There is nothing quite as concrete as a food memory when one reminisces fondly on their childhood. In particular, there is something a little extra magical about the smells, sights, and tastes that symbolize holiday celebrations around the world for so many people.
Food memories can transport us to a different time and place, bring tears to our eyes, and fill us with overwhelming emotion through the taste of nostalgia – not unlike Anton Ego in Ratatouille when he arrives to critique little Remy’s culinary expertise at Gusteau’s. Food around the holidays brings our loved ones together, embodies togetherness, and helps us form traditions that keep our heritage, values, and beliefs alive. What better way to introduce our favorite holidays to our children than creating core memories with seasonal treats?!
Find some of our favorite kid-friendly snacks and confections below
Christmas Candies, Cookies, and Confections
Is there anything more classic than a gingerbread house during the Christmas season? Bring the Christmas spirit into your home with a classic spiced gingerbread house or make your own graham cracker house to assemble and decorate with your little elves this holiday season. Keep things easy and organized for your tiniest helpers with easy decorating tasks, preassembled structures and lots of ingredients and candies sorted into separate bowls.
MELTING SNOWMAN COOKIES
Using our Nanny Authority Sugar Cookie Recipe which was in last year’s Thanksgiving blog, get your kiddos excited for the snow with these adorable melting snowman sugar cookies! Have your children help with mixing, measuring, pouring, and other kitchen skills that naturally develop their fine motor skills. Grab some edible markers and don’t forget to create chilly faces on the marshmallows before placing their icing! See a great example here!
Candy canes are a telltale sign of the Christmas season from the colors to the classic pinstripe wrapped around the hard candy. With just a few ingredients (and a lot of fun!) your family can create this easy holiday confection. Have your kids help with unwrapping the candy canes and place them in a Ziploc bag before using a rolling pin to pulverize the candy into smaller pieces to sprinkle on top of white and dark chocolate to share! See an easy recipe here.
See more fun and festive Christmas treat ideas here.
Hanukkah Sweets and Treats
For most Jewish children, spinning dreidels and trying to win the aluminum-wrapped chocolate in the middle of your dining room table is one of the best ways to begin Hanukkah! For a more mature twist for the cool and creative teens in your life, try creating elevated chocolate gelt with one ingredient and a few crafting supplies to wow their cousins this season. There are so many unique wax seal stamps and this unique holiday activity can engage any pre-teen or teen with a sweet tooth.
During Hanukkah, there is nothing like watching a latke sizzle on the stove, watching your parents transfer the latke to a paper towel-lined plate and grabbing it while it’s still far too hot to eat as your mom watches all of her hard work disappear within seconds. Making potato pancakes can be a kid-friendly activity with a little bit of patience, a little bit of salt, and a whole lot of potatoes. Let your kids get messy and help mix your latke mixture and drain the starch before frying. Looking for something non-traditional? Check out these five unique recipes!
SUFGANIYOT (JELLY DONUTS)
Oil is an important part of Hanukkah as Jews remember the miracle of the lantern that burned for 8 days and nights. One of the ways the Jewish people celebrate the festival of lights is with food cooked in oil as a symbolic nod to the oil lamps that continued to stay ignited. Donuts are a classic Hanukkah treat, typically stuffed with jelly. Donuts, while delicious may not be something you have time to make from scratch – that is ok! This semi-homemade donut decorating party may be right up your alley!
Kwanzaa Foods and Feasts
Kwanzaa is a non-religious holiday that celebrates African American heritage and culture celebrating African harvest festival traditions. Engage children by having them help pick out ripe plantains to fry and enjoy Kelewele, a Ghanaian fried plantain recipe you may find on some tables during Kwanzaa!
SWEET POTATO PIE
Sweet potato pie is a wonderful dessert to have after a feast during Kwanzaa. Have children help with this dessert by practicing their measuring, scooping, and pouring skills before baking. You can also make these kid-sized by using a cookie cutter and cutting individual pies after the dessert has cooled completely for all to enjoy! Find a recipe here.
During Kwanzaa, those who celebrate typically eat stewed collard greens as a symbol of good fortune. One of the other most significant foods eaten during the holiday feast is black-eyed peas which symbolize good luck! Read more about the foods and traditions of Kwanzaa here!
Looking to introduce your children to different cultures or create a new food-focused family tradition? Get in touch with The Nanny Authority today to find a top-notch nanny to help bring creative, fun (and yummy) holiday foods and fares to your home. Reach us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 973-466-2669 today.