Ironically enough my love for cupcakes and baking has been shunned by my daughter's schools. Two years in a row now, we've gotten the Welcome To School letters always mentioning slyly about half way through, leave your cupcakes at home for birthday celebrations. See, I've said it before and I'll say it again, school is all business these days. Cupcakes have been banished like the word Christmas when having a school party in December.
Have no fear, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. My daughters adore fruit, but when I put a twist on it, they are just delighted. These ideas can be used in a pinch for a pre-school snack/celebration or heck any day of the week when you feel like mixing things up to put a smile on your kids' faces. You'll be amazed at how they react!
Fruit & Yogurt Cupcake No Baking Required-
Inspired by the September 2008 issue of Cookie Magazine, I have started making fruit cupcakes for my girls for an after dinner dessert. The base of the cupcake is melon cut out with a scalloped biscuit cutter, although I have a flower shape that works perfectly. I slice the melon, stack it, then cut it out. Then place the melon in a cupcake paper/silicone cup, top with yogurt (if you are feeling creative you can use food coloring to make it really look like frosting), then top with berries or if I am in a good mood, sprinkles. Voile, a special birthday treat for school or midweek dessert.
When Sj entered preschool there was always an opportunity to bring fruit for a snack or party. Most of the time, in the classroom setting fruit is a bit cumbersome for preschoolers. The best way to prepare fruit for handing out, is on a kabob. Have your son or daughter pick out their favorite fruits, it's easy to keep it to just two or three. I also recommend purchasing the bamboo kabobs at an Asian Supply store for they have a wide variety of widths and lengths. I use skinnier kabobs that measure about six inches in length, compared to the ones you'll find at a regular grocery store.
Safety Tips- Always cut grapes in half for choking safety. Leave about 1/2 inch of kabob sticking out at the end, trim the pointy end of the kabob with kitchen scissors. Pointy bamboo and children is an opportunity for disaster in a classroom.
Although this is not officially a snack for school, I have to share a recipe I recently found on a blog. GL is now weaned and getting her to drink cow's milk is a bit of a challenge. Enter Pink Milk, we are Charlie and Lola fans in our house and pink milk is Lola's drink of choice. Funny enough it's GL's as well. A well known American Company makes Strawberry Syrup and the ingredients are beyond horrendous! Simple solution, make your own strawberry syrup, and even control the amount of sugar you would like to use!
Homemade Strawberry Syrup for Pink Milk-
3 cups of water
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen organic strawberries (10-oz bag)
Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, add frozen strawberries and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Allow mixture to cool to a workable temperature, then strain to remove strawberries and seeds from syrup. Store in a sterilized glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Please share any fabulous fruit tips you have as well! Hope these help turn "mommy it's my day for snack" into a quick fix for you and a delectable treat for your children!