We hope you enjoy this simple and all-natural caramel popcorn! Popped in coconut oil and sweetened with maple syrup and a little bit of vanilla, it's the perfect afternoon snack or popcorn treat for your next movie night. If you're making this with kids, you can enjoy it as a sweet snack while reading the classic children's book, "The Popcorn Book" by Tomie dePaola.
Clean Caramel Corn
Reading children's books that feature veggies is a great way to normalize veggies and make them fun! We have read a lot of veggie books and have compiled our Top 10. Check them out below!
Top 10 Children's Books About Veggies
Here is a list of our Top 10 Children's Books Featuring Veggies in alphabetical order by author:
We hope your enjoy these 9 fun and interactive activities and recipes that teach your preschool-aged kids about the letter "B" (and that veggies are fun and tasty!).
1. Read Books!
Enjoy our recommended "B" books featuring veggies and fruit (and honey!):
2. Paint with Broccoli
Simply dip broccoli florets in washable paint and use them as "paintbrushes" and/or slice broccoli florets in half to make "tree stamps". So simple and so fun!
3. Letter "B" Tracing
Download this FREE letter "B" tracing sheet from Veggie Buds Club.
4. Bake Some Beet Brownies!
5. Letter "B" Coloring Pages
Download these FREE letter "B" coloring pages from Veggie Buds Club.
6. Bake Some Broccoli Nuggets
Enjoy this delicious kid-approved recipe from Veggie Buds Club and Happy Kids Kitchen. You can find the recipe here!
7. Make Beet Watercolor
8. Broccoli Activity Sheets
Have fun with these broccoli activity sheets! Create the letter "B" by using dot stickers or dot paint with Activity Sheet #1. Fill in the letter "B" with broccoli florets with Activity Sheet #2 (bonus if you have a laminator!).
9. Play Bean Tic Tac Toe
Make a Tic Tac Toe board out of green beans and use two different types of dry beans as the X's and O's! You can also go a step further and create the letter "B" with dry beans and greens beans. Be sure to eat some green beans as a snack while you play!
Want your kids to eat more veggies?
We hope you enjoy these 7 activities that teach your preschool-aged kids about the letter "A" (and that veggies and fruit are fun!).
1. Read Books!
Here are some of our recommended books featuring veggies & fruit and the letter "A":
2. "A" is for Apple Craft
Both my 2 and 4 year old had fun with this craft! I cut out some apple seed shapes and drew the lower case letter "a" and apple stem on construction paper. My 4 year old was able to trace the word "Apple", cut out the "a" and stem and use a glue stick to put the picture together. I assisted my 2 year old through the whole craft, he particularly enjoyed using the glue stick!
3. Letter "A" Tracing
Download this FREE Letter "A" Tracing Sheet below:
4. Make Applesauce!
Enjoy this simple kid-friendly recipe for Applesauce (we added a carrot because this is Veggie Buds Club!). Your kids can help peel and chop the apples and carrot. Have them measure and add the apple juice and then observe the rest of the process.
5. Letter "A" Coloring Pages
Download these FREE Letter "A" Coloring Pages!
6. Apple-Toothpick Building
Here is a simple and fun "snacktivity" that is great for fine motor skills, problem solving, and encourages healthy eating. My 2 year old is not an apple fan (he's more of a berries and grapes guy) and he totally ate up these apple chunks on toothpicks!
7. Apple Oxidation Science Experiment
This is a simple science experiment for young kids! Even if they're too young to process why oxidation happens, it is still great to expose them to the idea of a "science experiment" and "observation". Make sure they observe what the apple halves look like at the beginning of the experiment vs. the end!
There are compounds in apples that turn brown when they are exposed to air which contain oxygen. This process is called oxidation. If you add an acid to the apple this prevents oxidation, and lemons are very acidic.
Want your kids to eat more veggies?
We created this fun FREE printable for you to do at home with your kids! Memory is a classic game that's appropriate for a wide-range of ages. Use fewer matching cards for younger kids and increase the amount of matching cards for your older children. Why not make veggies the star by playing a "Veggie Memory Game"?!
You can check out more great tools and kits that teach kids to learn to love veggies in our shop!
Make this activity more robust by first reading a book featuring veggies, here are some of our suggestions:
"Eating the Alphabet" by Lois Ehlert
"Growing Vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert
"We're Going to the Farmers' Market" by Stefan Page
Veggie Memory Game Printable
Simply print both sheets out at home, cut out the cards (bonus if you can laminate them), and play!
Veggie Buds Super Club members received the book, "Curious George Farm to Table" by H. A. Rey in their "Kids Love Sweet Corn" kit, this is a great book that features local food and most notably corn. In the book, Curious George and his friend Marco wish to make tortillas for his abuella's birthday dinner, they run out of masa and go on a search for more. In the process, they learn how masa is made and in the end create tortillas from scratch with dried corn from the Renkin's farm.
This got me thinking that it would be fun to create a featured post on how to make tortillas from scratch. We hope you and your kids will join in on the fun and create some tortillas too!
We're pretty lucky because I happen to know a tortilla-expert in our town, I gave him a call and was happy to hear that he was excited to teach me and my family how to make tortillas at him home. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin (Regi) is the Chief Strategy Officer at Main Street Project, a nonprofit that has been working to create pathways out of poverty for rural Latino immigrants through specialized agriculture training and skills. Their main focus in on free-range poultry as part of a sustainable regional food system, but they do so much more and I truly encourage you to check out their organization.
We met Regi at his farm and got right to work! First, he showed me and my kids the corn that is used to make masa. You can't make masa out of any dried corn, it is best to use a variety of dent corn that has a high percentage of starch. Here's a close up of the corn that Regi grows for masa, it's much wider and flatter than sweet corn.
In order to truly make masa from scratch you first soak the dry corn kernels all day, add lime to the soaked corn, bring this to a boil for a bit, remove from heat, add more water, allow to soak for another 8-16 hours, wash and remove all skins, and grind. For a full tutorial we found a great guide from Saveur Magazine here. To save a bit of time (well, a lot of time!) we made tortillas from Maseca, a corn flour masa mix you can find at more grocery stores.
Regi makes tortillas by feel, so he poured a heaping mound of Maseca into a big bowl, we then added a little water at a time and formed a nice dough. The consistency reminds me of Crayola Model Magic Foam, and I can tell you the kids liked to play with it! I've included a recipe from chef Rick Bayless at the end of this post that you can follow since you probably don't have Regi in your kitchen as a guide;)
After we formed a very large ball of dough it was time to make the tortillas! We made little dough balls and pressed them in a tortilla press (this was my daughter's favorite part). Regi then pan fried them on a cast iron griddle on extremely high heat, approximately 500 degrees Farenheit. The cast iron was not oiled, and we needed to work fast. Once one tortilla was off of the griddle it was time for the next! We made two tortillas at a time.
Finally it was time to feast! Regi kept it local by only including ingredients all grown on his property: baked chicken from Main Street Project, black beans, tomatoes, and (of course) tortillas. And let me tell you, these tortillas were incredible, it's going to be hard to go back to store-bought!
Corn Tortillas Recipe
This recipe is from chef, Rick Bayless, you can also find it here:
And just for fun here are some more photos from our great visit at Regi's farm!