When it comes to edible jewelry, the candy necklace is king.
Introduced in the late 1950s by Ce De Candy Inc., these sweet and
fashionable treats have been adorning the necks of kids ever since.
The basic premise is simple: tiny, O-shaped, multicolored candies
on a piece of elastic that kids can wear and eat.
If you are looking for a more modern take on the classic candy
necklace, have your kids try making their own "snacklaces" using
alternative candy or healthier ingredients.
Here are a few basics to get you started on this project:
First, everyone needs to wash their hands. This step is
important because these items are all going to end up in someone's
mouth. Once everyone is clean and ready to go, choose materials for
the base of your snacklace. Good options include twine, ribbon,
elastic or even an edible option like thin licorice rope. Cut the
string or ribbon into pieces that are 20 to 24 inches long. Make
sure the necklace is long enough to pull up to your mouth to take a
bite when it is tied around your neck.
Next, choose snacks for your snacklace. Don't limit yourself to
candies with a hole in the center. If an item doesn't already have
a hole for threading, use a child-safe plastic sewing needle or
skewer to poke a hole in the candy. Tie one end of the string
through the eye of the needle. Push the plastic needle through the
hole you made in the center of the candy. The individual pieces
will end up on your string. This technique works well for soft
candies such as Dots, Gummy Bears, Swedish Fish, etc. Before you
begin stringing, tie a knot at one end of the string so pieces
don't slip off as you work.
Snacklaces can also be made from healthier foods. Try stringing
O-shaped cereals, popcorn or miniature pretzels onto your necklace.
Using a child-safe plastic needle, kids can use small pieces of
dried fruit (like cherries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries,
etc.) to make nutritious snacklaces.
For older toddlers and preschoolers, consider using a
nutrient-dense option like Happy Baby Organic Green Puffs. Little
ones can work on their hand-eye coordination while stringing these
puffs onto a piece of twine.
Once you have finished decorating your snacklace, tie a knot at
the other end to hold all of the adornments in place. Tie the
snacklace loosely around your child's neck and let the snacking
begin. If you are using an edible base like licorice, remind kids
to eat the snacks before they bite into the rope or the whole
snacklace will come apart. Be sure to exercise common-sense caution
and supervise children closely when they are wearing something
around their necks.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.
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