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Green for a Day: Kid-Friendly Treats and Activities

By Amy Palanjian | Photos by Blaine Moats

Make your own luck this St. Patrick’s Day with kid-friendly treats and activities to enjoy from breakfast through dessert. We're sharing recipes and easy ideas for family fun.

1. St. Paddy Cakes

st paddys pancakes

Transform plain pancakes into lucky bites for the holiday with this idea from yummytoddlerfood.com:
Add 2 small bananas, 2 large eggs, 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, 1 cup milk, 11⁄2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract to a blender. Blend until very smooth. Stir in 1 cup flour. Cook as you would any other pancakes—simply pour out the batter from the blender—to make festive green pancakes. Or add the batter to a squeeze bottle and make shamrock- shaped pancakes! (P.S.: You can, of course, also try adding a few drops of green food coloring to regular pancake batter.)

2. Rainbow Fruit Bowls

rainbow fruit salad

For kids who are super wary of greenery, go for a broader range of hues. Work together to buy a colorful assortment of fruit (including green!) and assemble it into a rainbow fruit salad to share.

3. Pre-Parade Pasta

pesto pasta

If you haven’t yet tried pesto pasta on the kids, this is the perfect opportunity. The Parmesan-cheese flavor ought to win over any green-food doubters. We like the refrigerated pesto from Rana for its bright color and flavor, and it’s available in most grocery stores. If you'd like to try your hand at making homemade pesto (it's super quick and easy!), browse our collection of pesto recipes to find one that suits your taste.

More: Here's how to make the best homemade pesto, plus tips for freezing pesto so it'll be ready to use any time.

4. Leprechaun Cookies

leprechaun cookies

Everyone can be Irish for a day with these cute cookies. Use food coloring to tint vanilla frosting orange. Spread a thin layer of the orange frosting along the edges of a Milano cookie to make the beard. Cover with orange sprinkles. To make each hat, cut off the bottom of a green gumdrop (this will allow it to stick to the hat’s “brim”), cut the gumdrop in half vertically, and stick it onto a slice of green fruit. Use frosting to attach the hat to the top of the cookie. Attach mini candy eyes with frosting and a chocolate sprinkle for the smile.

More: Get more ideas for delightful St. Patrick's Day desserts.

5. Veggie Ice Cream

veggie ice cream

We know. We were skeptical, too. But the mint chip flavor of Peekaboo ice cream is actually fresh, minty, and creamy...and packed with spinach! Check out peekabooicecream.com for buying information.

More: You can make your own Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream and Shamrock Shakes.

Feelin' Lucky?

Use the holiday as an excuse to celebrate green foods. Who knows, the luck of the Irish may just help the kids to love that green produce!

Green Scavenger Hunt
Write up a list of four to six green fruits and veggies, and challenge your kids to find them in the grocery produce aisle. Then choose at least one to take home, cook together, and taste.

Blind Taste Test
Tie on blindfolds and let the kids touch and taste a few different green veggies, such as green beans, snap peas, zucchini, and bell peppers. The kiddo who correctly guesses the most veggies wins a prize!


Check out our collection of St. Patrick's Day Recipes.


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