Clementine & Cheese Stick “Palm Tree” Snack for Kids

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(Becky, the Mama)

Sometimes the easiest recipes are the ones we use the most. My grandson Georgie bellies up to the kitchen bar at least once or twice a day and asks for a “Palm Tree,” in the same way a character on the TV show “Cheers” would order their favorite drink.

I walked to his little school the other day to pick him up (it is only a few blocks away!) and on the way out the door, tucked a piece of string cheese in one pocket and a Clementine orange in the other. When he walked out of his Kindergarten class I produced the “goods” and made him a Palm Tree right there on the spot. His eyes lit up with joy and admiration. It takes so little to make a child happy. The orange quenches the thirst that comes from the saltiness of the cheese, so it makes a great all-in-one treat I feel good about giving him.

George on his first day of Kindergarten, here in Colorado, last week!

George on his first day of Kindergarten, here in Colorado, last week!

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Clementine &  Cheese Stick “Palm Tree” Snack for Kids


Stick of Cheese (String cheese works fine, too)

Clementine orange, peeled


Fan out the orange a little bit on one end and plop it atop a cheese stick.  Serve to your favorite little one,  with a wink and a smile.

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Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce (Fun Healthy Snack for Kids)

Grandson Georgie chowing down on Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce

(Becky, the Butter Lovin’ Mama)

Twenty-something years ago now, my youngest son Gabe was around three and a half years old.  One hot day I walked into the kitchen and downed a perfectly delicious glass of iced tea. Then I saw something wiggling among the ice cubes and almost gagged.  Gabe was watching me, smiling sweetly. “I gave you a present!” he said, grinning proudly.  “Aren’t they cute?”

My eyes still wide with surprise, Gabe walked to my side and pointed at his wiggly friends.  “See how much they love each other?” he asked.  “They are all just hugging and hugging!”

My son Gabe as little tyke. He LOVED any critters (worms, turtles, lizards) more than toys.

This story was told and retold in our family, until it eventually evolved into the title of a  book of humor for moms called Worms in My Tea, and a spin-off children’s book called The Worm Surprise.  I would eventually write  a series of four books in the “Gabe & Critters” series.

Today that worm-loving boy is a handsome young man with a college degree, a good job, a home,  and lovely girlfriend of six years.  (And he still loves nature and all God’s critters.)

Gabe, all grown up, with the love of his life, Aleks

However, Gabe no longer digs up worms in the backyard (though he has a very nice vegetable garden), nor does he drop them into the glasses belonging to unsuspecting relatives.

What I love, though, is that he has a whole room dedicated to boy toys: a foosball table,  a place for playing video games,  his home computer, and various other game tables.  My son has never lost his child-heart for play!  A vintage pinball machine sits in one corner, and to my delight, on display above it were two of the books I wrote based Gabe in the “Gabe and Critter” Series so many years ago.

I took my grandson George over to play at his Uncle Gabe’s house yesterday.

Georgie getting his game face on to play a video game with his Uncle Gabe

Possibly inspired by the Gabe & Critters books, when Georgie asked me for a snack later that afternoon, I had worms on the brain.

“Would you like Nonny to make you some worms and apples?” I asked.

George giggled and said, “You are teasing me, Nonny.”

“No really,” I said. “You will love them.  Pull up a bar stool to the kitchen counter and we’ll make them together.”

Georgie reaching for Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce

Worms & Apples (With Mud Sauce)

I took string cheese and tore it into four strips, microwaving them for about 20 seconds just until they were wiggly, wormy, and melty.

Georgie testing the melty string cheese “worms” to see if they are squishy enough for wrapping around fruit yet. They are!

Then once they cooled to the touch, we wrapped the “cheese worms” around apple slices.

Wrapping cheese “worms” around apples

Just for fun, we squiggled some caramel sauce “mud” (caramel ice cream sauce) over the top.  (You could also let the kids dip them in small bowls of caramel.)

Obviously, this creation was a great success.  Georgie woke up asking for Apples and Worms for breakfast.

With kids home for the summer, begging for snacks, this is a treat you can feel good about giving them and it only takes a minute to make!  (Feel free to omit the caramel for a healthier version.)

Variations: For vegans try using strips of vegan-cheese.  Wrap cheese around peaches, strawberries, plums, or slices of cantaloupe! Use other kinds of cheese,  cutting in strips and melting until just pliable.  I must admit, that even as a grown up, I love these snacks for quick pick-me-up in the middle of the day.

Simple ingredients for Worms & Apples with Mud Sauce

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