Many parents dread birthday parties because they often result in their child turning into a sugar filled, hyperactive monster! So is there a way to have a stress free but healthy children’s party? Here are some tips to help.
limit the number of Invitations
Don’t invite too many children! This not only makes it expensive but also will create chaos! Let your child pick a certain number of friends to invite & send the invitations out well in advance.
How to serve healthy food & drink
Just because it is a party, there is no need to make sugary foods full of artificial colours & additives. You can offer healthy food in fun ways such as –
- Fruit cut up in different shapes – use cutters to make fruit fun (e.g. watermelon hearts & apple stars) or make fruit kebabs.
- Dips are great as children love to use veggie sticks to dip & this is a great alternative to crisps & crackers.
- To control portion sizes, place food in individual containers such as popcorn in a brightly coloured cupcake case. Also consider giving each child a party box of food. You can order boxes in different themes (e.g. jungle animals) & fill them up in advance. This limits the food you need to provide & also controls who gets what!
- Cut sandwiches into different shapes with biscuit cutters or sandwich cutters (Trendy Lil Treats has a great range) Avoid highly processed bread & fillings & opt for healthier fillings such as avocado, pesto & chicken, cheese.
- Look for low sugar alternatives. There are lots of recipes online which provide low sugar alternatives suitable for parties. We have recipes for Bliss balls, pancakes, frozen fruit smoothies & homemade popsicles (use our Sinchies Pops) These are all great alternatives to sugar laden cakes & biscuits. Smoothies can be portioned out into our reusable pouches and kids can take them home after, which is also a great idea instead of a lolly bag.
- To decorate cakes, opt for decorations that are made with natural food colourings & are additive free.
- Get table decorations so that it is in the party theme. This will make it all look much more appealing! Consider the use of paper plates & cups rather than plastic options as they can be recycled.
- Offer water to drink. Usually children are so hot & tired after their party games that they are perfectly happy with a cup of water. Write the children’s name on the cups so they know which one is theirs. You could use water bottles and label each bottle with the child’s name. Also remember fruit juice often contains added sugar & additives so can cause a reaction in some children.
- Quality over quantity! Opt for high quality ingredients & limit the number of options available. Good quality meats, fruit & vegetables & flours etc will not only taste better but they are healthier for us too.
- Consider the parents – cater for a few extra people so everyone can have something to enjoy at the party tea!
How to make fun and healthy party bags
This is an area where you can over complicate things & also spend a small fortune. Think about what you are going to include well in advance. Items such as seeds to plant, fresh strawberries (which they could go hunting for), some homemade play doh or some stickers are usually popular with the children & their parents. If you do want to include sweet treats, only include 1 or 2 items & go for low sugar, additive free options if possible. Use our Sinchies sandwich bags or wrap bags as a loot bag, that way they get something to reuse. Alternatively decide not to have any party bags – you don’t have to have them!
What to do when Attending a Party
You have less control when you are guests at the party but you can still take steps to make sure it is as healthy & stress free as possible.
Keep the party a surprise
Try to have the party as a surprise! Children will wind themselves up as the day of the party approaches so if they don’t know the day it is on, then they can’t get so overexcited. So keep it as a surprise!
Plan ahead for the party
If you are organised a few days in advance then this makes the day of the party run more smoothly. Make sure you have read the invitation so you know the time & venue. Have a dress up costume ready if needed. Also make sure you have a present & it is all wrapped ready to go. Don’t forget the birthday card. I love it when my children make a birthday card to give to the birthday girl or boy as I think this is so much more special than a shop bought card – plus it is cheaper too!
Allergies and intollerances
If your child has allergies or intolerances then it is a good idea to pack a little lunchbox to take with you. Try to make the foods you take different than those in their school lunchbox or they will feel they are missing out. Also tell the host in advance that your child has allergies but you will cater for them.
Take a plate
It is always appreciated if you take a plate to share at a party. This also gives you the opportunity to take some healthy options!
It is always a good idea to have something to eat a few hours before the party that is wholesome & good for them. This should reduce their desire for junk food & encourage them to make more healthy choices.
Chances are your child will be tired after the party so try to plan some quiet time afterwards so they can wind down & recover. Hopefully by following the tips you have avoided them coming home full of sugar & you can have some downtime to have a herbal tea & recover yourself.
With some advance planning, a healthy & low stress children’s party is possible. A party is a time for the children to have fun & as such, it is a time to have a more relaxed approach to what they eat & what they do. However, a healthy party is still possible by creating some exciting party foods which the wee ones will never realise are actually good for them too!