Creative, Fun (and healthy!) Christmas food ideas for kids

I believe the magic of Christmas lies within the pure delight of our children. They love all things Christmas – Santa, snow, reindeers and candy canes. And their little faces light up with the smallest of festive gestures. I know how much my children look forward to their daily dose of chocolate from the advent calendar. And why wouldn’t they? It not only gets them one day closer to the big red guy’s delivery, but it also guarantees a regular supply of chocolate!

Christmas can be a time of year where healthy choices take a side seat to the luxurious ‘not so’ healthy foods. And although these foods are generally a once a year affair, I worry about the nutrition content of most readily available Christmas treats. So instead of being the Christmas Grinch and preventing my children from eating the not so healthy choices, I’ve researched some healthy options that the kids will love! Not only do these recipes provide important nutrients, but they are super easy to make. Grab your little helpers and try these fun child friendly creations.

Chewy Choc Reindeers

  • 1 cup Macadamia nuts
  • ½  cup of medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup dried figs
  • 1 tablespoon cacao/cocoa
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Yoghurt drops
  • Pretzels
  • Sultana’s halved (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Using a food processor, blend macadamias, dates, apricots, figs and cacao/cocoa until combined. Once the mixture is well blended (it will resemble cookie dough), roll it into balls and flatten a little to form biscuits. Cook for around 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool.

Break pretzels into halves and press two per biscuit into the top (for antlers). Place one fresh raspberry in the middle of the biscuit to form a nose. Once the biscuits are completely cool, press yoghurt drops on top (2 per biscuit) to make eyes. If you like you can also cut a sultana in half and place inside the yoghurt drop for added effect.

Between the dates, apricots and figs you get a dose of iron, calcium, potassium, vitamins A & C, B complex group vitamins and fibre. Macadamia nuts are a great source of “good fat” and contain calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

Strawberry Santas

  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of extra light Philadelphia cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon honey or rice malt syrup
  • Sultanas, halved

Cut the strawberry tips off about 1/3 of the way down. Remove the green stem and slice the strawberry flat so that it sits flush on a plate. Mix the Philadelphia cream cheese with honey, cinnamon and ginger. Using a teaspoon, place a dollop on top of the larger portion of the strawberry. Then rest the tip of the strawberry on top (as a hat). Place two half sultanas into the white Philly mix to create Santa’s eyes.

Strawberries contain a good dose of antioxidants and have A, C, E and B complex group vitamins.

Apricot snowmen

  • 2 cups (180g) oats, toasted
  • 1 cup (150g) dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) honey
  • 30g Nuttelex
  • Shredded coconut, for rolling
  • Toothpicks
  • Sultanas
  • Baby carrot tips

Place oats, dried apricots, honey and nuttelex (margarine alternative) in a food processor and blend until well combined (it will turn into a cookie dough type consistency). Wet hands and roll mixture into balls (half of the mixture will need to be small balls and the other medium sized balls, so that you have a head and body per snowman). Roll the balls in coconut until well covered. Take one large ball and stick a toothpick through the middle (leave about ¼ of the toothpick sticking out of the top), then place a small ball on top. Cut a sultana in half and add to the snowman head for eyes. Then add the carrot tip as a nose to finish.

Just remember to remove the toothpick before eating!

Apricots are a great source of vitamin C and fibre.