Holiday baking can be a fun family effort, but too often it involves lots of sugar and calorie-laden ingredients. Why not put a different twist on holiday cooking with kids?
My children and I enjoyed a fun afternoon trying these recipes for holiday appetizers and snacks that incorporated fruits, vegetables and a bit of protein – without feeling like the food was "healthy." They were fast, festive and fun.
These five recipes – adapted from Pinterest finds, our imagination and ingredients on hand - were our favorites. Enjoy them for a snack, party appetizers or just a winter-themed dinner.
Black Olive Penguins
(Adapted from Emilybirt.com/penguins)
- 1 can jumbo black olives, pitted
- 1 can small black olives, pitted
- Baby carrots
- 8 oz. package of light cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Slice the baby carrots into round wedges for the base. Cut out a small notch of each slice for the beak.
Mix the cream cheese and herbs together.
Cut a vertical slice in the jumbo olive. Fill with cream cheese mixture.
For the head, take a small olive and put a slice of carrot where the nose would be. "Poke a hole where the nose should be and stick the carrot in."
We saved extra olives for the next two dishes.
Snowman Pizza with White Sauce
We took advantage of time-saving refrigerated pizza dough and fajita strips to help make this dish.
- 1 container refrigerated pizza dough (or use a homemade pizza dough recipe such as this whole-wheat dough or cauliflower pizza crust recipe)
- 1/2 cup light alfredo sauce or roasted garlic parmesan sauce
- 8 oz. mozzarella
- Black olives
- Sliced peppers
Preheat oven according to pizza dough directions.
Shape dough in shape of a snowman. Spread alfredo sauce over dough. Top with cheese.
Add black olives for face and buttons, and peppers for the nose and arms.
Bake pizza according to directions.
This fun idea came from CuteKidsFood.com. We used leftover red peppers and black olives from our previous recipe for this dish.
- Light Laughing Cow cheese wedges
- Small pretzels
- Black olives
- Red peppers
Trim the black olives and red peppers into small pieces for the eyes and nose. Place on the opened cheese wedge. On the top corners, add a pretzel piece for antlers.
This idea was the brainchild of my preteen, inspired by a walk through the deli at our local grocery. We used miniature mozzarella balls (pre-packaged into 70-calorie snack packs) and leftover carrots and olives for this cute appetizer.
Cut up carrots and olives into small pieces. On toothpick, stack three mozzarella balls. On the head, add two olive pieces and one carrot slice for the face. On the other two balls, add olive pieces for buttons.
Strawberry Santa Hats
We've seen Strawberry Santa hats on Pinterest, but typically they're created with marshmallows and high-fat whipped cream. For our version, we sliced the top off a strawberry and decorated with vanilla Greek yogurt.
By Robbie Schneider
Social Media Manager