One way of tending to your children’s wellbeing is by making sure what they eat is always nutritious and healthy. This means that, on any given day, you’ll probably cook their meals from scratch, using best quality fresh and raw ingredients. But what do you do when you’re planning a birthday party for them? You’re hosting a whole bunch of children, all with different expectations and dietary habits.
What do you do? Do you budge and serve them the regular, often unhealthy birthday snacks, or do you stick to your beliefs and be creative with some healthy options? Fortunately, nowadays you can have it your way without having to face a rebellion of angry kids. Here are some great ideas for you.
If there’s one thing you can never go wrong with, it’s pizza. Everybody loves it, especially kids. However, instead of ordering from standard pizza places or getting the store-bought pizza dough, you can make your own bite-size versions for the little guests.
Even if you simply make your own dough and be careful about the choice of toppings, it will still be much healthier than what you normally get delivered from restaurants, but if you decide to go through the trouble of making pizza dough out of quinoa, cauliflower or sweet potatoes, you can relax and watch while kids eat as much as they want.
Pita wedges with dip
Another thing that little ones will love is whole-wheat pita bread, which you can cut into wedges, prepare in a toaster oven and serve with a dip. The dip can be any sort of home-made sauce, such as tomato with various herbs and spaces, with a touch of reduced-fat mozzarella, or you can make several versions of hummus, with things like pumpkin or beet. The more colorful they are, the more likely will they be interesting and appealing to your little party animals.
One thing that’s very important when you’re serving healthy food, since many kids will wrinkle their noses at the sight of vegetables, is how you present it. So, if you get some whole-grain crackers and top them with some light cheese, cherry tomatoes and olives in the shape of a ladybird, the children will be more than happy to eat them.
Similarly, if you want to serve fresh veggies, make sure that you cut them into smaller finger-shaped pieces and that you have a variety of dips right next to the vegetable tray. Anything from cottage cheese to pea hummus will do, as long as it’s in a kid-friendly bowl.
There’s no healthier or simpler option for sweet snacks than fresh fruit. They are easy to prepare and brightly colored, which is always a plus as far as kids are concerned. All you have to do is figure a way to serve them. For example, you can use decorative cupcake liners or baking cups and fill them with chopped fruit, or you can put chunks of fruit on skewers and simply lay them out on a tray.
Cutting fruit into various shapes will also do the trick with kids, but if you don’t think you have time for that, you can always opt for healthy catering and have them bring over a couple of attractive fruit platters for the little guys.
Fruit and chocolate combos
You can dip strawberries or banana-halves on a stick in chocolate and turn them into a mouth-watering snack for kids, or you can make little fruit salad bowls out of cones. Simply dip the top of the cones in some melted chocolate, then decorate them with some shredded coconut, crushed nuts or sprinkles and fill them with any sort of fruit you want.
No matter how old you are, ice lollies are always a great treat, so why not make some for your kid’s birthday party? If you have an ice pop maker, great, but if not, you’ll do just fine with some old-fashioned plastic molds. There aren’t many mistakes you can make with ice lollies.
All you need is various fruit, preferably bananas, berries, mango and coconut, some Greek yogurt or almond milk, as well as some dates or honey to sweeten things up a bit. You can add some cocoa powder, cinnamon or even ground oats to the mix, but other than that, there are so many combinations, that every kid will find their favorite one in no time.
When kids get thirsty, you should be ready to offer only what’s best for them. One suggestion would be to stick to water. This doesn’t sound too tempting, especially to kids, but you can show some creativity here, too. Infusing flavor to water is as simple as adding some mashed fruit and perhaps some herbs to a pitcher of water a few hours before your guests arrive.
These are sugar-free drinks with a subtle flavor, and if you’re wondering what kind of fruit is the best for this occasion, you can stick to citruses, berries, pineapple and watermelon. In case you’re making lemonade, feel free to add some honey to make it sweeter.
There’s no need to stray from your healthy path just because you’re throwing your kids a party. Just stay true to your principles and be imaginative about food presentation, and you’ll have a crowd of happy kids at your hands.