The holidays are all about nostalgia. When you cuddle around the fireplace, surrounded by family, you feel like an excited kid again, particularly if you’re watching the beloved holiday movies you grew up with. Part of the fun is the snacking. But instead of tossing out a plate of processed cookies, with a few simple substitutions you can feed your family quality eats without spending a ton of time in the kitchen. And the more time you can spend with the little ones, the merrier you’ll be. Take your festive family viewing to the next level by pairing some creative dishes with iconic holiday movies and specials.
1. Elf and Pesto Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken
Buddy the Elf represents the child in all of us, which is why you unabashedly cheer for Buddy’s four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup. If only life could always be so sweet, right? You may cringe when he dumps maple syrup all over his spaghetti, but there’s still admiration for his boldness. Nosh along with Buddy, but leave the sugars in the cupboard with this Pesto Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken recipe. Light on sweetness, it’s heavy on wholesome and the red and green color combo will leave you feeling merry and bright.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Pumpkin Zucchini Snack Cakes
Tim Burton excels at melding worlds that don’t ordinarily mix well, always resulting in something fantastic. That’s certainly the case with this spooky, yet fun stop-motion flick that swirls Halloween with Christmas, resulting in plenty of spice and everything nice. Your snack during the film should also be a fun, unexpected combo. Like our Green Valley Pumpkin Zucchini Snack Cakes. Get a punch of fall with a hint of winter in each bite with these tasty treats. They’re so yummy, your little snackers won’t realize they’re eating two nutritious veggies at once, and of course, Jack The Pumpkin King would approve.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Black Bean Brownies
For those with blackened hearts, two sizes too small, like our anti-hero Mr. Grinch, something sweet is needed to draw a smile. Light up any Christmas curmudgeon’s face with these Black Bean Brownies. They’re as dense and chocolatey as your typical brownie recipe, but your little Whos will never guess these heavenly squares are made with nutrient-rich black beans (Try ours here). These brownies are so delicious every member of your family, the tall and the small, will want to eat them all.
4. Home Alone and Flatbread Pizza
Whether your family has inadvertently left you behind or you’re surrounded by every extended member, no meal is more universally loved than pizza. Take a page from Kevin McCallister’s playbook and serve up some slices the next time you watch. Give the deliveryman the night off with this whole-wheat alternative Pita Pizza, a low-fat, flatbread twist on the doughy Italian classic. While this version features fresh basil and colorful peppers, your kids can customize these mini pies all alone. Get cooking, ya filthy animals.
5. Frosty The Snowman and Frozen Yogurt Snowmen
Long before Olaf hit the screens, our favorite snowman was Frosty. Celebrate this animated holiday classic with a fun, interactive dessert your kids will love to build and then devour. To make your own edible snowman, begin by stacking three balls (aka scoops) of frozen yogurt to form the body. Create a sundae station, complete with (healthier) dark chocolate for the eyes, pretzels for the arms and fresh fruit for the buttons and nose. Your children will have an icy-cold blast making these frozen friends.
Share your festive creations with us using #GVHoliday on Instagram, and have a happy holiday season.