Four Recipes: Tasty treats for your child’s birthday

If you have a child with a birthday coming up, here are some tasty dishes for the ultimate treat. And if you’re watching your wallet or happy to blow the budget, fear not because we have plenty of recipes right here, both sweet and savoury.

Cheese and Chive Chickpea Dip

This dip is seriously creamy and cheesy, made with chickpeas so it’s full-to-bursting with protein – a wonderful way to get your little ones to up their veg intake.

Serve alongside breadsticks, chopped carrots, cucumber pieces for dipping, and as a treat, plate up some McCain’s Crispy French Fries. Kids will especially adore dipping them in the delicious sauce.


  • 200g cooked chickpeas
  • 200g cottage cheese
  • 75g grated mature Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Tip the chickpeas, cottage cheese and grated cheese into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  • If the texture is slightly too thick, pour in the milk and blitz again.
  • Combine the chopped chives and then scatter with salt and pepper.
  • Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.


Hidden-Veg Chocolate Muffins

These delicious chocolate muffins contain courgette. They’re delectably moist and are made with a blend of white or rye flour. Nut free with zero refined sugar, they’re a truly healthy option.


  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 60g rye flour/plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 100ml honey or maple syrup
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 1 medium courgette grated and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 60ml whole milk


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
  • In a bowl, combine the self-raising flour, rye flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside.
  • Pour the vegetable oil, honey or maple syrup and egg into a mixing bowl. Beat well for a couple of minutes using a handheld mixer, stand mixer or using a wooden spoon.
  • One after another, add the grated courgette, mashed banana and milk, whisking a little after each addition.
  • Lastly, fold in the flour and chocolate mixture.
  • Load each muffin case to two-thirds full with the mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for roughly half an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Put to one side in the tin for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack.


Cheat’s Sausage Rolls

If there’s one snack that goes down a real treat, it’s the humble sausage roll. In this recipe, we use chipolata sausages rather than sausage meat to make the process speedier and wrap them in strips of puff pastry. This means minimal prep time!


  • 12 pork chipolata sausages
  • 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cover two oven trays with baking paper.
  • Unfurl the pastry and slice it into 12 equal strips. Use the pastry strips to cover each chipolata, so they’re even enough to wrap around the sausage. Using a knife, cut away the extra pastry.
  • Lay each wrapped sausage on the baking trays and coat with the beaten egg.
  • Scatter with sesame seeds and bake in the oven for roughly half an hour.
  • Once cooked, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve right away.


Three-Minute Strawberry Vanilla Popcorn

Concoct this deliciously sweet strawberry and vanilla popcorn in just three minutes. With zero oil, this flavoursome snack makes a healthy treat for your children. All you need is a brown paper bag – it’s so easy and can be done in a matter of minutes in the microwave.


  • 100g popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp freeze dried strawberries


  • Pour the popcorn kernels into a brown paper bag. Pop in the microwave for between two minutes and two minutes 20 seconds (this will depend on the strength of your microwave). Move the popcorn to a large bowl.
  • Using a small bowl, combine the honey and vanilla extract. Then drizzle this over the popcorn and mix up thoroughly. Tip in the freeze-dried strawberries and stir once again.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!

If you’re throwing a special party for one of your children and need fun, speedy ideas, these recipes are picked out especially for little hands (and with no-nonsense prep).

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