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Get kids in the kitchen with easy-to-make cool treats

 

New Hope student Jitterrah Rogers, 12, in front, joins her siblings and dad in a cool summer treat of frozen stylized watermelon stars on popsicle sticks. It’s just one of today’s so-simple ideas for refreshing summer treats children can make. Behind Jitterrah are, from left, Aniah Rogers, 7; Jakayah Rogers, 5; and Dionshanae Rogers, 11. Standing in back are dad, Robert Rogers, and Treyshaun Bunnell, 13. The children’s parents are Robert Rogers and Tina Perryman of Columbus.

New Hope student Jitterrah Rogers, 12, in front, joins her siblings and dad in a cool summer treat of frozen stylized watermelon stars on popsicle sticks. It’s just one of today’s so-simple ideas for refreshing summer treats children can make. Behind Jitterrah are, from left, Aniah Rogers, 7; Jakayah Rogers, 5; and Dionshanae Rogers, 11. Standing in back are dad, Robert Rogers, and Treyshaun Bunnell, 13. The children’s parents are Robert Rogers and Tina Perryman of Columbus. Photo by: Kelly Tippett  Buy this photo.

 

Treyshaun, left, cuts up pineapple and strawberries to add to banana and watermelon splits, while Dionshanae drizzles chocolate on the cool snack.

Treyshaun, left, cuts up pineapple and strawberries to add to banana and watermelon splits, while Dionshanae drizzles chocolate on the cool snack.
Photo by: Kelly Tippett  Buy this photo.

 

With a little help from Dad, Aniah, left, and Jakayah use candy and icing to make facial features on cookies coated with icing. Both girls attend New Hope Elementary School.

With a little help from Dad, Aniah, left, and Jakayah use candy and icing to make facial features on cookies coated with icing. Both girls attend New Hope Elementary School.
Photo by: Kelly Tippett  Buy this photo.

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

Sometimes kids just need a little inspiration to try something in the kitchen. Sultry summertime offers a great opportunity to tempt them to make some simple, fun and yes, even healthy, snacks. The time together with mom or dad -- or grandparents -- can be a memory-builder, too. 

 

Summer''s luscious fruit, watermelon, is an uncomplicated place to start. Whether 2 or 12, every child can enjoy taking a cookie cutter to slices of watermelon. Try a star, football, or simple flower shape on slices of a mouth-watering melon (seedless varieties are great). Usually 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick slices will do, but cut yours to match the depth of your cookie cutter. 

 

When shapes are cut out, let the kids carefully insert a popsicle or craft stick into the bottom of each one. The melon-sicles are now ready to go into the freezer on a foil-lined pan for a couple of hours. Youngsters -- and adults -- will get a kick out of this no-fuss summer staple on a stick. For added party flare, reserve half of your original watermelon as a "holder" and stick the frozen sicles in it when ready to present at the table or poolside. 

 

 

 

Going bananas 

 

Put a fresh, healthy twist on the old banana split by substituting watermelon balls for ice cream. For kid-sized splits, cut a peeled banana in half lengthwise and then halve the length. With a melon scoop, add three or four watermelon balls between the banana slices. Add strawberries, pineapple, blueberries or any fruit topping and drizzle with chocolate for a delectable finish. 

 

For the younger set, an afternoon spent baking and decorating cookies with a parent can be the highlight of the week. You can even use the large store-bought cookies and skip the oven-time.  

 

A quick trip to the grocery store for a variety of Rollos, gummy fruit, M&Ms and the like can provide eyes, noses, mouths and even hair to make funny faces on cookies covered with a thin layer of cake icing. (Let the kids have at it; don''t worry if the results aren''t perfect.) And, a couple of tubes of gel icing will absorb your little artists. This can be a giggling activity for birthday parties, sleepovers, or when it''s just plain too hot to be outside. 

 

Or, how about frozen grape pops? After washing any color grapes you prefer (alternating colors makes a visual treat), skewer about six on an 8-inch lollipop stick. You can usually find them at big box stores, or cake/candy supply sources. Place the grape sticks in a freezer-safe plastic bag and freeze overnight for a cool treat to keep on hand. And don''t forget that Jell-O poured into ice cube trays and frozen hits the spot, too. 

 

Adults and youngsters spending kitchen time together is almost a lost art in many households these days. Admittedly, with busy schedules, it may take a little effort to carve out the time. But fun in the kitchen, elbow to elbow, can turn children on to healthier eating, teach them some basics and even strengthen family bonds. 

 

Today''s food pages include more so-simple kid-friendly ideas to try out this summer and beyond. And fortunately, there''s no age limit on enjoying them! 

 

 

 

WATERMELON DIPPERS 

 

 

 

8 ounces sour cream 

 

4 tablespoons sugar 

 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

 

Watermelon sticks or small wedges 

 

     

     

  • Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl. Use as a dip for watermelon.
 

 

  • (Source: www.watermelon.org/kids_recipes.asp)
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    WATERMELON KABOBS 

     

     

     

    1-inch cubes seedless watermelon 

     

    Smoked turkey breast 

     

    Cheddar cheese 

     

    Coffee stirrers or beverage straws 

     

       

       

    • Cut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes and skewer on stirrers or straws. An easy, fast, no-mess meal.
     

     

    (Source: www.childrensrecipes.com) 

     

     

     

    COCONUT COVERED BANANAS 

     

     

     

    One orange 

     

    Two bananas 

     

    1 cup shredded coconut 

     

       

       

    • Cut bananas into several chunks. 

       

    • Cut the orange, squeeze some of the juice onto a saucer and roll the banana in the juice (Then eat the orange!) 

       

    • Roll the banana in the coconut; cover well.
     

     

    (Source: www.childrensrecipes.com) 

     

     

     

    FRUITY SMOOTHIE 

     

     

     

    1 cup nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt or lowfat milk 

     

    1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional) 

     

    Two ice cubes 

     

    Any fruit desired (fresh or frozen) 

     

       

       

    • Rinse and pull off stems (if needed) 

       

    • Cut up fruits such as apples, mangoes, plums or pears. Add the remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor. 

       

    • Blend for about 30-40 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses.
     

     

    (Source: childrensrecipes.com) 

     

     

     

    VANILLA PUDDING AND WAFER CUPS 

     

     

     

    Two boxes vanilla Jell-O  

     

    pudding 

     

    One box mini Nilla wafers 

     

    One tub whipped topping 

     

    One dark chocolate bar 

     

       

       

    • Prepare pudding according to directions. Line a dessert bowl with the wafers and pour pudding mix on top. 

       

    • Place four wafers on top to make a design. Put a dollop of whipped topping on top. Shave dark chocolate over top. Allow to refrigerate for at least four hours, to allow cookies to soften.
     

     

    (Source: www.associatedcontent.com/article/1737884/cool_summer_dessert_recipe)

     

    Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

     

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