Bring-a-plate events should be embraced as learning opportunities so our kids grow up celebrating the sharing of food and the kindness surrounding that.
From a very young age, children love to play food games – they make mud pies, have tea parties and mimic the rituals of adults. Our role as parents is to ensure that a love of real food, and sharing and celebrating with food, is nurtured and supported. So next time you’re asked to ‘bring a plate’, perhaps consider the value of such a simple concept and instead of grabbing a pack of biscuits or chips on the way to school or to the event (as tempting as that is), consider using the occasion as an opportunity to involve your kids in the making and taking.
Given we are on the eve of bring-a-plate season, I thought I’d share a few simple, nut-free ideas for when you’re next asked to bring a plate to a school celebration. Remember to make sure you get the kids to help – they always love taking something they’ve made or contributed to making! Remember, the fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.
- Popcorn: A great, budget-friendly plate. Pop the corn and simply toss it in a little butter and sea salt for a quick, delicious snack.
- Fruit pizza: Slice watermelon into triangles, top with yoghurt and fruit (as pictured).
- Make a dip: There are so many quick and easy dips to make. Serve with vegetable sticks and crackers. Even if your kids don’t make the dip, get them to arrange it all on a plate.
- Bake something: What kid doesn’t like baking and eating the result (and licking the bowl of course)? Heaps of nut-free recipe inspo at www.wellnourished.com.au
- Make meatballs or sausage rolls: Hot or cold they are always a hit with a crowd.
- Kebabs: I like to mix fruit and cheese which I cut up and let the kids thread onto the kebab sticks.
- Sushi rolls or sushi hand rolls (cones).
- Rice paper rolls: Filled with sweet or savoury fillings.
- Pizza: Easy to make using wraps as bases. Simply spread with tomato paste, sprinkle with a little oregano and top with pineapple, ham and any veggies you like (my kids like mushroom and red capsicum). Then top with grated cheese and bake until the base is crisp and the cheese has melted.
- Chocolate mousse cups (see my simple recipe, below): These are fabulous as they are very intolerance friendly.