(Family Features) When hunger strikes and family fun calls for a snack to keep the excitement going, take your kiddos to the kitchen to whip up a tasty treat for all to enjoy. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or watching favorite movies, turn to an ingredient like popcorn that encourages creativity. Plus, it’s a delicious way for adults to turn back the clock and recreate childhood memories while making new ones with the family.
Consider these popcorn-inspired snacks to serve during your next adventure:
- Take yourself back in time to your own childhood with a classic pairing that never goes out of style: Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn. This version offers a fun way to jazz up popcorn for kids and adults alike with a sprinkling of strawberries and dried cranberries on top for added nutrition.
- When it’s time for a little fun in the sun or a trip to the park, sweeten up the celebration with this Graham Cracker Picnic Mix that’s a flavorful, kid-favorite combination of popcorn, bear-shaped graham crackers, marshmallows, fudge-covered pretzels and miniature cookies.
- Pizza is hard to beat as a snacking solution the whole family can enjoy, and this Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn is no exception. Ready in just minutes by mixing popcorn, Parmesan cheese and seasonings, little ones can help prepare a batch quickly before heading out the door.
- Colorful and fun, these Minty Green Popcorn Clusters are simple to make and a perfect treat to share. Just melt together marshmallows, butter, salt, green food coloring and peppermint extract before tossing with popcorn and green candy-coated chocolates.
To find more family-friendly snack time favorites, visit Popcorn.org.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn
- 8 cups popcorn
- 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- In large bowl, stir popcorn and jam until evenly coated. Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- In small heatproof bowl over small saucepan of barely simmering water, add white chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes, or until smooth and melted.
- Drizzle peanut butter mixture over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with strawberries and cranberries.
- Refrigerate 10 minutes, or until peanut butter mixture is set; break into pieces to serve. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.
Graham Cracker Picnic Mix
Yield: About 12 cups
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 5-6 drops pink neon liquid food color or desired color
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 1 package mini pastel marshmallows
- 1 cup bear-shaped graham crackers
- 1 package white fudge-covered pretzels
- 1 cup mini cookies
- In large pot over medium heat, stir oil, sugar and food coloring.
- Stir in popcorn kernels; cover. Cook until popcorn begins to pop. Shake pot over heat until popping slows.
- Remove pan from heat and pour popcorn into large bowl.
- Add marshmallows, graham crackers, pretzels and cookies then toss lightly.
Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn
Yield: 6 quarts
- 6 quarts popped popcorn
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Place popcorn in large, sealable plastic container or 2 1/2-gallon plastic sealable bag.
- Spray popcorn lightly with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika and Italian seasoning over popcorn and shake to distribute evenly.
- To serve, scoop popcorn into reusable plastic cups.
Minty Green Popcorn Clusters
Yield: 32 clusters
- 12 cups unsalted, unbuttered, popped popcorn
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons butter or light olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon green food coloring
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 cup green candy-coated chocolate candies
- Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In saucepan over medium heat, melt marshmallows, butter and salt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in food coloring and peppermint extract.
- Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn; cool 2-3 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Toss with chocolate candies.
- Shape 3 tablespoons of popcorn mixture into small cluster; repeat with remaining popcorn mixture. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheet; cool completely.
(Family Features) Summer sun means it’s time for warm-weather fun for kids of all ages, and all that activity and playing calls for snacks and hydration to recharge. Whether your children like to play poolside or take a bicycle adventure through the neighborhood, the right nutrient-dense foods can keep the fun going all day long.
For an option that quenches hunger (and thirst) without sacrificing nutrition, try an assortment of ways to enjoy watermelon. As a refreshing ingredient or standalone treat, watermelon includes just 80 calories and no fat while providing an excellent source of vitamin C (25%) and higher levels of lycopene (12.7 mg per 2-cup serving) – an antioxidant being studied for its role in sun protection – than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Plus, it’s made of 92% water, meaning it’s a flavorful way to encourage kids to rehydrate during some fun in the sun.
Make watermelon part of a balanced snack plate with this Kids Charcuterie Snack Board including assorted watermelon, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sliced veggies, sliced fruits, crackers, pretzels and more. In addition to the nutritional benefits, the simplicity of this snack means children can help assemble it while showing off their creativity.
Visit watermelon.org to find more kid-friendly recipe ideas.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Kids Charcuterie Snack Board
Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board
- Cubed watermelon
- watermelon balls, skewered
- watermelon wedges
- watermelon sticks
- flower-shaped watermelon cutouts
- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, halved
- ham and cheese pinwheels
- sliced veggies, such as cucumbers, carrots, sweet peppers and celery
- sliced fruit
- small bowl of candy (optional)
- Prepare watermelon, sandwiches, pinwheels, veggies, fruit, pretzels, crackers and candy, if desired.
- On large board or platter, arrange all ingredients.
(Family Features) When family and friends come together in celebration of the holiday season, tasty treats are a must-have for the festivities. You can also celebrate the season of giving with a special giveaway at the end of your gathering to show your gratitude to loved ones.
A simple yet delicious treat, Chocolate Bacon Bark is a sweet-and-salty snack with Gwaltney Bacon as the centerpiece of a crowd-pleaser for nearly any celebration. Try pairing with these creative giveaway bags as a personalized memento to offer a unique memory even after the season comes to a close. The bite-sized morsels are also perfect for individual grab bags by the door as guests make their way home following holiday celebrations.
Visit gwaltneyfoods.com for more holiday recipe ideas.
Chocolate Bacon Bark and Giveaway Bags
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chocolate Bacon Bark:
- 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate candy melts
- 1 package (12 ounces) Gwaltney Bacon
- toppings such as pretzels, candies and sprinkles (optional)
- Card stock or construction paper
- 24 brown paper lunch bags
- Coloring or drawing materials
- Hole puncher
- To make Chocolate Bacon Bark: Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl, melt chocolate candy in microwave in 30-second increments; stir every 30 seconds.
- Pour chocolate into pan and spread evenly.
- Top with bacon and pretzels, candies and sprinkles, if desired; freeze until hardened (about 12 hours).
- Break into bite-sized pieces.
- To make Giveaway Bags: Using scissors, cut one piece of card stock or construction paper to match width of paper bag.
- Cut length of card stock or construction paper into “V” shape so point comes about 3/4 down bag.
- Decorate card stock or construction paper with sayings or drawings.
- Stuff paper bag with Chocolate Bacon Bark.
- Hold decorated card stock or construction paper to top of paper bag, “V” shape pointed down, and punch two centered holes about 1/2 inch from top and 1/2 inch away from each other.
- Using scissors, cut one piece of ribbon about 6 inches long.
- With holes aligned and decorated card stock or construction paper facing out, insert end of ribbon from back side of bag; tie loose enough knot or bow so paper bag doesn’t rip.
- Repeat process with remaining bags.