I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but I have a special treat for you today, wrapped up in a pretty pink ribbon. I’m happy to welcome my friend, Marla Meridith to RE! Her blog is fabulous and she has healthy recipes, creative ideas, and wonderful advice. Watch out, Family Fresh Cooking just might become your new favorite blog :)

Today I asked Marla to share about entertaining with kids, because even though mine are teens now (love the teen years, by the way!), there’s still so much to glean and learn from others.

So … here’s Marla!

Breakfast cookies in white bowl with pink ribbon.

Thank you Sandy for inviting me to your place for a virtual tea party! It is wonderful to be a guest here at The Reluctant Entertainer. Like a lot of you out there I get a bit nervous when I know other folks are coming over for a visit. I get the meal planning when it comes to cooking for my family, but guests are a whole other phenomena.

It is like we are on stage and sometimes the biggest critics are little kids.

Kids are not scared to share their true opinions and feelings, especially when you least expect it.

I know it is fun to overindulge our guests with big sugary treats, but the reality is we can offer up delicious foods and goodies that don’t have refined sugars and overly processed ingredients. I am gonna share with you some quickies you can prepare on the fly for when little ones and their bigger counterparts are popping over for a visit.

The goal at my blog Family Fresh Cooking is to invite people into the world of healthy eating. Making whole foods pretty, accessible and delicious are what I am all about and what I love to share with you.

No “Kid” Food Here

In our house our kids eat what we eat. Even if it is something I know they probably won’t really want I encourage them to try it. I always have back ups of healthy sprouted grain bread, cream cheese, organic cheese slices, natural nut butters and fruit sweetened jams for on the fly back ups. PB & J sandwiches and grilled cheese are acceptable over here as long as they are made out of quality ingredents. Meal time should not be about arguments, it should be fun and relaxing. If you are having little kids over offer them the meal you have prepared, but perhaps you have these back ups available too.

Here are a few sandwiches and some special pancakes that can be served any time of day.

Small Portions Are Cool

Overindulging is fun but not very satisfying when all is said and done. In our house it works best to have a salad plate filled with lots of little things. It is fun to taste a lot of flavors and the smaller plate size keeps portions in check. If a child or adult does not like something they can easily push it to the side or even have it taken off the plate without wasting too much food. Filling a large dinner plate encourages overeating or adds too much stuff to the trash.

Here are a few little bites that become larger if you add some protein such as grilled chicken breast, tofu, ground meat, etc.

Nice Nibbles to have on Hand

My take on treats: even when I have guests I like to stick to a healthy eating plan. It is fun to show people that whole food ingredients can be just as pretty and tasty as their higher calorie counterparts. Ice pops can be made days ahead. Cookies and bars can be made ahead of time too. I always keep heavy whipping cream and light whipped cream cheese in the fridge for decorative frosting on the fly. A little stevia, maple syrup or honey are quick sweeteners that add more flavor than sugar.

Here are a few sweet treats that can be made ahead of time. They are healthy foods that only seem like big indulgences.

Creator Family Fresh Cooking - welcome page on recipe blog.

Feel free to contact me if you would like product suggestions, comments or to say “hi.” I can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and at the local coffee shop.

Find more of my recipes and healthy lifestyle tips on my blog Family Fresh Cooking.

All photography in this post is by me.

Thanks, Marla!

I know in recent posts, while sharing about whole foods and healthy living, many readers have viewed their opinions and concerns of the “cost” involved in eating healthy.

Do you watch the sugar intake in your family’s diet?

What does “healthy” eating mean to you, or do you worry about the cost?