Letting Kids Help With: The New Year’s Eve Party

 You have a lot of food to make. Bring the kiddos into the process. (Photo: Thinkstock)

You have a lot of food to make. Bring the kiddos into the process. (Photo: Thinkstock)

We made it, guys. 2016 is nearly in the rearview mirror. I love this time of year — New Year’s represents a clean slate, a chance to reflect ... followed by a chance to be better and do better (and to make better meals).

But I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve. I’ve never enjoyed the “scene” on that night (or any night if we’re being honest), and I’m not a big fan of the parties. I’d prefer to just be home with my family, off the roads and away from the masses. If it were up to me, we’d do a multi-course meal at home. Still, I know people love their NYE parties.

So, if you’re cooking for a crew, what better time to enlist the wee ones?

 Our prosciutto-wrapped asparagus from Christmas.

Our prosciutto-wrapped asparagus from Christmas.

Here are a few ideas to involve kids of varying ages in the New Year’s Eve party prep action. Kids can:

  • Wrap things in bacon or prosciutto — I like dates, figs and asparagus.
  • Arrange the relish tray or cheese/meat/cracker broad
  • Use a chopper to prep veggies
  • Scoop filling into mushroom caps for stuffed mushrooms
  • Shape the cheese ball (now that we’re dairy-free, I miss this treat so much)
  • Roll meatballs (provided your kid wouldn’t eat the raw meat, grrr)
  • Set/monitor timers
  • Stuff olives for a martini bar
  • Place wine charms on plastic glasses/flutes
  • Stir (non-alcoholic) punch
  • Help you do dishes as you go — hey, a girl can dream; besides, it’s an important lesson to teach

And a couple non-food-releated tasks:

  • Set out decorations/party favors
  • Fill party favor gift bags, if that’s your thing

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration!