I am a big believer in always offering the best and healthiest food to children even at parties and here are my personal reasons why;
1. Junk food is no longer “sometimes” food. Kids today eat more processed, sugary, and artificially created foods than ever before. Even when parents try to only offer the good natural stuff or even when kids are educated about the effects of bad food, junk food is available and everywhere no longer making it something they eat rarely. Why not use party food to show them that eating well and enjoying it is possible. Healthy party food can add one more small piece of reinforcement that good food choices can be fun and delicious.
2. Peer pressure is amazing. Have you ever noticed that you child who refuses to each lettuce, will happily eat it when they are with friends that do? When all you offer your party guests is good healthy food, someone will find something they like and eat it making way for everyone else to eat that thing too.
3. Kids don’t eat that much at parties anyway. I have found, whether at parties with junk food or parties with healthy food, kids love to look at the food, to see one big table full of fancy food they don’t normally have access to covered in decorations and available to eat at any time they like – they grab one or two things then go and play with their friends. Yes, you may have that one child that doesn’t leave the food table, but in general, kids remember the fun they had, the games they played, the things they brought home much more than they will the food they ate at the party.
4. Looks are everything. If your healthy party food looks as good as the not healthy version you are 90% of the way there. There are plenty of ways to make your healthy party food look appetising including using brightly coloured containers, adding non edible decorations such as printed cake toppers, making your food shaped in line with the theme of your party and even just how you arrange and present the food can make it look fun and delicious.
5. Artificial food additives can cause behavioural problems. If you have read my blog post entitled “Why my 3yo daughter was tearing our family apart” you will know my personal story regarding the relationship between children’s behaviour and food. Younger children in particular and some specific children are more susceptible than others and each will have their own individual reactions but rest assured, if you can host a party without these sinister artificial food chemicals, you will have less tears, fights, accidents and everyone will come away happy without being wired with problems sleeping when they get home. I have myself and also heard from many other mums that have hosted healthy food parties that their guest’s parents will comment on how well behaved and happy the children are at their parties.
6. It makes me feel good. Not doing the easy thing always offers bigger rewards no matter what the thing is that you are doing. Yes, it is harder to stuff around finding healthy party food options and making the food look fun and appetising but once you have had that successful birthday party without fights or screaming fits, where all of your food is eaten and you know all of those children have just experienced the association of eating well with having fun, the feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction is well worth the effort.
I have created a list of healthy party foods that are yummy and can easily be shaped or modified to suite any party theme that is free for members to download. Click here to access our Healthy Party Foods page where you can download your PDF now.