When planning a kids birthday party, the first thought is “oh well it only comes around once a year”, then head to the supermarket to stock up on lollies, cakes, chips, and little red sausages.
However, your kids birthday party might only come around once a year, but multiply that by 25-30 kids in the class, plus family and friends kids birthday parties, and theoretically your child could easily go to 2 or more birthday parties in a weekend!! That equates to a lot of sugar and wall climbing!
By honest now, how many of us limit our child’s intake of junk food to birthday parties only. So let’s explore the possibility of providing a choice of healthy, nutritious and interesting food for your child’s next birthday party.
It could be a good idea to ask on the invites if there are any guests coming with food allergies or intolerances, to let you know a week before the party to allow you time to plan, shop and cook.
The most common types of food related conditions are:
- Coeliac – can’t tolerate the protein gluten, found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats.
- Diabetic – a condition where there is too much glucose (sometimes referred to as sugar) in the blood.
- Nut allergies – if you have peanut allergy it’s safer to avoid all nut products.
For this exercise let’s assume that none of your guests have food allergies or intolerances but we still want to provide some healthy choices.
If you follow a few simple rules you’ll have your party food sorted in no time.
- Prepare and cook as much of the food (as time permits) yourself. This way you can be confident of the ingredients while avoiding preservatives, food colouring and additives.
- . Try to avoid putting all the food on the party table at the same time as children will normally go straight for the sweets. Serve savoury food first, followed by sweet.
- Start early cooking and freezing suitable foods.
- Make the food look as interesting and fun as possible by forming shapes and faces. Get the family involved, especially in the last stages of putting it all together.