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Party Food Ideas

iStock_party_food.jpgBirthdays are such special memory makers! Each year marks a milestone in your child’s life and you as their parent.  It is a time for fun, games, presents and of course yummy party food! For some parents this can be a cause for stress as they feel torn between teaching their kids about healthy eating but without being seen as boring, and having plates of untouched food left at the end of the day.

As parents you need to be realistic about food choices and put the information you have into perspective.  Our philosophy is that as much as possible provide your children fresh healthy foods, whole foods, seasonal foods and organic options. 

For your child to have a healthy relationship with food – they need to firstly understand where food comes from and the foundations of nutrition and then you can acknowledge the place for treat food. Food should remain a fun, positive experience for your child. 

The Place for Party Food

This is where parties and special events come in!! There is a place for treat food – personally we believe it is one of life’s great pleasures (if it remains as a treat)!! There's nothing wrong with the occasional treat (like lollies, cake, chocolate, chips or soft-drink). If you are constantly vigilant and only serve tofu cake and bran muffins at your child's party…they are going to feel as if they’re missing out and will eventually discover junk food!

Its all about moderation - where would a birthday party be without a cake or some other special foods? Parties are a great time to serve foods that we don’t have everyday; it’s also a good idea to include some healthier choices so your children discover that lots of foods can be fun and healthy. 

Party Food Ideas

Below are a few of our ideas to make party food fun..and not all bad!!

  • Involve your child in the preparation and shopping for the party. Take them shopping and get them to help you select the treats to be served, and ask them to select a combination of "sometimes" and "everyday" foods (e.g. using red capsicum and carrot sticks to serve with a dip rather than chips) . This will give them a feeling of involvement, help build excitement but will also reinforce the relationship between "sometimes" foods and special occasions.
  • Rather than all lollies serve some dried fruits. You can buy dried apricots, fruit leathers, peaches, apple and mango. Dried fruit is deliciously sweet and may help keep children’s sugar cravings at bay.
  • Don’t serve all sugary stuff - serve some savoury foods that contribute protein and carbohydrate – try little sausages, mini quiches, cold deli meats, mini cheeses and sandwiches. The protein will help to keep them fuller for longer as well as warding off those all too familiar sugar highs!
  • Instead of deep-fried potato chips, make homemade potato chips! Peel and slice potatoes, drizzle or spray them with a little olive oil, and bake them in the oven. You can also buy chips that are organic and without additives – keep a look out for them at the supermarket (and kids can’t tell the difference). 
  • For birthdays, bake your own cake rather than buying one. This way you can control the ingredients, can be sure there are no additives that you don't want in there and can limit the fat and sugar if you wish.  Try topping the cake with sprinkled icing sugar and sliced strawberries or raspberries rather than thick or buttery icing.  Individual cupcakes can sometimes be easier to handle for little ones and easier to distribute. 
  • Swap fatty dips and chips for homemade guacamole or hummus with mini toasts and veggie sticks.
  • Children respond well to bright, colourful food that’s easy to hold and eat. You can let the kids make their own funny face or creation out of colourful fruit and a few lollies – melon, strawberries, blueberries and licorice are all great.
  • Quench thirsts with a big jug of homemade fizz by mixing fruit juice with carbonated water – bright and vibrant with the ‘bubbles’ factor that kids love, it's a great alternative to store bought, sugar packed soft drinks.
  • Make colourful fruit slushies by blending watermelon or rockmelon with some ice and a small splash of syrup.
  • Why not try a barbecue birthday and cook fish, baby sausies, chicken nibbles or mini burgers. Fun food activities are also great - bobbing for apples is always a heap of fun! 
  • It’s all in the presentation.  It’s easy to make ordinary food and drinks extra-ordinary by serving them in a special way.  Freeze fruit such as blueberries into ice cubes, cut sandwiches into funny shapes or simply serve the food on bright, vibrant plates and cups.  Children will eat anything that has the ‘cool factor’ associated with it!
  • Finally parties are all about fun for you and your child.  To take the stress out of the day, choose food options that are easy and that can be prepared prior to the party.  The last thing you want is to be slaving away in the kitchen all day as your child celebrates their birthday!

Yum Yum Kids has a fantastic range of kids party products to help make parties fun and funky - try party platters, plates, oilcloth floormats, baking sets and great gift ideas!

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