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Edible iceblocks

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Cooking
Fruit and yogurt iceblocks

Summer is a wonderful time to encourage children to eat fruit and a fun way to do this is to add fruit to iceblocks. Fruit iceblocks can be a refreshing and healthy afternoon snack on a hot day and if your child is reluctant to eat fruit it may encourage them to try.

Talk together about the different types of fruit you could use and what you could do with them. Some fruit can be threaded onto sticks and frozen whole. Other types of fruit can be cut, blended with yogurt and milk and then frozen to make iceblocks. If you don’t want a creamy iceblock you could cut up the fruit and set it in water or natural fruit juice. You can blend the fruit yourself to make the juice.

Talk to your child about which colour iceblocks they want to make. Will the iceblocks have all the colours of the rainbow layered one of top of the other? Or will they just be one colour? If they are going to be red how many different fruits can you include.

Are strawberries red? What about grapes? Are they red or green?

Once your child has decided what flavour or colour iceblock they want you will be able to work together to prepare the fruit and liquid. Talk about how to cut up the fruit to fit the shape and size of the container. Will you need small pieces or large pieces? Will the pieces of fruit be blended up and then mixed with another ingredient? Or will they be placed into the tray and topped up with liquid?

Tell me to stop pouring the liquid when it reaches the top.

Materials you will need

  • Water
  • Pop-sticks
  • Small containers
  • Fruit
  • Wooden sticks
  • Fruit juice
  • Blender
  • Chopping board
  • Knife

Alternative tools

  • Ice cube trays

Why does this matter?

When children help to make their own iceblocks they are developing motor skills, learning to sort and classify by colour and shape, and experimenting with the different ways we can measure. They are also learning to plan and sequence the order of a task.

As you work together children are learning to listen to and follow instructions and to practice using vocabulary relating to food and planning. Cooking together helps children to make their own decisions and gives them an opportunity to explain their decisions to another person using language that others will understand.

What does this lead to?

Creating iceblocks helps children to understand that there are different ways that we can describe and compare things. We can compare things by size, colour, function, attributes or shape. As children experiment with comparing things they are exploring the different language that is used to make comparisons.

Children are also learning that we can use different words and tools for measuring. As they make their edible creations they are exploring time, quantity, space and size as different forms of measurement.

Cutting up fruit, pouring the liquid into the containers or peeling the fruit helps children to develop hand dominance and strength in their fingers and hands. Hand dominance and control is required for children to become skilled writers who can write for an extended period of time without having to rest.

Language to use

  • Pour, whisk, slice, spoon, dissolve
  • Mixing bowl, jug, knife, chopping board, container, freezer
  • Boil, freeze, melt, cool
  • Weight, time, volume, fraction, sequence
  • Fruit
  • Taste, smell
  • Small, large
  • Ingredients, utensils, equipment

Questions to use

  • What shape iceblock shall we make?
  • What flavour will we make?
  • What colours will we use?
  • How long will it take to freeze?
  • What colours do we need to make a rainbow?

Useful tips

  1. You might like to look at the Feeding toddlers – 10 tips for happy meal times and other great food tips from Child and Youth.
  2. You might also like to take a look at the activities A big block of ice and Pouring a drink.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

  1. Cut up fruit and use wooden skewers to make fruit kebabs.
  2. Cut up fruit and set it in jelly.
  3. Make a jelly rainbow.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Use an egg carton for sorting. Encourage your child to place one item into each hole. Sort plastic play fruit into ones that are the same.
  • Sort fruit by colour.
  • Borrow books from your local library that have the names and pictures of different fruits.
  • Look through the junk mail, naming the different fruits.

Three to five year olds

  • Sort plastic play fruit into ones that are the same.
  • Sort fruit by colour.
  • Draw pictures of the different iceblocks you want to create.
  • Make a special fruit iceblocks recipe book.
  • Look through the junk mail to explore what fruit is in season.
  • Google other recipes for making iceblocks.

Questions to ask

    • Which one is the same?
    • Where is a red one?
    • Which one has to be peeled before you eat it?
    • Can you find a green one?

    Questions to ask

      • Which colours are the same?
      • Which fruit do we have to peel?
      • What order should we place the fruit in? Does all fruit grow on trees?
      • Which fruit is your favourite?
      • Can you eat the skin on all fruit?

      Language to use

        • Big, little
        • Red, green, yellow, orange, blue
        • Fruit, leaf, stem, skin, peel, pip, seed

        Language to use

          • Skin, flesh, seeds, leaves, stem, husk
          • Red, green, blue, yellow, orange
          • Tree, runner, vine, plant, bush, cane