Guest Post from designer Jessica Phan.
How to Create a Fun Easter Dinner that will Entertain your Children
For me, Easter is all about chocolate bunnies, egg hunts, and family dinners. Nothing gets me more excited about the holiday than the sumptuous aroma of Mom’s cooking as she prepares Easter Sunday dinner, and the many treats hidden in the garden for the kids to find.
What I loved most when I was a kid was when Mom would let me have a hand in all the preparations. I liked playing “grown-up,” setting the table and adding my own personal touch to the meal. It was a great way to bond with Mom, too. It’s a tradition I definitely want to continue when I have children of my own.
Here are a few tips on how you can build your own special Easter dinner memories with your kids:
One surefire way to get children running to the dinner table is by serving food made by kids and for the kids. Start dinner with appetizers using the hard-boiled eggs your kids found (or not) during the Easter egg hunt. Whether you use them as whole eggs or as deviled eggs, transform Easter eggs into fun bunny eggs using some veggies and cheese. Use carrot sticks for ears, cheese for eyes, and green veggies like peas and leeks for the nose and tail. Let the kids arrange the bunnies on a tray with salad greens like lettuce. Deviled eggs are easy DIY appetizers — simply combine the yolk with some mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle relish, and salt and pepper to taste.
For the main course, try a twist on the classic ham by roasting ham steaks and pineapple over the fireplace, or over a little campfire in your backyard for some camp-style fun. The pineapple is a great flavor enhancer; kids love it for its sweetness and playful shape when cut into rings. For an all-time favorite, make some mini-turkey burgers. Easy-to-handle and easy-to-make, these burgers will whet your kids’ appetite and keep their hands full. Have the kids help out by cutting circular shapes from bread, and then stacking homemade turkey patties, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce.
For dessert, cupcakes are a great choice because you can create different flavors to suit your guests. You can also keep everyone entertained at the end of the meal by letting them create their own personalized cupcakes. Serve small bowls of different toppings for them to choose from, from colorful sprinkles to chocolate bits and licorice strings. Keep some unfrosted and let the kids try their hand at decorating their own cupcakes.
(Photo by Rosemary Ratcliff)
Ambiance influences any affair, so let the kids inspire you in your Easter designs. Pastel colors like sky blue and light yellow always bring on the cheer. Make these the theme of your curtains and tablecloths, with large flower or paisley patterns to create a fresh ambiance reminiscent of Easter renewal.
Dinner will become a more enticing event for kids if the table is decorated with their interests in mind. Adorn the table with a cheerful centerpiece like a small basket incorporating a mix of Easter eggs and flowers. You can also place small baskets with flowers and a few jellybeans beside each guest’s plate. Use these as guest markers by tying a small bunny-shaped card to each basket.
Give Kids Some of the Spotlight
Kids love attention and take on an infectious jovial mood when they get it. Before the dessert is served, let the kids be the center of the feast by asking them to sing or recite a poem. To make sure everyone is happy, end showtime with a group song that all the kids know and let everyone join in.
Make your Easter dinner a warm family affair brimming with these simple tips. With a little bit of imagination and a childlike mindset, you’ll be putting together unforgettable evenings that bloom into traditions.
Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.