Kids can celebrate New Year’s, too! Include your children in the celebrations with these easy and delicious recipes for New Year’s Feasting.
New Year’s is the perfect combination of events. New Year’s Eve represents a chance to look back on the past and all that we have to be thankful for. We get to see all the ways in which we and our families have grown.
New Year’s Day is the opportunity to celebrate a fresh start. And since we all make mistakes, I think it’s safe to say, we all like fresh starts. New Year’s Day is the beginning of something new and a time to anticipate how we will grow and change in the coming year.
Reflection and anticipation. Good food for thought and good practices to instill in our children.
How have we grown? Where have we been? Where do we want to be? What do we want to do?
As you consider how you will celebrate the passage of time this New Year’s, think about how to include your children. One way is to prepare a fun feast, or maybe even TWO.
New Year’s Feasting with Kids
We link memories to food. I think it has something to do with all the senses being stimulated, but food and their accompanying aromas and tastes can be linked with our memories, both good and bad.
New Year’s is a great time to make some connections between great food and memorable times with your family. Check out these ideas for New Year’s Feasting with kids:
No alcohol was consumed by children.
New Year’s Mocktail Party with Kids
New Year’s Eve lends itself to the cocktail party format, or should I say Mocktail?
Hors d’oeuvres are great kid food. Kids love to eat with their fingers! And since cocktail foods usually don’t involve flatware, washing up is a snap. The perfect family-friendly feast!
For well over a decade, our family has enjoyed what we call a “snacky dinner” on New Year’s Eve. We do this every December 31st, and while it was not something that either my husband or I did as children, we’ve had great fun establishing a tradition for our family in the process.
If your kids are little, you can choose whatever snack foods you know they enjoy as well as those that the parents like. Don’t forget the parents!
As your children grow, however, invite them to contribute to the evening’s dinner. Now that my kids can all cook, they have great fun choosing appetizers to prepare for our family party.
It was so fun recently to hear my 14-year old son telling his cousin about our New Year’s Eve dinner and how much fun it was to choose which foods he was going to contribute. My kids have gotten really adventurous in their NYE cooking, preparing things like homemade egg rolls, beer-battered shrimp, and stuffed mushrooms.
You can prepare whatever snacks your family likes on New Year’s Eve. Here are some of our favorites:
- Potstickers with Dipping Sauce
- Quesadillas with Homemade Guacamole
- Veggies and Delicious Ranch Dressing
- A Fruit Platter
- Garlic Brie Bread
- Homemade Pigs in Blankets
- chips and Homemade Salsa
- Grilled Shrimp or shrimp cocktail
- Cheese and Crackers
- Stuffed Mushrooms
A New Year’s Cake
As the evening winds down, we break out the New Year’s Cake. We’re big on number candles around here, so we celebrate the birth-day of the New Year with candles on a cake the kids help bake and decorate. We’ve done this since our kids were really little.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of cake you make. Get as fancy — or not! — as you like. Turns out, as I scroll through New Year’s Cakes of the past, we often lean toward chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles. Ha!
Try these cake recipes if you’d like to try something new:
- The Ultimate Carrot Cake Recipe
- Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
- Easy Lemon Cupcakes Recipe
- Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce & Cream Cheese
Easy New Year’s Day Breakfast
After sleeping in (as much as possible) on New Year’s Day, take time to lounge around in jammies and watch the Rose Parade. I have such fond memories of this from my childhood!
Sleeping and lounging when there are hungry children about requires some planning for breakfast.
Make something special, yet simple. Some possible options include:
- Cinnamon Rolls, Chocolate Crescents, or Oslo Kringle are really easy make ahead breakfast pastries.
- This Sausage Egg Hash Brown Casserole is super simple and freezer-friendly.
- A selection of seasonal fruit makes up a beautiful fruit salad, even if it’s just a platter of Citrus Supremes.
A Simple New Year’s Day Dinner
Start the new year on a low key tone by whipping up a simple dinner. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be special!
Check out these ideas:
- Consider going with the traditional “lucky” foods listed in this article at Epicurious.
- Or go with fondue, another fun and festive tradition for many families.
- Prepare a theme dinner, revolving around another country. For instance, have a Scandinavian Smorgasbord or try your hand at tamales and a Mexican food fiesta.
- Start your healthy eating intentions on the right foot with grilled fish and lots of veggies.
New Year’s Day Bubbly
Sparkling apple cider is always a big hit. However, at three bucks a bottle, it’s not cheap, especially if you’re serving many people. Buy carbonated water for $.50/2 liter bottle (or thereabouts) and mix it with your favorite frozen juice concentrate. Just substitute the bubbly water for the water that is called for on the package. Instant sparkly juice.
Try these recipes if you want more specific guidance:
What are your New Year’s meal plans?
I’d love to hear what you’re cooking up. Head to the comments and let’s chat!