A healthy kids birthday party… yes it is possible.
When my oldest son turned a year we went all out on his party. He was our first child and we wanted to celebrate in style so we fed everyone and we fed them well. We had a barbeque for the adults. We had chips and cake and biscuits and sweets for the children. Looking back I can’t believe that we had so much sugar on offer for one year olds! I blame it on being young, ignorant parents.
When you start planning your child’s party, you naturally assume you need to have brightly coloured sweets, cake smothered in decadent icing and bowls of chips. What is a birthday, if not a chance to pig out, right?
Wrong! It is possible to plan a very successful birthday party that has healthier choices.
I hosted my son’s 11th birthday party this year and my youngest 2nd , here are a few of the things I have learnt along the way.
- Fruit platters are a great substitute for sweets. Kids love digging into watermelon, oranges and apples.
- Kids don’t need all the food you want to provide. More often than not they are so busy playing they don’t really notice the 6 bowls of chips out – so just put one out and I promise you it will be enough.
- Swap fizzy drinks for fruit juice or even water. Put it in bottles with pretty labels and brightly coloured straws and they will be lining up for it.
- Muffins are a great alternative to cupcakes covered in icing and they enjoy them just as much.
- An alternative to chips is peanuts and raisins or mixed nuts.
- Provide a meal. Even if it is mini hamburgers or hot dogs, if you provide them with a meal at the start of the party they are less likely to want to snack. We made hot dogs for my son’s party and the boys never asked for anything more until they watched their movie, then they wanted some chips. • Bake rather than buy. A lot of the store bought cookies and cake have so many things added to them that don’t need to be. By baking them yourself you know what is going into them, especially if you are catering for children with allergies.
- Don’t send home sugar packed party packs, choose rather a small toy/book or a healthy snack like dried fruit. A friend of mine gave each child a bottle of cookie ingredients to make at home. For my youngest party I made a cookie for each child with their initial and gave them that together with a small toy that fitted the theme.
Birthday parties can be grand celebrations and healthy at the same time!