Last week I had the honor of teaching a “Healthy Snack Making” Workshop at the WV State PTA Convention. The convention was held at Lakeview Golf Resort on Cheat Lake in Morgantown, WV.
The youth that were attending had their own schedule of workshops and activities. A few months ago, the president of the state PTA had invited me to do this workshop. I am someone who is always baking cookies and sweet treats, so this was a new challenge for me that I wanted to take on. I wanted to share with you the highlights of my healthy snack making workshop and the ideas that I came up with.
Pinterest gave me a lot of ideas on healthy snacks. I watched a lot of videos on creative, healthy lunch box ideas. I also asked for ideas from my own grandchildren. I must admit that I learned a lot myself, while working on this project.
The workshop was in a conference room with tables and chairs. We did not have a stove or oven to be able to cook or bake, but this was an easy challenge to overcome.
I purchased these plastic cutting board sheets for each child to have their own work area on the table.
I packed Ziploc bags with plastic silverware and a napkin.
After our introduction by name and the school they attend, we got down to business. I had planned 4 areas of healthy snack ideas.
* POPCORN BAR
I found these cute Popcorn containers at the dollar store.
I set up a large container of popcorn and had a variety of toppings, such as granola, dried fruits, mini candies, goldfish, mini pretzels, teddy grahams, and yogurt covered raisins.
We discussed portion control and I explained that they could add toppings to their popcorn using only the measuring cup in the snack. They were creative and enjoyed eating their popcorn snacks.
We also talked about times that this would be fun to share with their friends, such as working on a scout or school project, swimming, playing games, or at a party.
I think, looking back, that this bar was their favorite part of the workshop.
* SNACK STATIONS
We discussed working with your parent/family to create these healthy snack stations that are prepared ahead of time. You can use a basket or any container. They are filled with snacks that the kids could grab when they are running out the door to a ball practice, or to play, for example.
Example of one done for pantry and one for the refrigerator.
* PARFAIT BAR
I think my favorite segment was the parfait bar. This is a healthier option when you are really wanting something sweet.
I gave the children each a plastic parfait glass to fix their own, and then demonstrated how to make a parfait.
I set up containers of vanilla and strawberry yogurt. I had graham cracker crumbs, vanilla wafer crumbs, and 2 kinds of granola as an option for the crust. We had fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, and bananas. We had fat free Cool-Whip, and honey as a topping. I even learned that I LOVE strawberry yogurt parfait myself!
* ROCKIN’ THE LUNCH BOX
I saw a lot of videos on You Tube and a lot of ideas on packing a healthy lunch box on Pinterest, so I knew that I wanted to include this in our workshop. We discussed how many take their lunch, who packs it for them, and what foods they like to take.
I was amazed at how much the children actually knew about packing a healthy lunch, and how many of them did like the right kinds of foods. One of the boys, Patrick, even named the 4 groups of food to be included in the lunch box.
I saw these plastic Bento designed lunch boxes on Amazon and thought they would be perfect to practice with. I gave them each a box and they were to pack something from each of the 4 groups. (FRUIT…VEGGIE…PROTEIN…WHOLE GRAINS/CARB)
Our fruit options were apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, banana, orange, and pineapple chunks. They could pack the fruit as it is, make kabobs and even add a spoon full of yogurt as a dip.
We had fresh veggies such as carrots, celery, red and green peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers. They were familiar with spreading some peanut butter in the celery stick also.
They had a lot of fun with the next 2 food groups by learning what they could combine as a kebab, a sandwich, or a wrap.
They were so creative!
They did a great job and the wraps were certainly the biggest hit!
The children were eating their foods as fast as we were putting things together and I really enjoyed watching them. I believe that children will always eat better and healthier if they are involved in making the choices of food and they are helping to prepare it.
This “Healthy Snack Making” workshop was a lot of fun and I admire the PTA members that included their children in this convention.