Food Fun for Kids

When the day is going to be long or you’ve got extra kids underfoot, make a fun meal for everyone.  It will be a bright spot in your day and you’ll find kids eating food they won’t normally eat.

Jazz it up with some fancy names, and your kids will be begging to come to the table.

Pigs in a Blanket are so simple and easy.  All you need is hot dogs and refrigerator biscuits or crescent rolls.  Cut the hot dogs in half and roll each one up inside the crescent roll or biscuit.  You can roll them up beginning at the short or the wide end.  Either way works. Bake according to the directions on the container.  Serve with ketchup or mustard – or both.Finger Jello is another fun treat, especially if you cut the jello into special shapes.  Choose the flavor/color by the season.  Red for Christmas and Valentine’s day, green for St. Patrick’s day, and watermelon for summer flavor. You can find the recipe for that here.

Sailboat Eggs are fun to make and serve. For the recipe I use, click  here.  To make the sails, cut triangles out of any color paper.  If you’d like, you can use them as name tags.  Label the sail and put the egg on the child’s plate.  A toothpick and some Scotch tape will secure the sail for you.

Ants on a Log are a fun way to get kids to eat some raisins or craisins.  (I tell them the craisins are crazy raisins.) Put peanut butter on celery sticks and then place raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, or some other fruit or nut on top of the peanut butter.

This guy wasn’t too sure about the craisins but ended up eating everything, one finger lick at a time.

Sloppy Jo sandwiches can be served in miniature buns or hot dog buns. Once I changed the name of Sloppy Jo sandwiches to Sassy Sadie sandwiches just because a child visiting my house that day didn’t like Sloppy Jos. She snarfed them up – was it because she was intrigued by their name?  For younger kids, hot dog  buns work well for these sandwiches.  They are easier to handle and can be cut in half for small kids.

When you have extra kids underfoot, finger foods make for easy clean-up.  They also give an extra impetus to clean a plate during mealtime.

Come up with your own ideas and designs.  It’s fun to keep kids guessing and make mealtimes interesting.


Pinterest Food Fun

Creamy Broccoli Bake

This creamy broccoli bake is one of my family’s favorites. I’ve never yet met a child who did not like this vegetable in this casserole. Oh, that’s right; I have one kid who never cared for it (the picky one, but that’s because he doesn’t like mushrooms and not because he doesn’t like the green stuff.) [Sorry, kid.  I’ve tried for a quarter of a century to get you to like mushrooms.] This recipe is a sure-fire way to get any child to eat those green trees.  You know something else I like about it?  I can get it ready the day before and pop it in the oven when it’s time to bake.

But first, a confession: I have made this so often that I hardly use a recipe.  I usually just dump and sprinkle and it comes out okay. This time, when I decided on a Saturday to serve it for Sunday lunch, I added the cheese before the sauce –  and it turned out fine.  I didn’t even think about it until I went to type up this recipe. So there you have it: you get to choose whether you add the cheese before or after the sauce!

This recipe says you should cook the frozen broccoli first – but I never do.  If you’re using fresh vegetables, you can blanch it if you’d like, but I don’t.

Put the broccoli in the bottom of an ungreased casserole dish or pan.

Sprinkle the cheese on top.  You can add as much or as little as you’d like. (This is where I got the cheese before the sauce.)

Mix your sauce, which is cream of mushroom soup with milk.

It will seem thick, but as it bakes, the sauce thins. You can always add more milk if you like your sauce runny.

Spread the sauce on top.

Mix your crumb topping, which is just Bisquick and butter (or you can use margarine).

Make the crumbs as clumpy or as fine as you’d like,

Then spread the crumbs on top of the casserole.

Cover the dish, put it in the refrigerator, and forget about it until it’s time to bake.  This dish bakes at 400 for 20 minutes or until done.

A few broccoli pointers to help you:

  • if you’re using frozen broccoli, give it time to thaw before you put it in the oven, or it will take longer to bake.
  • you can double or triple this recipe (which I do all the time), but I recommend using a flat pan, because the broccoli won’t bake as well in a deep dish, and the topping will be spread pretty thin until it gets to the bottom of the dish.
  • remember that the broccoli (whether fresh  or frozen) will be in the oven, so it doesn’t need a lot of cooking ahead of time – unless you don’t mind mushy broccoli.



Creamy Broccoli Bake
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
An easy - and delightful - way to serve broccoli and have everybody asking for more!
  • 1½ lb. fresh broccoli OR 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 oz.)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • ¼ cup butter (or margarine)
  1. Blanche fresh broccoli if you are using fresh
  2. Put broccoli in ungreased casserole
  3. Beat soup and milk until smooth and pour over broccoli
  4. Sprinkle with cheese
  5. Mix Bisquick and butter until crumbly; spread over casserole
  6. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes

I really like this wire whisk.  I use it all the time!

Creamed Lima Beans


This is one of those I-can-stretch-this-meal-a-little-further recipes.  I’ll concur that serving creamed vegetables adds more calories and carbohydrates.  I’ll also admit that it sure adds a comfort-food measure to the meal. This is also one of those there really isn’t a measurement recipe for this  You just eye-ball your amounts and go for it – and test it along the way.

Cook your lima beans (or peas, if you’d rather) until they are tender.  Be sure to add the seasonings you like, including salt and pepper.  Do not drain the water off the vegetables.  Your measurements depend on how many people you are feeding.  This recipe is good to serve four people. Once the vegetables are tender, mix about 1-2 tablespoons of flour with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.  The sugar helps the flour mix in better without becoming lumpy. (Some people add equal parts sugar and flour; some add more sugar than flour.  It’s your choice, but in this recipe I’m trying to keep it lower on the calories.)

Add your flour mixture to the vegetables/water and stir until blended well.

Like this . . .

Pour milk into your pan and stir gently until everything is mixed well.

Allow it to simmer, which thickens the sauce.  Stir occasionally.

You can add a dab of butter if you’d like, and be sure to test-taste to see if you need to add more seasoning.

After that?  It’s ready to serve!

Creamed Lima Beans
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
An easy go-to addition for vegetables. This recipe adds some starch to your meal; it also adds some comfort and speaks of home.
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups lima beans (baby or regular)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Milk - enough to thicken, about ½ cup or more
  • dab of butter
  1. Cook vegetables in water until tender
  2. Season as desired
  3. Mix flour and sugar together
  4. Add flour/sugar mixture to the simmering vegetables
  5. Stir until well-mixed
  6. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly
  7. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir as it simmers until the mixture thickens
  8. Add a dab of butter if desired

Corn Chip Salad

Easter Sunday is always special.  It’s especially special when it’s spent with family and friends.  This Easter we were invited to Irene’s house for Sunday lunch.  As always, she had quite the spread.

“I’m not having ham,” she told  me when I got the invitation.

Who cares, I thought, it’ll be good no matter what she serves.  

I was right.  It was good.  So, so good.

The only thing I had to bring was rolls.  I used the recipe for refrigerator dinner rolls.  It was an easy recipe to make because I could mix up the dough the evening before and then roll the dough into balls between the sunrise service and church.  By the time church was over, they were ready to go into the oven.

We had roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots roasted in the oven with the beef, corn pudding and a delicious Corn Chip Salad.  (I failed to take a photo of the delicious homemade gravy on top of those whipped potatoes.)

I helped Renie put the finishing touches on the salad and she allowed me to share the recipe here.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little more substantial than a regular tossed salad; if you want something that’s a little festive and different; if you’re interested in a salad with a unique crunch and flavor, then you’ll want to try this one.

Use lettuce (you choose which type), fried and crumbled bacon, Colby or cheddar cheese, hardboiled eggs, some corn chips, and a homemade dressing.  You can adjust the ingredients for the dressing if you’d like.

the dressing for the salad

For the dressing, you’ll need salad dressing, milk, white and brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.

You don’t need to stir the salad; it will stir as people serve themselves.

Wait to add the corn chips until you have added the dressing, and do this just before it is served.

Corn Chip Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
A festive and easy to fix salad that hits the spot for a hearty salad.
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 6-8 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • ½ lb. shredded Colby or cheddar cheese
  • 2½ cups corn chips - broken or slightly crushed
  • 1 cup miracle whip
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. For salad, mix lettuce, eggs, bacon, and cheese.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients together
  3. Add dressing to salad
  4. Add corn chips on top
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.