto a plate to stop cooking.

    Sprinkle the dip with the toasted coconut. Serve with apple slices, carrot, celery, or pretzel sticks.

    Toddler Tip: Have your child "draw" shapes on their plate using the veggie as a pen and the dip as the ink.

    LINKS:
    The Toddler Cafe blog
    Buy the book on Amazon
    Information on the Boon Snack Ball
    Chronicle Books

    Jennifer Carden bio:
    Jennifer is a Chef, food stylist, and mother living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has worked with some of the best cookbook authors in the business, including Jacques Pepin and Mollie Katzen. She has done live television food styling for Guy Fieri of Guys Big Bite. She has written and developed recipes and menus for restaurants and major food companies nationwide. In addition, Jennifer has contributed recipes to The Healthy Baby Workbook from Chronicle Books. Currently, she serves as a consultant for What's Cooking, a Bay Area cooking school for children and families. Jennifer's innovative ideas and humorous slant on feeding children have led her to develop books and products that help parents to feed their children healthy, quick, uncomplicated food.


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