By: Ayesha Connolly
‘Tis the season of eating!
We all love the holidays because of the festive decorations, the cool breeze outside, random people singing carols on the streets, gift-giving, loooong holiday break, etc. But the number one thing we really look forward to this holiday season is family gatherings, and of course, holiday parties wouldn’t be complete without food, and that means spending hours or even a full day in the kitchen! Now if you’re a mom like me who loves to cook for everybody, you know that it doesn’t hurt having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen – extra pair of tiny, cute little hands. I know, I know.. yes, it may be exhausting having your kid in the kitchen with you, but here’s the thing- it doesn’t have to be! Let me share with you three foolproof, no-bake dessert recipes that you can make with your tiny ones this holiday. They’re insanely easy, healthy(ish), NO BAKE, and delicious! Can you smell that? It’s beginning to smell a lot like..desserts!
CHRISTMAS CORNFLAKE WREATH
What you need:
1/2 cup butter
5 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups cornflakes cereal
Red and green candies (M&Ms)
1 tsp green food coloring
For kids: Put the cornflakes in a large bowl
For moms: Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add the marshmallows and stir continuously until melted. Stir in food coloring.
Pour melted marshmallows into the large bowl of cornflakes. Stir until coated.
Lay out a piece of parchment paper on your kitchen counter. Put spoonfuls of cornflake mixture on the parchment paper.
For kids and moms: Grease your clean hands with butter. Use your fingers to shape the cornflake mixture into individual wreaths.
For kids: Decorate the wreaths with green and red candies!
CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING CUPS
What you need:
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
Raspberry/cherry for garnish
Whipped cream for garnish
For kids and moms: In a medium-size bowl, add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, milk and chia seeds. Whisk together until all ingredients are combined.
Leave the mixture in the bowl for 15 mins without stirring for the chia seeds to gel. After 15 mins, whisk it again.
Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
Remove the chocolate chia seed pudding from the fridge and stir together with a spoon. Serve into small dessert sized glasses or cups. Top with your favorite fruit or other garnishes.
You can make this recipe even healthier by using non-dairy milk! Try other milk substitutes like almond milk or soy milk.
Be sure to use a freshly opened bag of chia seeds! Old chia seeds don’t gel and will not turn into pudding. Trust me, been there.
RICE KRISPY TREATS ORNAMENTS
What you need:
3 cups of rice krispie cereal
2 cups small marshmallows
2 tbsp butter
Small candy canes
Gummy lifesaver candies (or any small ring-shaped candies)
Non-stick cooking spray
For mom: Melt butter and add mini marshmallows to pan over low heat (spray pan and spoon with nonstick cooking spray first).
Add cereal to bowl.
Pour melted marshmallows over cereal and stir immediately coating all of the cereal evenly.
For kids and moms: Quickly make into balls with your hands.
For kids: Push small candy cane into the hole of gummy lifesaver halfway down and push on top of cereal ball. Roll gently or sprinkle with hands your sprinkles to decorate. Done!
The rice krispy mixture can be a bit warm so make sure it’s cool enough for your little ones’ hands.
I decided to include this recipe for a no-bake Snowman Cookie Pops because it is so much fun to make and the kids will love making these! It might not be as healthy, but come on, it’s Christmas!
SNOWMAN COOKIE POPS
What you need:
1 pack Oreo cookies
1 big white chocolate bar
Red and green M&Ms
Thin drinking straws
Food coloring: white, green, red, orange, black
For mom: Chop the white chocolate and melt it in a double boiler.
Once melted, divide it into five separate bowls. Add food colorings and mix well.
For kids and moms: Separate cookies in half, leaving filling on one side of cookie only. Dip one end of the pop stick in melted candy and insert it on the filling side of the open cookie. This is the “glue” that will keep the stick in place while dipping.
Dip cookies in white chocolate, coat both sides. Place cookie pop on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in refrigerator until hardened.
Decorate the white cookie pops! Use the toothpick to get a small amount of colored chocolate and draw the snowman’s details: hat, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Not feeling the snowman design? Decorate your cookie pops with other holiday characters: a reindeer, gingerbread man, Santa, and if you’re up for a challenge try making mini Snow globe Cookie Pops!
So there you have it, 4 No-Bake Healthy Holiday Desserts you can make with your kids. Stop worrying about the mess in the kitchen, the messier the merrier! Aside from being a fun activity, it also allows the children to contribute to the festivities. It will give them something they can be proud of, and this can be a wonderful addition to your holiday traditions.