The return of the play date!
Its been a bit of a shock to the system (albeit a happy one) returning to play dates! After so long separated from friends we have been so excited to get back to catch-ups in the garden, even if it's a bit cold at times!
As ever with kids, after 5 minutes play they are always starving! So here are our winning ideas for play date food, tried and tested on our little cooks and their most discerning friends.
Recipes that double as an activity!
The best food for play dates are those that keep them entertained. Set up a table in the garden like a real-life mud kitchen and let them help prepare the food. Chicken Lollipops are a fun and novel alternative to the classic chicken nugget - made with chicken breasts and other fresh ingredients, which can be easily modified to cater for allergies. If your little cook and their friends are keen on fish then Homemade Fishfingers are another winner - provide the children with their own separate plates, ingredients and baking trays and let them make their own! Ground almonds are a wonderfully nutritious alternative to traditional breadcrumbs if there are no nut allergies - if you're not sure then quinoa also works brilliantly.
One of our all time favourite recipes - Rainbow Pizza - is our go-to playdate recipe. If you don't have time to make the pizza base yourself then wholemeal tortillas are a quick, simple alternative. Getting the children involved in choosing the toppings is a great way to ensure they eat the end result.
If your little cooks are excited as ours about having their friends to play, ask them to help prepare for their friends' arrival to make the time waiting pass faster! Frozen Yogurt Bark is a great one to prepare in advance, choosing all their favourite fresh and dried fruits and nuts to add to the frozen yogurt.
Fingers crossed the weather will continue to improve and homemade ice creams like these Creamy Mango Lollies made with just two ingredients will be just the thing!
Activities to keep them happy outdoors
A little bit of preparation is useful when you're trying to ensure your little cook and their friends are happy to play outside. Some lovely ideas are included in this blog. As ever with children, the simplest ideas are the best and something as easy as watering the garden or a bug hunt can make a wonderfully memorable play date.
We'd love to see your pictures of your little cook and their friends enjoying happy, healthy times together. Send them in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!