The Christmas Eve meal (noche buena) is definitely one of the most anticipated meals of the year in any Filipino family. For the adults, the traditional fare is definitely something to look forward to: piping hot tsokolate, flavorful lechon, puto bumbong and bibingka, hamon and queso de bola. While super yummy, the Pinoy Christmas table's choices may not have the kids rushing for a serving (much less seconds!)
Why not try reinventing your Christmas meal with some kid-friendly options? We've got a few menu suggestions and Christmas feast ideas for families with kids. The tips and simple and lots of fun, too!
1. Serve something the kids can make. Kids love eating stuff that they've made! They'll be more inclined to eat what's on the Christmas dinner table if they had a hand in it. Kids also enjoy eating colorful food Try some of these kid-friendly recipes:
Cream cheese Christmas Bagels: Get store-bought bagels and ready-made cream cheese, and let the kids decorate their “wreath” with assorted veggies.
Fruit Kebabs in Yogurt Dip: This is a great way to include some healthy yet yummy treats on the Christmas dinner table. Let the kids choose what kind of fruits they want to include on their kebabs; remember to use plastic gloves when handling the fruit!
Christmas Pizza: Kids can make pizzas in the shape of Christmas trees, snowmen, or stars!
2. Serve something familiar. There's a reason why children love eating the same things over and over again. So if your kids are likely to turn their noses up at the usual noche buena fare of pancit, lechon and adobo, serve up some fun fare that you know they'll gobble up! Some ideas include:
- Mashed potatoes (Place it in a Christmas tree-shaped serving dish and use broccoli florets and carrot coins to decorate it like a tree) - Chicken lollipops with mayo dip (sprinkle parsley and paprika on top of the dip) - Pasta (the sure winners are always spaghetti, carbonara, and mac & cheese) - Crackers and cheese (See the suggestions below in #4 for ideas on how to do this creatively) - Gelatin (add real fruit bits to it to add a bit of a healthy “oomph”)
3. Serve something sweet. Christmas is that time of year when we can go all-out with food! Find healthy alternatives that will pique your kids' penchant for sweet stuff. Glazed ham is a yummy Christmas staple, especially when it's glazed with honey and pineapple. Serve some hot chocolate and churros (make them in Christmas-y shapes). If you're making a fun and fruity jello, look for a Christmas tree or star-shaped mold so you can serve it with an added fun touch.