Kids parties are great fun but it’s important to pay attention to what is being served on the table. Food filled with artificial colours and sweeteners are a staple at most kids parties, but too much of this is not healthy.
Once children are overloaded with sugar, they become hyperactive! Instead of junk food, serve healthy and sugar-free foods that are easy to prepare. Serving healthy and sugar-free foods doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the taste. Just make sure you present the food well, and include a few little treats here and there. We’ll give you some ideas on what to serve at a kiddie party without removing the fun!
But first, let’s discuss sugar and its ill effects on health.
Sugar and Health
Sugar is found naturally in many foods. It can be in the form of brown, raw or white sugar or in honey and corn syrup. However, added sugar in food products are subject to scrutiny. These artificial sugars provide calories and no other nutrients for the body. It is a source of energy but can contribute to many health problems like obesity and tooth decay.
Sugar substitutes that are found in most consumer food products are said to be a major contributor to obesity around the world, according to a Harvard School of Public Health feature. Right now, consumption of artificial sugars is on the rise, largely due to the popularity of fast food chains.
Party Food: Minimizing Sugar
Fresh Fruit Cake
Image Credit: AllDayChic
Instead of an icing-topped cake, go for a natural substitute. One good example is a watermelon cake. Cut a large watermelon in the shape of a cake and cover it with whipped cream as an icing substitute. To make it as attractive as possible, use small fruits as a topping. Top it with whole strawberries, cherries, mango pieces and nuts.
Image Credit: AllWomensTalk
Fruitsicles are everyone’s favourite. They are also so easy to make! Instead of store bought popsicles or DIY artificially flavoured ones, we recommend you use fresh fruits. This way, your kids are only getting natural sugars from the fruit. Take out your popsicle holder, fill it with freshly squeezed juice and add bits and pieces of strawberry, apple, watermelon and other fruits. It’s a refreshing treat for both kids and adults alike.
Rainbow Fruit Platter
Image Credit: StaceylynnDesign
What we usually see at kids parties are platters of candies, cupcakes and sweet treats. Replace those platter with delicious fruit options! Lay out different coloured fruits so that it is tempting to the eyes – and the stomach! You can make smiley faces out of these fruits and your kids will love it.
Orange Jellies from Agar-agar
Image Credit: MBG,
Agar-agar is the healthy counterpart of jelly. It comes from algae which is commonly used in health supplements. Agar jellies shaped into orange slices look cute and fun. You’ll need orange peels with the fruit flesh scooped out, agar-agar and water. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut orange in half. Juice it like you normally do or using a manual juice extractor. Then remove the flesh leaving a hollow peel/shell.
- Mix agar-agar powder, orange juice and an organic sugar substitute like grade b maple syrup or raw local honey (use a small amount).
- Bring to boil in a pan until all is mixed.
- Pour into the shell.
- Chill it and serve!
Cacao Bomb Crackles
Image Credit: Superchargedfood
Why buy these sugar-filled treats when you can do it yourself? This one can help kids appreciate the flavours of natural foods. Cacao has a similar taste to chocolate, without so much sugar. You can get the whole recipe on this website: A healthy party recipe for kids.
Pumpkin Pie Slice
Image Credit: Wikia
What do you say to a pumpkin pie which is grain free, diary free and refined sugar free? Perfect for a kids party, right? It’s simple, healthy, easy to prepare and kids will love it. WellnessMama has the perfect recipe.
Popcorn is a healthy snack if it has been prepared the right way. It’s a good substitute for party cookies and chips. It’s filled with whole grains, fiber and anti-oxidants. Popcorn has a high concentration of Polyphenols which helps prevent diabetes, CVD, cancer and other neurodegenerative diseases.
You’ll need several ingredients and supplies. Here’s a quick, healthy recipe:
What you’ll need:
- Popcorn kernels (organic)
- Coconut oil
- Kosher salt
- Bowl that is microwave safe and with cover that is vented
What to do:
- Add coconut oil and salt to your microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
- Remove from microwave and add the kernels and mix until each kernel is coated.
- Cover the bowl and microwave for 5 minutes (depending on your microwave). Wait until there is 1-2 seconds between pops.
- Remove and add additional healthy seasoning (cinnamon, parmesan or vanilla) if desired.
Chicken and Veggie Pastry
Image Credit: Peta
Lean chicken and vegetables in pastries is a healthy alternative to sugary, store-bought confections. Also, it’s one way to sneak some veggies into their diets. Make sure to use lean chicken breasts and fresh veggies. You can choose to make it into pie or cute, bite-sized pastries.
Blueberry Unicorn Pops
Image credit: SugarfreeKids
Kids love berries and unicorns, so this next party food option could be perfect. Blueberries are filled with anti-oxidants and are categorized as a super food. These simple yet cute pops will surely attract kids and are a sweet alternative minus the artificial sweeteners of store-bought popsicles. You will only need three healthy ingredients: natural yoghurt, blueberries and rice syrup to blend well. Put it in molds and freeze.
Sugar Free Ice Cream
Image Credit: WholeNewMom
You can make ice cream sugarless but still get kid’s attention. This recipe is egg free, gluten free, grain free, sugar free and wheat free.
Image Credit: Nutrition-coach
Veggie sticks of different colours can be a cute addition to the party food table. It’s crunchy and colourful and is of course very healthy. Use your creativity to make some sugar free dip. Place the sticks in small glasses decorated to entice kids.
Rice Paper Rolls
Image Credit: NourishFoodLife
Rice paper rolls are fresh and very tasty. They can be made easily at home and only require simple fillings. Fill them up with veggies, fruits, nuts and any other fillings you can think of. You can insert a slice of barbecue chicken in there too! Make your preferred dipping sauce sugar free.
How to Help Your Kids Avoid Sugar
What most dieticians advocate today is to veer towards healthier sources of sugar and to avoid the artificial sugar products. The sugar from processed foods poses a much bigger health risk than the suguar from natural sources. Now that we have a choice, maybe we should start practicing healthy eating habits with our kids.