Spring is in full bloom and summer is right around the corner making it the perfect time for a warm weather get-together! Much to my delight, food is always the focus of my family’s happenings and I wanted to share some of our favorite party food ideas for kids—with two little nephews in tow, we love creating fun ways to fill their bellies with happiness. If you have little ones at home or are hosting friends or family with kids, you’ll find refuge in these easy kid-friendly summer food ideas.

Adorable Ants on a Log

These timeless nibbles take about five minutes to create and can be enjoyed by the grown-ups too.

What You’ll Need:

  • celery
  • peanut butter
  • dried fruit or trail mix
  • pastry piping bag (or plastic sandwich bag)
  • vegetable peeler

Step 1: Wash celery and peel with vegetable peeler.

Step 2: Piping bags are much easier and less messy than using a spoon or knife. If you don’t have one, make one! Add your peanut butter to any plastic zip bag. Using a sharp knife or scissors, simply cut one of the bottom corners of the bag and you’ll be ready to dress your celery.

Step 3: Add peanut butter and decorate each log with your favorite dried fruit. For extra crunch and creativity, try using trail mix!

A Yummier, Healthier Chicken Tender.

For these bite-size chicken tenders, we use cereal instead of breadcrumbs and lightly pan-fry rather than deep-fry. They really seem to resonate with the little ones!

What You’ll Need:

  • chicken breast tenders, cut in half
  • all-purpose flour
  • egg wash (beaten eggs with small quantity of water)
  • dry cereal, finely crushed (Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes work best)
  • canola oil
  • salt
  • garlic powder (if preferred)
  • condiments

Step 1: Cut chicken tenders in half and set up you ingredients. Season the finely crushed cereal with salt and garlic powder. Set your oven to 375°.

Step 2: Three-stage bread them in the order of the photo: flour, egg wash, cereal.

Step 3: Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet or fry pan. Using tongs, brown each side. Store on cookie sheet until all your chicken is ready.

Step 4: Place in oven for five minutes, or until cooked all the way through.

Step 5: Serve with condiments—barbecue sauce is my favorite!

Mini Pizza Pies

These little delights are a tiny twist on a classic pizza pie. Making them is so easy, you can pull up a stool for the kiddos and have them help out!

What You’ll Need

  • packaged wonton wraps (can be found in the refrigerated section)
  • 2 pastry rings (1 extra small, 1 small)
  • cookie sheet
  • silicon baking mat (I live by Silpat)
  • pizza sauce of your choice
  • fresh or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (if preferred)
  • fresh basil (if preferred)

Step 1: Set oven to 375° and heat your pizza sauce in a sauce pan.  Line the cookie sheet with your silicon mat. Cut out desired number of mini pies with pastry ring and place on mat.

Step 2: Spoon pizza sauce onto wontons.

Step 3: Cut slices of cheese to desired thickness. Using a small pastry ring, cut a circle of cheese out and place on top of each wonton.

Step 4: Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese if desired. Place on the bottom rack of oven and bake until golden-brown—usually about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Garnish with basil and dig in!

Lil’ Smokies

Pigs in a blanket, devils on horseback, wild willies… whatever you call them, this kid favorite is tasty and easy!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of little beef smokies (we used Hillshire Farms brand)
  • puff pastry or croissant dough
  • cheddar cheese
  • favorite condiments
  • egg wash (optional)
  • non-stick cookie sheet (if you don’t have a non-stick sheet, line yours with parchment paper)

Step 1: Set oven to 400.° Cut puff pastry or dough into desired shape—any basic shape will work. Add desired amount of cheese.

Step 2: Roll up meat into the dough and place on your cookie sheet.

Optional Step: Brush dough with egg wash for a little extra flavor and shine.

Step 3: Place in the oven and bake until golden-brown, about 10 minutes.

Step 4: Serve with favorite condiments and enjoy!

Root Beer Float

I couldn’t share all these fun food ideas without giving you something cold and delicious to wash it all down with!

What You’ll Need:

  • vanilla ice cream (I’m hooked on Häagen-Dazs five in Vanilla Bean)
  • favorite root beer
  • chocolate sprinkles or shaved chocolate
  • whipped cream
  • cookie straws (Pirouette cookies are probably your best bet)

Step 1: In a blender, blend ice cream and root beer.

Step 2: Fill glass leaving room at the top for whipped cream. Add desired (in my case, generous) amount of whipped cream to the top of your glass.

Step 3: Garnish with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate shavings. Add your cookie straw last.

Step 3: Sip and savor!

Make sure to stay tuned for DIY Desserts, coming soon! Which of these ideas is your favorite? If you have any fun kid-friendly summer food ideas, we’d love to hear them!

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