Parents often send their kids to a birthday party with the expectation that they will return on a sugar high. We want our kids to enjoy parties and special occasions, so we let them indulge on sweets and other unhealthy party food. However, those treats can add up.
For example, a slice of chocolate birthday cake with frosting contains an average of 537 calories and 28 grams of fat. Combine that cake with other party foods, and your child may be eating more than a day’s worth of calories!
That’s why it’s important to consider tasty, yet healthy, birthday party snacks instead. Here are some ways to throw a healthy kids’ party without sacrificing fun:
Swap sweets for savory, healthy party foods for kids
It may be true that it’s not a party without cake, but there’s no need to offer sweets throughout the entire event. Kids often fill up on sugar at parties because things like cookies and candy are readily available the whole time. Of course they’re going to choose those goodies over healthy birthday party snacks.
To avoid this, save the sweet treat for the end of the party and serve more savory, healthy party foods for kids (like vegetables and dip) at the beginning. Or, offer a sweet but healthy party snack for kids, like our Protein Poppers. The sunbutter and chocolate chips in these poppers will satisfy any sweet tooth, while providing protein, grains, and healthy fat.
Subtle, healthy substitutes for common birthday party snacks
There are a lot of ways to make healthy party snacks for kids using simple ingredient swaps. Your child and party guests won’t notice a difference!
If you’re serving burgers at your party, swap the ground beef for ground turkey. Turkey franks in place of beef hot dogs is another great swap for an outdoor summer party. Transform pizza into a healthy party food for kids by using whole grain crust, low-fat cheese, and vegetable toppings.
You can also turn sweet treats into healthy party foods for kids. Parents can easily bake a healthier cake by swapping unsweetened applesauce for the oil or butter. This simple swap saves calories and fat, and produces a moist texture. Top it off by going easy on the frosting.
Kid-sized portions are the healthy way to serve party foods
It’s okay to serve special treats at a party, but it’s important to encourage healthy portions. Bite-sized appetizers like our Chicken Pops are a perfect, healthy party food for kids that seem as indulgent as chicken nuggets but are actually jam-packed with wholesome ingredients and protein. They’re made with 100% antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and whole wheat panko crumbs, then they’re baked to perfection. Plus, these are served on a stick for a fun and easy birthday party snack for kids to eat.
Pizza can also be a healthy party food for kids by using whole-grain English muffins as crusts. Not only will these mini pizzas make for cute photos, but they are portioned well for kids, too. You can get guests even more excited about these healthy party snacks for kids by allowing each child to create their own pizza before cooking.
Use the same concept for cake by serving mini cupcakes instead of large slices of cake with multiple layers of frosting.
Don’t be afraid to serve veggies as a healthy party snack for kids
Fruits and veggies are well-known healthy party foods for kids and adults. However, they often go to waste at parties. Make fruits and veggies the star of your child’s party by serving them up with a yummy dip or putting them on a creative display.
If you’re not sure what kind of dip to serve (or you want to avoid more mess in your kitchen), be sure to try our Chili Chili Bang Bang. This all natural veggie chili has plenty of iron, fiber, and protein, plus a mild spice that even picky eaters can love. It’s a perfect option for a healthy birthday party snack when served with veggies or baked chips.
Keep your guests busy
It’s not all about the healthy birthday party snacks! Movement is important for our little ones, too. In fact, the CDC recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Keep kids moving and busy by incorporating fun games and activities into your party. Games like tag, capture the flag, and charades are some fun ideas to start with. Staying busy will also keep kids from grazing at the food table. Even better, parents will thank you for helping their child burn off some energy!
Incorporate healthy birthday party snacks in the goodie bags:
Goodie bags don’t have to be full of sweets! Trail mix is a healthy party snack for kids that they will have fun making to take home later. Or, thank your guests for coming with small items that go with your party’s theme. For example, if your party is camping-themed, give kids small flashlights or binoculars in their goodie bags.
Having a birthday party for kids that is healthy and happy at the same time is possible! Use a few of these tips to help your child learn how to stay healthy at parties without taking away the things they enjoy.
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