Today is our official “end of season” party for my swim team, The Front Range Barracudas. I had to really fight the urge to make things fancy, but I had to keep telling myself I am cooking for kids, and they don’t like fancy stuff, nor do they really care about presentation so much. Anyone who has ever cooked for kids knows it is full of challenges. Then there are all kinds of food allergies to think about as well, and I want their snacks to be healthy too, which makes things even more challenging. Swimmers, just like all other athletes, need foods high in protein and low in fats. Peanut butter and cheese are great snacks for all athletes. As you can see, I was faced with many different dilemmas, but I decided on a couple of “kid friendly” items that I hope go over well. They were all super easy to make, and all they needed was some assembly. One of the best things to remember when cooking for kids is “to keep it simple”. Making it fun, and using fun names doesn’t hurt either.
These are “Ants on a Log”.
There are only three simple, healthy ingredients used for “ants on a log” – celery rinsed and cut into “logs” about 2″ long, raisins and peanut butter. I piped the peanut butter onto the celery logs and placed the golden raisins or sultanas on them. You can use any kind of raisins and either crunchy or creamy peanut butter (or any other type of nut butter).
I had to come up with something else as well, because unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t eat nuts or have nut allergies. So I also made cheese and pretzel squares and some “spiders on a string” or string cheese with pitted black olives.
You can use any type of cheese you like, but I used a mild cheddar that I cut into small squares that fit perfectly onto the square pretzels, and then I sandwiched them together. I baked them for about 7-8 minutes at 350* F, or just long enough to melt the cheese so they would stick together and make a pretzel sandwich.