Thursday, August 2, 2012

Twist It Up Cereal Jewelry

In the next five posts, we’re going to explore cute, fun and healthy snacks for the family to make and enjoy together. Remember, our Sassy Suggestion is for a balanced colorful plate, so go ahead and switch these up, and we’d love to hear more about what you do on Facebook or Twitter.

As always, follow our food safety tips and make sure to accommodate any allergies or special needs your child may have!

Today we’ll focus on a super cool snack & some education about whole grains!

Dr. Jen’s Twist it Up Cereal Jewelry:
  1. Just a tip before we start – get any boy/girl stereotypes out of your head when it comes to this fun activity. Toddler boys love this just as much as girls!
  2. Choose an OPEN end string that you’ll tie carefully at the end of your exercise. Closed loop necklaces are a strangulation hazard.
  3. You’ll already be closely supervising your toddler when she or he eats, right? So, it’s a given that you’ll supervise around the necklace part of this activity. 
  4. Read your labels at the market and choose high fiber, low sugar cereals. You’d be surprised at the enticing words “HEALTHY” and “FULL OF GRAINS!”. You’ll see three main “phrases” in the ingredient section of food labels and here’s the cracked code:
  • Whole Grains: these are WHOLE grains! They include all three parts of a grain — the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The bran is the tough outer fiber containing layer. The germ is the core part with not only fiber but with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The endosperm is the middle layer with carbs.
  • Refined Grains: These are grains whereby the bran and germ have been removed to provide a finer texture. These include rice, some bread & baked goods and white flour.
  • Enriched Grains: This means that extra vitamins such as iron and Vitamin B are added back after processing.
One Sassy Doctor tricked you here (heehee)—the exercise itself is super simple—wanted to sneak in that label reading trick on you:

How To Make The Jewels:

  1. Using various shapes and sizes for safe and healthy cereal, simply… (DRUMROLL PLEASE)… string it! 
  2. Think of “gifts” toddlers can enjoy sharing with appropriate aged siblings, friends or caretakers (one for him, one for grandma!).
  3. As stated, always supervise this activity and JOIN IN THE FUN.

As an added benefit, this exercise helps with fine motor skill development.

Enjoy! And don’t forget bracelets, too!