I am the parent of the two pickiest eaters on the planet. My son won't eat anything not covered in hot sauce, and my daughter just won't eat anything that isn't bacon and eggs or made with sugar. Getting them to eat is one thing, getting them to eat a themed meal is a Herculean task. Thankfully, there are a surfeit of creative, inspired recipes on the internet, so finding kid-friendly foods for St. Patrick's Day is as easy as a few clicks.
I know that I am never going to get my kids to agree to eat corned beef and cabbage or anything braised in Guinness. Beer cheese soup? Maybe. Pot roast and potatoes? Nope. There's a method to getting children to eat new foods, and for me, that's finding something in the dish that's already familiar to them, and exploiting the hell out of it. They like chicken fingers? Well, then maybe I can get them to eat these baked bacon cheddar chicken tenders. If that doesn't work, I'm not going to lie, I have been known to bribe my kids to eat. I'm not proud of it, and it's probably the worst parenting decision ever, but dang it, I can't watch my daughter eat one more bread and butter sandwich, I just can't. Especially not on a holiday. Hopefully these recipes will entice her.
1. Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats
This Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats recipe from Cookies and Cups is surely magically delicious. Kids will swoon over the combination of frosting, marshmallow, and sprinkles.
2. Guinness Beef Shepherd's Pie
This recipe has gravy, meat, and mashed potatoes. It's simple, but the flavors are layered. It could easily be made with corned beef for the holiday, and kids will love this Guinness Beef Shepherd's Pie from Baked By Rachel because of the yummy, creamy potatoes.
3. Loaded Baked Potato Dip
Just look at that baked potato dip. Bacon, cream, cheese, and potatoes. This loaded baked potato dip from Crepes of Wrath is essentially mashed potatoes with a megaphone. And sure, you could dip into it with something healthy like peppers or cucumbers, but I'd go with potato chips personally.
4. Corned Beef Hash
There is one real reason that this corned beef hash from Damn Delicious will draw children like bees to nectar — ketchup. Each piece would be delicious dipped in ketchup.
5. Thin Mint Brownie Cheesecake
My daughter loves all things minty and chocolate. If given the choice, she'd have mint chocolate ice cream for every dessert occasion. This thin mint brownie cheesecake from Inside BruCrew Life is a gorgeous show stopper, and kids will love it.
6. Ranch Beer Bread
If you don't love ranch dressing, I don't know if we can be friends. It's easily one of my favorite foods on the planet. This ranch beer bread from Cookies and Cups could be made with a good Irish beer, and the crunchy ranch coating would be amazing with butter.
7. Broccoli Cheddar Ale Soup
If your kids love Panera's broccoli cheddar soup, they'll love this broccoli cheddar ale soup from Naturally Ella. It's a richer, fresher version of that amazing soup, and it's filling enough to be a meal.
8. Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
This recipe for mint chocolate cheesecake from Baked by Rachel is a fairly simple one. The ingredients are easy to source, and the steps are basic and well-written. Plus, this one is really easy to portion for crowds.
9. Mashed Potato & Chive Waffles
This recipe for mashed potato and chive waffles from Brooklyn Supper is as much for the day after St. Patrick's Day as it is for the holiday itself. It's a great way to use up mashed potatoes, and who doesn't love a butter divot?
10. Beer Cheese
Who doesn't like beer cheese dip? Monsters and the lactose intolerant, that's who. I would put on a pretzel bikini and wade through this beer cheese dip from Brooklyn Supper with a smile on my face. I would probably not encourage my children to do the same, but they'll still gladly eat it.