Post by Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials
With a toddler running around, I think about snacks a lot more than I used to. Every chance I get to sneak in a healthy snack here and there is one that I embrace. When I can offer him snacks that I feel great about, it makes it even better. I’ve really enjoyed taking some of the traditional boxed snacks and making homemade versions lately. The biggest hit has been these easy DIY Fruit Snacks. They’re just as fun to make as they are to eat – especially if your little one is helping you out in the kitchen. I’ve found that any time I involve my toddler Ollie in cooking, he’s more likely to try whatever we’ve made together. He loves these fruit snacks and eats them by the handful! While I’m sure that there are fruit gummies out there that are comparable in nutrition, you can’t beat the ease and satisfaction of making your own for an afternoon activity with your kids. It’s a great idea to keep in mind as you’re trying to keep kids busy during the last few weeks of summer before they head back to school! The ratio of ingredients is really easy to remember and the variations are endless.
DIY Fruit Snacks
- 1 cup 100% fruit or vegetable juice (I used a raspberry limeade, blackberry lemonade, and orange juice)
- 2 tablespoons plain gelatin
- 3 teaspoons honey
In a small saucepan, add the fruit or vegetable juice and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow the powder to be absorbed in the liquid (it will look a little wrinkly on the surface) before whisking to fully combine.
On the stovetop, heat the liquid slowly until it warms through over medium heat. Cook the liquid until it is thin and no longer grainy. Once it reaches this stage, turn off the heat and whisk in the honey. Depending on how sweet your juice is you can slightly increase or decrease this amount.
Carefully pour liquid into candy molds or into an 8×8 inch glass baking dish. I had great success using a clean dropper/syringe that I use when giving medications to my little guy. It was especially helpful for the small candy molds I used. You can find them here. I love the shapes!
Transfer molds or glass dish to the refrigerator and chill until set – about an hour. Remove from molds or cut the flavored gelatin into squares.
This recipe is a great jumping off point for further variations. Adding extracts or other nutritional ingredients like vitamin C powder are great ways to pack a punch in your homemade gummies.
Kelsey Nixon is the host of Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel and author of Kitchen Confidence. Kelsey’s Essentials is also currently airing Mon-Thurs at 3pm on Food Network. Kelsey, her husband Robby, and son Oliver (“Ollie”) live in New York City. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.