Christmas party foods for kids should actually look like Christmas, with lots of red and green and plenty of white-as-snow goodies as well. The trick is to make sure there are plenty of sweets, of course, but to also offer kids some substantial fare, including some healthy choices.
In addition to the traditional iced sugar cookies, both stained glass cookies, made with fruit-flavored hard candies, and snowball cookies are appealing choices for the cookie tray. Gingerbread men (or people) are popular with kids, especially if they are set out on waxed paper with containers of frosting and lots of toppings so that kids can decorate them. For a quick dessert, this same idea will also work with store-bought plain round sugar cookies and canned frosting tinted red and green.
Christmas cakes can serve as both dessert and a centerpiece for the holiday table. Wreath cakes go together quickly when they are made from a store-bought angel food cake. They can also be made by cutting a hole in the center of a round cake that is then frosted green and decorated with green spearmint gumdrop leaves and finished off with a bow made from licorice whip. Another Christmas cake choice for kids is snow cake, a white cake frosted in whipped cream and completely covered with flaked coconut.
A Christmas pizza is basically one made by topping the usual red tomato sauce with a hefty covering of mozzarella cheese first shaken in a bag with some green food coloring. Cream cheese-filled white bread sandwiches cut with a snowman cookie cutter can be decorated with raisin faces. Waffles studded with chopped red and green candied fruit can be served any time of day.
Frosty the Cheese Ball and Cheese Ball Santa are two quickly prepared appetizers. They are decorated with radish slices, carrot sticks, pretzels, olives, cherry tomatoes and crackers. Creamy ranch dressing surrounded by little broccoli “trees” and strips of red pepper may appeal even to non-veggie eaters. A similar choice is a plate of red and green apple slices for dipping into cream cheese thinned with a little milk. For healthy dipping, provide each child with a small container of dip, rather than having kids share a communal bowl.
The traditional winter choice of hot chocolate can be spiced up with cinnamon stick or candy cane stirrers. Rudolph’s Punch combines apple juice, cranberry juice and lemon-lime soda. Strawberry ice cream sodas are especially festive when they are decorated with green maraschino cherries.