Kids love junk food. Hey, you can’t blame them, it tastes better than steamed kale, and the sugary sweets they love so much are potent enough to make them run around for hours before collapsing on the couch. And even though it would be infinitely easier to just buy all of the food for a kids’ birthday party, that wouldn’t be the healthiest option. In fact, it might even deter some guests from showing up.
We live in a health-conscious world, a world where more and more parents are mindful of the things their kids put in their bellies, and so naturally, they expect you to offer healthy food options at your kid’s birthday party. With that in mind, here are the top tips that will help you throw a healthy birthday gig that every kid is going to love.
Research Healthy Yet Tasty Ingredients
First things first, if you want the party to “not suck” as the kids would say, you need to do your research. You can’t hope to educate your kids (or someone else’s kids for that matter) on the importance and health benefits of wholesome foods, nor can you make their taste buds change their preferences, so you’ll need to mimic the familiar taste of their favorite party grub by using healthy ingredients instead.
Needless to say, this is not an easy thing to do. Be sure to research yummy recipes that boast healthy ingredients that you can shape and mold into their favorite foods, such as healthy hamburgers, plant-based tacos, homemade brownies or spreads that contain zero sugar, and the like. And remember, there is always a way to make a tasty and healthy replica of the most beloved junk food, so don’t despair.
Let The Kids Craft Their Snacks
Kids love to get their hands dirty, and they love to experiment and play around with their food. This is the perfect opportunity to get them involved in the process, make a fun game out of the whole thing, and just add another fun activity to the party itinerary. And as we all know, you need a lot of different activities to keep children occupied, interested, and prevent them from demolishing the place.
Start by laying out the healthy ingredients you chose, save for the prepped sweets and dietary options (more on that in a bit). Make it a game by getting the kids to eat at the same time (this will also keep the party organized) and have them help each other make the yummiest meals – after which you can pick the best-looking and best-tasting plates. Don’t forget to commend everyone on their effort as well.
Have Dietary Options at The Ready
One of the most important things you need to keep in mind as the party planner is to offer plenty of variety to your little guests. It’s not just about what the kids like or don’t like to eat, it’s also about their possible dietary restrictions. Don’t try to make these special food options yourself, but instead research quality catering companies in your area that serve various options such as vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-free menus.
Have a plate of each dietary menu brought to your home before the show starts, and you will have everything you need to satisfy every taste bud and preference, and keep the other parents from worrying about their kid.
Keep The Food Light
Whatever you do, don’t choose foods that can upset the little ones’ stomachs. Remember, these are kids, they won’t just sit around and play Monopoly, they will eat, run, jump, crawl, scream, and then eat some more until inevitably one of them feels sick and ruins your precious carpet. To avoid this scenario, you will need to monitor their behavior, yes, but you will also need to keep the food light. Luckily, healthy foods are typically light on the stomach, but pay special attention to spreads and condiments as they tend to be a bit tougher on the stomach.
Make Healthy Parting Gift Bags
And finally, you want to earn the moniker of the best party planner in the neighborhood by sending the kids home with a parting gift bag. Now, what you put in these bags is up to you, but if you decide to send them off with some snacks and sweets, be sure that they are healthy and nutritious. This will send a positive message to their parents that you’re taking care of their children, and it will help the kids realize that healthy food is good no matter if you’re at home or at a party.
Look, kids usually hate the healthy stuff, so it’s not like you have an easy task ahead of you. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t inspire them to give healthy food a try, especially if you respect their needs and make a game out of the whole thing. Use these tips to organize a healthy birthday party that every kid is going to love.
About the author:
Lauren Laporte is a health writer with who believes self-care to be the staple of every thriving person. Her attitude towards wellbeing is that at least some 40% of it comes through the stomach – and what we put in it. She likes writing about it. You can read her musings here.