One of the things I looked forward to most as a kid was the week-long vacation we’d get around the holidays. Of course, I was happy to sleep in and not have school. But really, I was excited because I knew that was the time I’d help my mom make our secret family recipe fudge. My mom did most of it, but I was there to stir the ingredients together and, obviously, to taste test!

The holidays are a great time to get your kids involved in cooking and baking, helping them to become comfortable in the kitchen. Holiday foods like cookies and mashed potatoes are usually simple recipes that include steps your kids are easily able to help with. Even more so, it’s one of the few times kids get to play and get creative with their food! You can always start with the basics like gingerbread men and gingerbread houses, but here are a few new ideas for spending time in the kitchen with your kids while they’re on holiday break from school.

Banana Snowmen Skewers: Fruit and vegetables aren’t often associated with the holiday spirit, but that’s not to say you can’t make fruits and veggies festive! Try making snowmen out of sliced banana, strawberries, green grapes, kiwi, and mandarin oranges. Four different colors of veggies all in one holiday snack!

Celery Reindeer: If your kids like ants on a log, they’ll love this! Fill your celery boats with peanut butter, or an alternative like sunflower butter if your child has a nut allergy. On one end of the celery, decorate with pieces of pretzel for antlers and chocolate chips for eyes. On the other end, place a raspberry or strawberry wedge for a nose.

Holiday Popcorn Snowman: This recipe uses only four main ingredients and is very similar to making rice crispy treats, except here you’re adding popcorn instead of cereal and forming snowmen. Popcorn is a whole grain packed with fiber, making this a filling snack. Get creative with decorations by using nuts and seeds for eyes and buttons to add some protein and healthy fats.

Peanut Butter Christmas Mice: These are peanut butter cookies with a fun twist. Shape your cookie dough into mice and decorate with peanuts, mini chocolate chips, and more. Take it to the next level by creating your own cookie dough from scratch. Try swapping half of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour for some more nutrients without compromising taste or texture.

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