Author: Dini Klein
Kids’ parties have the potential to be just as good as adult parties—because they’re planned by party-throwing adults! While the party attendees are much easier to please, there’s still plenty of planning and set up needed to make the day special.
That’s why I always aim to go simple on the food. Kids especially don’t need anything gourmet—they may not even enjoy that! The more basic the better (for the kids and for you!). I’m all about keeping things simple yet creative in the kitchen, so anything that can be prepped ahead of time is always preferable. Prepping and cooking foods in bulk batches makes life so much easier, and I speak about it loads in my new cookbook Prep + Rally: An Hour of Prep, A Week of Delicious Meals.
Here is how I Prep + Rally delicious snackies for a seamless kids’ birthday celebration.
Snack mixes or chips and dip are always easy. You can premake and store them beforehand, then dump them into bowls the day of to create a snack bar. You also get bonus points for throwing a veggie platter in there. They can share the same dips! I love skewering different fruits for a “magic wand” kiddy feel, and to add texture, shape and height to the snack table.
We’re big popcorn people in my house, and here are some of my favorite exclusive recipes from my cookbook Prep + Rally: An Hour of Prep, A Week of Delicious Meals:
Savory spiced popcorn
¼ cup neutral oil
½ cup un-popped popcorn kernels
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 package toasted seaweed/nori crumbled or cut into thin strips with scissors
In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot, heat the oil over high heat. Add the popcorn kernels and swirl the pot to coat them all in oil. Cover with a lid and wait until you hear popping, then reduce the heat to medium-high and let the kernels continue to pop, being sure that the heat remains at medium so as not to burn the popcorn. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the popping stops. Remove the lid carefully. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt, shaking to coat. Set aside.
Put the butter in the same pot you used for the popcorn and melt it over a low flame. Remove from the heat (you don’t want the butter mixture to be too hot when adding to the popcorn) and stir in the maple syrup—this will help cool down the butter a bit. Pour the mixture over the popcorn, mixing to coat. Add the nutritional yeast and seaweed and mix to coat the popcorn with the seasonings, then serve.
More snack ideas
Looking for more snack table inspo? This chocolate popcorn is a sweet and savory crowd pleaser. Or, if you have stale pita bread sitting around, try making these pita chips. They’re great for scooping hummus or dipping in salsa — plus, you’ll be reducing food waste by making them!
If you’re still feeling snacky, grazing boards are always a great, versatile option for any party. This can be an elegant cheese board to keep the grownups happy or a kid-friendly snack board. While these may look intimidating, they are actually super easy to nail if you follow my golden rules here.
I love using the Prep + Rally Board to prep and build a beautiful grazing board!
(photos in folder)
Dini Klein is a food host, recipe developer, former private chef, creative junkie, wife and mama of three. Her recent cookbook, Prep + Rally, is her solution to getting wholesome dinners on the table throughout those busy weeks when juggling mommy-ing and work life feels almost impossible.
Her knack for creating innovative food content has led to partnerships with brands such as Walmart, Starbucks, Weight Watchers, Popsugar, Barilla and more. She’s a Tastemaker on Tastemade where she develops food videos and recipes for their social channels and has had her videos featured on Roku, Amazon and Apple TV.
With recipes published in numerous cookbooks and multiple live TV appearances under her belt, Dini is a culinary force to be reckoned with.
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