Planning a child's birthday party? Here's how to make it fun AND nutritious!
Most kids’ birthday parties are packed full of unhealthy treats like pizza, soda, candy and of course, cake. Would you believe us if we told you that a fun AND nutritious birthday celebration is possible? If you're hosting a kids' birthday party and you don't want to completely derail your child's nutrition, check out the following tips for a healthier celebration:
- Keep kids engaged by making it fun! Kids love fun shapes and bright colors. Focus on including foods with a variety of color and make eating a hands-on experience. Try using a cookie cutter and turn bright and colorful fruits into fun shapes. Include different dips for the children to try. Lay out the food in a fun and playful way. Try making the snake below using strawberries and bananas!
- Choose quick, easy and nutritious food options. Choose foods with dips like whole-grain tortilla chips and salsa, bean dip or guacamole and whole wheat pita bread and hummus. Air-popped popcorn is also a good option. Trail mix is always great to snack on and is a great choice for a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein. If making a meal, opt for some lean meats and veggies. Mini sandwiches and baked chicken nuggets are excellent options!
- Make a colorful fruit and veggie tray! Make sure to include a variety of color and textures. Opt for watermelon slices, orange slices, grape tomatoes and baby carrots. Serve with yogurt dip.
- Have a home-made pizza party! Kids like to eat what they create. Have them help make their own homemade pizza. Use whole-wheat English muffins or pita bread for the crust. Offer toppings like turkey pepperoni, veggies, low-fat cheese and lower-sodium marinara sauce.
- Offer a healthy, hydrating drink! Mix juice with sparkling water, infuse water with fruits or mix up some PediaVance. No soda or sweetened beverages!
- Provide smaller portions of sweet treats. Make min-cupcakes or include yogurt popsicles. Serve each child individually instead of letting them help themselves.
- Handing out goody bags? They can still be fun and nutritious! Include fruits like tangerines or snack sized fruit cups or applesauce. You can also include non-food items like art supplies and games.
If you follow these tips, your child will have the opportunity to learn that healthy eating can still be fun, and tasty!