I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Arla Dofino. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Cheese is one of my most favorite foods. There are so many ways to enjoy the plethora of flavors, textures and types of cheese that I never cease to be amazed by it. I honestly hadn’t gotten so cheese obsessed until my youngest refused milk once he went to regular food. Cheese became our #1 source of calcium and Vitamin D; so I was on a mission to find a variety of cheeses to intermix with meals. And that’s how Arla Dofino’s family-friendly cheeses (Havarti, Gouda, Edam and Fontina) became our staple.
Arla Dofino has been crafting cheese for over 100 years in Kaukauna, WI! Their products are hormone free, contain few ingredients and the milk comes from known local farmers. They find it important that parents are confident in their products and have healthy snacks for their families; which I completely respect in a brand.
Before I show you some fun Playdate Snack ideas, let me share with you a little bit of information on their different cheeses!
- Creamy Havarti: Creamy Havarti has a buttery and gentle, rich taste, is semisoft and has a mellow aroma. Creamy Havarti is the perfect complement to any meal, adding that perfect creamy touch when used in a sandwich, or shredded over fajitas. Also try it melted on a burger or flatbread, stirred into casseroles or pastas, or cubed for easy, delicious snacking.
- Gouda: Gouda is an extremely versatile cheese that has a rich, buttery, slightly sweet flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. Traditionally covered in a wax rind, Gouda melts beautifully for a wonderful addition to family meals. Try it melted over a grilled chicken dish or in a grilled cheese. Or, enjoy it on a cold sandwich or with fruit as a snack.
- Edam: Edam has a nutty flavor and is slightly salty. With its relatively low fat content, it has a softer texture than many cheeses. As Edam ages, its flavor becomes sharper and its texture more firm. Edam is a flavorful addition to casseroles, pastas and burgers.
- Fontina: Fontina cheese is semi-soft with a mild flavor, and covered in red wax. It is very creamy in texture, and is a seamless enhancement to chicken dishes or melted over vegetables – it even works well in fondue.
You can get all of the different cheeses with mixed herbs and spices as well. Havarti with Jalapeno would be great for Tacos!
I decided to have some fun with Arla Dofino cheeses after opening a package of Gouda and immediately being transported back to the era of arcade games. Tot loves watching these old games and I thought it would not only be fun for the kids during a playdate, but the parents too! All you have to do is use your imagination. Here’s what I used for my snacks.
- Pacman: Arla Dofino Gouda, Blueberries and bits of dried fruits (for the eyes).
- Wreck-It-Ralph: Arla Dofino Creamy Havarti and mini Club crackers.
- Tetris: Cubes of watermelon, cantaloupe and Creamy Havarti.
You can also just let your kids have a lot of fun stacking and building with blocks of cheese and fruit. Who says you can’t play with your food (as long as you eat it)?
The great thing about these cheeses is that they are light and have great texture. Most children are turned off by extremely strong flavors, but the Gouda and Havarti especially are light, buttery and semi-sweet; which makes them perfect for kids! They mix well with a variety of fruits, vegetables, crackers and breads. Other ideas you can try for Playdates are:
- Fun Fondue: kids love dipping foods and it’s a great way for them to try new flavors.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich Shapes: cut different shapes with cookie cutters!
- Mini Cheesy Ka-bobs: Using lollipop sticks, let children add their own fruits, cheese or vegetables!
Playdates are pretty special for us (and the other parents) as this was the first year many of our kids had friends or were even invited over. Those of you with children with delays or special needs understand how blessed it is to have friends for our children. Making playdate’s exciting and fun is just another way to share gratefulness!
Make sure you have healthy snacks and treats available for all the little friends! Check out Arla Dofino for more information about their cheeses, recipes and healthy living. For other fun recipes and snack ideas, make sure to follow #HavartiParty on Twitter!