Healthy School Holiday Party: A Natural Red & Green Food Celebration (With 17 Festive Recipes!)
|November 17, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Classroom treats, Recipe, School parties|
I got the idea for a natural color-themed food celebration while trolling around Facebook and went gaga over it. So with the holidays approaching, I proposed a class party with a red and green theme using only “real” foods to my first grader’s teacher. She loved it! From cranberries and cherry tomatoes to avocados and kiwis, there are many colorful and kid friendly fruits and veggies that fit the theme. Here are some fun recipes that I tested at a recent gathering of eight elementary and preschool age children (including my own). You never know with kids, but this group gobbled up the snacks, not leaving a crumb even big enough for a mouse.
Raspberry reindeer mini muffins Whole wheat flour and 2 cups of raspberries make these mini muffins a healthy treat. The tops of the muffins turned a blue-purple hue, but the red raspberries were evident inside. For fun, I used Meri Meri Tis the Season Petite cupcake liners—worth the splurge!
Strawberry and grape kabobs Alternate fresh strawberries and green grapes on a wooden stick. Instead of long skewers, try small bamboo flat picks–easier to eat and less dangerous.
Frozen yogurt raspberries These may look fancy but they are shockingly easy to make. Just put Greek yogurt (I used vanilla) in a plastic baggie. Place the baggie in the freezer for just a few minutes to harden it a bit (but not too long or the yogurt will start to freeze). Snip one corner of the baggie and “pipe” the yogurt into each raspberry. Substitute fresh whipped cream to make it more decadent. Just one catch: Transporting them is a little tricky. They didn’t look perfect after the trip to school, but I don’t think the kids noticed.
Kiwi pops Kiwi slices on lollypop sticks—so cute and simple! My kiddos were really excited the first time I made them, letting out actual cries of delight. (Perhaps they need to get out more often?). I originally spotted the pops on the Facebook page of my friend Sally at Real Mom Nutrition. She froze hers; I didn’t. But mine but they were still a hit with all the wees. I think even non-kiwi fans could be converted with these.
Mini caprese skewers This is one of my favorite appetizers and always a hit at adult gatherings. I used small (grape-size) fresh mozzarella balls, fresh basil leaves and grape tomatoes on flat bamboo picks. The combination may be a little grown up for some elementary-age kids, but middle and high schoolers should ready for them. (And if they don’t like them, their teachers will!). Arrange them on a round plate to look like a wreath.
Sugar-dusted cranberry poppers I just love the look of these fresh cranberries coated with super-fine sugar. The first time I served them, my 4-year-old twins licked the sugar off and left the cranberries behind, but they have since grown to love the whole thing. Despite being soaked in sugar syrup for hours, the crans are pretty tart. But they’re still yummy and very interesting. They’re also inexpensive and require very little active prep time. I really recommend giving them a try!
Grinch smoothies This really proves the power of marketing to kids. Even my 7-year-old, who claims to dislike smoothies and hasn’t touched one in years, downed this green one made with spinach (no doubt thanks to the cup!). To make the smoothie: Combine 1 large handful of fresh spinach (about 1/2 cup packed), 1 large ripe banana, 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (like Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla), and 1/2 cup ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Makes about seven 2.5-ounce “sample” servings. (Depending on the class size, you may need to make multiple batches so everyone gets a taste.) For the cups, I printed mini images of the Grinch and attached them to 3-ounce white paper cups with double-stick tape.
Apple pie parfaits To make these, I alternated layers of homemade pumpkin granola (made without nuts), Greek yogurt (I used plain whole milk and the kids liked it), and chopped red Honeycrisp and green Granny Smith apples, then sprinkled a few dried cranberries on top. My 7-year-old, who normally rejects granola (I told you he was fussy!), happily ate his parfait (and later told me, “Mom, you have the best food ideas.” Please, someone pinch me!).
Below are more healthy holiday food ideas that I didn’t get a chance to test myself but sound perfect for a school party:
Christmas tree grapes & cheese platter Simple brilliance from Foodlets, one of my favorite kid-food blogs.
Vegetable tree Arrange green veggies like broccoli, green peppers or celery in the shape of a Yule tree, then decorate it with red fruits and veggies like cherry tomatoes, red peppers and radishes. Make a star for the top out of yellow squash. Serve with a healthy dip like hummus or white bean.
Chicken, pomegranate & orzo salad If you don’t make this for your school party, it could make a tasty dish for home. I plan on trying it with whole wheat orzo.
Gingerbread smoothie Frozen banana, coconut milk, dates and spices. Yum!
Avocado-banana smoothie Avocado and banana is one of my favorite smoothie combos, and it makes my 4-year-old twins pretty happy, too.
Raspberry frozen yogurt pops This recipe calls for fresh raspberries, but you can use frozen instead.
Green wraps A green spinach wrap filled with avocado and mozzarella cheese–simple and nutritious!
Bite-size Greek salad Like the caprese salad skewers but with tomato, cucumber and feta.
Pomegranate strawberry jello Naturally red gelatin sweetened and with 100% pomegranate juice, a touch of honey or agave, and fresh strawberries. Make individual servings in small clear plastic cups (preferably biodegradable!).
And because every celebration doesn’t have to be about food, some fun-sounding holiday party crafts and games for kids:
Do you have any fun school party food ideas? What about games and activities? Please share them by leaving a comment below!