Memorial Day is a time to relax and enjoy family and friends. It’s also the time when you want to keep your kids busy so you can enjoy the holiday without having to continuously redirect them. One of the ways you can keep kids busy is to enlist their help in the kitchen. Kids love crafts, and making snacks combines their love for creativity with their love for food.
Little bodies need a mixture of proteins, fruits, vegetables and grains to stay healthy, so include protein-rich snacks with your usual fare. As with any kid-centered activity, get creative. An ordinary pig in a blanket morphs into a rocket when you skewer a hot dog and ask your child to wrap a crescent roll around it. Bake the hot dog and roll, and then have your child carefully push a triangular wedge of cheese on top of the skewer to become a rocket nosecone. Rather than offering small sandwiches, kids can spread ranch cream cheese on a tortilla and then layer cheese, turkey and sliced tomato and roll it up. Chill it for 30 minutes and then slice across the wrap to create pinwheels. Or ask your little one to cut out bread, meat and cheese with a star-shaped cookie cutter and assemble them into star sandwiches.
Celery plunged into a favorite dipper becomes ants on a log by filling the hollowed portion of a celery stick with peanut butter or cream cheese and placing raisins on top of the filling. Ask your child to mix diced veggies and a little creamy salad dressing into softened cream cheese, and then spread the mixture between two small rice cakes or two round slices of cucumber.
Berries are plentiful and affordable in the warm months, so take full advantage of them for a Memorial Day bash. Your child can layer a trifle dish with alternating layers of strawberries, whipped cream, blueberries, whipped cream, and raspberries. Continue to layer until the bowl is filled to the top. Set up bowls filled with freshly washed strawberries, melted white chocolate, and blue-tinted sugar. Your child will dip the strawberry three-quarters of the way into the white chocolate and just a quarter of the way into the blue sugar, creating a star-spangled treat. Slice long layers of watermelon for your child to cut with a star-shaped cookie cutter, and then carefully insert popsicle sticks into the stars.
No holiday gathering is complete without sweets, and kid-friendly, patriotic treats are a snap. Fill cake ice cream cone cups with a mixture of dried red cranberries, yogurt-covered raisins, and dried blueberries, or just blueberries and raspberries mixed with vanilla yogurt. Create an innovative banana split by topping a halved banana with scoops of raspberry sherbet or strawberry ice cream and sprinkle frozen, sugared blueberries on top.
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- Nick Jr.: Snacks
- “Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook”; 1997
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