Kid Friendly Meals

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Healthy Valentine’s Day Rice Krispie Donut Treats (Kid-Friendly!)

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Happy LOVE month Munchkin Blog readers! It’s @lunchesandlttles here, excited to be back again to share a little something with you. And today we aren’t sharing a meal recipe; instead we’re sharing a quick and easy snack – perfect for Valentine’s Day get-togethers, classroom parties, play dates and more!

Now, I don’t know about you, but in our home, Valentine’s Day this year is kind of a big deal. Maybe it’s the current age of our kids; our preschool – kindergarten aged little ones just really want to soak up all the hearts, sprinkles, classroom valentines and yes – the treats too. And while we love a healthy snack, and even non-candy treat ideas, sometimes we still enjoy treats like these Rice Krispie Treat Donuts with Beet Coloring.

If you already follow us over at @lunchesandlittles, you know that we love healthy foods, BUT we also believe that an overall healthy relationship with food is more important than restricting this and that. Most are surprised to learn that in our home, we really don’t have many off-limit foods. Instead, moderation is key. We reserve special treats for special days, and when you are 3, 4 and 5 what is more special than a fun little Valentine’s day play date with friends celebrating all the ones you love?

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So, while we have been known to healthy up treats like these from time to time, today, we are just making traditional butter and marshmallow-based rice krispie treats with two small twists. For starters, we formed these treats into donuts. We first tried out this kind of donut last year around Halloween time (Halloween themed ones), and our kids just loved them. There is just something about donuts that is more fun, isn’t there? And here’s the great part: shaping your rice krispies into donut shapes takes hardly any extra time, and results in the cute look seen here; perfect for little donuts; great for little hands and for icing and sprinkling! All you need is a donut pan like this one here: donut pan.

And then, that light pink color icing you see is achieved through the use of beets…..seriously, it is all natural!  For the pink icing, and even pink krispies (yes, if you look closely, even the treats themselves have sprinkled shades of pink throughout) we just used strained beet juice to add a hint of color. So, if food-dyes are a concern for you, using all-natural food ingredients (think: beets, spinach, turmeric, carrots, red cabbage, etc.) to achieve desired colors can be so fun and pretty. We very rarely use any artificial coloring and still serve up bright, colorful food daily (check our feed for more ideas). And, while the sprinkles shown on these donuts are not all natural, there are several companies that offer all-natural/dye-free sprinkles as well, which would allow the whole treat to easily free from all food dyes.

Check out the recipe and instructions below, and be sure to tag #munchkininc and #lunchesandlittles in your posts! *And, as always, before starting, be sure to read through the entire recipe below, to ensure best results!

Rice Krispie Treat Donuts with Beet Coloring

 

INGREDIENTS (for Beet Coloring):

  • 1 small beat (chopped and cooked)
  • 1/2 cup water

INGREDIENTS (for Rice Krispie Treat Donuts):

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • Beet Coloring (from above)

INGREDIENTS (for Icing):

  • 1/2 bag – 1 bag of white/plain Candy Melts
  • Beet Coloring (from above)
  • Sprinkles (if desired)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Start off by making your Beet Coloring: in a high-powered blender (we use a Vitamix) combine beet chunks and water. Blend until smooth. Then, strain mixture through a cheesecloth. Once strained, pour liquid/juice unto a small container. Discard pulp.
  • Next, start making your Rice Krispies mixture: melt butter in a larger pot or pan over medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t burn!
  • Then, add in your marshmallows, little by little, stirring as you go, until the marshmallows are completely melted. Then add in just a bit of your beet coloring, until desired color is achieved. Mix until color is even, then turn off heat. Set beet coloring to the side to use later in this recipe.
  • Next, add in your Rice Krispies Cereal and mix until cereal is well-coated.
  • Spray a little cooking spray on your hands as well as in the wells of your donut pan* and then mold Rice Krispies mixture into wells shaping each like a donut, until all wells are filled. Recipe will make a couple batches, depending on the size of your “donuts” (we used two pans). *If you do not have a donut pan, you can also make traditional Rice Krispie Treats squares, but spooning mixture into a 9 x 11 pan and then pressing mixture down into pan, getting it as even as possible.
  • Allow Rice Krispie Treat Donuts to fully cool and set a bit in pan. I usually leave these in the donut pans for an hour or so before removing. Once they are set, carefully remove from pan(s) and set aside.
  • For your icing: melt candy melts per packaging instructions. Once melted, add a small amount of your beet coloring to the melted candy and stir in until smooth. Store additional beet coloring, covered in the refrigerator, to use at a later date (think: pink pancakes, cupcakes, waffles, etc. – you can use this natural coloring in place of just about any traditional food dye).
  • Drizzle icing over treats, as desired, or dip the tops/sides of your donuts in the icing to create fun looks as shown. Sprinkle with sprinkles, also as shown, if desired.
  • Treats are best eaten the same day. Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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For more quick and easy kid-friendly recipes be sure to check out our feed, @lunchesandlittles where we are making meals and fun snacks like this all of the time.

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Lunches + Littles

Lunches + Littles focuses on quick, healthy and fun meal options for little ones while sharing practical tips & tricks on how to make meals enjoyable, all the while keeping things simple. A lover of colorful plates and an advocate for getting kids in the kitchen, Lunches + Littles is also a great resource for parents of picky eaters, parents looking for healthy family and toddler recipes and those mamas (dads too!) who are short on time. A mantra of sorts - making meals fun doesn’t have to be hard! With 3 little ones (4 and under) it can’t be! Follow @lunchesandlittles for more!