Planning a child's birthday party? Here's how to make it fun AND nutritious!
- Keep kids engaged by making it fun! Kids love fun shapes and bright colors. Focus on including foods with a variety of color and make eating a hands-on experience. Try using a cookie cutter and turn bright and colorful fruits into fun shapes. Include different dips for the children to try. Lay out the food in a fun and playful way. Try making the snake below using strawberries and bananas!
- Choose quick, easy and nutritious food options. Choose foods with dips like whole-grain tortilla chips and salsa, bean dip or guacamole and whole wheat pita bread and hummus. Air-popped popcorn is also a good option. Trail mix is always great to snack on and is a great choice for a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein. If making a meal, opt for some lean meats and veggies. Mini sandwiches and baked chicken nuggets are excellent options!
- Make a colorful fruit and veggie tray! Make sure to include a variety of color and textures. Opt for watermelon slices, orange slices, grape tomatoes and baby carrots. Serve with yogurt dip.
- Have a home-made pizza party! Kids like to eat what they create. Have them help make their own homemade pizza. Use whole-wheat English muffins or pita bread for the crust. Offer toppings like turkey pepperoni, veggies, low-fat cheese and lower-sodium marinara sauce.
- Offer a healthy, hydrating drink! Mix juice with sparkling water, infuse water with fruits or mix up some PediaVance. No soda or sweetened beverages!
- Provide smaller portions of sweet treats. Make min-cupcakes or include yogurt popsicles. Serve each child individually instead of letting them help themselves.
- Handing out goody bags? They can still be fun and nutritious! Include fruits like tangerines or snack sized fruit cups or applesauce. You can also include non-food items like art supplies and games.
If you follow these tips, your child will have the opportunity to learn that healthy eating can still be fun, and tasty!