My twins turned 3 on Sunday. Just like last year, I spent Mothers Day hosting their birthday party again. Which is totally fine, I got brekky in bed Sunday morning and a coffee date with the family beforehand which was really nice!
Every time I host a party or event, I feel pressure to supply normal party food and drinks. You know, throw caution to the wind, birthday's only happen once a year so whats the harm?
Before I dive into it, despite being accused several times of depriving my children of the pleasures of junk food, they have definitely had their share. Hot chips, baked goods, sweets, muffins and this year they even had chocolate for Easter (OMG shock horror!)
HOWEVER, I draw the line at brightly coloured lollies, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and refined sugar.
There it is. The line. Those fuckers are not welcome in my home, in the bellies of my babes, or anywhere near me. I put them in the same bucket as cigarettes and alcohol. Why? Read this.
So what CAN you put out at a kids birthday party without feeling like a health-crazed control freak?
Hint; it can be just as special, colourful, festive and delicious!
There are tonnes of healthy kids party ideas on Google, but here are a few from the twin's 3rd birthday on Sunday.
1. Salted Caramel Popcorn
Just four ingredients, this is an easy last minute throw-together party food. It is sweet and feels like a naughty treat, but unlike commercial caramel popcorn, there is no fructose, no preservatives, dairy or gluten additives.
3/4 cup organic plain popping corn
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2-3/4 cup rice malt syrup
pinch of salt
Heat coconut oil in a large stove top pot (with a lid) on high. Place one corn kernel into the oil, and when it starts to spin, pour in the rest, spread evenly and cover. When the corn starts to pop, jiggle the pot a few times to prevent the bottom from burning. Spread popcorn over a oven tray, drizzle with rice malt syrup and salt, then bake for 5 minutes or so, just until you notice the syrup bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before dishing out.
2. Capsicum dip train
Another quick party food that looks cute and adds something special to the table! Making your own hummus is easy and saves you the preservative 202 (potassium sorbate) found in most supermarket hummus. You could of course sub in any dip you like if hummus is not your thing!
3-4 whole capsicums
veggie sticks- cucumber, carrot, celery, snow peas etc
extra carrots or cucumber cut into rounds for the wheels
For the hummus:
1 can organic chickpeas
2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
a splash of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp EVOO
salt & pepper to taste
water (approx 3/4 cup, maybe less)
optional: 2 tsp coconut aminos or tamari sauce
Zoosh everything for the hummus together, start with 1/2 cup of water and add more if needed.
3. Vegan mint slice 'cheese cake'
This one is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free. But they look pretty damn special, and it has always been a hit at any social gathering I have served them at. Recipe here: http://kirstycole.com/recipe/vegan-mint-slice/
4. NoTella chocolate hazelnut blissballs
An oldie but a goodie - blissballs are still one of my twins favourite foods! Play around with the coatings to make it a bit spesh for the day - goji berries, coconut, chia seeds, maca or matcha tea powder are all good! Recipe here: http://kirstycole.com/recipe/notella-blissballs/ OR http://kirstycole.com/recipe/raw-vanilla-goji-bites/ OR http://kirstycole.com/recipe/cookie-dough-protein-balls/
Second only to cherry tomatoes; gummies are Zoe's favourite food. These are another super-easy & colourful addition to your party table, an easy alternative to lollies! Pictured is the kombucha gummies, but you can replace the booch for any form of natural juice. I used carrot, ginger and apple juice which produced beautiful bright orange gummies! Recipe here: http://kirstycole.com/recipe/blueberry-kombucha-gummies/
6. Buckwheat & lentil balls
For something savoury, you could throw in some lentil balls. This recipe makes a big batch for entertaining and is convenient as finger food. For the girls party I served it with toothpicks and home made tomato sauce. Recipe: http://kirstycole.com/recipe/buckwheat-lentil-balls/
This year my beautiful friend Cindy baked the girls stunning unicorn cake. The guts of the cake was gluten, dairy and sugar free. The icing was not, but as the only source of refined sugar on the table I considered this a win!
I hope that gives you some ideas for your kids' next birthday! You DON'T need to sacrifice your health & body, go through sugar hangovers and tantrums at kids parties.
The girls ate waaaayyy more than they needed, they played some games with their friends and family. When heading to bed after her party on Sunday night;
Zoe said 'Thank you for my tutu party Mummy."
You can bet your ass that she does not feel deprived of junk food, or the sugar hangover she would have suffered. It is us adults that continue the cycle and condition our children to need some special substance to enjoy social get-togethers. Which has been linked to alcoholism and substance abuse later in life. Lets BREAK this cycle now.
Some extra tips for kids parties:
- For drinks; you do NOT need to supply soft drink. Leave that crap at the supermarket. You can provide juices, coconut water or sparking mineral water with some fruit in it for flavour.
- When talking about the party with your kids, make it about the fun & friends they will experience, not presents or the junk food.
- If your kid is older, get them involved in the decorations & food prep. They will appreciate your efforts a lot more if they have a hand in it!
- Please, ditch the plastic and opt for biodegradable paper or bamboo plates, straws, cups & cutlery! Even K-mart has these options now, so there is NO EXCUSE!
- Also avoid handing out take-home/lolly bags full of sugar, junk and cheap plastic toys. We all know that these things are likely to be thrown away or forgotten about before they even arrive home. A simple balloon will likely be just as enjoyable for the child!