As sure as Christmas, your child's birthday party comes around once a year and is a major big deal, especially when you're 6!
While it's a time to celebrate, the food aspect can be a bit nerve wrecking - trying to meet your child's expectations, their friends, your time and also, budget.
So far, we haven't ventured out of home for the party and as a result, hosted a party for twenty two pals over the week-end, ranging in age from 4 to 6 years old. They came expecting fun, games and magic.
And also a bit of birthday cake.
All in all, it went very well. My son was delighted with it all, and I was happy with the balance of food and the fact that I didn't panic-buy a load of jellies at the last minute. So here are my top 3 tips to a 'relatively' healthy eating kids birthday party:
1. One treat: you don't need a whole load of different jellies, cakes, buns, sweets or crisps at a child's party. As long as there is one impressive 'treat', that's all they'll remember. You child will be happy and his/her friends definitely won't feel short changed.
2. No soft drinks: with fizzy drinks, you have a choice between full sugar or aspartame. Kind of like the choice between a bullet or a dagger - neither very appealing. We offered innocent fruit juice (a choice of orange or apple/raspberry), diluted 50:50 with water, topped up with sparkling water for a bit of fizz and served with loads of ice. Everyone seemed happy enough and relatively calm!
3. Focus your attention: we served 5 edibles - a couple before the entertainment and 3 after, all seperately. Every time food was served, silence descended. Maybe they were all starving....I like to think they were just savouring the food. Having a focus of just 5 things meant that the shopping list was relatively short, we had a focus point each time and the preparation was easy peasy. Here's what we had on our list.
: 2 big bowls of it, plenty of handfuls for everyone
: strawberries, grapes, melon, blueberries and a couple of dark chocolate dipped strawberries
50% wholemeal yeast pizza base, fresh tomato sauce and mixed cheese - a slice each.
Innocent fruit tubes:
frozen, so served as an ice pop - these went down a bomb.
the recipe would not be appropriate for a healthy eating blog!
This really worked for us and I was delighted with how it all went. I'm always on the lookout for any ideas, so if something different has worked for you, drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment below, or log onto my Facebook page.
Otherwise, if you fancy hearing more tips on tricks on how to make healthy eating easy, come along to my next Nutrition for Children event on Tuesday, 8th October. Spaces are limited, so book early!