9 Simple, Kid-Friendly Snacks Perfect for Playdates

English Muffin Pizzas

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

English Muffin Pizzas

With summer in full swing, and four kids under the age of 7, we’ve got friends of all ages coming and going all the time. To keep things simple but still plenty of fun, I have a roster of easy and (almost) universally liked snacks for kids. Here’s what we’re serving.

English Muffin Pizzas (pictured above)

For more of a meal, these English muffin pizzas can be topped with your choice of fixings, like olives and broccoli.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Fresh Fruit (and Veggie) Popsicles

From fresh peaches to melon, strawberries, frozen yogurt and more, you really can’t go wrong with homemade ice pops (even when you throw a little spinach in there like I did).

10-Minute No-Bake Fruit, Chocolate & Nut Balls

Another one you can either let the kids help with, or have ready when they arrive. These no-bake balls make a hearty little snack (they’re delicious served with a glass of any kind of milk) that keeps everyone’s energy up — but, you know, not too up — for the whole playdate.

FN_Yogurt-and-Granola-Trifle

FN_Yogurt-and-Granola-Trifle

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Marshall Troy, 2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Yogurt and Granola Trifle

Studded with fresh fruit, these layered snacks have just enough crunchy, salty and sweet flavors to keep everyone happy. Bonus: Let the kids make their own and save yourself a little work (but not cleanup — definitely not cleanup).

Apple and Grape Turtles

While these fall into the category of “cute food,” they’re still easy and can be made ahead of time with one simple modification: Sprinkle the undersides of your apples with cinnamon — not cinnamon sugar, just cinnamon — and instead of a discolored apple, you’ll have an apple with a little extra flavor.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Our can’t-miss smoothie combination is so simple that you’ll likely have everything in your kitchen already: Throw a banana in a blender, along with a cup of milk (any kind) and two cups of frozen fruit. Add a dash of honey if you like and — voila! — smoothies. In a hurry.

Strawberry Jam Bars

These bars make a fun and easy cooking project with the kids. Prep the bottom layer, then let the kids spread a layer of jam on top, and finish by sprinkling on the remaining dough. Bake off and let the group enjoy when the bars are cool.

Crispy Kale “Chips”

Really. They’re actually amazing. All of our kids think so, and just imagine how impressed the other parents will be when you mention that you served their kid greens. With a smile!

Cheesy Chex Mix

With only a few store-bought ingredients, you can easily whip up a warm pan of Food Network Magazine’s salty snacks, sure to satisfy a crowd.

Charity Curley Mathews is a mom of four small kids who can’t resist food on a stick. She’s also the founder of Foodlets.com, a site full of simple recipes using fresh ingredients, plus ideas for teaching kids to love eating all that fresh food together. Most of the time.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks

Snacks these days have come to mean cookies, candy, chips or even donuts -- basically, nothing nutritious! If he could, my son would live on junk foods alone, but as the adult (and a nutritionist mom of three), it’s my job to make sure the right choices are available for my children. Check out these tips for kid-friendly snacks.

Kid-Friendly Summer Snacks

Whether on a road trip, a day at camp or playing at the beach, kids need fuel! Keep tummies from rumbling with these nutritious and delicious snacks.

Chefs’ Picks: Kid-Friendly Snacks

Chefs are put to plenty of challenges, but pleasing picky kids can confound even the most-acclaimed professionals. Here, a few chefs share their creations that will satisfy pretty much any kid’s snacking dreams.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Kid-Friendly Road Trip Snacks

Rest stops, gas stations and the drive-through may seem convenient, but a little extra pre-trip planning can keep the kids (and you) happy, healthier and satisfied until you reach your destination. Here are some of my top pack-and-go snack ideas the whole family will love!

Beat the Afterschool Slump with Kid-Friendly Snacks

Homemade snack recipes will satisfy and re-energize your kids while still leaving room for dinner.

Chefs’ Picks: Kid-Friendly Snacks in Los Angeles

When it’s time for some food-centric adventures in Los Angeles, local chefs love to bring their children along. Here are a few chefs’ favorite places for a fun family meal.

Chefs’ Picks: Kid-Friendly Snacks in NYC

Though they may helm their own professional kitchens, these New York chefs let their kids steer the way when it comes time to get some grub.

Kid-Friendly Burgers — Weekend Cookout

Food Network's Weekend Cookout menu boasts kid-friendly burgers, but will please even the heartiest eaters.