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Kids get healthy holiday eating tips at INK
Junior League event uses holiday symbols to stress good habits
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Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

Where: 999 Chestnut Drive, Gainesville

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sundays

Admission: $8 adults, $8 children, $6 Sundays.

Contact: 770-536-1900

Instead of kids vegging out in front of the TV while munching on chips and cookies, the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County is handing out tips for healthy alternatives.

On Saturday, the group held a Kids in the Kitchen demonstration at INK, the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, in Gainesville.

"We want to promote that kids and their parents can have fun with food, but they can also make healthy food choices at the same time," said Denise Wilkins, Junior League member.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, Wilkins and fellow league member Chase Miller decided to demonstrate how parents and children could have fun in the kitchen while creating edible cornucopias.

Cornucopias, which are said to represent the bounty of fall's harvest, are typically a horn-shaped basket filled with fruits, vegetables and breads.

The junior league version was more kid-friendly.

"I found the idea for it online. We used sugar cones, light whipped topping and fresh blueberries, pineapple, grapes and dried cherries," Miller said.
"But you can use any type of fruit that you want."

To make the cornucopias, you place the cone on a plate and add a few spoonfuls of the whipped topping just on the bottom, inner edge of the cone and spilling out onto the plate. As you add the fruit to the cone, the whipped topping acts as the "glue" that holds everything in place and helps to create the overflowing look of a cornucopia.

Just as the duo used a variety of fruit for Saturday's demonstration, parents should strive to use a variety of fruits and vegetables when preparing meals for their families - and Thanksgiving is no different.

"The more colorful your plate is, the better the meal is for you," Miller said.

Wilkins has a few other tips to make Thanksgiving dinner a bit healthier and more kid-friendly.

"If you're going to make stuffing, why not use whole-grain bread crumbs?" Wilkins said.

"Kids love to dip things and they like bright colors - fresh fruits and vegetables are good options that satisfy that. Just remember, when you're cooking for kids, the important thing is to keep it simple."