By Melanie K. Nelson
I love any excuse for a celebration, especially if it involves food and festivities for the whole family! The problem is that kids can be picky when it comes to trying new foods. The struggle at my house is to find festive foods for picky eaters. Over the years I have come up with a few tricks to combat this problem. While these ideas aren’t exactly traditional, they are majorly kid-friendly!
Step one to making a special St. Patty’s Day for the kids is to buy some green food dye. While I typically try to avoid unnecessary dyes in foods, my philosophy is that every once in a while kids should have a little fun.
Start the morning off by dying all of the milk in the carton bright green with a few drops of the food coloring. That way when the kids wake up and pour themselves a bowl of cereal, they will be in for a surprise when it comes out green! If you want to add a healthy component to breakfast try “Green Machine” by Naked juice (or any other green juice). It tastes sweet and the kids will be more likely to drink it since it’s festive. Just make sure not to tell them how incredibly healthy it is!
If you can find a small shamrock shaped cookie cutter (approximately 1 inch across) you can make a super simple, healthy snack. Kiwis are already bright green and a favorite of kids, but cutting them in a cute shamrock shape makes them festive too! You might need to put a tiny bit of oil on the cookie cutter to make sure that the kiwis come out intact.
For a festive meal you can continue with the green-foods theme and dye color neutral foods (green mash potatoes?) or if your kids are more adventurous eaters try pots of gold!
Ok, it is just butternut squash soup in the most pot-of-gold looking pot you can find, but it’s a fun, healthy St. Patty’s Day food that is both kid and mom friendly!
My inner child gets excited any time there is a holiday with a corresponding colors because growing up that meant one thing, surprise cupcakes! Surprise cupcakes are just normal cupcakes with a yummy surprise filling. To make these fun treats just make your favorite cupcake batter (chocolate, vanilla, box mix, from scratch, anything!) but only fill the tins half way. Then mix an 8oz. block of cream cheese with a ½ of sugar and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. Since it’s St. Patty’s Day add 4 drops of green food coloring to the mix. Drop a small spoonful of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each cupcake tin, and then fill the rest of the way up with the cupcake batter. Frost with some bright green frosting and let your kids dig in and enjoy the bright green surprise!
Since it’s a holiday, why not have two dessert options? A super easy, fun dessert is minty green milkshakes. Throw a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in a blender with milk (a 2-to-1 ice cream-milk ratio works well) add a few drops of green food coloring and ¼- ½ teaspoon mint extract. Blend well and top with whip cream and a gold medallion!
Finally we have a non-dessert drink, Green Grape Iceberg! These would be great with lunch or a healthy dessert.
Green Grape Iceberg
Recipe Courtesy of Lori at Family Economics Blog
4oz. of Sparkling Water
4oz. White Grape Juice
10 Green Grapes (frozen)
Green Food Coloring
1. Freeze green grapes
2. Pour grape juice into blender
3. Add 8 frozen grapes
4. Add 2 drops green food coloring
5. Blend for 15 seconds
6. Pour mixture into glass
7. Add sparkling water to taste
8. Stir and garnish with remaining grapes
I love holidays because they are an excuse to make a day extra special and build lasting memories with my family. With a few of these simple tricks you are sure to make St. Patrick’s Day a holiday to remember!