Ideas and recipes for easy, healthy July 4th appetizers and snacks that are red, white and blue – great for kids and adults!
Today I’ve got some easy, festive and fun July 4th appetizers for you! It’s all about the red, white and blue over here for the upcoming holiday. 🇺🇸
Funny side story: When M was 18 months, we were splashing in the bath and that was a favorite time for me to bring up random topics to discuss: colors, shapes, but also geography, history, even politics. This was in 2012, so there was a presidential election going on.
I told her – and repeated for a few weeks – that our current president was “Obama.” It’s very similar to “mama” so I knew she’d be able to get it.
And it was always, “Who’s the president?” M: “Obama!”
Well, a couple weeks later at school, it’s February and President’s Week and they are talking about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Her teachers say “president” and M goes, “Obama.”
They were floored! Couldn’t wait to tell me about it at pick-up that day and we all laughed. She’s a smart cookie. 😉
Anyway, we love to be patriotic and the kiddos love them some American flags. So I wanted to come up with some healthy, delicious red, white and blue foods.
No food coloring or artificial flavors here. (Just like my red, white and blue yogurt parfaits from last week.)
And, let’s be honest, nothing that requires too much creativity. Not my strong suit.
So here are a few super easy July 4th appetizers that are great for kiddos and adults alike. (And some bonus ideas down below!)
Easy July 4th appetizers and snacks:
- Fruit and cream cheese mini sandwiches
- Homemade popcorn with dried blueberries and cranberries
- Fruit and mozzarella ball skewers with balsamic vinaigrette
And because I can’t stop there, here’s the details on some other red, white and blue ideas that are part of the collage and video in this post.
4. Rice cakes with peanut butter (or almond butter) and bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Drizzle with honey if desired. (It’s also fun sprinkled with chia seeds if you have some.)
5. Mini bagels with cream cheese and strawberries and blueberries. They are so pretty! (You can drizzle these with honey and sprinkle with chia seeds too!)
All of these little bites are perfect for pool parties, backyard BBQs and picnics all summer long, not just on the Fourth of July. Because who can resist some pretty hand-held food?!
The fruit and cream cheese sandwiches are something I could happily snack on daily for breakfast or a snack. They are dainty, fruity and take just minutes to make up!
And you can change them up a bit by switching out the fruits or using a fruit jam instead of fresh fruit.
For instance, use strawberry jam in the sandwich and top with a blueberry. Or use blueberry or grape jam in the sandwich and top with strawberry slices or a raspberry.
The popcorn with dried blueberries and cranberries was probably my kids’ favorite.
They both love my homemade popcorn, which is normally reserved for our very recent (and still very rare) family tradition of movie night. (They’re still really young, so that’s why it’s new.)
So it was a surprise to make them this fun popcorn snack!
It’s a great crunchy and chewy combo, with a little salty and a little sweet. All around delectable. And I love that it’s a whole grain treat! 🙌
(No worries though if you want to use regular store-bought popcorn in the bag and just doctor it up. That’s fine too!)
We were all fans of the fruit and cheese skewers. Little bites of handheld goodness.
Notes on making the fruit skewers:
- I sliced a very thin sliver off the bottom of the strawberries so the little boats would sit up straight.
- I halved the mozzarella balls so these would be more bite-size manageable. (This will depend on what kind/size you can find at your store.)
- I served ours with balsamic vinegar. I like mine dipped in it, though the kiddos like theirs plain.
- These fruit boats pack well. Hubby and I took some to one of our symphony festival picnics to have as a fancy but super duper easy appetizer.
So there you have it, a few easy and fun ideas for your 4th celebrations!
What are your plans for the 4th? Hope you have a safe and happy one!
P.S. Don’t forget to watch the short VIDEO for making these fun treats!
Oh and you may also want to check out my 4th of July fruit kabobs for another fun, festive appetizer!
For the mini fruit and cream cheese sandwiches:
- 4 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed (see notes)
- 1/4 cup plain cream cheese (reduced fat is fine)
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (or use strawberry jam)
- About 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
For the popcorn:
- 4 cups popcorn (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher sal
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries
For the fruit and cheese skewers:
- 12 strawberries, halved (see notes)
- 24 fresh blueberries
- 12 mini mozzarella balls, halved (packed in water, usually found near the deli section in the grocery store)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
For the sandwiches:
- Spread half of the bread slices with cream cheese.
- Top with sliced strawberries then top with the other bread halves. Cut sandwiches into triangles.
- Top with a blueberry and a toothpick and serve!
For the popcorn:
- Make popcorn: Add 1/4 cup corn kernels to a large microwave-safe glass or Pyrex bowl. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes, until popping sounds are 3-4 seconds apart. Remove carefully (use oven mitts - the bowl and lid will be hot!) Remove top immediately to release excess steam.
- Add butter and salt to popcorn and stir to combine. If you are using a store-bought popcorn bag or prepared popcorn, skip the butter and salt here.
- Add dried cranberries and blueberries and stir to combine.
- Serve and enjoy!
For the fruit and cheese skewers:
- Place strawberry half on a plate. Use a toothpick or skewer to add and secure a mozzarella slice and blueberry on top.
- Serve on a platter with a bowl of balsamic vinegar for dipping, if desired, and enjoy!
You can also leave the crusts on if you prefer. My son tends to eat all the crusts from the sandwiches, which is great because I hate wasting food. However, you could also use the extras to make homemade breadcrumbs or croutons. Or toast up the crusts in a toaster oven or broil in the oven for crunchy sticks to spread with cream cheese or peanut butter or to dip into hummus or guacamole.
You can also substitute strawberry jam for the fresh strawberries in the sandwiches. Or use blueberry or grape jam and sliced strawberries in the sandwiches. And you could make them with mini-bagels or English muffins.
For the fruit-cheese skewers, I cut a very thin slice off the bottom of the strawberries so they will sit flat.