With so many prepackaged foods, from a variety of bars to chewy fruit snacks, lunch-box treats and after-school snacks have become quite convenient ... but not necessarily that nutritious. With just four ingredients and a few minutes of your time, you (along with your kids) can create these adorable "bugs" made out of mini cheese wheels as the base, cherry tomatoes for the head and body, cucumbers for wings, and mini pretzel rods for antennae. The bugs are so cute, the kids may not even realize they are eating vegetables and getting a good dose of calcium.
Double the recipe and make a batch at the beginning of the school week so you always have some on hand to toss in the lunch box or serve at the end of the day. These mini cheese bugs would also be great to serve at a kid's birthday party.
- 5 mini Babybel cheese rounds
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cucumber
- 5 thin pretzel sticks
Gather the ingredients.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and slice the cucumber into 5 rounds. Cut the cucumber rounds in half.
Unwrap the Babybel cheese wheels and place 2 halves of the cherry tomato on top of each; one will form the head and one will form the body.
Place 2 cucumber halves standing up around each cherry tomato body to form the wings.
Break each pretzel stick in half. Gently push 2 pretzel sticks into each cheese wheel on either side of the cherry tomato head to form the antennae.
Eat immediately or pack in a storage container so the bugs stay intact.
If you make a bunch of the mini cheese bugs ahead of time, wait to add the pretzel antennae until you plan to serve them. Hard pretzels can retain moisture when stored in the refrigerator and become stale tasting.
Other Fun Snacks for Kids
If you place a plate of celery with a scoop of peanut butter in front of your kids, chances are they will not be that excited to eat it. But if that celery and peanut butter are turned into an adorable snail or caterpillar, children may not be able to resist. With just a few strategic cuts to the celery, along with peanut butter (or cream cheese) and some berries and fruit rounds, these simple ingredients can easily become cute little creatures that happen to be healthy.
Perhaps they're not as charming as the animals made of food, but peanut butter banana roll-ups are sure fun to make and eat. Peanut butter is mixed with honey and cinnamon and then spread onto a tortilla; a banana is rolled up inside, and the whole thing is toasted in a skillet. Slice and serve with toothpicks or wait to cool a bit so the kids can eat whole out of hand.