Connecting kids with a taste for fun, nutritious snacks!

Connecting kids with a taste for fun, nutritious snacks!

Young children can be picky eaters. They seem to have a hard-wired need to consider each type of food on their plate individually. Who can blame them, really? They’re getting to know the whole world of food, and they want to get a good look and a firm grasp of every morsel.

So why not let them? Set out a small bowl of European olives, plus a few other kinds, with different kinds of cut-up veggies and fruit, then let them graze.

You can serve older kids skewers of alternating olives, cherry tomatoes, cubes of cheese, thick slices of cucumber, or any other easily cubed food of their choice.

If you’re looking for a creative activity to do with your little ones, making snacks with wholesome vegetables and fruit can be really fun.

Start with a box of toothpicks and an assortment of European olives and other colourful “building materials” like carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, parsley, boiled potato, cucumber rounds — and let your imagination run wild.

Of course, sliced rounds of red pimento-stuffed Green Manzanilla olives obviously become eyes for a hard-boiled egg or a sandwich.

For a less obvious but no less convincing creation, give a piece of cauliflower a black Hojiblanca olive for a head and some tooth pegs for legs, set it down on a plate of parsley — and you’ve got a grazing sheep!

Kids can come up with any number of real or imaginary creatures on their own initiative, too. Oval Gordal olives make good, solid torsos. Stick toothpicks cut into different lengths into them to serve as necks and limbs, then let your kids add finely diced veggies or fruit to give them heads, little feet or hands.

Young or old, a little whimsy always puts a grin on everybody’s face.

Even when they’re served in the simplest way possible, snacks made with European olives and veggies are a great way to help kids develop a life-long enjoyment of nutritious food — and that’s something they’ll benefit from forever.