Holding a birthday party for your child and some of his or her friends can present some challenges. One of the kids may have food allergies or be on a strict diet. Others may have parents that don’t want them hyped up on a lot of sugar.
Keep everyone happy with these ideas for birthday treats both kids and parents will love.
1. Parfait “Sundae” Bar
Have the kids make their own healthy “sundaes” by setting up a parfait bar. Use Greek yogurt and fresh or frozen berries, granola, nuts, and raisins, and let the kids layer the ingredients in their cups as they like. You can also have some coconut yogurt on hand for those kids that are dairy-free or vegan.
2. Fun Fresh Fruit
Few parents would balk at their children eating fresh fruit, but kids can sometimes turn their noses up at plain cut-up apples or oranges. You can make fruit more fun by cutting it up into pieces and allowing the kids to make pictures with it. Give them paper plates and cut-up pieces of apples, bananas, oranges, kiwis, berries, and whatever else you have.
Put out some nut butter and hummus for kids to use as “glue,” perhaps some cut-up celery, cucumbers, and lettuce for green decorative items, and raisins and nuts for eyes and noses. Kids will make pictures they can munch on the way!
You can also dress up your party with pre-made fresh fruit arrangements. Choose platters, bouquets, or baskets, and let them dress up your tables in a healthy way.
3. Make-Your-Own Snack Mix
You can make these ahead of time or get the kids involved if you like. Personalize the mix for the birthday boy or girl by choosing their favorite ingredients. Good options include cereal, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, air-popped popcorn, raisins, and granola. Place in paper cups, plastic bags, or even flat-bottomed cones.
4. Choose-Your-Own Mini Pizza
These are a hit at any birthday party. Skip the cake and bring on the pizza. Make things easier by getting some ready-made mini-pizza dough before the party starts. Then let the kids choose their toppings from your homemade toppings bar. Fill it with favorites like cheese, ham, pepperoni, pineapples, cherry tomatoes, chicken pieces, green peppers, and olives.
You may want to spread the tomato sauce yourself for younger kids or let older ones make their own. Finally, pop the mini pizzas into the oven for 15-20 minutes.
5. Festive Taco Bar
A taco bar can be just as fun as a parfait or pizza bar. Prepare all the fillings the day before, then set them out and let the kids go for it. Fillings may include beef, chicken, and some vegetarian options if needed, along with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and black olives.
6. Watermelon Cut-Outs
Watermelon has the coveted position of being healthy and loved by most kids. You can make it even more fun by hauling out the cookie cutters and letting kids cut out their favorite watermelon shapes. If you have cutters shaped like hearts or letters, kids may have fun spelling their names. Add some color by using honeydew and cantaloupe too.
7. Dippable Veggie Platters
Think kids won’t eat their veggies? Try luring them in with some tasty dip. Start by cutting the veggies into small, fun shapes. (Good options include carrots, celery, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes.) Make them into faces on a plate if you like. Then pull out the dip. Good options include yogurt, nut butter, hummus, melted cheese, cream cheese, and avocado.
8. Party Popcorn
As long as you air-pop it, popcorn is a healthy treat. And you can do a lot with it. Let the kids string it on a thread and use it as a decoration, or play a game to see how many times pairs of kids can catch tossed pieces in their mouths. Add some flavor to the popcorn with some grated Parmesan or garlic powder, or toss it with some almonds, coconut, and a few chocolate chips.
9. Chips and Dip
Most kids like tortilla chips, particularly if they have a choice in what dip to use. You can put out small bowls of salsa, guacamole, melted cheese, hummus, or garlic dip, or make your own homemade dip. Use small cups to give kids individual servings of dip.
10. Fruit Slushies
Forget the food and go for special drinks with real fruit slushies. They’re easy to make and almost always a hit with kids. Combine real fruit and ice in a blender and you have a refreshing, balanced snack for the kids. Make it creamy with a little yogurt or a dash of vanilla ice cream.
It can be difficult to find party treats that are kid-appropriate yet not too loaded with sugar and other ingredients their parents probably don’t want them to load up on. Keep the kids satisfied with these delicious party treats that their parents won’t mind.