Fun & Nutritious Sweet Endings

By Amelia Pane Schaffner of  Z Tasty life

 My kids are good eaters…but I am lucky. Most kids tend to be picky eaters. That said, one thing I find that all kids have in common (my kids included) is a craving for something sweet after the main meal. So, why not “bribe” them to finish dinner with the expectation of something sweet at the end? And why not make that something sweet, fun, and nutritious? Anything home-made will generally be better than heavily preserved, food coloring laden, store-bought desserts.  “Who has time to “make” dessert?”

I have a solution for your little “sticky fingers” AND you don’t have to spend all afternoon baking. 

 Fruit Kebabs

Children love anything presented on sticks in “kid-size” and my kids prepare these desserts while I prepare dinner.  Dinner is a breeze because they’ll talk about preparing dessert and how delicious it will be to eat. These desserts are healthy and nutritious and can be made with any type of seasonal fruit.  For the version in the picture, I used pineapple, strawberries and grapes. It is fun to play with color and texture. Of course, we all know of the benefits of fruit (fruit is low in sodium, high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and it can help prevent many diseases including cancer).
Tips: Before you start remind the kids to wash their hands. To make them feel like real chefs, provide them with an apron. Pull long hair back.

Fruit Kebabs

  • 3 or 4 different kinds of fruit (berries, bananas, pineapple, melon, apples, pear, kiwi, grapes, oranges, papaya, mango, you name it!!!)
  • Lemon juice from 1 or 2 lemons
  • A dash of sugar or the natural sweetener agave nectar (your choice as to how much!)
  • Medium size bamboo wood skewers (about 6”)
  • Optional: for the dip, mix Greek yogurt with local organic honey (maybe even add a teaspoon of vanilla, if desired)

Before you start, soak the skewers in water so they don’t splinter when threading with fruit.

Prepare the fruit: wash, peel and cut into medium chunks (not too small or they will break when threaded, not too big or they will be hard for little ones to eat). Have the kids help with washing and prepping (e.g. peeling bananas, pulling grapes off of the vine, removing the stems off the strawberries, and so on). Once the fruit is cut into medium chunks and set in a bowl, squeeze fresh lemon juice and a dash of sugar. This will keep it from turning brown, provide a nice tart flavor, and make a nice “juice” Once it sits and marinates, the kids will love drinking the juice after eating the skewers.  Have the kids help you thread the fruit through the skewers (alternating kind for variety and color). Stack on a plate and pour the remaining juice over them. Set in the fridge.  When ready to serve, bring to table with small dipping bowls of honey-sweetened Greek yogurt, to dip.

Note: One fun substitution to the bamboo skewers is using pretzel sticks.

About the author: 100 percent Italian, Amelia Pane Schaffner has lived in Atlanta for the past 12 years. She has a food blog (, loves to take photos (, writes a lot (poetry and freelance articles), spends her leisure time with husband and two “sticky finger” kids either outdoors or in the kitchen, and definitively has a sweet tooth!!. For Food’s Sake Member

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