Get your kids to eat their veggies and send off the summer at the same time

If you’ve ever slaved away at the stove to create a tasty dinner for the family only to have them turn their noses up at the sight of vegetables, I feel your pain. Healthy food can be a tough sell some days, but growing kids need nutrients from plants to thrive. So how do you get them to eat some green without losing your mind? 

We asked Sugar and Spice Catering in Parkville for some ideas, and they delivered! Their menu of tasty kid-friendly treats has a secret–it’s chock-full of veggies from across the color spectrum. Their sloppy joes include green peppers. The chicken taquitos hid fresh corn kernels. Pizza roll-ups get dipped in lycopene–oops, we mean marinara sauce. And that mac and cheese? There’s not a noodle in sight, replaced by paleo-favorite cauliflower.  

Sugar and Spice’s menu sparked a theme for this party–eat the rainbow! With the school year approaching, it’s the perfect time to have an outdoor ice-breaker party for your kids and their friends, with fun crafts and healthy food. Sophie, Coy, Claire and Grady loved it, and we hope that this inspires some ideas of your own!

 

 

Cheesy Cauliflower and Roasted Hot Dogs

Sugar and Spice Cookbook

Makes three servings

Ingredients

  • One head of cauliflower
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Six thick Ball Park hot dogs

Rub for the Hot Dogs:

  • Two teaspoons Jack Stack All Purpose KC BBQ Rub 
  • Two teaspoons Jack Stack Meat and Poultry Rub 
  • One teaspoon mesquite seasoning

Cheese Sauce:

  • 6 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

Garnish:

  • Three green onions, sliced

Directions

Cauliflower:

Cut the cauliflower into florets.

Steam the cauliflower over boiling water for 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the steamer and season with salt and pepper to taste.
 

Hot Dogs:

Spray the hot dogs with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the Hot Dog Rub on the dogs.

Bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Rotate dogs and bake for another 10 minutes.

Chop the hot dogs into 1/2-inch pieces.
 

Cheese Sauce:

Prepare the cheese sauce by combining the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.

Stir often as the cheese melts into a smooth consistency. 
 

To Combine:

Gently fold the cheese sauce into the cooked cauliflower. Only use enough cheese sauce to cover the cauliflower lightly.

Evenly divide the cheesy cauliflower into bowls.

Divide the cooked hot dogs and place on top of the cheesy cauliflower. Garnish with green onion slices.

 

Party Tips

Tip 1: Keep things light. After a summer off, sometimes an icebreaker is necessary. Some fun accessories for a selfie-session can get kids laughing and in the mood to party.

Tip 2: Keep it simple. For a kids’ party, the elaborate decor is unnecessary. Use bold colors to set the scene and let the activities be the focus. 

Tip 3: Plan some activities, but don’t overload the schedule. Two activities are sufficient for most parties. As a bonus, craft projects double as personalized favors! 

Activity Cheat Sheet

Niki Larrea from The Kids Kula introduced our first activity, the meditation bottle. You’ll need: 

  • empty water bottles
  • clear glue
  • food coloring
  • sequins
  • glitter
  • water

To make: Fill each bottle to a third with clear glue. Add a few drops of food coloring and then add sequins, glitter, beads, Easter grass, or whatever other found objects strike your fancy. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and seal. Then shake vigorously to combine. Enjoy as you would a snowglobe or use for more focused meditation exercises. 

Activity Two: Ice Painting

For an activity that beats the heat and inspires your youngsters, make some popsicle paintings. Combine liquid watercolor paints with water in an ice cube tray, keeping each segment as one color. Put popsicle sticks in the trays and freeze. Remove about 20 minutes before you want to begin so they will have time to soften. Instead of canvases, choose cotton items such as tote bags, t-shirts, or bandanas. Let the kids go wild and create an item for school that no one else will have!

Special thanks to Sugar And Spice Catering in Parkville.