Fruit pizza on iStock
Keep bellies full and hands occupied at your next birthday party with sweet and salty snacks and treats. These recipes are easy to make and just healthy enough that you won’t feel guilty serving them (along with all of that cake and ice cream), but fun enough that the kids won’t notice!
1. Fruit pizza
An indulgent sugar cookie crust is balanced with a colorful assortment of fresh fruit in everyone’s favorite dinner-turned-sweet: fruit pizza. And, it couldn’t get any easier to make: Use store-bought cookie dough as the crust and a package of cream cheese for the “sauce.” Check out the Cooking Classy blog for the recipe.
2. Parfait bar
If your party is starting early in the morning, have your little guests prepare their own yogurt berry parfait. Use fresh or frozen berries depending on the season, and swap in coconut yogurt for cow’s milk if you are dairy-free or vegan. Check out Whole Food Bellies for the recipe.
3. Chocolate-covered pretzel rods
For a fun activity and an easy party treat, try these chocolate-covered pretzel rods from House of Nash Eats. These crunchy and sweet wands are easily customized with your favorite colored sprinkles and white, dark or milk chocolate or candy melts. Swap in whole-wheat pretzels for a healthier twist.
4. Walking tacos
Elevate your taco game and make them transportable with walking tacos that use healthier baked chips instead of corn chips. Kids can build their own bags, choosing exactly what toppings they like or would like to try for the first time. Check out Mom's Kitchen Handbook for the recipe.
5. Granola bars
The perfect combination of sweet and salty, these trail mix granola bars from Well Plated are a no-bake treat, which makes it a breeze to prepare. Bonus: they are gluten-free, and you can swap out the peanut butter with other nut (or non-nut) butters if you have any allergies to work around.
6. Mini corn dogs
Impress your guests (and please their tummies) with homemade mini corn dogs. This recipe from Mom on Timeout is much healthier than what you can buy in the freezer section of your local grocery store, and no one has to know that they are actually super easy to make!
7. Hummus with crudités
Kid-friendly hummus with crudités may sound fancy, but it’s really just colorful crunchy veggie sticks served with a dip. Ciara from My Fussy Eater offers a great kid-friendly recipe.
8. Banana pops
Frozen banana pops are a healthy take on a traditional Popsicle. Let kids mix and match their favorite toppings to create their own ice pops at the beginning of the party, and then enjoy eating their frozen creations at the end for dessert.
9. Chicken fries
Somewhere between chicken nuggets and French fries are baked chicken fries from Tiffany at La Creme de la Crumb. Crispy and perfectly dippable in your favorite sauce (we love ketchup, ranch or barbecue sauce), little hands will love these protein-packed snacks.
10. Sushi sandwich roll-ups
It’s a tea party with a twist when you serve up these adorable sushi sandwich roll-ups from Grace at Eats Amazing. And, you don’t have to worry about picky eaters, because Eats Amazing gets you started with four great ideas, from tuna to PB&J.
11. Mini mac and cheese with broccoli
Homemade mini mac and cheese with broccoli is a kid favorite gone tiny. These are the perfect-sized bites for little hands, plus no plates or utensils are required! Check out the recipe on Mom's Kitchen Handbook.
12. Fruit kabobs
Kids love anything served on a stick, and fruit kabobs served with a festive yogurt dipping sauce are no exception! Sara from Dinner at the Zoo has the perfect recipe. Worried about the little ones running around with sharp pointy objects? Swap out the skewers with crazy straws.
13. Mini pizzas
Debbie from One Little Project has a delightful recipe for deep dish mini pizzas that require just four ingredients! Even the pickiest eater can’t resist these bite-size creations, which only take 15 minutes to bake.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2019, and updated in October 2022.
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