Get your kids into the kitchen – the payoff is big; Tropical Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits recipe

© Prometeus | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Start them off at a young age
© Prometeus | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos 

It’s a long weekend for many – both in Canada and the U.S. If you’re looking for some activities for your youngsters, why not get them into the kitchen? It’s a great way to introduce healthy eats their way.

It’s also a way to rid your home of picky eaters.

When my daughters were very young, I remember their enthusiasm for the dishes they concocted. They would always taste them and marvel about how amazing their creations were.

I sometimes- because I share –  let my husband do the tasting. For example, they would like to mix up a batch of soup with a little water and all the various herbs and spices in my spice rack – all together. They would heat this unbelievable mixture and as they tasted it, I would hear them say, “Mmmmm.”  I once did taste it and needless to say, it tasted even worse than it sounds. So after my first taste, when they asked if I wanted some, I would tell them that there wasn’t enough for their father so we should really save it for him.

Unselfish me.

On another occasion, my younger daughter made up a cake recipe which turned out  so hard and rubbery that if you had bounced it against the wall, it would have come back in a flash. I still remember my daughters and a friend talking about how delicious it was, so I tasted it. To be honest, it was ghastly (sorry, Farrah!).

But both my daughters did go on to become amazing cooks and bakers, at a young age, I must say. To be honest, most of the time, I did provide more direction and help throughout their childhood than I did with the above examples.

So if you want more help in raising healthy eaters, get them into the kitchen.

Here’s a simple dessert for them to prepare. It’s a scrumptious way to get  in some whole grains, fruits and low-fat dairy.  To keep the topping crunchy, the parfait is best assembled right before the meal. But if time is short, prepare the parfait, leaving off the final cereal topping until just before serving. If the fruit is not very ripe, you might want to add a little more honey, about an extra tablespoon/ 15 mL,  into the yogurt  to sweeten up the final product. The parfait is also delicious when made with other fruits  such as  berries or pineapple.

Tropical Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

2 cups  (500 mL) 1% M.F. or skim milk  Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons (25 mL) honey
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) coconut extract
1 cup (250 mL) diced ripe mango (about 1 medium mango)
1 cup (250 mL) diced ripe banana (about 1 large banana)
1/2 cup crunchy low-fat whole grain cereal (like Grapenuts)

Assemble various ingredients beside 4 6-oz /175 mL parfait glasses. Place 1/4 cup/ 50 mL yogurt in each glass. Layer  1 tablespoon/ 15 mL cereal and 2 tablespoons each diced mango and banana over yogurt. Continue to layer with another 1/4 cup/ 50 mL yogurt and diced fruit. If not serving immediately, cover each glass with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving. Top each with 1 tablespoon/ 15 mL cereal and serve.

Nutritional information per serving
•    Calories:  190
•    Protein:  10 grams
•    Fat:  1  gram
•    Saturated Fat: less than 1  gram
•    Carbohydrate:  37  grams
•    Dietary Fibre:  2  grams
•    Sodium: 111 milligrams


Do your youngsters like to help in the kitchen? Do you have picky eaters at home? Have you tried to get them to prepare healthy eats?

Please share both your successes and failures in the comment section below.

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Categories: Children's Health, Recipes, Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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