Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year! There’s lots of festive fun to be had in creating a range of recipes, that can be made by even the smallest of hands. This year we’re bringing together some of our favourite Christmas themed recipes, as part of our Nutrition Advent Calendar. For the whole of December you can open the door to some of our favourite festive treats and activities!
Day 1 – Oh Christmas Tree
We all love to decorate our Christmas tree and make it as colourful as possible which inspired us to make this fruity Christmas tree.
We love this satsuma tree which will add colour and taste to any party food. You can also use kiwi or apple for a traditional green colour!
- 4 Satsumas peeled (or kiwi/apple)
- 1 handful Pomegranate (or raspberry)
Your little ones can help to peel the satsumas and break into segments (or you can help them to cut the apple or kiwi into quarters)
Arrange around 10 segments in a row on a plate. Add one less segment to each additional row until you are left with one segment of satsuma at the top of the plate. This will create your tree shape
Decorate your tree with pomegranate or raspberries or blueberries. Enjoy at snack time.
Day 2 – Elf on the Shelf
Erika the Elf makes a great snack activity to create with your little ones. To help make this recipe more tooth friendly, swap the raisins for halved blueberries. You don’t have to use grapes and raspberries either. You could try swapping these for fruits in season to give each elf a different coloured hat. If you do use grapes, just be sure to cut them lengthways to reduce the risk of choking.
- 1 tortilla wrap (white or wholemeal)
- 1 handful of grapes cut lengthways
- 1 handful of raspberries
- 1 handful of blueberries
Using a round cookie cutter create your elf’s face from the tortilla wrap. Help your little one to create the elf ears using a blunt knife to cut the tortilla
Chop the grapes length-ways and arrange in the shape of a hat. Add some colour using the raspberries
Use the blueberries for the elf’s mouth and eyes.
Day 3 – Starry Pitta Pizza Bites
You can use a range of different cookie cutters for this festive recipes. Add some colour to your star with a range of different coloured vegetables. We used sweet corn and pepper and topped with grated cheese!
- 3 pittas (white or wholemeal)
- 1 tin of sweet corn, drained (tinned in water)
- 1 red and 1 green pepper
- Handful of grated cheese
Using a star cookie cutter create your stars
Drain the sweetcorn and sprinkle on the pitta stars
- Cut the pepper into thin strips – your little ones can help with this task. Place them on the pitta stars
Sprinkle with the grated cheese
- Place on a baking tray and pop it in the oven at 180 C for 10-12 minutes
- Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly and serve to children at snack time or as part of the tea time (add some tuna or beans if serving at tea time).
Day 4 – Frosty the Snowman Porridge
With a chill in the air a warm bowl of porridge makes the perfect start to the day. Add some festive cheer to your porridge by creating a fun snowman using blueberries and strawberries.
- 30-50g oats
- 80-120 mls milk
- 1 handful of blueberries and strawberries
- Add oats and milk to a pan and turn up the heat, stirring well
- Add in a handful of pre-washed blueberries
- Once the porridge is nice and thick, add the porridge to a bowl and decorate with your berries to make the eyes, nose and mouth.
Day 5 – Festive Super Stars
Our Festive Super Stars are one of our favourite recipes here at Early Start Nutrition because they’re easy to make and great for dipping. They’re a really nice option for snack time!
- Tortilla wraps (white or wholemeal)
- Dip e.g. hummus or guacamole
- Use the cookie cutters to cut out the stars from the tortilla wraps
- Place them on an oven- proof tray and pop them in your preheated oven for a few minutes (around 180 C)
- Once lightly golden, carefully remove them from the oven
- Sprinkle with a light dusting of paprika
- Pop your dip in a bowl
- Arrange the stars around your serving board or plate with the dip in the middle
- Serve and enjoy!
Day 6 – Banana Snowman
Our banana snowmen are a great activity to get your little ones involved in. These little guys are an easy recipe for children to make and great to help them on their way to their 5-a-day. If offering at snack time, be sure to swap the dried fruit buttons for fresh fruit to keep them tooth friendly.
- 1 banana
- 1 apple
- 1 red pepper
- Handful of blueberries
- Chop the banana, apple, pepper into manageable strips
- Little ones will love to use all the fruit pieces to create their festive snowman
- Serve and enjoy. This is a great way to serve fruit at Christmas time.
Day 7 – Christmas Cheese and Crackers
This is a perfect snack for your little ones and the whole family. We used plain crackers but you could also use oatcakes or rice cakes. Crackers are great source of fibre and energy- perfect for snack times! We topped ours with star cheese, which we cut from cheese slices using cookie cutters. The cheese will provide protein, calcium and Vitamin A. All in all, a very nutritious snack!!
- Crackers or oat cakes
- Cheese slices
- Star shaped cookie cutters
- Cut out the star shapes with your cookie cutter
- Arrange the cheese on the crackers and serve
- They are also a great snack to pack if you are out and about.
Day 8 – Sven the Reindeer
Sven is one of our favourite Frozen characters, so we wanted to create a snack inspired by him! We love these adorable cheese reindeer. They’re a great snack because their quick to make and super appealing to little ones.
- Cheese triangles
- Pretzel knots (antlers)
- Red pepper (nose)
- Blueberries (eyes)
- Place the cheese triangles on a festive plate
- Cut the fruit and vegetables to make the eyes and nose
- Add the pretzels to create the antlers
- You could also serve Svens favourite food (carrots), alongside this cheesy treat!
Day 9 – Gingerbread Cookies
We LOVE gingerbread here at Early Start Nutrition and created our very own gingerbread biscuits, yum! They’re surprisingly easy to make, so you don’t need to be the most accomplished baker to give them a go!
Involve children in baking your gingerbread biscuits by getting them to help:
- Weigh out the ingredients
- Mix the ingredients to make the dough
- Stamping out the shapes with cookie cutters
Visit our YouTube channel to check out how to make these super cute cookies!
Day 10 – Apple Christmas Wreath
We love this colourful apple Christmas wreath. Using red and green apples, or orange segments, you can easily create this showstopper.
- Red and green apples or orange segments
- Pomegranate or berries
- It is best if you cut the apples into segments and pass each piece to your little one so they are arrange them in a circle (get them to count the pieces as they go)
- We made a bow for the wreath using tinned pineapples (in natural juice) and decorated it with some pomegranate (you could also use raspberries or blueberries). This recipe is packed full of vitamins including Vitamin A and C and fibre!
Day 11 – Olaf the Snowman
While we can’t guarantee snow for Christmas, we can help you to build a snowman! Not just any old snowman, our favourite snowman- Olaf!
- Rice cakes (tortilla wraps, or slices of bread)
- Cream cheese
- 1 handful of blueberries (for the eyes, mouth, buttons)
- 1 carrot (for the nose)
- To make Olaf we used rice cakes, but it was quite fiddly, so recommend you use tortilla wraps or slices of bread
- Cute the shapes of Olaf’s body from the wrap/ bread and spread with cream cheese
- Add his buttons, eyes and mouth using blueberries and a slice of carrot for his nose!
- We used slice tortilla wrap to make Olaf’s arms and spread over peanut butter for extra flavour and nutrition.
P.S-don’t worry if Olaf doesn’t turn out quite like you’d hoped. Just ‘let it go’ and remember that children will love having a go at creating the friendliest snowman in the north!
Day 12 – Avo Christmas Tree
Who doesn’t love decorating a Christmas tree?! This snack is perfect for any Christmas celebration and includes three food groups, carbohydrates, fruit/veg and dairy! Involve little ones by getting them to help mash the avocado and cut out the cheese stars.
- 2 Tortilla wraps or pitta bread (white or wholemeal)
- 1 Avocado
- Handful of Cherry tomatoes
- Sliced cheese
- Cut tortilla wraps in quarters for the base
- Mash the avocado on the base and decorate with chopped cherry tomatoes
- Remember to chop the tomatoes lengthways to reduce the risk of choking! You could add other decorations to your tree too, such as mushrooms or peppers, to add more colour
- We used cheese stars to add a sparkling touch to the top of our tree.
Day 13 – Tortilla Snowflakes
Making snowflakes during arts and crafts is always popular around Christmas time. We’ve taken it a step further and created these snowflake tortilla shapes!
2 Tortilla Wraps (white or wholemeal)
- Simply take the tortilla wrap and fold it 3 times (like you would a piece of paper)
- Support little ones to carefully cut shapes out of the tortilla wraps (using child friendly scissors or knives)
- Unfold the wrap to take a look at your snowy creation!
- Serve with our cheesy reindeer
Day 14 – Vegetable Bauble
If you’re anything like us, you’ll love to decorate your Christmas tree and we love these brilliant bauble inspired treats!
- Rice cakes
- Cream cheese
- Selection of different coloured vegetables, such as celery, carrots & red pepper, to decorate!
- Ask your little ones to spread the rice cakes with the cream cheese
- Have a range of vegetables cut into manageable finger foods ready in a bowl
- Children will love to decorate their rice cakes with the vegetables, making them great to have at snack time
Day 15 – Fruity Frozen Yoghurt
These delicious fruity frozen yoghurt pots make for a lovely dessert recipe!
- Natural/ Greek yoghurt
- Cupcake cases (preferably reusable)
- Mix the berries into the yoghurt
- Support little ones to spoon the yoghurt mix into cupcake cases
- Pop in the freezer for 2-3 hours (depending on the size of your cupcake cases!)
- Serve and enjoy
Day 16 – Watermelon Trees
Watermelon Christmas trees are a great fruit for stamping out festive shapes!
- Watermelon (or any type of melon)
- Festive cookie cutters (xmas trees are our favourite!)
- Prepare the watermelons for your little ones by cutting them into slices
- Children will love using their favourite cookie cutters to create their festive snacks
- You could also add decorations to your watermelon Christmas trees with yoghurt and berries!
Day 17 – Olaf’s Nose
December is always such a crazy month! It’s hard to find time in the day to fit everything in! So if making creative snacks seems too time consuming, then today’s recipe (if you can call it that because it’s so simple) is for you!
- Carrot sticks
- Cream cheese or yoghurt
- Serve your carrot sticks alongside a bowl of snow (cream cheese or tzatziki) for dipping!
Day 18 – Christmas Snowballs
Today’s Christmassy snowballs are from the lovely Charlotte Stirling-Reed! These are a great alternative to typical festive sweet treats as they’re made from cranberries, chestnuts, nut butter, oats and desiccated coconut. YUM!
- 65g Dried Cranberries (try to find ones that don’t have a sugar coating, but I appreciate this is harder to find. Remember small amounts of added sugar are OK, it’s all about context, and these will still be a lot lower than any recipes that add honey or standard sugar!)
- 65g Whole Chestnuts (ready to eat)
- 25mls water
- 45 grams of 100% smooth nut butter of choice (almond works well)
- 40g of oats
- Desiccated coconut to coat
- Optional: An extra splash of water or apple juice if the mixture is a little dry at the end.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and mix well until the mixture is well combined but still fairly lumpy.
- If sticky enough, make into balls and roll in a bowl of desiccated coconut until they are coated. Serve straight away or pop in the fridge for later.
- Can be frozen!
It’s a really great cooking activity to get little ones involved in too! So head over to Charlotte’s Website for the full recipe!
Day 19 – Peanut Butter Celery Reindeer
We love these adorable reindeer treats. They’re the perfect snack to get your little ones excited about Santa’s and Rudolph’s upcoming visit!
- Nut butter
- Place the celery sticks in a bowl cut into manageable sticks
- Your little ones will love filling the celery sticks with lashings of peanut butter
- Decorate the celery sticks with the pomegranate and pretzels to create your reindeer
Day 20 – Strawberry Santa
We have another simple recipe for you today with our super cute Strawberry Santa. This is a super quick way to encourage your little ones to get one of their 5 A Day.
- Handful of strawberries
- Cream cheese
- Slice the tops off the strawberries to create a flat surface for them to sit on. Slice the tip off the strawberry to make the hat. Your little ones can help out if using a blunt knife
- Spread some cream cheese on the strawberry, and replace the tip
- Add the blueberries for the eyes
Day 21 – Christmas Pancakes
These Christmas pancakes are the perfect way to start the day!
There are lots of great ways to decorate your pancakes.
You can create a snowman using yoghurt or cream cheese and using different fruits or vegetables for the face.
We love this Reindeer which is decorated with dollops of yoghurt for the eyes, pieces of the pancake for the antlers and strawberries for Rudolph’s red nose!
We have lots of great pancake recipes that you can check out here!
Day 22 – Vegetable Surprise
Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy lots of treats but it is still important to continue to provide your little ones with plenty of the regular choices such as vegetables. To make them more appealing there are lots of great ways to be creative at mealtimes. If serving vegetables you can get your little ones involved by asking them to choose their favourite vegetable!
- A range of seasonal vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, peppers
- Arrange your selection of vegetables in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Your little ones are likely to taste the vegetables as they get involved in chopping and arranging the vegetables on the plate. Serve with a hummus or tzatziki dip!
Day 23 – Mince Pies
We love making mince pies and adding our own twist to the recipe. We used a crumble topping for ours. We were also able to use the leftover pastry trimming to create some festive star toppings. Mince pies are the perfect treat at Christmas and our recipe is so easy to make!
For the Mincemeat
- 150g Currants, 150g Sultanas, 100g Cranberries, 75g Mixed Peel
- I Cooking apple
- 1 Lemon – zest and juice
- 1.5 tsp Mixed spice, 1.5tsp Ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp Ground Ginger
For the Crumble Topping
- 100g Plain Flour
- 50g Butter
- 50g Almonds
For the Pastry
- 200g Plain Flour
- 100g Butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 2tbsp water
- Check out our YouTube video for details on preparing our delicious Mince Pies!
Day 24 – Cheesy Rosemary Christmas Biscuits
Who says biscuits have to be sweet?! We’ve created these delicious savoury cheese and rosemary versions. They’re simple to make and quick to bake, making them a great recipe to create with your Santa’s Little Helpers! Encourage your little one to help weigh the ingredients, knead the dough and use cookie cutters to cut out some festive shapes.
- 80g wholemeal flour
- 80g plain flour
- 100g cold cubed butter
- 100g finely grated cheese
- Cookie Cutters- preferably Christmas shapes
- Rolling pin
- Baking paper
- Baking tray or two
- Check out our YouTube video for a step- by- step guide on how to make these tasty biscuits!