I’ve been working on a project at my local zoo for the past few months that centers around teaching kids what the animals eat and encouraging healthy eating habits. Kids tends to imitate what their families do, but they also love animals and want to imitate them.
Most of the animals eat fresh produce everyday. I’ve taken animal treats and diets and created recipes around them, and added some fun facts about the animals. A few of the recipes have been adapted from other sources. Some are original. It was fun to get a list of what the animals liked and think of something I could make with it. I’ll share a few of them over the next few weeks.
Great Apes eat pretty much all fruits and vegetables, so they are easy. Like us, each one has preferences and foods they just don’t like, but overall they eat everything. This recipe is based on something I saw on Pinterest. It looked like great ape diet, and most of the apes like bananas and strawberries (some like pineapple), so I adapted it for them. They don’t eat chocolate, but kids can have chocolate. I want to make healthy eating accessible and not make everyone feel guilty about having something delicious every now and again.
The Pinterest photo linked to this recipe on Oh She Glows. Hers are made in cups. The photo I saw used toothpicks. I liked the look better, but toothpicks aren’t safe for kids. I used disposable lollipop sticks instead.
Orangutans are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Orang means person and hutan means forest. The spelling ending with an “g” has fallen out of favor, as the g would not be pronounced. Most great apes are largely herbivorous. The orangutan is the most herbivorous of all great apes. Nearly 90% of orangutans’ diet in the wild comes from fruit.
Recipe type: Dessert
- 20 – 1″ pieces from about ½ small pineapple
- 2 large bananas, sliced into 20 bite sized pieces
- 10 small to medium sized strawberries sliced in half
- 6 tablespoons cup good quality dark chocolate
- 2 tsp coconut oil (you can use another oil, but coconut oil is best)
- Chopped peanuts (optional)
- Slice fruit and assemble into stacks. Push a Popsicle stick through the fruit and freeze until frozen.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone mat.
- Melt the chocolate with the oil in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir in between 30 second intervals.
- Remove the fruit from the freezer. Dip the fruit in the chocolate. Let the excess drip off for a minute. You can sprinkle or roll in nuts and then place on the sheet to harden. Remove from the sheet.
- These can be stored in the freezer for a couple of weeks. Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.
For Grown-ups: A little bit of treat food (like chocolate) isn’t bad. Fun can be healthy and still be good and fun! Our animals get treats too!
Serving size: 1 piece Calories: 41 Total Fat: 1.5 g Total Carbohydrate: 7.7 g Sugar: 5.4 g Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g Protein: 0.2 g
The calorie counts are not included in the handouts. I think it’s more important for kids to focus on what they eat rather than how much they eat. However, grown-ups like me like these treats too.