All-Natural Food Ideas for a Healthy St. Patrick’s Day
|March 12, 2013||Posted by Stacy under Classroom treats, School parties|
St Patrick’s Day is just days away: another holiday, another school party! Fortunately, two of the symbols of this Irish cultural celebration—rainbows and the color green—lend themselves perfectly to nutritious party nibbles.
It’s true that fruit kabobs may not excite the kids quite as much as cupcakes piled high with neon-green frosting. But I promise you, their lives won’t be ruined. Quite the opposite! They will feel better, be healthier, and may even learn to associate celebrations with wholesome food. (Plus, with all the health concerns over artificial food coloring, I think it makes sense to skip it and use nature’s colors instead).
Combining fresh tasty ingredients with a fun presentation is the key to pulling it off. To that end, I scoured the web to bring you this round-up of festive all-natural St. Patty’s recipes that are sure to please the little leprechauns:
I just love the simplicity of this Rainbow Fruit Platter from Super Healthy Kids (one of my go-tos for fun kid food ideas!). When I made it at home,I found it looked best on a plain white plate or platter. To make it more indulgent, swap the bananas for fresh whipped cream “clouds” and let the kids dip the fruit. Bring small bamboo skewers to avoid contamination from little fingers.
I was missing purple (grapes) when I made these cute Rainbow Fruit Kabobs. If the kiddos are old enough, it might be fun to provide the fruit in small bowls or on a large platter and let them create their own. You do need to be careful when using skewers with younger kids. Talk to your child’s teacher and make sure it’s OK before planning to bring them.
All I could say was “Wow!” when I spotted this Natural Rainbow Smoothie on The Lively Kitchen. Not a drop of artificial food dye in there! Michelle, the genius mom who created it, admits it’s a little time consuming to make for just your own kids (unless you’re the Duggars). But if you have an entire class to feed, then go for it. For a St. Patty’s Day party, I also love this Rainbow Smoothie Sampler from Teaspoon of Spice. Or, keep it really easy with a Shamrock Smoothie from Parents or this Healthy Shamrock Shake from Chocolate Covered Katie.
Just because it’s a kids’ party doesn’t mean that you should skip the veggies. I like the idea of pairing a green dip such as Creamy Avocado Yogurt or Avocado Feta from Two Peas and Their Pod with homemade whole-wheat pita chips cut into shamrock shapes (this recipe from Inspired Wives explains how to make them heart-shaped but you could do the same thing using a mini shamrock cookie cutter). Or, check out this adorable Over the Veggie Rainbow snack idea from Parents–strips of red, green and yellow bell peppers form a rainbow over a bowl of guacamole, with cauliflower clouds and sliced carrot coins forming the pot of gold.
If the class party will be in the morning, consider creating a Rainbow Oatmeal Bar like this fun one from Super Healthy Kids. If you don’t want to use muffin tins, place chopped rainbow-colored fruit toppings in small bowls and allow kids to serve themselves.
St. Patrick’s Day is all about green food…so why not Green Mac and Cheese? This weelicious recipe looks like a winner to me. The question is, do you: A) fib to the kids and tell them that you used green food coloring, or B) be honest and tell them it contains (gasp!) SPINACH and BROCCOLI? I vote for option B (full disclosure). But you can make the call.
Or see these related stories:
Green Food the Natural Way and St. Patrick’s Day Without Food Coloring from The Jolly Tomato
Green Treats Without the Toxins from Zis Boom Bah
A Natural Alternative to Green Food Coloring on St. Patrick’s Day from Cool Mom Picks
Do you have a fun St. Patrick’s Day food idea to share? Please scroll down and leave a comment–I’d seriously love to hear it. And if you’d like to see more ideas for school parties and be kept in the loop about school food related matters, be sure to “LIKE” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.