When you are hosting a party, the last thing you want to be doing is preparing food all day in addition to cleaning your home and keeping an eye on your kids. Choose no-cook snack food ideas to quickly transform ingredients into bite-sized snacks for kids or adults to munch on at your party.
Popcorn is filling, healthy and inexpensive, making it an ideal base for a party snack mix. Mix plain air-popped popcorn with a variety of ingredients of your choice. Options include dried fruit, miniature pretzels, nuts, small pieces of cereal, cubes of cheese, fresh herbs and small candies. Melt butter and stir in any flavor of dip mix, then toss with popcorn for a zesty treat. Because popcorn is a choking hazard for kids under 3 years old, save this snack for parties when you won't have any toddler guests.
Set up an assembly line to make several simple sandwiches and cut them into small pieces to make snacks for a party. Some types of sandwiches that are popular with kids and adults include almond butter with honey or jam, cucumber with hummus, cream cheese with chutney, and the classic cold cuts with cheese and lettuce. To make sandwiches more appealing for kids, use cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes like hearts, stars, puzzle pieces, cars and animals. Enlist older kids to put ingredients on sandwiches and younger kids to help press the cookie cutters in to make shapes.
If you have a blender or food processor, you can put together an inexpensive, healthy dip in just a few minutes. For a white bean dip, puree canned white beans, also called cannellini, with salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to taste, or try a green onion or dill dip mix. For a Mexican-inspired dip, use black beans pureed with tomato, cilantro, cumin, Southwest-seasoned dip mix and a little bit of onion. Serve the dip with anything from chips to crackers, bread or raw vegetables.
A platter of pinwheels makes an appealing snack that guests will be nibbling on every time they pass the snack table. Popular ingredient combinations include cream cheese and jelly, black-bean spread and tomatoes, hummus or ranch dip and vegetables, or meat and cheese. To make pinwheels, spread ingredients evenly across tortillas and roll them up to make long rods. Cut off the ends and save them for your family to eat another time. Cut the remainder of each rod into 3/4-inch slices and lay those flat on the platter. Each burrito-sized tortilla makes about 10 pinwheels.
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