Raising children who enjoy healthy food can be challenging when there are outside influences and pressures to feed them junk food. Organising healthy party food is a difficult task for a child who wants to fit in with their peers.
Here are a few tried and tested healthy party treats for kids.
If you are going to provide fruits and vegetables for a party, it has to be fun. They can be arranged in the colours and shapes of the rainbow and other appropriate representation. When providing for children who typically consume junk food, it is a good idea to stick to sweet and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, ball peppers, grapes and strawberries. A party is not really the place to insist on broccoli consumption! Another fun way to encourage vegetable consumption is to make chicken and veggie sticks. Grill the chicken chunks and allow to cool. Add them onto kabab sticks alternating them between cherry tomatoes / pineapple on sticks. This is a great opportunity to get good quality protein into children without relying on processed meat usually seen at parties.
These make a great healthy alternative to fried potato crisps. Use vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and beetroot. Use a vegetable peeler to make fine pieces. Place in the oven at 50 degrees Celsius until crisp. Dips such as hummus, guacamole and salsa are great ways to get extra nutrition into children without them realising it. The flavoursome dips encouraging dipping of vegetable sticks and veggie crisps and helps to make vegetables more pleasant.
Healthy chocolate mousse can easily be made by taking ripe mashed bananas, nut butter and cocao. Mix them together well or pop into the blender. Put the mixture into the fridge for an hour and it becomes a mousse consistency. The nuts contain protein which will help to balance children’s blood sugar levels and help to prevent them climbing up the walls!
Instead of using juice, which can send blood sugar levels rocketing sky high, blend the whole fruit and add some cocao nibs. Cocao nibs are high in protein which balances the sugar content of the fruit. Add one type of blended fruit at a time to the ice lolly moulds, allowing each section to freeze. You will end up with delightful multi-coloured stripy ice pops. Squash and soft drinks are also expected at a party. A better alternative is to juice a water melon. It is naturally sweet, brightly coloured and a nutrition power house. Add it to carbonated water if you want to make it fizzy. Although it contains some natural sugars, it is far better than conventional squashes and fizzy drinks.
Where there is a party there is cake! There are however healthy cake options. Try switching wheat flour for protein dense almond flour. Switch refined sugars to coconut sugar or xylitol. Cake filling can be made with coconut cream and fresh raspberries. Consider covering the cake in brightly coloured fruits rather than icing.