19 Healthy And Easy Finger Foods For Kids

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Is your child a fussy eater and would you do anything to make them like their food a bit?

Then you should try making healthy finger foods for kids.

Most parents agree that children are grumpy eaters. Force-feeding your children can misfire and make them averse to certain foods as they grow up. It can also lead to certain eating disorders (1). To help your children develop healthy eating habits, you should let them eat on their own, early on.

MomJunction has compiled a list of tasty finger foods for kids; prepare them at home and make your child eat without complaining.

Quick And Easy Finger Foods For Kids On The Go

Replace the addictive finger chips with these healthy, yet easy to make finger foods at home.

1. Spinach Calzones

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Kids hate greens. But they will love these cheesy spinach calzones!

You will need:

  • 10 oz. fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pack ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheeseburger
  • 1 package frozen bread dough (32 oz.)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

How to make:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
    2. In a bowl, mix the three varieties of cheese, eggs, Italian seasoning, and spinach.
    3. Prepare the bread dough and divide it into eight equally-sized pieces. Roll each piece into an eight-inch wide circle.
    4. Top one side of the bread dough with a spoonful of the spinach-cheese mix.
    5. Fold over the filled bread dough circles and seal along the edges.
    6. Grease a baking sheet and place these filled bread doughs in it.
    7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until both sides of the Calzones turn brown.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 min
Servings: 8

[ Read: Rice Recipes For Kids ]

2. Flapjacks

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This is a sweet snack that you can pack in your kid’s lunch box or serve as breakfast.

You will need:

  • 3 cups oats
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup raisins

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.
  2. In a saucepan, add butter and sugar.
  3. Keep on low flame and keep stirring until the butter and the sugar melt.
  4. Add the oatmeal and the raisins and stir completely, until the oats and the raisins are fully coated with the sugar syrup.
  5. Pour this into an eight-inch baking pan. The spread should not be more than an inch in thickness.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Cut into squares and let it cool completely.
  8. Remove from the pan and serve.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Servings: 10

3. Banana Bread

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Banana bread is easy to make and one of the best ways to get the goodness of banana to your kid.

You will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.
  3. Stir in the mashed bananas, and eggs into the sugar cream. Mix them properly.
  4. Stir in the banana mix into the flour and beat it into a smooth batter.
  5. Grease a 9×5 inch baking pan and pour this mixture into it.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes. Test it with a toothpick before you take it out of the oven.
  7. Let the bread cool before slicing it.
  8. Serve warm.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1 H 5 min
Servings: 12

Yummy Finger Foods For Kids’ Lunch

While finger foods are the best for mess-free eating in the car or at parties, they can also be served for lunch if you have a fussy eater. Here are a few quick and easy finger foods for a crowd that you can make for their lunch.

4. Mini Meatballs

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Meatballs are packed with proteins, but not all kids may like them. Here is a recipe for child-sized mini meatballs that taste and look yummy too. You can also hide veggies like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower in these delicacies.

You will need:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make:

  1. In a large bowl, add the meats, milk, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, beaten eggs, minced onion, salt, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients properly, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350oF.
  3. Roll the cold meatball mix into small balls, the size that kids can eat.
  4. Brush a baking pan with cooking spray and line the meatballs in it.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Stick toothpicks in them and serve them with spaghetti or just with a dip!

Preparation Time: 60 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Servings: 30

[ Read: Bread Recipes For Kids ]

5. Fish Fingers

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If your kid loves seafood, fish fingers are an excellent choice for lunch.

You will need:

  • 14 oz. sliced skinless white fish
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup young leaf spinach
  • ½ cup cooked peas

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 390oF.
  2. Beat the egg and pour it into a shallow dish.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  4. Brush a non-stick baking tray with half of the olive oil.
  5. Dip the fish slices in the egg and roll them in the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Toss the coated fish slices into the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. For the dip – mix the mayonnaise, chopped spinach, lemon juice, and peas in a small bowl.
  8. Serve the baked fish sticks with the dip.

Preparation Time: 10 Min
Cooking time: 20 Min
Servings: 4

Tasty Finger Foods For Kids’ Dinner

Finger foods are also a good idea for dinner parties, if your kids fuss about mashed potatoes, pasta or rice, you can serve them these healthy  finger foods that are easy to eat.

6. Nachos

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Do you think that nachos can’t be healthy? We’ll change your mind with this recipe for dinnertime nachos. Read on to learn how to make healthy vegetable nachos for dinner!

You will need:

  • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese blend (Mexican)
  • ¼ cup seasoned ground beef (refrigerated) from a can
  • ¼ cup refrigerated taco saucepan
  • For nacho topping – diced avocados, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced olives, salsa or sour cream

How to make:

  1. Take a rectangular oven tray and arrange the nachos or tortilla chips in a single layer.
  2. Top the chips with the ground beef and shredded cheese. Spread the mix evenly over the chips.
  3. Microwave them for a minute or until the cheese melts.
  4. Remove from the microwave and top the nachos with the vegetables and salsa or cream.
  5. Serve fresh.

Preparation Time: 10 Min
Cooking time: 1 Min
Servings: 1

7. Sprouted Lentils And Veggie Patties

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Sprouts are mostly not liked by children. But how about serving them in a burger? Sprouted lentil patty burger can become your kid’s favorite snack or dinner.

You will need:

  • 4 potatoes (boiled)
  • 1 cup of boiled mix vegetables (carrots, onion, capsicum, peas, corn, and beans)
  • 1/2 cup whole red and yellow sprouted lentil
  • 1tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ¼tsp black pepper powder
  • 1tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

How to make:

  1. Add boiled potatoes, boiled vegetables, and sprouted lentils in a large bowl.
  2. Mash everything and add lemon juice, seasoning, and salt to the mixture. Mix the ingredients.
  3. Once everything is mixed, start preparing medium-sized balls and press them between your palms to make flat patties.
  4. While you make patties, preheat the oven to 200-degree Celsius and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Transfer the patties on the baking sheet. You will be able to make at least 10-15 patties with the mixture.
  6. Bake the patties for 20-25 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool down a bit.
  7. Serve with tahini sauce or hummus or guacamole dip for added taste and flavor.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Servings: 10-15

[ Read: Healthy Recipes For Kids Meals ]

8. Mini Quiches

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Quiches are easy to make for a quick dinner, or for your kid’s lunch box! They also do well as on-the-road snacks for children.

You will need:

  • 12 bread slices
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 grated onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard, dry
  • 1 pinch black pepper

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375oF.
  2. Cut the bread slices into small rounds. Grease the muffin tins lightly and place the bread rounds at the bottom.
  3. Mix the grated cheese and onions and spread the mix evenly among the muffin tins.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg, and add milk, mustard, and pepper to it.
  5. Pour the egg-milk mixture in equal quantities in all the muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or test with a toothpick. Insert the toothpick in the center of the muffin – it should come out clean.
  7. Serve warm.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Servings: 12

Simple Cold Finger Foods

Don’t have time to cook? Try these easy cold finger foods for kids.

9. Fruit On A Stick

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If your kid hates eating slices of fruit, try fruit-kebabs, fruits on a stick, or rainbow skewers! Whatever the name, your child is more likely to eat fruit this way.

You will need:

  • 1 apple, cut into chunks
  • 5 strawberries, cut into half
  • ¼ cantaloupe diced
  • 2 bananas, peeled and cut into slices
  • 20 skewers

How to make:

  1. Skewer the strawberry to the top of the skewer.
  2. Then the cantaloupe, followed by the apple and the banana.
  3. Repeat until you have fruit on all the skewers.
  4. Serve the colorful fruits on a plate.

Preparation Time: 15 Min
Cooking time: NA
Servings: 5

[ Read: Cupcake Recipes For Kids ]

10. Ham-And-Cheese Pinwheels

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The ham-and-cheese pinwheels aren’t just good to look at. They taste good too!

You will need:

  • 4 tortillas (8-inch)
  • ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
  • 3 oz. Soft cheese
  • 8 slices Deli Ham (1 oz.)
  • 8 slices Deli cheese (¾ oz.)

How to make:

  1. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese with the pickle relish.
  2. Spread the cheese mix on the tortillas.
  3. Top the cheese layer on tortillas with two slices of cheese and ham each – place them such that they cover the tortilla.
  4. Spread the rest of the cream cheese mix on top of the cheese and the ham slices.
  5. Roll the tortillas tightly and wrap them in a plastic food wrap. Seal the ends of the wrap by twisting the plastic.
  6. Refrigerate the rolls for at least two hours.
  7. Unwrap the rolls and cut them into slices that are three-fourth inches in width.
  8. Serve cold.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking time: 2 hours for refrigeration
Servings: 36

Fall Finger Foods For Kids

Fall is the time for fresh veggies and fruits. Here are a couple of kids’ finger foods that you can make at home with Fall produce.

11. Pumpkin Muffins

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Make the most of the Fall vegetables with this yummy muffin recipe.

You will need:

  • 1 small pumpkin, seeded
  • 3/4th cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.
  2. Make pumpkin puree – remove the strings and seeds, and bake the pumpkin in foil, covered, for about 90 minutes. Once it cools, make pumpkin puree.
  3. In another bowl, add the flour, sugar, beaten eggs, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, baking powder and soda, allspice, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix them properly into a smooth batter.
  4. Prepare a muffin tray and distribute the batter evenly into the muffin tray.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Servings: 12

12. Pigs-In-A-Blanket

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Pigs-in-a-blanket are mini hot dogs that your little one can eat without getting messy! Here’s the recipe for this tasty finger food.

You will need:

  • 8 frankfurters
  • 1 package refrigerated biscuit dough (10 oz.)
  • 8 slices cheese

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.
  2. Prepare the biscuit dough as per the package and cut biscuits out of it.
  3. Wrap the cheese slices around the frankfurter. Then wrap the biscuit around them. If they are too big for the kid, you can cut them in half.
  4. Prepare the baking tray and bake them for ten to 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Servings: 6

[ Read: Chocolate Chip Cookies For Kids ]

Fun Finger Foods For Kids

Serve familiar foods in a new way at your kid’s party. If you’re serving a crowd, below are the few ideas for fun finger foods for parties.

13. Cauliflower Nuggets

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Rich in vitamin C, cauliflower is an excellent ingredient to make kid-friendly snacks. Here is how you can make tasty, healthy cauliflower nuggets.

You will need:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (1-inch)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheeseburger
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400oF.
  2. Prepare the cookie baking sheet.
  3. Steam the cauliflower florets until they are tender. Remove any moisture.
  4. Chop the cauliflower into small pieces.
  5. In a bowl, mix the cauliflower and all the other ingredients and mix. Add the breadcrumbs to remove any remaining moisture.
  6. Prepare nuggets, by pressing small portions the mixture into the shape of a cookie.
  7. Place the nuggets on the sheet and bake for 17 minutes.
  8. Serve with ketchup or dip.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 17 min
Servings: 20

14. Cheesy Popcorn

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Kids love popcorn anytime, movie or no movie. Here is how you can make it tastier.

You will need:

  • 6 tablespoons unpopped corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil

How to make:

  1. In a saucepan, combine one-fourth cup olive oil and the popcorn and cover.
  2. Cook it over high heat, while shaking the pan in between so that all the corn pops. This can take over five minutes.
  3. Pour the popcorn into a big bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the remaining olive oil, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning. Pour it over the popcorn and toss it to coat the corn thoroughly.
  5. Add the shredded cheese and mix again.
  6. Serve.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking time: 5 min
Servings: 6

Five Birthday Party Finger Food Ideas

If your child’s birthday is just round the corner, you have no time to waste contemplating what to serve the guests. Following is a list of quick and easy finger foods for a crowd that can make your life a lot simpler!

15. Tacos

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You can put anything you want to make the tacos delicious! What’s more, they are fork-free too! Here is the recipe for finger-licking cheeseburger tacos.

You will need:

  • 4 six-inch tortillas
  • 1 pound ground sirloin (lean)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 green lettuce leaves, small
  • 1 big red tomato, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced and pulled to rings
  • 12 slices of dill pickle
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make:

  1. Divide the ground beef into four equal portions and make patties with each portion. You can make the patties round, or shape them like crescents to fill the taco.
  2. Season the patties with salt and pepper. Place the patties on a heated skillet and cook them for three minutes or until they turn the desired color.
  3. Sprinkle the grated cheese on each of these patties before you remove them from the skillet. The cheese should melt on them.
  4. Keep the cheeseburgers aside.
  5. Heat the tortillas in an oven for ten seconds.
  6. To make the tacos, place the tortilla on a plate. On one side, put the cheeseburger patty on and top it with a lettuce leaf. Add a slice of tomato, a few onion rings, and two or three pickle slices.
  7. Fold the tortilla in half and serve when ready!

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Servings: 4

[ Read: Birthday Party Food Ideas For Kids ]

16. Veggie Bites

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Crispy, fine pieces of vegetarian finger foods that your kids will love munching on at the party, veggie bites are easy to make and taste good too.

You will need:

  • 2 cups fresh vegetables diced – broccoli florets, carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, cauliflower florets, zucchini slices
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup melted margarine
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Grated cheese (optional)

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450oF.
  2. Brush a rectangular microwave dish with the melted margarine. Cover all sides of the bowl from the inside.
  3. Beat the egg and water in a shallow bowl. In another, mix the flour and salt.
  4. Dip a few vegetables (one-fourth) in the egg mixture. Take them out one at a time and roll them in the flour mixture.
  5. Put the flour-coated veggies in the dish. Repeat the same with the rest of the vegetables and place them all in the dish. Keep the dish uncovered.
  6. Bake them for ten to 12 minutes, and stir them in between. Cook until the vegetables turn a light brown color.
  7. Sprinkle the baked veggies with cheese and serve when ready.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 27 min
Servings: 4

17. Mini Corndog Muffins

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These easy-to-make savory muffins bring the goodness of corn and meat together, and the best finger food for kids birthday party.

You will need:

  • 1 pack corn muffin mix (8.5 oz.)
  • 4 beef franks, each cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 oz. soft cheese (like Velveeta) cut into 24 cubes
  • ½ cup honey mustard
  • Cooking spray

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375oF.
  2. Spray the muffin tray with cooking spray.
  3. Prepare the muffin batter as directed on the pack and fill the muffin tray.
  4. Put a cube of cheese and beef in the center of the muffin.
  5. Bake for ten to 12 minutes, or until they turn a light brown color.
  6. Serve warm with tomato sauce or dip.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 27 min
Servings: 24
Nutritional Value: Calories – 86, carbohydrates –9.1g, protein – 2.4g, fat – 4.5g, cholesterol -9mg

18. Kale Chips

Image: iStock

Kale chips are crunchy, tasty, and filled with nutrition that the kids need.

You will need:

  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Salt to taste

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300oF.
  2. Tear the leaves of kale, wash them, and pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper.
  3. Cut the kale leaves into equally-sized squares.
  4. Put the kale leaves in a wide bowl and sprinkle half a tablespoon olive oil on them. Mix the kale leaves once. Add the remaining oil and mix again, until all the leaves are evenly coated with the oil.
  5. Add the vinegar and mix the leaves again such that all leaves get coated with vinegar as well.
  6. Evenly spread the kale leaves over a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until they become crisp.
  7. Season with salt and serve.

Preparation Time: 15 Min
Cooking time: 35 Min
Servings: 2

19. Chicken Fingers

Image: iStock

Baked crispy chicken fingers are crispy, healthy, and easy to eat.

You will need:

  • 2/3 baking mix, like Bisquick
  • 3 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips (½ inch wide)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450oF.
  2. Line a baking sheet and brush it with cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl, add the baking mix, cheese, salt, and paprika and mix well.
  4. Dip the chicken slices in the egg and then roll them in the baking mix. Make sure that all the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
  5. Put the slices on the baking mat and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, while flipping them in between.
  6. The chicken slices are ready if they are not pink in the center.
  7. Serve with a dip or ketchup.

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking time: 35 min
Servings: 4

[ Read: Healthy Snacks Recipes For Kids ]

Tips To Make Finger Foods For Kids’ Party

One of the key aspects of planning a kid’s birthday party is deciding what foods or snacks to offer to the guests. Sure, kids would love cake and chips. But what if you can make something healthy and tasty for a birthday party? Here are a few tips that help you make healthy finger foods parties for a crowd.

  1. Make healthy mini sandwiches with grated carrots, zucchini slices, mayo, or a slice of cheese. Kids will love these bite-sized snacks.
  2. Cut fruits, set together preferably with a pin or in a bowl, are also great snacks you can have on the table.
  3. Crackers with dip are yet another excellent idea for kids’ parties.
  4. Popcorn in different flavors – kids never say no to this!
  5. If the party is at a mealtime, offer a real meal – a wholesome burger, pizza with healthy toppings, or bowls of pasta that they can eat without getting messy.
  6. Kids have a sweet tooth – make healthy fruit-flavored cupcakes or muffins for the party.

Make Healthy Finger Foods For Kids At Home

Potato chips, fries, popcorn, cookies, biscuits, and other packaged foods are readily available in the market, so why fret about making kid-friendly finger foods at home? Here is why:

  • Processed foods have added preservatives for a longer shelf life, which means that they contain chemicals that are harmful to the body.
  • Packaged finger foods have added sugar and salt.
  • Several fried foods contain high amounts of trans fats.
  • Packaged finger foods such as chips are just empty calories with zero nutritional value. Chances are, your child can gain more weight with packaged foods than they would with homemade foods.
  • Most importantly, packaged foods are expensive and addictive too.

Introducing finger foods early on for young children helps in the development of sensory skills and hand and oral motor skills, which is knowing how to eat and chew solid food. Through finger food, you can make your children eat with ease as they use their hands instead of struggling with a spoon or a fork.

Do you want to share your finger food recipes and ideas with other moms? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Debby Arts-Rodas and Diane Benoit; Feeding problems in infancy and early childhood: Identification and management; National Centre for Biotechnology Information (1998)

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