I can confidently cook for nearly anyone, but one type of guest stumps me over and over: the little ones who come over to play with my kids. In fact, figuring out what to serve on my kids’ playdates is way more stressful than planning a party for 10 hungry adults.
If you want something a little more than cracking open a bag of fruit snacks, I’ve rounded up 9 play date recipes all made with kid-approved ingredients in a mom-approved amount of time. And, of course, they are tasty, because what would be the point if they were’t? -Stacie
[photo: garnish with lemon]
I want a play date if it means snacking on this Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips from Paint and Tofu. This treat is a healthy kids’ snack, and the perfect mix of sweet and salty, fruity and carby, light and filling.
What kid doesn’t love warm, just made banana bread? And what mom can resist serving it up in just 5 minutes? This Banana Bread in a Mug from Pass the Sushi is “baked” in the microwave. So easy you can even get big kids to help.
Instead of regular nut butter sandwiches, how cute are these Apple Sandwiches with Almond Butter and Granola (above) from Garnish with Lemon? This presentation is so fun that the kids won’t even think about the fact that this snack is a nearly perfectly well balanced afternoon snack. You can substitute peanut butter for almond or, if you want to avoid nuts altogether, use sunflower butter.
When I was little, pudding was more of a dessert than a healthy afternoon snack. Today, though, there are tons of fun pudding recipes made with protein-rich, silken tofu and a just handful of other wholesome ingredients. I’m dying to try this vegan peanut butter pudding from The Lunch Box Bunch.
I’m also digging their nut-free pumpkin spice pudding recipe, which is perfect for this time of year.
If there’s one thing I know about how to feed kids, it’s to let them dip. Dipping makes everything better, which is why a refreshing alternative to carrots and ranch dressing are these fruit skewers with lemon vanilla yogurt dip from Florida Coastal Cooking.
Planning a dinner play date or get together with older kids who have bigger appetites? Then you must try the pizza muffin recipe from my own site, One Hungry Mama. Essentially a mini deep dish pizza, these snacks can be topped with tons of veggies, as well as with cheese, and have portion control built in so that they don’t ruin dinner.
Play dates for wee ones call for smaller and, of course, cuter snacks. These Chocolate Banana Pops from Domestic Fits are the perfect size for little eaters, with just the right amount of sweet. You can even turn this into an activity by letting the little ones do their own dipping.
Finally, while we don’t all have the hour it would take to turn rice balls into adorable creatures, this teddy bear toast from Minieco is irresistible. Hands down the cutest snack ever made. And so easy with only a few basic ingredients. The only down side to this snack is that, well, it’ll be sad to see him go.