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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.
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!
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!
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!
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…
…to having its roof eaten by a giant…
…to a preschooler-induced earthquake. Well, we all saw that coming, didn’t we?
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?