Tuesday, July 14, 2009

summer snacks: fairy berry pies

If your experience is anything like mine, you're probably finding that summer appetites are making you scramble to keep the snacks flowing. I've made it my new goal to have my children creating more of their meals and washing up after themselves. We'll just see how that goes. My four year old really wants to do everything by herself, anyway. She created these bite-sized pies and came up with most of the recipe with very little help.


fresh berries
flavored yogurt (we chose strawberry, but vanilla would be good too)
graham crackers
nut butter
fruit juice
mini cupcake liners
note: there are no measurements... just lots of experimenting.

  • CRUSH: graham crackers with a potato masher in a (non-breakable) bowl. Sprinkle in a handful of granola and crush some more
  • MIX: several spoonfuls of your favorite nut butter. Add a bit of honey. This part gets good and messy... blend with hands until "crust" sticks together when pinched
  • SPLASH: a bit of juice in, if it's still too crumbly.
  • PRESS: spoonfuls into lined mini muffin tins
  • BAKE: (with assistance from a grown-up) at 350 degrees until golden and crisp.
  • DROP: a teaspoon of yogurt on each cooled crust.
  • TOP: with fresh berries!
Serve these bite sized pies to very impressed family and friends...

and don't forget to set one out in the garden for the fairies!

So we're off to a good start, but I'm hoping you can help me a little bit. Although I pride myself on healthy and creative options for my family (once upon a time I even thought I'd write a cookbook!), I'm feeling like most of our snackage is the same old stuff these days. We could really use some fresh ideas. Do your children have a favorite snack that's easy for them to prepare... or even one that you make with minimal effort? I'd be forever grateful for your input! I bet we'd all enjoy perusing the comment section if it had lots of new inspiration to munch on. Thank you! Pin It


  1. What a sweet idea! I picked 20 lbs of cherries last week that I've been making into different things, my little girl would love these!

  2. My oldest likes "Jello fruit" - like the gel fruit cups you can buy at the store, only we make them at home instead.

    Or peanut butter dough. He loves to play with it, but doesn't manage to eat all that much of it.

    We also have a microwave veggie steamer. He loves to snack on steamed carrots and yellow squash. I cut them up and stick them in the fridge and he can arrange it all and zap it in the microwave himself.

  3. Lovely and yummy!
    I know that these bars (http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliealvarez/3464685836/in/set-72157605263403647/) aren't the quickest thing to cook, but they aren't hard or too long either, and they are fantastically yummy! And incredibly nutritious too.
    We also make a variation of pancakes a la argentina, with whole wheat flour and eggs, oil, milk and a pinch of salt. Keep them in the freezer, and then take some out, cut some fruit and toss in with a spoon of honey!

  4. These sound so yummy and I don't have kids! :) I'm not sure the kids could help much with this, but my favorite fast sandwich is just fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella all grilled up in a little olive oil on your favorite bread.

  5. Love this one - and we like anything in muffin paper. We often make "smiley face snacks"...I slice a banana, put peanut butter (or almond butter or nutella) in a ziplock bag, snip the corner and squeeze out smiley faces on each "banana face." My 3-year-old likes to squeeze out the PB too - usually in big globs. MMMM

  6. Oh, thank you!! These are all wonderful... please, keep them coming!!

  7. We're a fan of a good 'ol nut butter and bannana sandwich. We like to smush the bannanas up and spread it on one slice of bread, then the butter on the other slice, put them together and Tada!

  8. My favorite summer snack No cooking required
    Sliced cucmber
    Hummus, any flavor
    Chopped red pepper
    Fresh chopped Thyme (we grow lemon)
    salt and pepper.

    We stack it all onto the bite sized pieces of cucumber. Delicious!

  9. There's a couple of ways we let the students in my room prep their own food.

    1- we have all child-sized kitchen utensils (Montessori Services has great ones!) and we just set out a few options- carrots, oranges, apples, cucumbers, whatever veg we've got- and let them peel the carrots, chop the food, squeeze their own oj. It's all about setting it up for their use. They even clean up afterwards.

    2- I used to use cookie cutters for EVERYTHING. Let them cut out cheese shapes, or sandwich shapes or jello jiggler shapes. Independence is empowering.

    3- Food coloring goes a long way. We used to dye biscuit dough green for 'moon craters' and such. "Special Alien Lunch" was a big hit. ;)

    Good luck!

  10. Natural jello
    1 Tbsp agar-agar flakes
    2 Tbsp honey
    2 cups natural fruit juice
    fresh fruit or berries
    I like to let the children decorate the bottoms of muffin tins with their favorite fruit or berries. Then we pour the heated ( to dissolve) fruit juice, agar agar and honey mixture carefully on top. Cool in the refrigerator for an hour or so and enjoy a fun, healthy snack any child would love.
    Agar agar is actually nutritious unlike the traditional jello.

  11. my eldest is super fussy BUT my youngest is gr8! Her fave snack at the mo is crudites, basically sliced raw veg with something to dip in! (red pepper hummus is her fave, but she also likes sour cream and chive dip, dead easy to make!)Honey and marmite wholemeal toast is also a winner, don't ask me y coz everyone else thinks it's grim!!!But she eats it by the plate full!!

  12. Spinach smoothies are a favorite at our house. My kids call them "green smoothies". I just put a generous handful of spinach in a blender, add about 3/4 frozen fruit (unsweetened), a banana (optional), a yogurt (any flavor you like), some milk (about a cup) and some 100% juice (about a half-cup). Blend until smooth! You can also add things like flax or chia seed gel and they will never know! YUM!

  13. my addition to the idea pool is homemade hummus.

    1 can mostly drained chickpeas
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
    dab of olive oil
    squeeze of fresh lemon juice
    1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    I blend it all up with a hand stick mixer (what's it called...the blender you hold in your hand that has a long shaft with a blender like blade at the bottom...anyway, THAT one).

    Easy, easy and made with stuff that's usually on hand. My kids suck it down.

  14. We like to eat
    - sheets of seaweed (high in iron!)
    - shaped rice patties (brown rice or a grain blend mix with favorite toppings such as veggies, tuna, chicken) mix it all together and use a cookie cutter to shape
    - popcorn
    - fruit fruit and more fruit, eating it with mini skewers is fun, toothpicks work too.

  15. My daughter loves to make fairy houses and leave the fairies gifts. What a wonderful idea! Thanks!

  16. I have been keeping a container of peanut butter balls in the fridge at all times, as well as lots of cut-up carrot sticks and ready-to-eat fruit. Though I just posted today about how my kids are eating raw butter so I'm not sure how successful my own healthy summer snacking attempts have been.

  17. I think it is lovely that your children are involves in cooking. I meet many people who reach adulthood without having any ability to prepare or cook, it seems it won't be so in your house!

    I hope the faeries liked their pie!

    P.s., the Tea set if the first photo is adorable!

  18. Our latest favorite is homemade european-type-yogurt poured into little bowls topped with cherries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Put in a popsicle stick and freeze. You can also add a small amount of agave to the yogurt. When they come out pop them out of the container and a delicious-cool- creamy-fruity-snack awaits. Yum. Eat fast if it is hot outside.

  19. How about sardine pate?

    1 tin of sardines in tomato sauce
    1 carton cream cheese (like Philly)

    mash the sardines into the cheese
    spread on crackers

  20. Reading these comments just reminded me of my favorite snack as a kid. My mother used to keep store bought yogurt in the freezer all the time. I know you're looking for recipes, but it was the best.

  21. Try freezing grapes on mini skewers. My girls make trays of them recently and everyone LOVES them. :)

  22. Many children tend to eat frequently through the day as their bodies require. One should not force children to eat more and more like adults do. A child under the age of four or five might eat six to seven times a day. One can give fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain crackers, cheese cubes, peanut butter-cheese sandwiches into daily snacks. Also can try can try a yoghurt shake with fruit of choice. Try to avoid pre-packaged snacks because its unhealthy. One can go for milk-based drinks because it rich in proteins, calcium, iron, also fruit juice will be good.