Regardless of which team you’re rooting for this season, two things is for sure: football fans across the nation know how to celebrate, and no celebration would be complete without some delicious food. From tailgating food in the Fall to Super Bowl spreads in January, “game day” is always synonymous with “irresistible grub.”
You’ll find no shortage of Super Bowl and tailgating recipes on the internet, but many of these delicious bites are mostly geared towards adults. We’re here to say – what about the kids?!
Tailgating the big game with kids can be a total blast. The energy, the music, the anticipation, and yes, the food! But if you don’t have tailgate food for kids, you might have some pretty hungry kids on your hands, and that is fun for Absolutely No One. Before you end up serving your kids a bag of Doritos for lunch, check out our list of kid friendly tailgate recipes and get ready to dig in yourself, because these Game Day recipes are delicious for all ages.
Aside from being delicious, these kid friendly tailgate recipes are also quite easy, because we are parents too, and we know you haven’t got time for elaborate recipes. These recipes are specifically curated to be kid-friendly, with minimal spice or “weird” ingredients like blue cheese, so they’ll score big points with your team of little people.
Easy Pretzel Bites
Every parent knows, kids = carbs. Which is why we are so into this foolproof pretzel bite recipe. No messing around with homemade dough here, this one utilizes premade pizza dough and other pantry staples. It takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, which makes it a great last minute tailgate addition! Paired with some delicious dipping sauces (we like cheese and mustard!), you’ll have an easy to assemble, easily portable appetizer that will keep the kiddos satisfied. Recipe is available here.
P.S. If you DO want to make pretzel bites from scratch, here is an excellent recipe that utilizes an air fryer, so you can have them super fast!
One Pan Turkey Swiss Melt Sliders
Photo credit: Aberdeen’s Kitchen
You really can’t go wrong with sliders of any kind when you’re trying to feed a crowd that includes hungry children. This is one tailgate food for kids that you’ll be reaching for year round, because it’s just so delicious and EASY! Turkey. Swiss. Hawaiian Rolls. It’s comfort food at it’s best, which is exactly what we need this time of year, or any time of year! This kid friendly tailgate recipe takes 30 minutes start to finish, and is made in one pan. One pan meals make me cry happy tears, so I hope this tailgate recipe moves you as much as it moves me. Get the recipe here.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Photo credit: Holly Grainger
This buffalo chicken wrap recipe is awesome for when you are craving some buffalo chicken flavor but don’t want the mess of wings. Complete with crunchy celery and carrot, cream cheese, and buffalo chicken dip, these are sure to be a winner in your house. The wraps can be made ahead of time, are super easy to assemble, and even easier to transport to the parking lot! We love this recipe because it’s also super easy to customize spice level, for little ones who might not be such a fan of spicy foods. Get the recipe here.
Oven-Fried Pickles with Homemade Dill Ranch
Photo Credit: Justine
Are your kids as obsessed with pickles as mine? If so, they’ll go nuts for this take on a classic Southern staple, fried pickles. This kid friendly tailgate recipe is quite simple and healthier than your traditional “fried” food, because you bake them in the oven! Served with some homemade buttermilk dill ranch dip and you’ve got the perfect snack for the big game. Recipe here.
Mom’s Secret Chex Mix
Photo credit: Half Baked Harvest
Ok, this recipe is traditionally more of a Christmas recipe, but we’re telling you, it makes for a perfect tailgate food for kids. It’s literally a “throw together” recipe, aka the best kind, and it will be devoured in no time. So much better than the premade variety you buy at the store. Mix, bake, serve. Could not be easier – or more delicious! Plus, it’s basically a snack, which we all know kids prefer over actual “food.” Here’s the full recipe.
Game Day Taco Dip
Photo credit: My Farmhouse Table
Would it even be football if you didn’t have a seven layer dip? This classic tailgate recipe is a staple for a reason – it’s easy, it’s delicious, and there are never any leftovers to mess with. We love this particular recipe because it’s assembled like a football field. So festive!! And so smart nesting the trays to hold tortilla chips on all sides. Here’s the recipe.
5-Minute Cheddar Bacon Ranch Dip
Photo credit: Gimme Some Oven
Two dips in a row, don’t mind if we do. While your tortilla chips are busy with that taco dip above, your potato chips can find a soulmate here with this tasty 5-minute cheddar bacon ranch dip. Cheddarbaconranch should really be one word – all of our favorite things. 5 minutes start to finish makes this one kid friendly tailgate recipe that is a total no brainer. Plus, kids love anything that gives them an excuse to eat chips as a meal. This is a hearty dip, so leave your thin potato chips at home and break out the thick kettle chips! Full recipe is here.
Pigs in a Blanket
Don’t turn your nose up at this tried and true classic from generations past. We never claimed to be fancy, and these little bites of deliciousness are the perfect kid friendly tailgate food. Paired with some delicious dipping sauces, you’ll have an easy to assemble, easily portable appetizer that will keep them satisfied and let you focus on more important things.
Photo credit: The Girl Who Ate Everything
Cheese stuffed bread of any kind is a surefire hit with any kid, which is why we’re including this amazing tailgate recipe. While they sound quite fancy, they’re actually fridge biscuits stuffed with cubed mozzarella, pizza sauce, and some herbs. They’re incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. If you want to get super crazy, you could even stuff some pepperoni in there. They’re like little pizza balls, but in bite-size kid friendly form. We’re all over that! Here’s the recipe.
We know what you’re thinking. Where’s the chili? Chili is the quintessential game day food, but with kids, it can be hit or miss. Too spicy, too messy, too many utensils - it’s quite risky in our experience. But if you’re ready to take your chances in the name of all that is hearty, here is a classic recipe that never fails to please (it’s our favorite pre-trick-or-treating meal!)
So, are you hungry yet? Game day just got a lot more delicious, I’d say. We hope this list of tailgate food for kids makes your next tailgate party that much easier and more enjoyable. If you have any favorite kid friendly tailgate recipes, please share the love below!