Planning your child’s party can be a fun and exciting time, but how do you feed all those hungry mouths and keep it tasty and nutritious? These five simple tips can help make sure everything runs smoothly while providing a few healthy options for little partygoers.
1. Serve Food in the Correct Order
Stagger foods so little ones don’t fill up on sugar. Bringing out savoury ‘protein rich’ foods first will help fill their hungry tummies and ensure that any sugary foods consumed later are absorbed slowly.
Protein rich foods like meat, chicken, fish, eggs and cheese help delay stomach emptying, which sustains appetites for longer. Good ideas include sandwiches, hamburgers, homemade sausage rolls, pies, mini pizzas, quiches, chicken drumsticks or tuna or chicken sushi.
2. Provide Lots of Water
Children need plenty of water when running around at a party. Provide chilled fresh water in a dispenser or colourful jug so they can fill their own cups.
3. Avoid the ‘Mega’ Lolly Bowl
Large bowls of lollies, chips and chocolates look extremely appealing to little ones, but they sometimes don’t know when to stop!
Providing individual snack-sized packets helps ensure they don’t overeat and it eliminates lots of little hands touching the food and ‘double dipping’.
4. Make personalised party plates
Give each child their own plate containing a selection of foods so you can control how many sweets or chips each child has and no one misses out. Plus you can easily cater for children with special dietary needs or allergies.
Wrap colourful plastic plates with cellophane and tie with vibrant bows or ribbons to make a hamper. Kids will feel like they’re receiving their own food present!
You can include small flavoured milk poppers, dried, canned or small pieces of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cheese and biscuits, pretzels, small packs of low saturated fat chips, popcorn or hummus with vegetable sticks.
5. Bake Birthday Muffins as a Cake Alternative
Mini muffins decorated like cupcakes let you portion control how much cake each child gets. Choose a muffin recipe that uses fresh fruit such as blueberries or bananas and wholemeal flour. Then decorate with cream cheese icing (containing protein) and a small amount of icing sugar to provide a nutritious alternative to the traditional birthday cake. Display the decorated muffins on a cake stand for that finishing touch.