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Kid-Friendly Meals for Prospective Playdates

The pressure is on: you forgot your child's friends were coming home with you for an after-school play date. And now they're all waiting expectantly at your car door, ready to be shuttled to your home for a snack and a little playtime. They look hungry! Have no fear, a well-stocked kitchen and a little ingenuity ensures you can pull this off and even please the pickiest of eaters.

Stock Up

It takes more than a jar of peanut butter and a few slices of bread to feed kids an afternoon snack these days, especially in an age of abundant food allergies. Keep your kitchen stocked with a variety of foods like frozen and dried fruits, fresh produce, soy crackers, yogurt, and silken tofu. With this selection, you can handle just about any food allergy and still provide nutritious, yummy snacks for the little ones. Make everything from tofu and fruit smoothies for kids who are lactose intolerant to veggie and yogurt dips for vegetarians.

Let Little Hands Do the Work

The best snacks for young kids are interactive. Pull an old table out of storage, cover it with a plastic tablecloth, and set it up as a special play/snack station. Fill muffin tins or ramekins with veggies, dried fruits, cheese cubes, pretzels, and fruit slices and let the kids create food scenes or faces. They'll have a great time creating their masterpieces, and they'll relish eating their tasty handiwork. Yummy!

That’s a Spicy Pizza Pie!

Turn your kitchen into a pizzeria by breaking out a pack of English muffins, some tomato sauce, veggies, cheese, and letting kids make their own pizzas. If you're feeling industrious, keep homemade pizza dough in the freezer in proportioned rounds for last-minute play dates and snacks.

Stocking your kitchen with a variety of ingredients and a few go-to recipes can make preparing quick, healthy snacks a breeze. So, when you're facing a few unexpected faces at your car door after school, smile, load them up, and head home-- confident that you can handle a last minute play date like a pro.