Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Monkey Platter





 This is a picture of the Monkey Platter we are setting out today.


There is a great thread right now going on in a  facebook group that I'm in   ("Christian Unschooling") all about feeding your kids the "monkey platter" way. The original article is on Sandra Dodds website here. I read it last summer and started making monkey platters for my own children. We love it. On days where we are busy or don't want to cook, a monkey platter saves the day. 

The following is an excerpt from Sandra Dodds post and a list found there as well.  

Monkey Platters

Sandra Dodd When my kids were little we went to the zoo one day when the primates were being fed and they had been given big trays of cut up fruit. It looked good; I guess we were hungry. When we got home I made a "monkey platter" for the kids, and it has been called that ever since. One thing they get that the monkeys didn't get is toothpicks. It was especially fun for them when they were younger to eat with dangerous little sticks. Now it's just tradition, and keeps the fruit stickiness off their fingers. 

List of Food Choices for a Monkey Platter
  • mini carrots
  • celery "smiles" (stalk celery cut across the strings small enough for a bite)-sometimes plain, sometimes with peanut butter or cream
  • cheese
  • bell pepper slices/chunks
  • small mushrooms or big ones sliced
  • cherry or grape tomatoes
  • grapes
  • melon cubes
  • cheese cubes or sticks (just got the idea the other day to use tiny cookie cutters to make shapes like the expensive "brand name" in the dairy section!)
  • string cheese
  • cubed balogna, ham, or turkey-or sliced and rolled up into bite-size portions with a toothpick in to keep it rolled
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut up into about 1" squares
  • nuts
  • banana slices
  • trail mix

  • apple slices
  • strawberries
  • fresh berries (blue, black, black raspberry, red raspberry)
  • kiwi slices
  • orange sections
  • frozen peas
  • frozen green beans
  • frozen blueberries
  • cooked potato or sweet potato cubes
  • cooked brussels sprout quarters
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower florets-cooked or raw
  • "cheerio" kind of cereal (I suppose "chex" kinds would work, too)
  • rice cake pieces-plain or with peanut butter
  • plain popcorn (or salted)
  • bread cubes
  • tofu cubes
  • chicken (unbreaded chunks or "nuggets")
  • salmon
  • seeds (like sunflower-though they "can" be messy)
  • pickles (sweet or dill)
  • olives (green or black)
  • hard boiled egg
  • wax beans
  • pinapple pieces
  • cucumber slices
  • whole wheat crackers (triscuits are a favorite, here!)
  • tofu hot dogs-sometimes sliced, sometimes whole
  • pretzles
  • For dipping:Applesauce, peanutbutter, blackstrap molasses, cream cheese, sour cream, plain or flavored yogurt and/or chip dip for dipping
  • fruit leather
  • freeze-dried fruit
  • freeze-dried veggies
  • chocolate covered sunflower seeds
  • Sunchips
  • flax chips (TJ's)
  • zucchini/pumpkin/banana bread
  • mini-muffins
  • granola bars
  • tortillas (cut in strips or shapes)
  • tortillas rolled up in pinwheels with PB or cream cheese
  • bagel slices
  • pita chips
  • quesadilla triangles
  • hummus or other dips
  • frozen grapes, berries, etc.
  • graham crackers
  • oyster crackers
  • baked chickpeas (salt, cin. sugar, or nutritional yeast)
  • waffles
  • pancakes
  • fruit and nut bars
  • mini bagels w/ cream cheese
  • rice balls
  • sprouts
  • goldfish
  • rolls
  • jerky
  • breadsticks
  • tiny meat balls
  • veggie burger pieces
  • edamame
  • mini pizza slices
  • corn "tires" (corn on the cob slices)
  • yogurt drops (dehydrated globs of yogurt)
  • tiny quiche bites
  • strata squares (sounds like quiche or bread pudding, kind of)
  • jicama slices
  • matchstick veggies
  • cooked pasta shapes
  • chinese crispy noodles
  • wontons
  • cornbread
  • croutons
  • jello jigglers (made with juice)
  • tiny sandwiches (any filling)
  • breaded popcorn shrimp
  • calamari

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