Whether you are hosting a party at home or have been asked to bring some food for a party in a preschool classroom, small children prefer foods that are both delicious and fun to look at. Most Christmas parties are overloaded with sweets, so consider some fun-but-healthier foods, as well as a few special treats.
Instead of bread, use sandwich wraps or tortillas to make bite-sized sandwiches that are just the right size for little fingers. Lay a wrap flat on the counter and smear its surface with cream cheese or mayonnaise. Layer lettuce, meats and cheeses on top, then roll the wrap up tightly. Wraps come in different colors and flavors, including green spinach wraps and red tomato wraps, which make the platter more colorful and appealing to young children. Slice the rolled wrap into 1-inch-wide slices and arrange them on a platter in the shape of a tree or a wreath.
Serve the preschoolers healthy vegetables or fruits in a way that's fun and appealing. Thread small slices of the vegetables or fruits onto wooden skewers. Cut grapes in half, if you are using them, so they don't pose a choking risk to younger children. Cut off the pointed end of each skewer after placing the food on them so the kids don't accidentally poke themselves. Insert each skewer into a foam floral tree form and set it on a platter. Make the skewers even more appealing by using star-shaped mini cookie cutters to cut out the veggie and fruit pieces.
Turn the standard popcorn ball into a colorful holiday ornament. Melt ¼ cup butter, ¾ cups brown sugar, 3 tbsp. corn syrup and ¼ tsp. salt together. Stir in ¼ tsp. baking soda and ¼ tsp. vanilla. Pour the mixture over 8 cups of popcorn. Form the popcorn into 3-inch diameter balls and place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees F, then allow them to cool to room temperature. Push small candy-coated chocolates or gumdrops into the balls to add decoration. You can also add food coloring to the caramel mixture before coating the popcorn to make the balls more colorful.
Use sliced bagels as a festive party food. Smear each bagel half with cream cheese. Top with diced green, red and yellow peppers to decorate the wreath. To add further decoration, cut the peppers with mini cookie cutters into star shapes or small circles. Use your imagination and the vegetables you have available to make the bagel wreaths as colorful and appealing as possible.
- Disney FamilyFun: Christmas Appetizers & Snacks
- "The Complete Tightwad Gazette"; Amy Dacyczyn; 1998