Farm-Themed Food for Kids' Partiesby Martha Mendenhall
For the ultimate farm-themed party experience, consider taking the whole gang to a working farm. There, your preschooler and his friends will get a chance to experience the foods they typically eat up close and personal. If your sights are set a bit more modestly, and you’ve planned a simpler backyard party with a farm theme, create party snacks and treats that remind your kiddo of the sights and sounds that are found down on the farm.
Farm-themed snacks such as an egg "lollipops" can provide guests the sense of a special party treat without any added sugar. Prepare a “lollipop” for each guest by carefully inserting a breadsticks into one hard-boiled egg per guest. Distribute the eggs-on-a-stick, offering a selection of dipping ingredients such as ranch dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, bacon bits and chopped pickles and carrots to go with them. While the children dip their eggs into their choice of toppings, explain to them how farm chickens provide the eggs that they're eating.
Party-going preschoolers won’t turn up their noses at farm-fresh veggies if they're allowed to make them into silly puppets. Offer large peeled carrots, cherry tomato halves, raisins, small celery strips, parsley, sweet red pepper chunks and cream cheese to create the edible puppets. Prepare the carrots in advance, which will serve as the bodies -- including the "heads" of the puppets -- by cutting a slit in the bottom of each carrot and inserting a craft stick. Using the cream cheese as paste, help the kids "glue” on celery strips for arms and legs and parsley for the hair. Let each child invent his own use for the raisins, cherry tomato halves and pepper chunks. He might, for instance, attach raisins for eyes and a cherry tomato half or pepper chunk for a mouth.
Preschoolers might enjoy their milk with an extra dose of enthusiasm when it's served as an ingredient in an ice cream float or blended shake. Let the kids watch as you prepare the two types of beverages. Gather together milk, ice cream, root beer, chocolate syrup, bananas, fruit juice and a blender, explaining how farm cows provide the milk -- which is used to make ice cream. To create root-beer-float coolers, add ice cream, root beer and syrup to a glass, mixing to combine. For a fruit juice cooler, combine milk, banana and juice -- and mix in a blender until smooth. Let guests choose to have a small sample of each or a larger serving of their favorite.
Party guests can create their own down-on-the-farm haystacks using pretzel and crispy canned potato sticks, jumbo marshmallows, candy-corn pumpkins and marshmallow chicks. Show the youngsters how to insert the pretzel and potato sticks into the marshmallows to create the foundations of their “haystacks.” Once each child has three or four sticks in her marshmallow, she can stack and lean more sticks on and around the marshmallow, until it's completely covered and resembles a haystack. Let each child arrange a few of the candy-corn pumpkins and marshmallow chicks around his completed haystack. Guests are then ready to dive in and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images