This post is sponsored by Crystal Farms Cheese® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. If you’re looking for a simple kid snack that’s engaging and fun for children, these cheese puzzles can’t be missed! We’re big fans of playing with our food in our house. It may be a little unconventional since you’ll rarely hear the words “don’t play with your food!” in our house, but there’s actually a substantial benefit to it. While Lily can be a little difficult to feed some days since she’d much rather play than focus on what she wants to eat, she’s not a picky eater. And I like to think it’s partially because we’ve encouraged her to play with her food. She gets to familiarize herself with it and then decide when to try it. The benefit of that is that she very rarely declines trying a new food now, especially if she gets the opportunity to play/interact with it first. Lily also generally opts for a healthy variety of food which helps us ensure she’s not nutrient deficient. She loves being in the kitchen with us, cooking or baking, and has the kind of appreciation we do for food. “Mmm, pretty good!” is one of our two year olds favorite sayings when she tries new dishes which I love. So we try to find creative ways for her to play with food. This includes using food in crafts (think natural dyes or fruit stamping), serving it on fun plates or in a unique way (like making animals with the fruit) or just finding different ways to serve the same food. Our latest adventure that encourages food play? Cheese puzzles. The great thing is that you only need a few things for this fun snack. We always opt for Crystal Farms block cheese because of the taste, quality and variety. This is cheese that was made by cheese lovers for cheese lovers (hi, that’s me!) It’s a natural product that’s rich in calcium with few preservatives and no gluten. This is a great afternoon or after school snack. It’s fun, interactive and keeps children engaged. Not to mention super easy to make, even with little ones. These cheese puzzles pair perfectly with fruits and nuts, creating a well-rounded healthy snack for kids. We love pairing it with strawberries, grapes, nuts, and crackers.
Cookie Cutter (metal ones work a little better than plastic ones, but both will do the trick!)
Fruits, nuts, crackers, etc for pairing (optional)
Cheese Puzzle Steps
Slice the cheese. Try to keep it thick enough that it will hold it’s shape when it’s picked up.
Place the cheese slices together on a plate so that they’re big enough to cover your cookie cutter.
Press the cookie cutter down into the cheese and make sure you hit the plate so it’s cut all the way through.
Remove the cookie cutter, mix up the inner pieces and serve to your kids in a variety of ways:
Serve it without the cookie cutter, making them have to guess what the object is.
Serve it with the cookie cutter so they can have the shape idea in mind when putting it back together.
Keep the outside cheese (so not the stuff inside the cookie cutter) on the plate and let them try to fit the cheese puzzle pieces in the outside cheese slices.
Serve it with the cookie cutter on the plate and let them place the cheese puzzle pieces inside the cookie cutter.
Offer them the cookie cutters and let them cut out the shapes, put the pieces together, etc.
You can easily use multiple block cheeses to change up the colors and tastes. Or use multiple cookie cutters to make it even more difficult for those that are a bit older. Ready to make your own cheese puzzles? Get your favorite Crystal Farms block cheese in the refrigerated dairy section. You can grab your favorite fruits to pair with it, too! Your whole family will enjoy this fun, interactive snack. Plus I’ve got some cheesy recipe inspiration so you can grab what you need for dinner, too! Or just head straight over to this Slow Cooker Italian Mac and Cheese – SO GOOD! What’s your favorite cheese? Comment below! All those that comment will be entered to win three free Crystal Farms product coupons.