Menu for a play date
At home Katie snacks on cheerious and fresh fruit, and sometimes mozzarella sticks, but none of them seem suitable to take to somebody else’s house for a kids play date (or offer when hosting). The first time I got invited to a friend’s house, I brought cut pineapple and as much as the kids loved it, it makes a bit of a mess, so I got thinking and here are a few ideas I came up with:
If you don’t have a dehydrator – invest in one. It is one of my favorite purchases and lets me make a big variety of healthy snacks for the family. Our favorites so far are banana chips, dried pineapple and apples and something I call chew sticks (dried fruit puree). Depending on the result you are aiming for you can dry fruit on higher temperature to turn in to a chips on lower to make them soft and chewy. Dehydrators come with detailed instructions and recipes to choose from, and there are even more on the internet.
All the dried fruits I’ve found in the shops are packed with sugar and I wouldn’t get them for my kid. If you find your dehydrated fruits not sweet enough there is a simple trick to help you – just dehydrate them just before they go off.
I prefer cupcakes salty – with cheeses, spices, dried tomatoes, olives or just anything you have in your fridge and you’ll enjoy. The recipe that gave me best results was found on the internet by a friend. Just get creative. You can choose different colorful cups for the kids sake.
Just like the fruits, ice teas in the shops have too much sugar, added flavors and color and we choose not to give any to Katie, but also want to offer her some variety of drinks, so I buy tealeaves from Teavana. I choose different flavors for warm tea (my preferences go to tea mixes with rose buds, cinnamon, vanilla, flowers… just follow your nose when choosing) and ice tea (oranges, lemons). And keep in mind that when I say tea, I do it for the lack of other word, because these mixes don’t actually include tea (black, white, green), that contains caffeine. I always confirm that with the sellers at the shop and ask them for advice. I buy a different blend of tea for my morning ritual. I sweeten the tea for Katie with honey. You get bonus points if you can get your hands on a home made honey ;)
(Side note: I have not been offered anything in return for mentioning Teavana in this post, but did it just because I enjoyed their service and selection).
Out of these suggestions, corn is the messiest, so I put it on a stick and it helps a little. At home I cover it with melted butter, but that just adds to the mess, so consider it carefully :)
I’m always fishing for new ideas, so please do share your little secrets :)