Is serving healthy food on your child’s birthday a mission impossible?
We become pretty sentimental when it comes to family events, and especially birthdays. Our children grow up so fast! Before you know it another year has passed and here we are celebrating another birthday. Today I want to write about birthday food, and show you that it is possible and even fun to serve healthy food on our kids birthdays.
We are all somewhat tired of hearing the word “healthy” attached to almost any adjective when we read stuff online, which unfortunately makes us numb to the word, or its meaning, altogether. We are all busy mothers responsible for gazillion things in a day and trying to keep everyone in the household happy and satiated is sometimes tough (for some, most of the time).
I do see moms who go beyond themselves in order to serve healthy, nourishing food during the year but it seems as though we forget the ‘rules’ when celebrating our kids’ birthdays. Isn’t it OK to bend the rules once a year???
Now, let’s analyze this a little. If your kid goes to daycare or school he/she have 20-30 kids in a class, so they probably celebrate a birthday at least once every two weeks which means our children are exposed to candy and harmful sweets constantly. Plus, if you are like me, you probably practice “treat day” which is another exposure to the dreaded white sugar. The reality is that our kids eat too much of the bad stuff and not enough of the good food! I think it’s time to change that. What do you think?
I personally dread kids’ birthday parties. In our household we have an agreement with the girls that at home they are allowed to eat only healthy snacks, however, they can eat whatever they choose on birthday parties and special occasions. Sadly, there hasn’t been a time after which they came home after a birthday party and weren’t irritated, aggressive and extremely loud. This is such a radical behaviour for them and I know that this is triggered by the food they ate at the birthday party. Have you ever noticed that kids’ behaviour changes immediately after they eat sugar? I certainly do!
I don’t blame the hosts, because let’s face it, when it comes to thinking about our kids’ birthday parties, we are in a box. Think about it, when you plan for your son/daughter’s birthday food – cake, cupcakes, colourful candy and fruit juices would most likely be on the top of the list. Right?
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way! Just because that is the norm doesn’t mean your child’s birthday has to be just like everyone elses.
Kids LOVE colour, adventure and imaginary objects. Why not use healthier birthday food in such a way?
Here are some ideas to serve your kids with healthy birthday snacks and treats:
1. Healthy Birthday Snacks
Fruit is AWESOME! It is widely colourful and you can be really creative with the various shapes and sizes. And the best part of all is not feeling bad about you kid eating, what I call “ADD/ADHD in a box”. Instead they will be eating antioxidant rich food, which helps to stabilize their blood sugar levels so they stay happy, calm and cooperative throughout the day. Fruits are high in fiber which help to maintain a healthy digestive system, they are delicious and most kids love fruit!
Strawberry dipped in homemade chocolate syrup recipe:
20 organic strawberries washed and dried with a paper towel, then placed in the fridge to cool.
Homemade chocolate syrup:
4 Tbs coconut oil (melted)
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
⅓ cup maple syrup or raw honey
Blend all ingredients until smooth and taste it! Adjust the sweetness level to what you think your kids can tolerate. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool a bit.
Make sure strawberries are completely dry before dipping them in the chocolate, otherwise the chocolate will not stick to it.
Prepare a large tray. Dip each strawberry and place each in colourful cupcake paper cups. When done, place the tray in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve and watch how they enjoy it!
Homemade Fruit Popsicles
2. Healthy Birthday Cake
Chocolate quinoa cake
I am extremely proud of this recipe! It is a hit on Pinterest and the best part kids love it!
3. Healthy Drinks
This is my favourite idea for serving drinks for guests! Throw in a bunch of frozen berries into a large tank of water and enjoy. Kids love to look at the floating fruit and of course are always willing to taste it.
If you don’t have time to make a homemade juice or infused water, packaged coconut water is a much better idea than any fruit juice from the grocery store. I saw this brand in Costco for a great price.
Pure Filtered Water
We’ve all heard the saying: “Simple is the best”, this is so true when it comes to a healthy drink such as water. Kids usually don’t mind water so make sure you offer pure filtered water at your kids birthday. I don’t recommend using bottled water because of the low quality of water and environmental reasons. Instead use filtered water from your pitcher, just assign someone to refill it once in a while.
This option might not work for a large crowd of kids, unless you are willing to spend some extra time in the kitchen juicing 2 pounds of apples. However this is an excellent way to serve healthy sweet drinks to your children and their friends.
Pinterest.com is full with great creative ideas for healthy birthday snacks and treats, check them out as well!
Just before I let you go, please use paper plates and not plastic on your kids birthday party. Teach them to be conscious of the environment. The focus of a birthday party shouldn’t be food, the focus should be your child and the celebration of their life. Invest more of your time on entertainment and games to make this a memorable event. I have a friend who turns her kids’ birthdays into an opportunity to give back to the community, what a great way to celebrate life. I am sure her kids remember each and every single birthday they’ve had because of the emotional experience they’ve had.
A birthdays is an opportunity to contribute to the world, teach children to give back and be grateful about their lives. Although great, this is too idealistic for most of us, healthier food is a good start.
To your kids health!
p.s. My daughter’s 5th birthday is coming up in July, and I am planning a drumming circle as an activity and all of the above snacks and treats. Do you have plans for your kids birthday, what are you going to incorporate this year? Share your thoughts below 🙂