Not long ago, I got discouraged searching for interesting kid-friendly meals. All the cute, animal-shaped finger foods and super healthy, colorful snacks seemed so promising. The hardest part, though, was making a masterpiece only to see my kids turn up their noses and ask for candy. Additionally, my husband and I love sushi, but raw fish and kids don’t mix.
And then it hit me. Why not learn some kid-friendly sushi ideas (made with stuff they will actually eat) and put them to the test? So we did.
Together, my family and I got adventurous and had a ton of fun learning in the kitchen. The more I involved the young ones, the more they ate. I call that a win-win. Here are the four standout sushi meals that passed our rigorous test.
Easy Breakfast Sushi
There’s no better way to start this list than with the first meal of the day. This recipe also happens to be the easiest, so if you only try one kid-friendly sushi idea, make it this one.
- Honey (optional)
- A pair of chopsticks for each family member
Start by having your youngest kitchen helper peel a banana for each person. Using a plastic kid-safe knife, let her slice each banana into one-half-inch slices. Next, show her how to use a chopstick to poke a hole in the middle of each circular banana piece. Finally, stuff a blueberry into each little hole. Arrange the breakfast sushi pieces on square plates (for effect), and if you’d like, drizzle them with raw, local wildflower honey. Place a communal dish of plain organic yogurt in the middle of the table for collective dipping. If young hands have trouble wielding the chopsticks, let your kids stab the pieces.
Imagine your child’s pride when she opens her lunch box to display a kid-friendly sushi spread. This fun meal is easier to make than you’d expect.
Your ingredients are:
- Whole-wheat bread
- Nut butter (I go with sunflower seed butter.)
- Vanilla yogurt
Start by letting your young chef flatten (“smash,” if you want to make it fun) a piece of whole-wheat sandwich bread. Spread it with a thin layer of organic sunflower seed butter and, on top of that, a thin layer of organic vanilla yogurt. Finally, roll the bread and slice it into pieces. Hold the roll together while your youngster packages it in a compostable wrapper, and toss the wrap into your child’s insulated lunch bag with an ice pack and a pair of training chopsticks. If you think this looks way too good to not enjoy, you’re right—whip one up for your own lunch, too!
Sushi for Dinner
For supper, try a quick, colorful, and kid-friendly sushi recipe like this one.
What you need:
- Spinach tortillas
- Cream cheese
- Carrots, shredded
- White cheddar cheese, shredded
- Organic deli meat
To assemble, simply spread a thin layer of cream cheese onto each green tortilla, and sprinkle on your carrots and cheese. Finally, layer on some deli meat, and roll ’em up! If your child is getting the hang of this sushi thing, ask her what step she thinks may come next. Give her a high five if she answers “slice them into pieces.” Once sliced, arrange the pieces sushi-style on your kid’s plate, and add an artistic drizzle of mustard. Squirt a small portion of mayonnaise into a ramekin dish for a gratifying dip to complete the sushi experience.
Do you remember when I said my kids asked for candy instead of health foods? Not anymore. The best sushi is dessert sushi, and we especially enjoyed getting creative with this final course. I found that natural fruit leather makes a perfect wrapping, so kids don’t have to choke down conventional, dried seaweed sheets.
Along with the fruit leather, your ingredients are:
- 3 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup almond butter
For the inside, mix the crispy rice cereal with the organic almond butter. Show your kids how to form a “snake” from the mixture, and wrap the whole piece in colorful fruit leather before slicing and serving.
You may find the hardest part of “sushi” for your kids is the new utensils. Using chopsticks can be frustrating for kids at first, but the challenge is great for developing hand-eye coordination and may even promote inclusivity and an appreciation for cultural diversity. Once they get the hang of it, they’ll want to enjoy “sushi” as often as the adults!
I challenge you to try one of these recipes this week and tweet me a picture @TomsofMaine.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.