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Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Throw the perfect backyard birthday bash for a very special someone. Celebrate their big day in a very big way.

Combine creative, kid-friendly eats with festive outdoor decorations, then give a new spin to old-fashioned party games. Invite friends and family over to celebrate a special day in the comfort of your backyard.

We start with some handy tips and tricks to make your party more eco-friendly. That includes everything from sorting and recycling, to allergen- and worry-free munching.

Our recipes are fit to please both parents and children. Veggie critters make vegetables more appetizing than ever. Try making a few new bagel buddies or get messy in the kitchen with dirt cups.

And no backyard bash is complete without festive decor! Get equipped with tips on making edible centerpieces, tabletop mementos, hanging mobiles, and other smile-inducing additions.

Dietitian's Corner: Food Allergies Don't Have to Spoil the Fun

Dietitian's Corner: Food Allergies Don't Have to Spoil the Fun

Created by: Allison Kuhn, RD LD

Planning a birthday party for little ones can be stressful—especially with food allergies, gluten intolerances and concerns about added sugar becoming more common. But that doesn't mean you can't plan a party that will delight children with even the most stringent nutritional requirements. We have plenty of recipes to get your worry-free party started, including nut-free trail mix, gluten-free vanilla shortcake, banana party pops, and no-bake party snacks.

But first, consider these important tips:

It doesn't hurt to ask. Consider adding a line to your party invite that asks about allergies or other dietary concerns.

Label everything. Clearly mark each food item at serving stations. It's easy to work pretty labels into your party décor!

Don't throw away those boxes and bags. A bag of chips might not look as chic as chips in a pretty bowl, but make sure you keep all food packaging on hand so that concerned parents can read the ingredients list. Most parents (and even some kids!) know exactly what to look for on food labels.

Be mindful of your preparation methods. For example, if you have a party guest with a peanut allergy, always prepare those snacks last, and be sure to keep all food and utensils separate during prep, storage and serving. You might even want to use sticky notes as reminders during prep (for you) and serving (for others) to ensure no cross-contamination occurs. Allergic guests may also feel more comfortable when served first, when foods are still separate.

View Nut-Free Trail Mix >
View Gluten-Free Vanilla Shortcake >
View Banana Party Pops >
No-Bake Party Snacks >

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Throw A One-Trash-Bag Birthday Party: Your Eco-Fabulous Party Planning Guide

Throw A One-Trash-Bag Birthday Party: Your Eco-Fabulous Party Planning Guide

Created by: Glad

Ready to make your next event or party a one-bag affair? See if you can make it from start to finish on one bag of trash. Sound crazy? Not with smarter, greener planning.

BEFORE THE EVENT:

  • Email the invitations. Use invitation or social networking sites to send paperless invites. Evite.com and Ping.com are two great options.
  • Keep guests in the loop with your green theme. Give your guests ideas on how to be a green-friendly guest. Suggest reusing bags, reducing packaging, and giving experience gifts such as dance lessons or movie tickets.
  • Keep it simple and delicious. Kids prefer fun over fancy. When hosting adults, opt for bite-sized party treats to eliminate excess waste.
  • Check RSVPs. Try to get an accurate guest count and plan accordingly.
  • Buy in bulk and be picky with packaging. From chips to wine, you can please your guests with bigger, boxed options.
  • Go with glass, cloth, and plastic. Use glass dishware, linens, and reusable plastic containers to cut back on bag fillers.
  • ...Or, choose compostable. If reusable dinnerware isn’t an option, choose compostable: sugar cane, palm leaves, and corn will do.
  • Donate your leftovers. Contact churches, shelters, and other organizations.
  • Don’t stress the mess. You can always use the money saved on disposables to hire a young helper in your neighborhood.
  • Go natural. Choose flowers or other natural décor to make your party pop. You can also use anything that can be reused, repurposed, or recycled—such as ribbons, lace, beads, and glass jars.
  • Skip common offenders. That means wrapping paper, tinsel, plastic utensils, plastic cups and anything styrofoam.
  • Create a sorting system. Find a few different containers and label them glass, plastic, aluminum, compost and trash.
  • Use reusable dishes to store food. Try to avoid foil or plastic wrap.
  • Consider sustainable favors. Pass out potted plants or other gifts made from reused or re-purposed materials.

AFTER THE EVENT:

  • Give parting guests leftover food in reusable containers. Less to clean up for you; more food for them.
  • Re-sort your recycling. It takes a bit of practice to keep them separated.
  • Visit FindAComposter.com to find a compost site. Contact your city’s solid waste or environmental services department for more info.
  • Congratulate yourself. These small steps can help make the world a little cleaner for you and your children.

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How to Make Your Own Slip 'n Slide

How to Make Your Own Slip 'n Slide

Created by: Glad

What’s a summer backyard party without a little slipping and sliding? Create a homemade slip ‘n slide in minutes by following these four simple steps.

  1. Grab a big box of contractor bags. Heavy-duty bags are a must, as they'll guard against tearing.
  2. Roll out your garbage bags and use duct tape to mend them together at the seams. To make the slide wider, tape the longer sides together. Put the tape on both sides and run it the width of the slide.
  3. Put the slide on a grassy hill with a small decline. You can use a few tent stakes to hold the slide in place at the top.
  4. Before you send the kids on the slide of their life, turn on the hose and give it a test run. If you want to add a little more slip to your slide, drizzle a bit of dishwasher detergent on the surface. Added bonus: Cleaner kids.

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Pretty Up Your Patio Furniture

Pretty Up Your Patio Furniture

Created by: Clorox

Ready to sit back and enjoy cold drinks on the patio? Make sure your patio furniture is party-ready, too.

Quick Cleans and Wipe Downs

Have a few minor splatters and spills at your backyard birthday barbecue? For a quick clean, wipe your patio table and chairs with disinfecting wipes. To bring your umbrellas and patio furniture out of hibernation, give them a quick wipe down with household cleaner, bleach, and a paper towel.

Deep Clean

For a deeper clean, wash patio furniture with outdoor bleach. Here's how:

  1. Mix 2 1/2 cups of outdoor bleach product with 1 gallon of water in a plastic bucket or container.
  2. Scrub with a brush or push broom (soaked in the solution) until it's clean. Heavily soiled surfaces may require a little extra scrubbing.
  3. Rinse treated and surrounding areas thoroughly with water.

Plastic, Wood, and Glass

Hard, nonporous patio furniture surfaces* like plastic, painted wood (Adirondack chairs), and glass (tabletops) can be cleaned with regular bleach.

Here's how:

  1. Water any nearby plants that may come in contact with runoff from the bleach and water solution (driveway is a good place).
  2. Mix 1/2 cup regular bleach per 1 gallon water in a plastic container or bucket.
  3. Use a hose with a nozzle to rinse off each item.
  4. Use a brush or sponge to apply the bleach solution, reapplying as necessary to keep the item wet for at least 5 minutes.**
  5. Rinse the items and allow them to air dry.
  6. Re-water plants as needed.

*Avoid using bleach on non-stainless steel, aluminum, or chipped enamel. Wear gloves to avoid irritation.

**Helpful hint: Try not to clean everything at once. You'll need to start rinsing your surfaces 5 minutes after you begin, so take your time. Then you can avoid leaving the bleach and water solution on too long.

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Destroy the Evidence! Outdoor Party Stain Removal Guide

Destroy the Evidence! Outdoor Party Stain Removal Guide

Created by: Clorox

Throwing an outdoor party? Things could get messy. But there's always an easy way to remove stubborn stains from clothes, tablecloths, napkins, and other nearby targets. Check out our outdoor party stain removal guide and learn how you can keep things clean.

Quick Tip: Wash garments with a detergent and stain remover and color booster product for colors. Use regular bleach for whites. Repeat as needed until the stains are gone. Always make sure the stain is gone before putting any stained clothing in the dryer!

Butter: It seems safe enough, but butter can leave a mark. Pretreat with liquid detergent and wash on the hottest recommended water setting.

Chocolate: Don't let chocolate sundaes ruin your Saturday attire. To remove chocolate stains, pretreat the fabric with liquid detergent. Then, put in your washing machine on high heat.

Frosting: Covered in frosting? Cleanup is a cakewalk. Simply wipe away excess frosting, pretreat with detergent, and rub it in. After 5 minutes, wash the stained garment or cloth on high heat.

Grass: Presoak the fabric for at least 30 minutes in warm water with a powder detergent that contains enzymes. This will help loosen and break down grass stains.

Grease: Quickly blot the stain with a clean cloth napkin or paper towel. Some experts recommend sprinkling on a packet of artificial sweetener to soak up as much grease as possible. Never run water on stains that contain grease or oil. Treat with a bleach-free dishwashing soap that cuts grease before washing in cold water.

Ice Cream: Soak the garment for at least 30 minutes in a mixture of cool water and enzyme-filled detergent. This will help soften and release the milk protein. Then launder as usual.

Juice: Grab a towel or napkin and soak up as much juice as possible. Then rinse stain with cold water from the back of the garment.

Ketchup: First, scrape away as much of the ketchup as possible a knife or spoon. If possible, rinse the stain from back to front with cool water. Then, gently rub a little detergent into the stain and let it sit 5-10 minutes.

Mud: First, be sure to dislodge any debris and rinse it out with cold water. Presoak the material in warm water with powder detergent for at least one hour.

Sunscreen: Soak up the sun, not the stain. Get rid of any excess sunscreen with a paper towel. Then rub the stain with laundry or dishwashing detergent. Wash immediately.

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Rejoice and Recycle

Rejoice and Recycle

Created by: Glad

Hosting an outdoor party? Don't throw recycling out the window. Sorting makes it easy to keep things green. Follow these three easy tips and delight in your earth-friendly ways.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a trash bag, recycling bag, duct tape, and a permanent marker.
  2. Tape your trash bag to a table. Simply take a section of the top and tape it to the edge of your table. Make sure you leave a have a big enough opening to make things easy for guests.
  3. Label your bags. Use tape as a label to differentiate between trash from recyclables—and to separate different recyclable materials.

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Dirt Cups

Dirt Cups

Created by: Kraft

No creepy crawlies here! These dirt cups make snacking fun, earthy, and tasty.

Cook time: 0 min | Prep time: 15 min + Refrigeration | Yields: 10 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 15 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups), divided
  • 10 Worm-shaped chewy fruit snacks
Directions:
  1. Beat pudding mix and milk in large bowl with whisk for 2 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Stir in whipped topping cream and about 1/2 cup of the cookie crumbs.
  2. Spoon into 10 (6 or 7 oz.) paper or plastic cups; top with remaining cookie crumbs.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Top with fruit snacks just before serving.
Notes:

  • – Dirt cups can also be served frozen. Prepare as directed; cover tightly with foil. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

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Rainbow Cups

Rainbow Cups

Created by: Kraft

These colorful cups feature layer after layer of flavor.

Cook time: 0 min | Prep time: 20 min + Refrigerating | Yields: 8 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, divided
  • 1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
  • 1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin
  • 1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
  • 1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
Directions:
  1. Boil 3/4 cup water. Add to blue gelatin mix in small bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Refrigerate 10 min.
  2. Pour half the blue gelatin into separate small bowl. Add 1/4 cup yogurt; mix well. Spoon into 8 clear (6-oz.) cups. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until gelatin is set but not firm. Meanwhile, let remaining blue gelatin sit at room temperature until ready to use.
  3. Cover creamy gelatin layers in cups with remaining blue gelatin. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until set but not firm. Meanwhile, boil 3/4 cup of the remaining water. Add to lime gelatin mix in separate small bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Continue as directed to make a total of 8 layers. Top with whipped topping before serving.
Variation:

  • Prepare as directed, substituting 13x9-inch dish for the 6-oz. cups. Use cookie cutters to cut dessert into desired shapes before serving.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Cocoa Phones

Cocoa Phones

Created by: Kraft

What do you get when you pair two sweet classics? A deliciously fun treat your guests are sure to love.

Prep Time: 15 min. plus freezing | Makes: 6 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 1 3/4 cups cold milk
  • 3 Tbsp. Planter’s Cocktail Peanuts, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut, toasted
  • 2 bananas,cut into thirds
Directions:
  1. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat the pudding mix and milk together in a medium bowl with a whisk for 2 minutes. Place nuts and coconut in separate small bowls.
  2. Insert the wooden popsicle stick into one end of each banana piece. Dip, one at a time, into pudding, turning to completely coat banana. Dip in nuts; place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with two of the remaining banana pieces. Dip remaining banana pieces, one at a time, in remaining pudding, then coconut. Place them on the same baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour.
Substitute:

  • Prepare using 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding.
  • Miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips for the chopped peanuts or toasted coconut.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

JayBee Jibblers

JayBee Jibblers

Created by: Kraft

Meet one of the tastiest treats on the menu. Serve jibblers at any family gathering and they'll be coming back for more.

Prep Time: 10 min. | Makes: 30 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 30 square shortbread cookies
  • 1/4 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
Directions:
  1. Beat pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min. (Pudding will be thick.)
  2. Spoon into resealable plastic bag; press excess air from bag, then seal bag. Cut small piece from one bottom corner of bag; use to pipe pudding onto cookies.
  3. Top with whip cream and blueberries.
Substitute:

  • Prepare using vanilla pudding.
Make Ahead:

  • These portion-controlled treats can be prepared ahead of time. Refrigerate up to 1 hour before serving.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Bee Stingers

Bee Stingers

Created by: Kraft

When the sun's out, life gets a little brighter—especially when you combine two parts chocolate and one part deliciousness. Add chewy, chocolaty goodness to your next party by making a batch of bee stingers.

Prep Time: 15 min. plus refrigerating | Makes: 10 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 15 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed, divided
  • 15 Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
  • 2 Tbsp. pink colored sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. green colored sugar
Directions:
  1. Beat pudding mix and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 5 min. Stir in whipped topping and 1/2 cup cookie crumbs.
  2. Spoon into 10 (6- to 7-oz.) paper or plastic cups; top with remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Cut 10 marshmallows in half. Press the cut sides in sugar to create flower petals. Cut remaining marshmallows lengthwise into quarters. Press cut sides into remaining colored sugar for the flower stems.
  4. Top desserts with marshmallows before serving.
Sand Cups Option:

  • Prepare as directed, using 1 package vanilla instant pudding, and substituting 35 vanilla wafers for the sandwich cookies.
Special Extra:

  • These fun Bee Stinger treats can also be served frozen. Prepare as directed; freeze 3 hours or until firm.
How to Crush the Cookies:

  • Place cookies in resealable plastic bag; roll with rolling pin until finely crushed. Or, process in food processor until finely crushed.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Rainbow Rave Punch

Rainbow Rave Punch

Created by: Kraft

Add a touch of sweet to a cluster of color with bright and tasty Rainbow Rave Punch.

Prep Time: 15 min. plus freezing | Makes: 12 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 qt. (6 cups) water, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. Kool-Aid Unsweetened Drink Mix, any red color
  • 1/4 tsp. Kool-Aid Unsweetened Drink Mix, any orange color
  • 1/4 tsp. Kool-Aid Unsweetened Drink Mix, any yellow or green color
  • 1/4 tsp. Kool-Aid Unsweetened Drink Mix, any blue color
  • 1 bottle (2 liter) carbonated lemon-lime soda, chilled
Directions:
  1. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups water with red drink mix in 2 cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl; pour into ice cube tray. Repeat with remaining drink mixes, using additional ice cube trays as needed.
  2. Freeze several hours or until solid.
  3. Add ice cubes to 10 oz. glasses just before serving. Fill with soda.
Note:

  • Look for inexpensive ice cube trays in discount stores. Store leftover drink mixes in separate airtight containers at room temperature. Sprinkle over scoops of vanilla ice cream, or use to flavor your favorite fruit smoothie.

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Twister Turkey Kabobs

Twister Turkey Kabobs

Created by: Kraft

Introduce a new turkey tradition to your crew with these delicious and fun kabobs.

Prep Time: 10 min. | Makes: 4 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 sticks (1 oz. each) Kraft Twists, cut into thirds
  • 8 slices Oscar Mayer Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, each rolled lengthwise
  • 8 grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise in half
Directions:

Thread ingredients alternately onto 4 skewers. Serve on your favorite platter.
Special Extra:

  • Serve each kabob with 1 Tbsp. Kraft Lite Ranch Dressing.
Keeping it Safe:

  • Grape tomatoes can be a choking hazard. Do not serve to children under 6 years of age.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Berry Lemonade Slush

Berry Lemonade Slush

Created by: Kraft

Guests will love this refreshing berry slush beverage during warm and sunny afternoons.

Prep Time: 10 min. | Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each
 
Ingredients:
  • Country Time Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries or sliced peeled peaches
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups ice cubes
Directions:
  1. Measure drink mix into cap to 1 quart line (1/2 cup).
  2. Let guests choose their fruit then blend water, drink mix and fruit in blender until smooth. Add ice; blend on high speed until thickened.
  3. Serve immediately.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Wiggles & Giggles Birthday Cake

Wiggles & Giggles Birthday Cake

Created by: Kraft

Serve up the giggles and give guests a slice of yum with this easy and colorful cake.

 
Ingredients:
  • 2 baked 9-inch round white cake layers, cooled
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 packages (3 oz. each) JELL-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 4 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups assorted bug- or worm-shaped chewy fruit snacks
Directions:
  1. Place cake layers, top-sides up, in 2 clean 9-inch round pans. Pierce cakes with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals.
  2. Add boiling water to gelatin mixes in small bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Pour over cake layers in pans. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  3. Dip bottoms of cake pans in warm water for 10 seconds, then unmold. Fill and frost cake layers with whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Decorate cake with cookie crumbs and fruit snacks as desired.
Make Ahead:

  • Cake layers can be baked weeks ahead and frozen. Thaw layers, then continue with recipe beginning with piercing the cake layers with fork.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Baked Chicken Kabobs

Baked Chicken Kabobs

Created by: Kraft

Stick to the delicious stuff with these fun and easy-to-make baked chicken kabobs. It's sure to be a guest favorite.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 packet Shake'n'Bake Chicken Coating Mix
  • 2 cups Kraft Cheddar Cheese Cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Moisten chicken with water; shake off excess water. Add 3 or 4 chicken pieces at a time to coating mix in shaker bag and shake to evenly coat. Place chicken in 15x10x1-inch pan. Discard any remaining coating mix.
  2. Bake chicken 15 minutes or until done.
  3. Arrange 3 cooked chicken nuggets, 3 cheese cubes, 2 tomatoes and 1 pineapple chunk on each of 12 skewers.
Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs:

  • Prepare as directed, substituting fresh red and green pepper chunks and mushroom slices for cheese, tomatoes and pineapple. Arrange uncooked, coated chicken and vegetables on skewers. Bake for minutes or until chicken is done and veggies are crisp-tender.
Serving Suggestion:

  • For a delicious dip, serve these easy kabobs with your favorite barbeque sauce and dressing.
Keeping it Safe:

  • Grape tomatoes can be a choking hazard. Do not serve to children under 6 years of age.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Attack of the Gummy Worms

Attack of the Gummy Worms

Created by: Kraft

When gummies attack, how will you respond? Turn a simple cup into a fun and festive treat with these undeniably delicious crawly sweets.

 
Ingredients:
  • 12 worm-shaped chewy fruit snacks
  • 4 JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin Snacks
Directions:

Insert 3 fruit snacks into each gelatin snack. Serve to your eager guests.
Variation:

  • Unmold each gelatin snack into small bowl. Top with fruit snacks and fresh fruit.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Veggie Critter Snacks

Veggie Critter Snacks

Created by: Hidden Valley

Need an awesome recipe your kids can tackle on their own? Task them with creating edible crawling critters using a colorful array of vegetables. From tomato ladybugs to carrot and asparagus butterflies, there’s no telling what they could create. It’s an easy way to get them excited about eating their daily dose of greens. And oranges. And whites. And more.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch Salad® Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 2 (8 oz.) tubs of reduced fat cream cheese
  • Chopped, colorful vegetables (such as: asparagus, cherry, tomatoes, crinkle cut carrots)
Directions:

Add the seasoning mix to the cream cheese and stir until well combined. Use a variety of vegetables—and a little imagination—to build critters with your child.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Bagel Buddies

Bagel Buddies

Created by: Hidden Valley

Tasty food can bring a smile to any face. But what if your food could smile right back at you? Bagel buddies can do just that. All you need is a few bagels, a lot of veggies, and a little creativity.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing
  • ¼ cup whipped cream cheese
  • Various vegetables
  • Whole wheat bagels
Directions:

Split your bagels in half and toast them lightly. Then, mix your dressing and cream cheese in a small bowl. Spread even amounts of the mix over each half. Use your imagination to assemble each face.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Nut-Free Trail Mix

Nut-Free Trail Mix

Created by: Kroger Dietitian Allison Kuhn, RD LD

You don’t need to go nuts with the trail mix. Try this simple and delicious nut-free trail mix as a sweet and savory party bowl filler.

Makes: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup roasted edamame
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame sticks
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and divide portions evenly. Place the mix into small treat bags and tie with a small ribbon for added appeal.
Notes:

  • *Check for "may contain" allergen statements on all items.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Gluten-Free Vanilla Shortcake

Gluten-Free Vanilla Shortcake

Created by: Kroger Dietitian Allison Kuhn, RD LD

Surprise and delight your guests with a fresh baked gluten-free vanilla shortcake.

 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour blend*
  • 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk (cow’s, almond, or coconut)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with gluten-free flour blend.
  2. Combine sugar and melted butter in bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamed. Add 1 egg at a time, beating after each addition. Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out seeds; add to mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour blend mixture, alternating with milk, to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well mixed.
  4. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Store leftovers in airtight container.
Notes:

  • * To make blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, 1 tsp. xanthan gum; store excess in airtight container.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Banana Party Pops

Banana Party Pops

Created by: Kroger Dietitian Allison Kuhn, RD LD

Make your next party pop with flavor. These yummy party pops feature chocolate-dipped, sprinkle-rolled frozen bananas.

Makes: 12 pops
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 medium bananas, cut into thirds
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate*
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 12 popsicle sticks
Directions:
  1. Peel and cut bananas. Place a popsicle stick most of the way into the banana and lay on cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  2. Melt chocolate. Dip the ends of the frozen banana pieces into the melted chocolate and roll in the rainbow sprinkles.
  3. Re-freeze banana pops before serving and store leftovers in freezer.
Notes:

  • * Simple Truth chocolate chips do not contain milk

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

No-Bake Party Snacks

No-Bake Party Snacks

Created by: Kroger Dietitian Allison Kuhn, RD LD

No-bake party snacks are a great option for sensitive snackers. These allergy free bites will be a surefire hit at your next backyard bash.

 
Ingredients:

These snacks are free of gluten and all eight major allergens (wheat, milk, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs).

  • Chilly grapes: Wash and dry sweet red grapes, then freeze in a large plastic bag.
  • Apple chips: Bake or dehydrate thin slices of apples that have been sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • Watermelon pops: Stick a popsicle stick into the base of a chilled watermelon triangle.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Gooey Grilled Cheesewich

Gooey Grilled Cheesewich

Created by: Kraft

The gooey goodness of grilled cheese just took on a new angle that’s perfect for a fun afternoon bash!

 
Ingredients:
  • 4 slices white bread
  • 4 KRAFT Singles
  • 4 tsp. butter or margarine, softened
Directions:
  1. Fill bread slices with Singles to make 2 sandwiches.
  2. Spread outsides of sandwiches with butter.
  3. Cook in skillet on medium heat 3 min. on each side or until golden brown on both sides. Cut into triangles.
Serving Suggestion:

  • Serve these kid-friendly sandwiches at your next party with cut-up fresh fruit. They're sure to be a hit with all your guests!
Backyard Bash Fun:

  • Use cookie cutters to cut these gooey hot sandwiches into assorted shapes.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Edible Garden Centerpieces

Edible Garden Centerpieces

Created by: Hidden Valley

Ready to make the ultimate edible centerpiece? Vegetable arrangements are a fun, easy, and delicious way to add color to your table. Grab your veggies and carve your next delectable gem today.

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup Hidden Valley® The Original Ranch® Light Dressing extra for thinning
  • 8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 2 orange bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • Small tomatoes, radishes, or mushrooms
  • 5-6 snap peas

Directions:

  • Mix your cream cheese and light ranch dressing. This will be your dip.
  • Wash the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Cut jagged edges into the tops of bell peppers and cut out bite-sized pieces.
  • Stick a wooden skewer through the bottoms of each pepper and put a small tomato, radish or mushroom on the end of each skewer as shown. Stick the peas on skewers as well.
  • Arrange in a bowl, flower pot, or on a plate. Dip your skewers in the mix and enjoy!

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Outdoor Mobile

Outdoor Mobile

Created by: Kraft

Get artsy by cutting and crafting a colorful and beautiful mobile out of construction paper. Mobiles are a fun way to string up a little flare—indoors and out.

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes

What you need:

  • String or twine
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Feathers

Directions:

  • Brainstorm! Decide what you would like to hang and scan the internet for fun and creative ways to make it happen. Origami birds are a great option. Search online for instructions on how to craft your very own folding—and flying—masterpiece.
  • Cut and craft. If you want to keep it simple, cut a few hearts, diamonds, and stars out of colorful craft paper. Then use a hole puncher or scissor tip to make a hole at the top of your creation.
  • String and hang. Take your string or twine and run it through the hole. If you’re using twine, you can twist it around itself to create more support—and suspend it from a hanger or tree. If you use string, simply wrap it around a tree or another high-hanging object to put your craft skills on display.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

Tablecloth Keepsake

Tablecloth Keepsake

Created by: Kraft

You can't capture everything with photographs. Buy a paper tablecloth for your next party so you can keep oodles of guest-created doodles.

What you need:

  • White cloth or paper sheet
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Paint

Directions:

  • Choose your canvas. Paper or cloth? Choose a material and get ready to make long-lasting mementos for your next gathering. White cloth or paper sheets are ideal.
  • Pass out your tools. Put your markers, brushes, pencils, and crayons in different jars. Use finger paints for toddlers, crayons for young children, and markers for the older kids.
  • Kickstart the creativity. Draw up a few tic-tac-toe boards and use stencils to create fun drawings for colorings projects. You can also write out prompts and hold a friendly competition amongst doodlers.
  • Save and preserve. After the meal, spot clean splatters and spills. Then, place paper towels over crayon drawings and iron to set the children’s clever creations. You may want to laminate the keepsake to ensure that it stays in one piece. Store in a cool dry place.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

The Kid Stays in the Picture

The Kid Stays in the Picture

Created by: Kraft

Show smiling faces in your party spaces. Cut and paste a few of your favorite snapshots of the birthday girl or boy and paste them onto paper plates. Then, hang them for all to see.

What you need:

  • Paper plates
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Enlarged and cropped photos
  • String or twine
  • Masking tape

Directions:

  • Enlarge your favorite photos of your guest of honor. Then cut out a circle the size of the flat part of your plate.
  • Stick the circular photo to the front of the plate using multi-purpose glue.
  • Decorate the rim of the plate to match the theme of your party.
  • Poke a hole at the top of your plate and run a string through the hole. Then hang it from trees or other high-hanging objects. You can always tape the string to the ceiling with masking tape.

View Party Plan: Backyard Birthday Bash

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