How to Un-junk a Birthday Party!

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OK I have to admit birthday parties aren’t something I necessarily look forward to….and while I’m being honest, the wholesome route certainly isn’t the lazy parent option I sometimes desire! A healthier party takes thought and careful planning, because although your treats will be healthy, you want the kids to actually eat them!!

That’s why this blog might be very useful, because I’ve already experimented on the unsuspecting public for you! So here’s my collection of wholesome party recipes and ideas that have been wholeheartedly enjoyed by children of all ages… 11016785_786447538071238_1202760882612415672_n

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Here’s a few helpful tips for making it easier on yourself:

  • Plan a BBQ or similar as the main food in place of lollies, party pies and Frankfurt sausages (these all contain goodness knows what ingredients?? I call them food-less foods!) The last party we threw we went a step further and made a platter for DIY salad wraps, with homemade falafels for the vegetarians and slow baked lamb for the meat eaters. The adults were equally as happy as the children. It was made extra special for the kids with personalised lunch boxes from Love JK! It doesn’t take much to delight children ;) Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.30.48 PM
  • Plan for some fun games such as musical statues and treasure hunts, with little prizes from the discount store, instead of putting all the focus on the food!
  • Good quality chocolate is a much better way to treat kids than with lollies, as it is less likely to contain additives that make them hyperactive. I use 70% organic chocolate in my recipes for kids parties.
  • Prepare as much as possible a day or 2 in advance. For example I pre made the following…. (Keeping in mind a simple BBQ would require a whole lot less preparation, and all you would have do is a yummy wholesome cake, some fruit and the slushy! )

Day Before: Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.30.58 PM

  • Soaked the chickpeas
  • Prepped the lamb
  • Made roasted capsicum sauce (blended roasted capsicum with lemon juice, garlic and seasoning)
  • Made cake pops, and dipped strawberries in choc at the same time.
  • Made cup cakes
  • Freezed watermelon and strawberries for slushy

Party Day

  • Made falafels and cooked them early 11039445_10205080427323383_1130602147_n
  • Put lamb in at 6am at 150 degrees for 6 hours (OMG AMAZING!! And LOW maintenance!)
  • Made slushy just before kids arrived
  • Made yogurt sauce for wraps
  • Prepped salad- sliced tomato and cucumber and baby spinach- super easy
  • Chopped fruit for the party table Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.30.40 PM

For more tips on hosting a wholesome birthday party, here’s some ideas from last years blog post….

Birthday parties are a magical time of celebration, fun and happy family memories, however It is a misconception that a vast array of sugary, additive laden junk foods are necessary to enhance these enchanting moments, and giving the impression that these are ‘treat’ foods, only increases their appeal. 

It never ceases to amaze me how dramatically sugar and additives can affect children’s behaviour, and bringing home an abnormally hyperactive child from a party is never an encounter we look forward to. Finding the equilibrium between allowing your children to participate fully in the joy and magic of celebrations outside your home, whilst minimising the potential of junk food overload is a very delicate dance. This is especially so if drawing children’s attention to ‘bad’ food and ‘good’ food is to be avoided. IMG_0379

Here are some of my top party tips:

  • I recommend nourishing children well with dense, whole foods before hosting or going to parties, as this naturally reduces their desire for junk food.
  • Opt for good quality chocolate where possible to sweeten up the party. Although it still contains sugar, it is far less likely to be full of toxic colours and additives found in other lollies, that induce hyperactivity and poor health.
  • Enhance the appeal of wholesome cakes by adorning them with your child’s favourite characters. For example my friend Kate cleverly cuts out her healthy cake to resemble a pirate ship, and she uses her boys pirate ship masts, flags, wheel and figurines to decorate it. Alternatively you can bake my cake recipes in any shaped tin you like, and decorate with character flags, fresh flowers or icing flowers, fruit or candles that excite your child.
  • You can find a bounty of cool, colourful, and unbelievably cheap party supplies at discount warehouses to dress up any party theme, and make food look fun!
  • Plan for lots of fun games and activities so the party is not centred around junk food.
  • Give the lolly bag a wholesome make over, or plan a treasure hunt instead. There are lots of great cheap novelty items at warehouse stores.

Putting together a wholesome, colourful and appealing party spread for children need not be difficult or boring. Here are some of our favourite party time dishes that are simple to prepare, and far more satisfying and mouth watering than the usual suspects …

Fruit is natures candy, and kids LOVE fruit!

  • Charming little cups filled with fruit salad, popcorn or dip and vege sticks, arranged on cupcake tiers.
  • Delicious dark chocolate dipped strawberries or frozen choc dipped banana sticks.
  • Vibrant rainbow fruit skewers, fruit platter, or fruit sticks with fondue. A simple plate of watermelon usually gets gobbled up before junk food! Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.31.10 PM
  • Cute and tasty fruit and cheese stacks using cookie cutters.
  • Cookie cutter sandwiches or pinwheel wraps with wholesome yummy fillings.
  • Halved boiled egg boats, festooned with pirate flags.
  • Sparkling water bejewelled with berries, and served with fancy straws.
  • Falafels, meatballs or meatless meatballs on decorative toothpicks.
  • Delightful dessert popsicles
  • Platters of homemade treasures such as cookies, pancakes, energy balls, mini bruschettas, pizza toasts, sausage rolls, curry puffs, baked potato wedges, baked spring rolls, sushi, rice paper rolls, fish bites, mini quiches and BBQ chicken
  • Chocolate dipped ice cream cones filled with fruit salad

 

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