Looking for Healthy Party Snacks? Try a Watermelon T-Rex!

Spring seems to be party season, with people getting back outdoors, holding barbecues, picnics and birthday parties. It's sometimes a struggle to come up with creative ideas for party snacks that are healthy yet not boring. If you have kids coming over, or need to bring something to a party at which some of the guests will be kids, this watermelon carved into a dinosaur will be a hit. Why wait for Halloween to carve produce?

The mouth, spiked with toothpick or skewer teeth, is filled with chunks of watermelon and other melon -- for contrast, try a yellow watermelon (if you can find one!), cantaloupe or honeydew. Cut them into triangular chunks that resemble a mouth full of teeth. Of course you could fill it with any sort of fruit salad -- just make sure the pieces are big enough that they don't tumble out. Although visually, that could be quite entertaining for the kids.

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Caution: Pointed skewers are very sharp! Make sure that guests, especially young ones, use a long-handled serving tool to avoid having hands come in contact with the sharp skewers. You may even wish to remove a section of the skewer teeth prior to serving so the fruit can more easily be removed.

Watermelon T-Rex

1 round seedless watermelon
1 small yellow watermelon or other colorful fruit for slicing
20-30 wooden skewers for teeth

1. Wash the watermelons and cut 1/4-inch slice off the bottom of the larger watermelon for stability.

2. Use a pen to sketch out the open mouth design as seen in the picture. Avoid drawing too far back on the jaw so you leave enough rind at the back of the jaw to support the top of the head.

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3. Cut out mouth section and clear the mouth area of fruit. Use caution to avoid cracking the jaw. Hollow out the top of the head first to cut down on weight. Insert a large square of yellow watermelon inside the mouth to hold it open and support the top of the head. Take care not to over extend the jaw and crack the rind.

4. Cut the eyebrows and nostrils from a piece of the other rind. The eyebrows will be cut like crescent moons, and the nostrils are cut in the shapes of inverted teardrops. Use the channel knife to create the details on the eyebrows and within the nostrils (see picture for ideas).

5. Hollow out the eyes with a melon baller, cutting all the way through the outside of the rind. Attach the eyebrows and nostrils to the head with either toothpicks or a glue gun.

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6. With the second melon (or other colorful fruit) and the leftover flesh from the dinosaur head piece, cut triangular shapes that mimic jagged teeth. Stuff these bite-sized pieces into the mouth of the dinosaur, filling in around the large square piece that is holding the mouth open.

7. Being very careful with the pointed ends, cut the skewers into various lengths and line the top and the bottom of the mouth with them just inside of the rind. Place them in with the pointed end out, using pliers to help securing them in place.

If you're looking for something a little cuter, try a watermelon hedgehog!


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