So many family traditions and memories are centered around food, and rightly so. Food is what sustains us, so memories around making food or sitting together at the table are important. However, I am a firm believer in eating healthy and responsibly. I do not want to feed my child refined carbs or sugars, especially not when she is so young. Holidays have suddenly become times of finding and creating healthy snack alternatives to traditionally unhealthy food options. Therefore, making sugar cookies may be out this Christmas, but I think I found what’s in…
I don’t want to miss out on family traditions because I chose not to conform to refined sugars. I know, I know. I am a stickler about food. But I know that when all is said and done, I won’t regret it. So instead of giving in, I have been trying to come up with healthy alternatives that allow us to still have fun and cute holiday crafts and traditions. One of the things I loves most growing up was getting to use our cookie cutters and fruits is still very easily cut by them! *Please note that the following contains affiliate links to products recommended related to these snacks!*
So instead of sugar cookies and gingerbread men, we found healthy snack alternatives in dehydrated fruit. We can still use cookie cutters on apples, bananas, pears, and several other great fruit options! Did you know they make awesome half inch cookie cutters that can even be used on banana slices!
Depending on how you want to do it, you can use the cookie cutter to cut the fruit before you slice it or after. I have a younger child, so it was easier to do the activity with her before they were sliced. However, I can see that when she gets older, being able to use the cutter on each slice would be fun!
The only prep you have to do is cut your fruit with the cutters and slice it! I would highly recommend using a Mandoline Slicer to get cleaner slices and because it’s much faster and safer than chopping up your fruit on a cutting board. Then simply place them on dehydrator trays at 135 F/ 38 C degrees for 15-24 hours depending on how crisp you prefer your fruit chips. I personally use a Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator, but once I get the money, I most definitely plan on using an all metal, stainless steel dehydrator from Excalibur to help also reduce my plastic consumption. If you so desire, you can dip each piece of fruit into honey or syrup to add some sweetness and it still qualify as healthy snack alternatives, but in my opinion it is rarely necessary.
This was a really fun way to use our cookie cutters and I wasn’t worried about my daughter eating the outcome! Plus she got a little practice on her gross motor skills as she was helping me cut the fruit. AND because it’s dehydrated, the fruit will last for a long time! So make a big match and store it for great snacks instead of commercially made chips or puffs.
If you are interested in seeing more healthy alternatives to unhealthy food, the Sustainable Living Blogger Community has got you covered!
Healthy Homemade Takeaway Chicken from Kids Play Space
Healthy Homemade French Fries from All Done Monkey
Homemade Happy Meal from Down to Earth Mother
Healthy Smoothies and Ice Cream from Just for Daisy
DIY Soft Serve Ice Cream from Ladybug’s Spots
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!