Taking the Junk Food out of Birthday Parties

Taking the Junk Food out of Toddler Birthday PartiesNothing is more exciting than your child’s very first birthday party! There are so many cute things you can incorporate, so many themes to choose from, trying to figure it all out can make you both giddy and nervous.

However, birthday parties often go hand in hand with junk food, candy and kids running around on a sugar high! As a Holistic Health Counselor and mom of a daughter with food allergies, I’m always partial to parties offering healthy snacks and food-free goodie bags.

Offering healthy options doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. Here are some easy ways to keep it healthy:

  • Provide plenty of protein. Chances are you’ll be serving cupcakes or cake, so instead of filling tiny bellies with carbs that turn into sugar, fill them up with protein to counteract the blood-sugar spike they’re sure to get from the cake. Some fun kid-friendly choices are cheese cubes, string cheese, chicken fingers, sliders, or tiny meatballs.
  • Offer fruits and veggies with dips. Most kids love to dip, and you can make it a lot of fun my using cute mini cupcake liners to offer a variety of dips. Carrots, celery and jicama are always popular and can be dipped in hummus, guacamole, cheese dip, or Greek yogurt with savory seasonings. Apples, tangerines, pears and bananas are great fruits for dipping into yogurt sweetened with cinnamon and honey. Cheesy kale chips are also a toddler favorite.
  • Skip the dehydrating sodas. Do mini water bottles or juice boxes for the kids. For grown ups you can go with a summer twist and fill large containers with fruit-infused water which not only tastes great but looks beautiful.
  • Choose party favors over sugar. Goody bags are really easy to make healthy! The Dollar Store, Target and Party City are some of my favorite places to find cute gift bag fillers. Stickers, crayons, noisemakers and anything that goes with your birthday theme are great and will last much longer than more sugary snacks.

At the end of the day the most important thing is to remember to relax and enjoy every minute of the party!

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

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