I remember kids’ parties when I was young, running around in the backyard with lollies and chips and chocolate served up to us for snacks. Then lunch would come out and consist of party pies, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets, and maybe, just maybe, some ham or egg sandwiches cut into those cute little triangles.
I get the feeling that parents today would be drawn and quartered if they dared to serve such sugar-filled and high-fat foods at a child’s party.
On the other hand, I shudder to think about the uproar that would’ve happened if we’d been faced with veggie sticks, salmon bruschetta, and rice paper rolls. All of that healthy stuff sounds pretty appealing to me now, but as a six-year-old kid, I probably would have gone hungry. So, when it comes to kids’ parties, do you go for the easy, yet unhealthy, options, or stick to a healthy diet and risk having kids not eat at all?
My answer — compromise. Is one day of unhealthy eating really going to ruin their lives?
Well obviously you aren’t going to feed them the sort of unhealthy food that fuels tantrums or even causes allergic reactions, but if there’s nothing medical forbidding at least a little bit of junk food, I say let them eat cake. Throw in some veggie sticks with healthy dip, a fruit salad, and sneak some veggies into your own sausage rolls as a counterweight, and hopefully the kids will eat it all, as they aren’t getting a plate full of healthiness pushed at them.
One important thing to remember is to stress the fact that this type of food isn’t an all-the-time deal. It’s a party, it’s special, and they can ONLY have these treats now.
So start compromising a little:
- Intersperse the vegetables and healthy options with the party pies and cake.
- If you have time, make up your own versions of sausage rolls and the like, but use healthy fillings and low-fat ingredients so you can keep some peace of mind.
- Make lightly crumbed chicken nuggets using whole breast chicken and baking instead of frying.
- Mini-pizzas with low-fat cheese, light ham and even some hidden vegetables would go down well too.
- You can always do the sandwich triangles with nice, healthy fillings as something quick and easy.
Making sure your kids eat healthy food is very important, but at a kids’ party, this isn’t the highest priority. Let them be kids for a day, eat a little sugar and maybe a little fat and have fun. The healthy food can wait until tomorrow.