Creative Ways to Incorporate Veggies into Kids’ Meals: Edible Animal Friends

Creative Ways to Incorporate Veggies into Kids’ Meals: Edible Animal Friends


It’s not always easy to get your kids to eat healthy meals, but with a little creativity, you can turn healthy eating into a whole lot of fun.

Fun and Healthy

Check out these ways to turn snacks into edible animal-shaped treats that the whole family can enjoy. Kids will have so much fun gluing together the colorful pieces with hummus, they may not even notice how many healthy veggies are in their snacks. (And you may be able to sneak in some they haven’t tried before!)

Cucumber Owls

  • Cucumber slices
  • Black olives
  • Large round, square or oval crackers
  • Hummus
  • Cheese Slices

Start with one cracker in the middle for the body. Cut another cracker in half to make wings. Attach the wings to the body with some hummus. Assemble two cucumber slices for the eyes on top of the body and use hummus to stick a sliced black olive in the middle of each.

Slice three small triangles of cheese and glue them onto the body with hummus: one is for the beak and two are for the feet.

Zucchini Crocodiles

  • Zucchini
  • Hummus
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Baby carrots

Cut each zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, hollow out the middle. With a small knife, carve out some teeth on half of both slices in a triangular pattern. Reassemble the top and bottom jaw together around the hummus to keep them from falling apart.

Slice an opening in each of the grape tomatoes (but don’t cut the tomatoes completely in half). Using some of your hummus, glue the grape tomatoes as eyes on top of the zucchini and stuff each with a slice of black olive. Place a baby carrot in the mouth, sticking out as the tongue.

Note: You could alternatively use cream cheese, potato salad, macaroni salad, or coleslaw to stuff the crocodile’s mouth. After the crocodiles are assembled, the kids can also eat pieces of them with Ranch dressing!

Avocado Penguins

  • Avocados
  • Hummus
  • Triangle-shaped cheese crackers
  • Black olives
  • Radishes
  • Sunflower seeds

Cut each avocado in half and remove the pit. Fill the center hole with hummus. Slice a black olive in half, lengthwise, and place cut side down on each side of the hummus as wings.

Cut two small radish slices for the eyes and place a sunflower seed in the middle of each, using hummus to glue as needed. Place a cheese cracker as the beak and two more on the bottom as the feet.

Note: You could also use square crackers and cut them in half.

Bell Pepper Turtles

  • Green bell peppers
  • Baby carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Hummus
  • Black olives

Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds. These are your turtle shells. Using hummus as glue, attach a grape tomato as the head and two black olives slices for eyes.

Place four baby carrots underneath the bell pepper as legs, using hummus as needed to hold them in place.

Note: You could use other colors of bell peppers to make different types of turtles! If bell peppers aren’t available, you can try avocados for the shell instead.

These edible animals make great afternoon snacks at home. Or, try them as an interactive group activity for kids at birthday parties or after school!

Ana Reisdorf is a registered dietician at Walgreens. She is passionate about helping kids get the nutrients they need to grow healthily. You can find a variety of vitamins to supplement a healthy diet for both children and adults at 

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