Make children's parties healthy!

Children’s parties don’t have to be a total nutritional junk nightmare and all ice-cream, soda and candy.

With some creativity and fun, you can present some healthier options that will still have the kids excited about their party food. Popcorn is popular with any age group. Using a hot air popper is the best choice with the least amount of fat offense. Spray the hot popcorn with healthy olive oil after popping and then sprinkle with seasoning, herbs, and spices and/or make your own caramel popcorn using honey, maple syrup or agave nectar instead of corn syrup. Scrutinize labels and stay away from trans fats when buying microwave popcorn. Serve a variety of baked, healthier chips and offer a selection to include sweet potato. Whole wheat pita chips go well with dips like hummus, avocado, and tzatziki for some variety. Grated cheddar cheese melted over home-made baked pita chips (or visit extreme pita to purchase) makes for yet another chip dipping option. Sprinkle cooked, grass-fed, organic lean ground beef over top for some added protein. Bananas smeared with natural peanut butter or almond butter and then coated with coconut, nuts, or rice krispies and served on a stick is also delicious and fun. - Dip in melted dark chocolate and freeze for a cold, sweet treat.

A great way to start the party is to set out bowls of fruit salad or trays arranged with a variety of colorful fruits cut into squares or served on a skewer. Include colorful toothpicks to add fun. Have some healthy yogurts for fruit dipping. Melon balls are also a big hit, especially if you include all three colours - green, orange, red/pink. Instead of serving the usual pop, serve a juice punch made with sugar free 100% juice and add sparkling water for fizz. Possibilities, creativity and resources are abundant. The sweet winner for cake selection goes to the carrot cake!

Parties don’t have to be complicated and it’s always a good idea to get the kids involved in the preparation process and make it part of the fun birthday experience.

Susan Arruda