Ringing in the new year with little ones brings its own set of challenges—like managing energy levels and a non-existent bedtime—but having the perfect snacks can go a long way in making the celebration a success. Whether you want your festive finger food to be creative and colorful or just plain delicious, we’ve got the best easy (like 20 minutes or less!) party eats for an all-age countdown to 2018.
Fruity Chocolate Waffle Cones
Kids will love these waffle cones dipped in chocolate and stuffed with fresh fruit. My Fussy Eater has the recipe plus a video with tips on how to dry the cones without all the mess. These make for a healthy, fun option and to cut down on prep you could even have guests spoon the fruit into the cones themselves.
You don't have to keep the kids up 'til midnight to watch the fireworks if you've offered them these celebratory fruit rockets for dinner! Held together with foil-fringed kebab sticks, they are easy to make and a blast to eat. Get the how-to at Eats Amazing. This snack can be adapted to use different fruit combos like pineapple and melon, just remember to cut the sharp ends off the party picks so no one gets hurt.
Unique Dough Dates
Shaping pastry into numbers might sound fiddly, but with store-bought dough and instructions courtesy of Pillsbury, you can easily create a one-of-kind snack that will be gobbled up well before midnight. Just add pizza sauce for dipping and let the countdown begin.
There's nothing like a stack of pancakes to suggest you've made it through 'til morning! These mini stacks skewered with party picks and topped with a slice of fresh fruit are sure to go down well. Dust with confectioners sugar for a sweet touch and a hint of snowfall. Kraft Canada has the how-to.
Ham and Cheese Pie
This ham and cheese pie uses pre-rolled pastry, making it an easy addition to any party platter. It comes to us via The Clever Carrot and calls for just four ingredients sandwiched between flaky puff pastry. After 20 minutes in the oven, you'll have a pie that can be sliced into bite-sized squares and tastes so good you'll be making it again and again.
Perfect Cheese Board
A cheese board is an obvious snack table centerpiece—and crackers are always a big hit with kids! Layer up a tray with the help of Take Two Tapas where you'll find a tutorial to answer all your questions. You can create an appetizing feast of cooked and cured meats, fresh and dried fruit, sliced veggies and dips that kids and adults can both enjoy.
Stellar Chicken Nuggets
Use cookie cutters to give homemade chicken nuggets a festive look. Find the recipe in our archives. The stars are baked rather than fried and come to us via Cheeky Kitchen. They're the perfect addition to a New Year's Eve snack table and a hint towards what we should all be aiming for in the coming year.
Peppermint Bark Popcorn
Popcorn is one of the easiest snacks, and this recipe just adds melted chocolate and crushed candy canes to make the perfect celebratory treat. Use half regular popcorn and half kettle corn for a sweet, minty popcorn with all the delicious flavors of peppermint bark. Head to Endlessly Inspired for the how-to.
Rainbow Pretzle Wands
Harness the magic of New Year's Eve with these colorful rainbow wands! Get the recipe from Mom On Time Out and see how versatile they are. They can be easily made in batches and are a great combo of sweet and savory that adds pizzazz to any party platter.
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries
Nothing revives a flagging toddler like a fist full of fries, and these cinnamon sweet potato sticks are no exception. The best part? They take just five minutes to prep! Relish their sweet and savory flavors as you celebrate the season. Head to Weelicious for the easy step by step.
We’re pretty sure this appetizer idea qualifies as pure genius. Just take your family’s fave tortellini, stick ‘em on skewers, and set them on a pretty tray. You’ll get major presentation points with zero fuss. To learn more, visit My Fussy Eater.
Classy Pigs in a Blanket
Make your NYE party extra magical with an appetizer that only uses two (count ‘em, two!) ingredients. These pigs in a blanket are the definition of simple—and you can even add a touch of sesame seeds to up the wow factor. Get the recipe over at Culinary Hill.
Serve these delish meatballs as an NYE app or a heartier dinner—either way, we’re sure kids and grownups alike will love them. The best part is, you can use whichever cheese is a household fave! Get The Weary Chef’s recipe by clicking here.
Mini Grilled Cheese Bites
Celebrate NYE with a kid-favorite: grilled cheese! These bite-sized morsels are easy to put together and guaranteed to please a crowd. Don’t forget the tomato soup shooters! To get the recipe, visit The View from Great Island.
Tater Tot Treats
Homemade tater tots? Yes, please! These muffin tin tots are filled with cheese, chives, and bacon, and taste just like mini loaded baked potatoes. ‘Nuff said, right? Get the recipe over at Well Plated.
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Let us know your favorite New Year’s Eve party food in the comments below.
—Emily Meyers & Abigail Matsumoto