Planning a child’s birthday party typically includes visions of frosting, pizza, cookies and candies. Break the mold and throw a happy and healthy birthday this year! We promise that the kids will still have a blast and love all the food options. We have ideas for delicious snacks, healthy birthday party foods, and of course some fun activities to keep the kids moving and having fun.
Here are some tips and ideas to keep birthdays fun, delicious, and nutritious!
- Set up fruit and vegetable trays for snacking. Chances are your guests will appreciate the healthier options. You can add a protein-rich hummus, light dressing and yogurt for dipping. Try the Creamy Chocolate Dippers. Snacks boards are really popular right now too, and they are fun to make! My kids love this Snack Board. In fact, the kids can even help assemble the snack board if you need some extra hands in preparing before guests arrive.
- Offer healthy alternatives to cake. There are many ways to let your children enjoy a sweet treat while sneaking in some healthy goodness. Consider carrot cake, banana bread or these Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownies. Top plain vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with a light cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit like berries.
- Skip the baked goods all together. Instead of cake and cupcakes, set up a make-your-own yogurt parfait bar with fresh fruit and granola toppings. For a no-bake dessert, make gelatin cups filled with colorful, fresh fruit in clear plastic cups for a pretty treat. You can also make chocolate-dipped strawberries for a tasty yet healthy dessert.
- Keep the food light. Instead of relying on fast food, offer healthy alternatives. Finger sandwiches are great for kids of all ages. Make some pin-wheel sandwiches with your favorite combinations like ham and cheese, turkey and tomato and chicken – all packed with veggies, of course! Try the Turkey “Sushi”, PB Fruit Roll-up or Chicken Veggie Wraps for some healthy, kid-friendly ideas.
- Include whole grains and beans. Add some extra healthy whole-grain crackers or popcorn to your snack table. Use whole wheat pastry flour for your homemade dessert creations. Make your own bean hummus or offer a side with beans for a protein-rich option.
- Offer low calorie beverages. Instead of the standard juice box or cola drinks, consider bubbly mineral water or fruit flavored water. Plain water flavored with orange and cucumber slices makes for a delicious combination for both kids and adults. Find more infused water ideas here.
- Get kids involved in the meal prep. Set up a taco bar or salad bar as part of the party. Have the kids prepare their own colorful, healthy plates with the help of this Build Your Own Salad!
- Get kids active. Plan some fun activities to burn off some of that energy and enjoy the great outdoors! If you are fortunate to have pleasant weather, consider taking the party outside and enjoying some tag, hide and seek or a sports-oriented activity.
- Host a scavenger hunt. A rainy day keeping you inside? Set up a scavenger hunt indoors to get kids moving.
- Prepare healthy goody bags. Instead of stuffing treat bags with sugary candy, opt for something nutritious like a granola bar, pretzels or a piece of fruit. Include fun art supplies or consider using books in lieu of the standard goody bag.