Dec 052013
 
 December 5, 2013  Christmas, crafts, food

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

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Although Santa doesn’t come to our house, I love creating some holiday traditions with Monkey, so he can enjoy the season as much as other kids.  Since I have always loved gingerbread houses, last year I decided to make this a new holiday tradition for us, minus all the sugar!

It was easy enough to do – Since he was not quite three at the time, he didn’t know that gingerbread houses are usually decorated with candy.  Instead, I substituted other foods that are real treats for him: raisins, dried cranberries (which he called “pink raisins”), sliced almonds, and pretzels.

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

The glue for the house was a sweetened cream cheese mixture, and the house itself was made of graham crackers.  Yum!  It was so good to eat afterwards, too!

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

To make the cream cheese mixture, use one 8 oz block of cream cheese, and whip it with honey to taste.  You will have plenty left over, but who cares!  It tastes great on toast or on any leftover graham crackers 🙂

I must say I got a bit misty eyed when I pulled up these photos.  The reason I never posted about it last year is that I went into labor two days later, so these photos were simply saved onto my computer until the season rolled around again.  So here we are, and so much has happened since these pictures were taken!

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

Yet I still remember clearly how much fun we had doing this.  I think with gingerbread houses Monkey and I found something that married my love of crafts and baking with his love of play and building.  Heaven for both of us!

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

I am glad I took a lot of pictures, though, since the house didn’t last until my husband got home from work.  Let’s just say it faced a series of disasters, from an avalanche of toppings…

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

…to having its roof eaten by a giant…

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

…to a preschooler-induced earthquake.  Well, we all saw that coming, didn’t we?

Healthy Gingerbread House - Alldonemonkey.com

 

We also enjoyed reading Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by our favorite author Karma Wilson.  It tells the story of the true meaning of Christmas without feeling like a Book You Should Read.  I had found several beautiful children’s books about the Nativity, but I couldn’t get Monkey to sit through them.  Yet this clever story about Mortimer Mouse captures a child’s attention to explain about the real Christmas spirit.  You’ll have to read it yourself to find out the significance of a gingerbread house to the story 😉

If you are looking for other healthy holiday treats, here are some wonderful ones to try:

Nothing If Not Intentional has another Healthy Gingerbread House recipe using peanut butter and dried fruit – mmm!

True Aim Education has a Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake that is not only paleo and gluten-free, it also looks delicious!

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures has an adorable Candy Cane Snack out of fruits!

ALLterNATIVE learning had the great idea to use cookie cutters to make holiday fruit snacks!

What treats are you making this season?

  13 Responses to “Healthy Gingerbread House”

  1. So glad I seen this. I have all of it in my cupboards except the graham, which I was planning on making homemade! We were thinking of getting candy but not now!

  2. Treats we’ve made so far are pumpkin pie, a regular; chocolate covered cherries, pretzels, and peanut butter balls (a great kid friendly one), homemade larabars http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/14/oatmeal-raisin-cookie-larabars/; shortbread cookies, carrot cake and raisin cookies. Yeah, we could use a little healthy alternatives, but then again, it’s Christmas so it’s not a regular. My daughter loves the homemade larabars, she doesn’t like the store bought ones though and neither do I, too sweet!

    • That all sounds great! Yes, it’s always fun to splurge at the holidays 🙂 And thank you for sharing the recipe – just pinned!

  3. What a sweet post! Yes – a lot has happened since you took these pictures!! I love the photos of the series of disasters. I wonder how long this years house will last now that you have two monkeys to torment it?

    • Lol, good question! I’m thinking I may have to give Baby his own to play with in the high chair, so Monkey is free to destroy his own 🙂 I have to say, he spend a really long time building it and playing with it before giving himself over completely to its destruction. Talk about living in the moment! Carefully build, then destroy with no regrets!

  4. Another benefit is that you don’t have to buy a kit to make this! Looks so fun to create!

  5. This looks so cool! I’m yet to make one myself but it’s on the list!

  6. […] Nativity scene to make room for the tiny Baby Jesus doll.  This is a fun book to pair with making a gingerbread house, as this plays a major role in the story’s […]

  7. […] and I have so much fun with our gingerbread house that this year I thought we’d try a new variation: a Pizza Bread house!  It was a nice […]

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