Kid-Friendly Holiday Food and Entertaining
During the holidays, kids have the best seat in the house. Seated at the “kids table” with all of their cousins, they have the opportunity to create crafts, eat finger foods and enjoy indulgent sweets. It’s the one time of year that when the adults are mingling, the kids can get into a little bit of trouble—just a little!
For a kid-friendly holiday food menu, we think small bites and handheld foods are best. Also, when foods are less on the mess, even better! Everyone wants quick and easy items for the kids, especially if any are being made in addition to the main meal. Below are some great options to choose from:
- Honey BBQ Cheesy Chicken Bites: All that unbeatable chicken wing flavor but much less chicken wing mess since they’re wrapped into a mini phyllo shell.
- 5 Layer Mediterranean Dip: Pass around individual dip cups, and let the kids choose their dipping vehicles—tortilla chips, pita bread, carrots or cucumbers.
- BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs: The perfect bite for the kiddos to enjoy!
- Cheesy Mac and Chicken Kups: Macaroni & cheese + chicken nuggets = the best of both worlds that all kids will love!
- English Muffin Pizzas: Have the kiddos customize their own mini pizzas with their favorite cheeses and other toppings.
- Soft Pretzel Dip Snack Bar: For a fun and easy appetizer to tide the kids over until dinner, serve these heat-and-eat pretzels with a choice of cheese sauces.
- Egg Rolls with Spicy Edamame Dip: Customize the spiciness level for any of the kids.
- Banana Split Stuffed Mason Jar: One of the best (and cleanest) ways to eat a sundae is in a mason jar. You can even make them mini—perfect for the kids!
- Strawberry Shortcake: Put a twist on the traditional version, making them even simpler for the kids, by using prepared French toast sticks instead of a biscuit.
Now that the menu is squared away, the kids will need some activities to keep them occupied. Whether you want them involved in the cooking and prep or away from the craziness of the kitchen, we took a few pointers from Parenting Magazine for kid-focused holiday entertainment. Check out the below for five ways to get the kids involved:
- Secure a kids-only room
- Choose a room in the house that will be the “kid zone” for the day of the party. Designate this area for all things kid-friendly, such as crafts, toys, TV and games.
- Create a mini bakery
- Let the children get involved in the kitchen. Grab some tools like spatulas and rolling pins and let the kids assist with baking desserts and snacks.
- Serve dinner restaurant-style
- If you’re hosting a holiday dinner, let the kids take over the beginning by having them “take orders,” as if they’re waiters at a restaurant. Once the orders are in, allow them to help serve items to guests.
- Construct a movie theater
- Send on a scavenger hunt
- Before guests arrive (or even while everyone is noshing on appetizers), have the children search for needed party items on a scavenger hunt. You can hide the dinner napkins, silverware or place cards for the table.
How do you keep the kiddos entertained during holiday meals?