This easy train snack is sure to make you the coolest mom, dad, auntie, uncle, grandma, grandpa (you get the idea!) around. Now that I’ve made it a couple times, I can throw it together in about 5 minutes. But even a newbie should be able to make it in under 15 minutes.
Plus a train snack is a great way to get your favorite train loving kid to eat their fruits and veggies. It would be such a great after school snack to welcome them home on their first day back!
Do you have (or have you had) a kid obsessed with Thomas and Friends? Corban is so into trains, that we have had to have a lot of talks about about them. When mama or dada ask him to do something, he does not get to use the excuse of, “I’m not Corban, I’m Thomas!” to get out of obeying. *Face Palm!*
Corban pretends to be a train, or plays with trains, or looks for trains, about 3/4 of his waking hours. And sleeping? Well then he is in his Thomas pajamas, on his Thomas sheets. And he’s dreaming about chuffing around the Island of Sodor. And during the day, anything can be turned into a train track, will be. From floor tiles at the mall, to a sidewalk curb, to the gutter at a spray park.
We often use a train analogy to get Corban to eat now that he’s decided to be P-I-C-K-Y. That’s a word we try not to use around him because we don’t want him to claim it as a badge of honor. It’s not actually that he’s picky about eating. Corban’s three and has decided to be a contrarian, as is the way of most three year olds. He’ll grow out of it. Right?
Anyway, if Corban’s refusing to eat, or just wanting chips (any time you ask what he wants to eat he will say chips), we tell him that he is running out of coal for energy and needs some energy food. Then we’ll give him whatever healthy food we have and help him “fill up his hopper” with “coal”.
But a sure fire way to get him to eat his food is to actually turn it into a train. This cute train snack has been a life saver on days when he is acting out because he’s hungry, but doesn’t want to eat.
Check out his adorable reaction on Snapchat when I surprised him with this the first time!
Isn’t that the cutest? If you’re on snapchat, let’s connect! Eating Richly (Diana) on Snapchat.
Corban has now had this train snack a few times, and has even helped me make it.
Edible art is a great way to unleash your child’s creativity and encourage them to see healthy food as fun. It’s also a great project for homeschool kids during lunch!
For toddlers and preschoolers, you can cut out the banana pieces and put them in place. Then give your child the tangerine segments, peas, almonds, and carrot sticks to make their own train snack.
Older kids can even cut the banana into shapes to make the train snack completely by themselves.
HOW TO MAKE A TRAIN SNACK WITH YOUR MINI CHEF
You shouldn’t feel limited by the ingredients listed in the recipe. While I find that a banana is the easiest for making the body of the train engine, you can get totally creative with the decorating depending on what ingredients you have on hand. Or depending on what your child will eat!
You can use any nut or seed variety in place of the almonds. If your child can’t do nuts or seeds, you can also try cutting out pieces of cheese, meat, or avocado for their protein.
The steam can be made with kernels of corn, blueberries, or even cauliflower or broccoli. Another options for the tracks is green beans, or maybe slices of a big vegetable like zucchini or bell peppers.
Do you have child who loves trains too? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!
CORBAN’S FAVORITE THOMAS ACCESSORIES
If you’re looking for a birthday gift for a kid obsessed with Thomas, here’s a few things (other than trains) that have put Corban over the moon excited. These are all affiliate links to Amazon. Clicking on them doesn’t cost you anything, but we will get a small commission for ANYTHING you buy on Amazon. Thanks for supporting our family business!
TRAIN SNACK RECIPE
- 1 ripe but firm banana
- 1 tangerine
- 5 almonds
- 2 baby carrots
- 1/4 cup peas, I use rehydrated freeze dried peas so they're always on hand
- Cut a two inch long segment from the straightest part of the banana.
- Slice it in half lengthwise and then cut the end of one half into a point for the base of the train engine.
- Cut the other half into two pieces, one for the engine compartment and one for the car.
- Slice three circles of bananas for wheels and a little stick of banana for the smokestack.
- Assemble the banana pieces into the train and place a tangerine segment on top of the compartment.
- Trim a piece of tangerine into a wedge for the steam funnel.
- Place almonds on the train wheels, compartment, and one to connect the car to the engine.
- Slice the baby carrots into planks for the train tracks, trimming as necessary.
- Drain peas well and pile up above the train, coming out of the funnel, for steam.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.