Hosting a holiday party can be difficult enough without trying to plan for fussy little eaters. Below are some of our childcare professionals’ recommended appetizers for kids that will have even your pickiest eater licking their fingers.
Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
You can’t go wrong with grilled cheese sandwiches, especially miniature ones! They’re great to have on-hand for when you have last-minute guests. The recipe below makes 48 servings. The ingredients are as follows:
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 egg
- 13 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 loaves (1-1 ½ pounds each) thinly sliced sandwich bread, crusts removed
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and egg until blended together. Gradually add 13 ounces shredded cheddar cheese. Spread about 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on each slice of one loaf of bread. Top with remaining bread. Cut each sandwich into four squares, and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
To spice up the recipe, you can add sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and arugula. Another twist on mini grilled sandwiches is a combination of brie, bacon, and apricots with a smidge of balsamic reduction. See here for the recipe.
To freeze until you’re ready for the appetizer, place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from the baking sheet and store in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.
When you’re ready for them, place squares on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned.
Crunchy Taco Cups
This recipe serves 12 and the 5 easy ingredients are as follows:
- 1-pound lean ground beef
- 1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco seasoning
- 6 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 large flour tortillas
First, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a large skillet, brown the ground beef and drain any remaining fat and oil. Transfer to a bowl. Add taco seasoning and tomatoes to the ground beef and stir to combine.
Cut flour tortillas into a square shape and cut each into 4 smaller equally-sized square pieces.
Using nonstick cooking spray, generously coat a standard size muffin tin. Line each muffin cup with a tortilla sheet. Add 1 ½ tablespoons taco mixture. Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Press down and add another layer of tortilla sheet, taco mixture, and a final layer of cheese.
Lightly brush the top edges of the tortilla with cooking oil. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the cups are heated through and the edges are golden brown.
These veggie cups are the perfect add-on to the caramelized onion dip below! They are also easy to make, with a preparation time of only ten minutes and a great healthy appetizer option for your little one. The ingredients are as follows:
- Tumbler cups, or any other clear plastic cup
- 4 carrot sticks per cup
- 3 celery sticks per cup
- 3 grape or cherry tomatoes, per cup
- 1 spoonful of ranch or onion dip per cup
First, place a spoonful of dip on the bottom of the cup. Arrange the vegetables accordingly, sticking toothpicks onto the tomatoes for easier access. Refrigerate until ready to serve!
Caramelized Onion Dip
A good dip is a must for a go-to snack or appetizer for kids. However, why not deviate from the standard onion dips and try this delectable caramelized onion dip?
The ingredients are as follows:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temperature
- ½ pound cream cheese, softened
- 1 table spoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
The first step is caramelizing the onions. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions, cooking over medium heat. Stir occasionally until they’re golden. This takes about 25 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and continue to cook, stirring until the water has evaporated. Let the onions cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Next, transfer the onions onto a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream with cream cheese, parsley, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce until it’s all blended together. Add in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and lastly, serve at room temperature with whole-grain pita chips or vegetables!
The total preparation time takes about an hour, depending on your ingredients.
This bite-sized kid friendly appetizer is a great option to satisfy any hungry child. The ingredients are minimal, calling for 4 large English cucumbers, 1 pint of grape tomatoes, an 8-ounce block of cream cheese at room temperature, 3 tablespoons fresh minced dill, and 1 tablespoon of powdered Ranch dressing mix.
First, slice cucumbers into rounds, about ½-inch thick. Slice grape tomatoes into half, or quarters, if too large, and set to the side. Next, in a bowl, combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt, dill and Ranch dressing powder. Mix thoroughly.
Once it’s all blended together, transfer the cheese mixture to a piping bag. If you don’t have one, use a large Ziplock bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the cheese mixture onto the cucumber rounds, and then top with the cherry tomato half!
Spinach and Red Pepper Mini Frittatas
Having guests over for breakfast or an early brunch? Serve these Spinach and Red Pepper Mini Frittatas!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ red bell pepper, diced small (about ½ cup)
- ½ small yellow onion, diced small (about ½ cup)
- About 3 cups loosely packed spinach, coarsely chopped
- 4 eggs with yolk
- 4 egg whites
- ¼ cup skim milk
- 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, grease or spray a tin for 12 muffins. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, throw in peppers and onions, sautéing until softened. This should take you about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding spinach as you go. Remove from heat after the spinach has wilted.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, skim milk, and cheese. Add salt and pepper if you’d like. Pour mixture into the muffin tin until each one is about ½ full. Add sautéed vegetables. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
Contact the Nanny Authority Today!
For additional ideas on other kid friendly appetizers to serve at parties, visit our Pinterest board. If you are attending a holiday gathering, make one of our cookie recipes to bring with you. Getting ready for the festivities can be an overwhelming process but it doesn’t have to be. With our extensive screening process, the Nanny Authority can assist you during this busy time by pairing you with an experienced caregiver to serve as an extra set of hands. Contact a placement specialist at 973-466-2669 or via e-mail for more information today!