Skewers offer us a delightful way to engage with kids about foods. They bring to the table a couple of properties (besides nutrition) that kids thrive on CONTROL (Choice), CREATIVITY (Choice) and BOUNDARIES. The boundaries of the task are to put different things onto a skewer. They are allowed to go right up to those boundaries that are intrinsic to the task. Choice is great for children within the parameters of what is provided to them. The founding principle on the way I work and the way I run mealtimes with my children is based on Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsiblity. That is, as the parent, it is my mealtime responsibility to decide what, when and where I provide my children food and it’s up to them to decide whether and how much.
Skewers are also good for children’s pre-mealtime involvement / exposure. Remember that the point of having children involved in preparing foods is to increase their exposures to it. They will not necessarily have the cognitive ability to think “I cooked this so I’m going to eat it”. They also don’t have to necessarily “helpful” – as I discussed in my post about how my kids help made a soup and what I did when one of them decided she didn’t want to eat it. Skewers are a great activity to do at the table if you are making them with raw ingredients to eat immediately. Therefore, perfect if you are dipping your toe into setting up meals so that you all serve yourself from the middle of the table (also known as Family Style Serving or the Family Meal).
8 Skewer Ideas that will help kids learn control, creativity and boundaries:
- Raw Food Skewer :- cucumber, cheese, ham from the bone and cherry tomatoes
- Fruit Skewers :- banana, strawberries, kiwi fruit pieces and blueberries
- Chicken Meatballs, Zucchini and Capsicum
- Grilled Halloumi, Capsicum and Red Onion
- Lemon Herb Marinated Chicken, Red Onion, Zucchini and Capsicum on the BBQ
- Lamb Kofta Skewers
- Satay Chicken Sticks
- Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto and Grilled
Purple cauliflower was grilled with a splash of olive oil for a fun skewer at a recent family meal at our house!
Plus here are two bonus ones that use much loved carbs – a great way to include a preferred food for kids!
Mini Pancakes, Berries and Maple Syrup Drizzle
Diced Sandwich Bread, Carrot & Zucchini Ribbons, Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes
What do your kids love on a skewer? Do you also have a drizzle / dipping sauce to make it more of a mixed texture? Leave me a link in the comments to some of your fave skewer recipes too!
PS – If you want to learn more about setting mealtimes up for success at your place and more about how to implement the division of responsibility check out my eBook, Afternoon Tea: The Next Most Important Meal of the Day OR invest more time into proactively beating the mealtime blues via the Happy Mealtimes eCourse.