St Patrick’s Day is a holiday that I tend to avoid celebrating with my family. I’m half Irish, but this minor holiday feels frivolous for my young kids who already have visits from the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa — do they really need to set leprechaun traps and search for gold coins?
Still, St Paddy’s Day falls on a Sunday in the middle of rainy spring this year, so at the very least we can spend the day in the kitchen making a few festive treats — rainbows and gold sprinkles included. These are 10 recipes that are easy enough for my 4- and 7-year-old to help with, and strike the balance of festive but not fussy.
1. Lucky Charms Marshmallow Bites
Like you need an excuse to buy a treat box of Lucky Charms once a year, right? But here it is. This is the easiest, most parenting-winning recipe you can make. Put the kids to task pulling out extra Lucky Charm marshmallows for topping the bites while you melt the butter and marshmallows.
2. Leprechaun Lemonade
College kids drink green beer, but the elementary set drinks Leprechaun Lemonade! Earn bonus points with your kids by also making the rainbow ice cubes below and grabbing some edible gold glitter or sprinkles to top each glass.
3. A Rainbow of Ice Cubes
These are actually as fun to make as they are to pop in a glass, and provide a good exercise in chopping and mincing for your littlest sous chefs. If you can, make these the night before so they have plenty of time to freeze solid.
4. Matcha and Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt
The festive green popcorn is just as enjoyable for kids as it is adults. We recently made a version with semi-sweet chocolate instead of dark and my little kids seemed to prefer that to the dark chocolate called for.
5. Mint Chocolate Puppy Chow
New rule: Every holiday must include its own Puppy Chow recipe. This one involves lots of chocolate and a little bit of mint. Make sure you’ve got green sprinkles on hand.
6. Mint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
These cookies are relatively easy and fulfill my personal craving for a deep chocolatey treat for St. Paddy’s Day — since we won’t be baking a Guinness Cake this year.
7. Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
These bars are especially great if your school has any St. Paddy’s Day celebrations the following Monday. All you need to do is swap the pink food coloring for green and add rainbow sprinkles.
8. Irish Potato Candy
Irish potato candy is admittedly a little involved, but it can be a good way to talk about the historical roots of St. Patrick’s Day and keep little hands busy with rolling.
9. Rainbow Pizza
This can be a St. Paddy’s Day dinner option, if you’re not making slow cooker corned beef (because, let’s be honest, kids aren’t really into cabbage).
10. Rainbow Fruit Salad
Rainbow fruit salad is perfect if you need a snack to take to school or a play date, or you just need a quick but totally fun lunch or dinner addition.
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