Parties are traditionally associated with lots of sweet treats, indulgent savoury snacks and – of course – CAKE!
But what if you’re keen on injecting a little more nutrition into the menu? The great news is that you can keep party food fun while also making sure the little ones aren’t eating only sugar and salt! Here are some suggestions for getting some fresh and satisfying options onto the menu at your child’s next birthday party.
We start simple, but if you have more time and budget, there’s room to get more extravagant too!
Keep it simple
These are hugely popular and with good reason! They pack a nutritious punch, look great and are fantastically flexible. Whether you create a jungle scene, get creative with the stick, or keep them traditional you can create an option that suits you and your budget.
Slices of pepper, carrot and cucumber are extremely simple finger foods that offer bright colours, can be prepared early and kids seem to love. While they can be kept bare, and fresh as mother nature intended, adding a pot of dip such as houmous or ketchup can up the likelihood of all the children partaking.
Chocolate dipped fruit
You can get the best of both worlds with this option: all the nutrients and fibre of fruit, plus a tempting bit of chocolate to add to the party vibe! Bananas or strawberries work best.
Peel and chop your bananas in half and put a lolly stick in the end. If you don’t have sticks, they can be left without, but the whole affair will be a bit messier! Strawberries can be left whole – including the stalk, which you can use as a handle once they’ve been dipped.
Melt the chocolate of your choice in a bain-marie (dark chocolate is the least sugary, milk or white tend to be more interesting to children…). Make sure the heat is low so that you don’t burn and separate the chocolate. Once the choc has all melted, dip in the fruit and leave them to set. Make sure they’re away from little fingers at this point, or you might find yourself with fewer treats than you thought!
Added interest: you can also roll them in chopped nuts or dried fruit and voila! A healthy snack that your kids will love.
Homemade ice lollies
Shop bought fruit lollies may seem like a light option, but many contain more sugar than you’d expect. Making your own in the comfort of your home can ensure you know exactly what’s going in them. All you need to do is follow this simple recipe. You can customise them with your child’s favourite fruits, and they might even become a summer mainstay.
Added interest: buy shaped moulds, to fit your party’s theme
A progression on the chocolate-dipped strawberries… If your child is a nature lover, why not try out these super cute strawberry lady birds? The only ingredients you need are strawberries and dark chocolate, but you might need to invest a bit of time in perfecting the ladybird’s spots.
Pizza pita faces
A savoury snack for your child’s party, these pizza pitas are a fun low fat, low calorie alternative to traditional pizza. If you have a manageable number of guests, you could even ask the children to help decorate them, as they only need to be popped under a grill once prepared.
Use wholemeal mini pittas and spread with a little tomato purée and grated cheese. Add cherry tomatoes for the nose, some olives for the eyes and chives for eye brows.
Carve a melon
"I carried a watermelon" might bring back more memories, but "I carved a watermelon" will impress everyone! This idea might take some time – but will have maximum impact. You can customise the melon any way you like to make it fit the theme. From a pirate ship melon to a beach party Whale shaped melon!