When hungry teenagers descend on your home for a party, they'll be looking for delicious appetizers as soon as they walk in the door. Make sure you have plenty of options on hand. Because some teens still have food biases and unsophisticated palates, offer some appetizers that allow them to choose their own ingredients.
Build Your Own
Let the teens dictate what will be on their plates. Serve nachos with fixings on the sides. Melt cheese over tortilla chips as a starting point and let the kids add beans, meat, green onions, tomatoes and salsa as they prefer. Do the same with simple English muffin pizzas, laying out a couple different kinds of cheese, pepperoni, salami and lots of veggies for the vegetarians. For a healthy option, offer lean turkey or chicken sausage slices. The pizzas are easy to pop into the microwave if some extra warming is needed.
Although teens might not request them, if you offer vegetables, chances are they will get eaten. Keep the kids healthy by serving up a big platter of nutritious options. Instead of the typical broccoli, carrots and celery, add some unusual ingredients like jicama, sugar snap peas, asparagus and zucchini. Include bowls of different types of dip for added flavor. Another way to get vegetables on the table is to grill them on skewers on the barbecue, or serve cold vegetable kabobs with cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices and bell pepper.
Teens love to dip, so have plenty of options available. Buy several varieties of hummus and serve it with fresh pita bread, pita chips or cut-up vegetables. Tortilla chips and salsa are always favorites. For teens who don't enjoy spicy salsas, provide a ranch-flavored black bean dip. Don't forget potato chips and dip. If you want to keep the selections healthy, opt for baked chips. Spinach and artichoke dip is one way to get a few vegetables in the mix.
Buy a bag of precooked frozen shrimp and thaw it according to the directions. Prepare and add a delicious marinade or cocktail sauce and serve the shrimp with toothpicks for easy snacking. The same can be done with packaged meatballs. Add them to an electric skillet or pot with barbecue sauce or marinade. They can simmer at the party all night. Choose turkey meatballs for a healthier option.
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Jill Davis started writing professionally in 2006. She has had articles published in "Yogi Times" and "Orange Pealings" magazines. Davis received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University, Long Beach.