Summery Egg Salad Sailboats

As I mentioned in my last post, a pleasant surprise transpired last week at my local kids’ healthy snacks class when one of the girls discovered liking sweet bell peppers (a food her mom said she always refused in the past).  While this is a super happy bonus treat for me every time it happens, whether at home with my own kids or in class/social situations with other people’s kids, it really goes to show that kids’ tastes REALLY DO change.  Like I mentioned before, it might have been just a different presentation or a more kid-focused environment that persuaded her to try it.  But it also could have just been that thing that happens as we grow – our tastebuds change.

As parents, we’ve probably all been through something like this: Just when we think our kids will refuse anything other than PB&J for the REST of their lives… they will pull a U-turn out of nowhere and demand something completely different for a week (and refuse the PB&J)!  I promise you, this has happened to me more than once!  It’s so easy to have in the back of our minds that our child doesn’t like a certain food and then give up on it (or forget to try) thinking, “Nah, I won’t bother with buying cucumbers this time since Suzie hasn’t touched them the last 5 times!”  However, chances are, in a few days Suzie will be asking for those cucumbers OR she might have reached out and grabbed one just because they were on her plate… Surprise! We really never know when or where this might happen, so it’s important not to give up on something just because it’s had our child’s nose turned up at it more than once… or even a few times! There is always hope they will come around, and the best way I’ve found is to always make the option available.  Worst case scenario – I end up eating a lot of cucumbers that week, and that’s not so bad either.

So here’s the awesome egg salad recipe we used to make these fun ‘Sailboat Snacks’ last week.  This snack isn’t just for kids! Enjoy the egg salad mixture as a dip for bell pepper strips or filling for these cute little mini peppers (or what the heck, make yourself a sailboat!) – this is a high-protein, lower-calorie snack that will help keep you satisfied between meals or could even be eaten in bigger portions for a healthy lunch that will help minimize afternoon sugary-food cravings.

Super Egg Salad Sailboats

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled, rinsed
1/2 c. finely diced red pepper (approx. 1/4 of a medium pepper)
1/2 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. low-fat mayo
3 tbsp. low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. paprika
8 mini bell peppers, washed, halved, and seeded
4 slices cheddar cheese
8 pretzel sticks
2 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese

1.  In a medium bowl, mash eggs with a pastry blender, potato masher, or fork until finely diced.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
2.  Spoon egg mixture into prepared bell pepper ‘boats’.
3.  Using a knife, slice each cheese slice in half vertically to create 2 triangle-shaped pieces.
4.  Insert a pretzel stick into each ‘boat’ so it stands upright.  (sometimes making a small poke into the bottom of the pepper w/ a sharp knife helps to create a small hole in which to insert the pretzel, helping it stay upright)
5.  Apply a small dab of cream cheese to the top and lower exposed area of the pretzel; attach the cheese ‘sail’ to the pretzel using the cream cheese dabs as anchor points. 

Gobble them up like sea dragons!  This is a really fun family snack that everyone can enjoy eating together.  Please tell us how your kiddos like this one after you try it by sharing in the comments section below!

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