Children are bombarded every day with foods that aren’t particularly good for them: Colorful bags of processed snacks, shiny juice drink pouches, and an endless buffet of sweets of every stripe. Junk food is everywhere, from the soccer field to the school party, the Office Max to the check out aisle at Old Navy . For those of us trying to raise our kids on real food without heaps of sugar, it can feel overwhelming. And then there’s this challenge: How are we parents to compete with all that beguiling junk?
DIY Yogurt Sundae Bar.
It’s an idea I ripped off from Chobani, the Greek yogurt brand, who set up an elaborate yogurt bar at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics conference last fall. It was the most popular booth in the giant expo hall (Take that! Nestle and Kraft Foods).
I brought the concept to life at home, doing up my own mini version for lunch one Saturday afternoon when the kids were milling around with friends in tow. It’s a terrific idea for breakfast after a birthday sleepover or for a special after school snack.
And it’s easy. All you need is a handful of toppings, which you probably already have in your pantry, and a tub of plain yogurt. I recommend using Greek yogurt because it’s thicker, so kids can use an ice cream scoop to dish it up, which is part of the appeal.1. START by putting out as many toppings as suits your fancy:
- Dried fruits such as cranberries, diced apricots or raisins
- Fresh berries or diced fresh fruits
- Fresh fruits such as raspberries that have been cooked down into a warm compote
- Toasted nuts such as slivered almonds or pistachios
- Seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower
- Chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- Honey or maple syrup
2. SET out small serving bowls and spoons
3. PULL out the yogurt at the very last minute so it’s good and cold, along with an ice cream scoop.
4. LET bigger kids make their own sundaes. Pitch in to help littler ones as needed.
5. WATCH as your kids dig in with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for colorfully packaged snacks, shiny juice pouches, and sweets of every stripe.