Let’s be honest; one of the best things about St. Paddy’s Day the excuse to dye your food green. And chances are the kids in your life will be even more psyched about this prospect than you are. But don’t just go throwing food coloring on all kiddo’s regular favorites (green chicken fingers just don’t work, OK?).
This year — instead of the same old green eggs and ham — kick things up a notch with these unique recipes. From shamrock pancakes to green macaroni and cheese, these tasty dishes are festive and kid-approved.
1. Shamrock chips
These shamrock chips are cute and super-easy — with no special baking skills required.
2. Lucky pancakes
Your kids will flip when they see these lucky pancakes on their plate. Yes, you could use green food coloring in your regular pancake mix, but we love how Spabettie secretly amps up the healthy factor by using some stealth spinach to create the green color. Check out the gluten-free, dairy-free recipe on the website.
3. Pistachio St. Patrick’s Day cake
Perfect as a sweet treat in lunch boxes, this St. Paddy’s Day cake simply calls for mixing instant pistachio pudding mix (and a few drops of green food coloring) into yellow cake mix.
4. Green popcorn & pretzel party mix
This green popcorn and pretzel party mix is positively delicious. Combine pretzels, green popcorn, white and semisweet chocolate chips, peanuts, green candy-coated chocolates and decorating sprinkles, and then melt in the microwave.
5. Green crinkle cookies
These soft and chewy cookies are sure to get your kids in the festive spirit. The recipe mixes standard cake mix with green food coloring (and mint flavoring, which we recommend) to create these yummy cookies.
6. St. Patrick’s Day mac & cheese
Your kids will love this recipe because it’s mac and cheese and it’s green. You will love it because the green color comes from healthy veggies, including spinach, broccoli florets and peas. Win-win.
7. Green shamrock cupcakes
How cute is this? Not only does this give you the opportunity to teach your kids how to bake a cake and make frosting from scratch, but it involves plenty of green food dye and — the best part — lots of sprinkles.
8. Shamrock eggs
Your kids may turn their noses up if you tell them they’re about to eat eggs and bell peppers — but if you call them “shamrock eggs” and add some grated cheese… well, that’s another story. Simply slice a green bell pepper to get the shamrock shape, place the slices in a frying pan, and crack an egg in the middle of each one. You can even serve the green eggs with ham.
9. Green fruit skewers
This is such a fun way to get your child to try different types of fruit. On a skewer, stack only green fruit, including apples, pears, honeydew melon, kiwi and green grapes. Add a green ribbon at the top for a festive touch.
10. Green ombré cake
If your kid’s birthday is around St. Patrick’s Day, this gorgeous, truly Instagram-worthy ombré cake is perfect. But be warned: It is fairly labor-intensive. Still, if you can master it, it’ll totally be worth it. Just imagine the kid’s face when the slice is revealed!
A version of this article was originally published in February 2015.