Emoji Ice Cubes

Emoji Ice Cubes

Who doesn’t love an Emoji?! And better yet, when they are used to add wholesome ingredients to your little one’s diet.  The cub loves juice (preferably the extra sugary kind), so we thought it would be fun to make juice ice cubes that she could add to her water that didn’t have all the added preservatives and sugar!

Engaging a child’s senses is the key to discovery. Drawing a child’s attention to the five senses and discussing them increases their understanding of, and communication about, the world around them. These ice cubes engage four of the five senses. They smell like fresh fruit, they look fun with funny faces and turn her clear water different colors, they feel cold (brrr!), and taste delicious.

We made two kinds of ice cubes. Apple cucumber and beet strawberry.

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The cub started by washing the apple and the beet.

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Next up, we started chopping and prepping all the ingredients for the blender. She soon discovered how fun an apple corer can be and pushed extra hard to finish the job.

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Surprise! Look what’s left!

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With her Curious Chef (kid safe) knife, the cub cut up the cucumber. We’ve been practicing and it shows! She’s really getting the hang of it.

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We added the cucumber and the apple to the blender to mix. Puree until smooth.

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We decided to fill half the Koji Cool Moji ice cube mold with the cucumber and apple mixture and the other half with the beet and strawberry mixture.

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The cub couldn’t wait to drink the leftover cucumber apple puree. She left Grandma DiDi to cut the strawberries.

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Back to work! After gulping down her juice, the cub is ready to do her part by cutting the strawberries. Grandma DiDi peeled and chopped the beet and added it to the blender. Emery added the strawberries and they were ready to mix.

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Into the ice cube mold it goes!

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Leftover beet and strawberry mixture didn’t stand a chance with this girl! Gulp, gulp, gone! We popped the ice cube mold into the freezer and let them set for 2 hours.

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Once frozen, the cub picked her favorite faces to add to her water. Healthy and fun water – it’s a win/win!

 

Emoji Ice Cubes

 

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Cucumber
  • Beet
  • Strawberry
  • Water

Directions

  1. Wash all fruit and vegetables well
  2. Apple and cucumber blend:
    1. Cube equal portions of apple and cucumber and place into the blender
    2. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    3. Add water, if necessary
    4. Note: Cute ice cube shapes and designs will enhance the taste!
  3. Strawberry and beet blend:
    1. Peel and chop beet and add to blender
    2. Slice the strawberries into quarters and add to the blender
    3. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    4. Add water, if necessary
  4. Freeze for two hours and enjoy!

NOTES:

Use the proportion of each fruit or vegetable that you feel will entice your child to consume it. For example, we used about 1/3 of the medium-sized beet (raw) with about 1 1/2 cups of strawberries. Beet is a strong flavor and we wanted the strawberry taste to be up front. Possibilities are endless when thinking up new combinations.

Other optional additions: Honey, agave, spices or herbs of your choice

 

Nut Butter Date Bites

Nut Butter Date Bites

I recently took a trip to visit my family in Northern California. On that trip I was able to catch up with all my cousins who also have little ones of their own! As we sat at the park while our kiddos played, one of my cousins, Lea, who also happens to be a registered dietician, was feeding her one-year-old these date bites. I tried one and loved it, and knew The Kitchen Cub would, too.

You can read more about the amazing work my cousin does for the Bariatric community here.

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After the dates soaked for an hour, we started by having the cub help us take the pits out of the dates and chop them up. This is something she loves to do!

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She’s extra careful and working on watching her fingers while she chops.

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The cub helped us add all the chopped dates to the food processor. Next, in goes the oats.

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Then the chia seeds.

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And lastly, the nut butter. We used Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter, which is a mixture of different nut butters. You can use peanut butter, almond butter or any nut butter you fancy.

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Put the top of the food processor on and pulse the mixture until it forms a ball of dough and all the ingredients look blended.

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Transfer to a bowl and start scooping.

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Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to roll them into balls between her palms. The cub is fascinated by this process!

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“Now I try”, says the cub! She was so proud of her work. After you have rolled all the dough into balls, store them in the refrigerator.

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But don’t forget the best part – eat one!

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As you can see these are SIMPLE and easy to make. They are full of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron and calcium! They are easy to pack up for a snack and taste delicious!

 

Nut Butter Date Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs nut butter (Can be mixed, peanut, almond, cashew or any nut butter you like)

Directions

  1. Soak the dates in water for an hour.
  2. Remove pits and chop dates.
  3. Add dates, chia seeds, oats and nut butter to the food processor.
  4. Pulse the mixture until it forms a dough and all ingredients are mixed together.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl and start rolling the mixture into small bite-sized balls.
  6. Once you’ve rolled all of the dough into bite-sized balls, eat one, then store the rest in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

Berry Veggie Popsicle

Berry Veggie Popsicle

Did I mention we eat a lot of popsicles? We’re definitely on a popsicle kick with this heat! The cub helped Grandma DiDi create the perfect berry (with greens) popsicle. As always, no added sugar!

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Four whole ingredients, that’s it! Strawberries, blueberries, kale and broccoli.

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First, we had the cub help us tear the kale off the stem. Drop the kale leaves in a bowl of cold water and clean the leaves thoroughly. Wash strawberries, blueberries and broccoli.

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Have your cub add all the ingredients into your blender (or Vitamix in our case).  Add water or juice if you want it to be sweeter and blend.

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The cub watches as Grandma DiDi pours the mixture into the Koji Popsicle Mold.

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Have your cub help place the holders in each mold making sure that just a tiny bit squishes out the sides. Pop in the freezer for two hours and enjoy!

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They are fruity and delicious and the perfect treat for a hot summer day. There is no easier way to get your little one to eat their veggies. Our cub has been eating these from day one and has no idea popsicles don’t usually include vegetables . Hoping to keep it this way for as long as possible!

 

Berry Veggie Popsicles

(Makes approximately 8 Koji popsicles)

Ingredients

1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raw broccoli
1/2 cup lightly packed raw kale
3/4 cup water (or juice of choice)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix.
  2. Blend and add more liquid if necessary.
  3. Pour mixture into popsicle mold.
  4. Drop popsicle handle in and make sure you can see through mixture lightly squish out the sides of the handle.
  5. Place in the freezer for two hours and enjoy!

*If you have extra mixture left over, serve it as a smoothie!

Piña Colada Popsicles (virgin, of course!)

Piña Colada Popsicles (virgin, of course!)

Summer is here and that means lots of popsicles in our home! We’ve been making our own popsicles since our little cub was teething. It’s a great way to sneak in some greens and of course, skip the sugar!

Grandma DiDi dreamed up these piña colada popsicles in a yoga class a few months back. She truly never stops thinking about food. 😉 We are thankful she had that moment in yoga because these are delicious! Not to mention they only take 10 minutes to make.

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Seven ingredients, that’s it. Almonds, dates, pineapple, banana, coconut, yogurt and lime. Easy peasy!

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We started with the cub cutting the dates in half and taking the pits out. Every little chef needs the right tools and we think Curious Chef makes great kitchen accessories for toddlers. They are not paying me to say that – I truly like them!

Back to the recipe – Pulse the almonds and dates until they are blended into a fine crumble.

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We found the perfect popsicle mold at Target and they are just the right size for the cub. If you are in the market, they are called Koji Ring popsicle mold. You can also use an ice cube tray with popsicle sticks or your own favorite popsicle mold.

Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to scoop the almond and date mixture into the Koji Ring popsicle mold. The cub is excited to show Grandma DiDi which hole is next. After all the molds have a teaspoon of almond mixture, use the back of a spoon and press the crumble tightly into the form. Set aside the rest of the almond and date mixture as you will need it later.

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Using your food processor again, have your cub help add the rest of the ingredients. Squeezing the lime juice was a fun and a new experience for the cub. Blend together until all ingredients are well-mixed. The pineapple can be in small chunks.

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The cub scoops a teaspoon size dollop of the yogurt mixture into the mold. Repeat a layer of the almond and date mixture and then another layer of yogurt mixture.

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Stop and taste your creation!

Lastly, place the mold handles on the top and make sure just a small amount of mixture squeezes out of the sides. Pop them in the freezer for two hours and then enjoy!

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They are as delicious as they look. Hurry, go make some – your cubs will love them!

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This cub sure does! Do you have a favorite popsicle recipe? We want to hear about them.

Piña Colada Popsicles

(Makes approximately 8 Koji popsicles)

Ingredients

1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 small banana
1/4 cup pineapple
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/8 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 dates

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine dates and almonds. Process until mix is a fine crumble and set aside.
  2. Fill base of the popsicle mold with thin layer of almond/date mixture. With the back of a spoon, press the mixture down packing it tight.
  3. In the same mixer, blend yogurt, banana, pineapple, lime juice and coconut. Pineapple can be in small chunks.
  4. Layer with a scoop of yogurt mixture. Repeat the layers one more time.
  5. Drop popsicle handle in and make sure you can see the yogurt mixture lightly squish out the sides of the handle.
  6. Place in the freezer for two hours and enjoy!