Dietitian's Tips on Hosting a Healthy Kids Party
When children are young it is often parents who get just as much (if not more!) enjoyment from planning a family birthday party. The theme has to be chosen, the colour scheme needs to match, and most importantly, how do you strike a balance between healthy food and a little fun party food? So, if you want to keep your party offerings relatively healthy (without losing the party vibe) here are my tips to strike a balance.
Tip 1: Remember, little ones under three or four-years-old will not remember the party
As harsh as this sounds it is good motivation to serve the foods that you know are best for the little ones, rather than the party treat you and the other adults like. At these ages kids are just as likely to get excited about fresh fruits and yoghurt ice blocks as they are lollies and cake, so there is no need to feel guilty about serving mostly healthy options.
Tip 2: Think small
Little tummies need tiny amounts of food, and this is the reason so many small children get physically sick after a few too many party treats. This means that serving a few mini cupcakes, cake pops or mini individual chocolates will be more than enough sweet food for them to get a sugar and party hit from.
Tip 3: You can make healthier versions of everything if you want to
When it comes to the cake, remember that there are many low-sugar options—you could even have a watermelon cake. There is also ice cream and frozen yoghurt cakes which are a great healthy substitute. And, when buying chocolate and lollies you can purchase or make low-sugar chocolate and lolly options as well. When it comes to the foods you serve at your party it is completely up to you how healthy you make it, but generally, striking a balance between mostly healthy options with a few little treats is a perfect mix for any children’s party.
Tip 4: Go for old time favourites
Sushi, little sandwiches, and cut-up fruit and vegetables with dips will be popular with the little ones. Serving these healthy options first is the easiest way to fill kids up with foods they like at any party prior to serving sugarier party foods.
Tip 5: Avoid sugary drinks
Of all the foods that are poor choices for children, especially small children, any kind of sugar-based drink (think juices, soft drinks, cordials) are particularly bad. Offering only chilled water or milk (perhaps with a flavoured straw!) at any party you host is a major step towards making the party a lot healthier!