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Banana splits, with a twist





Summertime and banana splits go together. But the more than 50 youngsters at the Kids in the Kitchen program were in for a surprise Wednesday afternoon at Hays Public Library.

They dug into banana splits with a twist.

Sweet and juicy watermelon gave the popular dish its twist.

"We were interested in what banana splits with a twist was going to be, (and) guessed on the way what they might be," said Mari Jo Stout.

Stout, Plainville, brings her niece and nephews, Janessa, 3, Conner, 6, and Christian Miller, 5, Gorham, to the library's summer activities.

They have been coming to the children's events at least two times a week, she said.

Conner declared the pineapple his favorite ingredient, while Janessa specified the chocolate chips.

Darcy Kimbrel, Hays, and her four children Harley, 2, Gracie, 4, Alanna, 6, and Isaiah, 10, came to see what the twist was, too.

"I was thinking it was going to be ice cream with a twist," Kimbrel said. "I didn't think it was going to be fruit. I kind of like this though. It's nice, healthy, refreshing."

Isaiah liked "pretty much everything" about the treat.

The Kids in the Kitchen summer program lasts for three weeks in July, then starts again in the fall, said Mary Bittel, one of the facilitators.

"It's so kids get used to working with different types of foods," she said.

They can see all these ingredients, and think "I can take these items as a snack."

In addition to bananas, the split with a twist included watermelon, any berry, pineapple and whipped cream. Nuts, granola and chocolate chips were optional.

Volunteer Alexandria Hagerman, 11, demonstrated how to make one. Her favorite ingredients were the banana and strawberries.

This is Alexandria's second year volunteering in the children's department.

"We try to use volunteers to help us. Kids can associate more with them," Bittel said.