I’ve been getting lots of questions about children’s parties and concern about the amount of non nourishing things on offer at the majority of birthdays.
I’d like to share with you a little bit about what I did this year at my twins 4th birthday and what you can do if you are going to party where there will be many things on offer that contain additives, refined sugar and preservatives.
Healthy Party Food:
I decided to make fruit the main thing on offer at my 4 year olds birthday this year. It’s amazing how much fruit kids will go through if it’s the FIRST thing on offer. We offered fruit before anything else and the other food at the end.
Our organic fruit platter had rockmelon, pineapple, strawberries, grapes, kiwifruit, mandarin, watermelon & pomegranate.
I also made some carrot & zucchini muffins, chocolate probiotic balls, lemon slice, zucchini slice and had wholemeal sandwiches & gluten free pizza (not pictured) These beetroot and strawberry muffins would be great at parties as would these chocolate zucchini muffins. Healthy popcorn and healthy crackles are fantastic party options too!
Children will eat whatever is put in front of them at parties. Now I understand some people think that parties should be all about ‘treats’ and I think 20 years ago that may have been true.. but treats are not what treats used to be. I don’t believe processed sugar laced with chemicals, additives and numbers that generally affect children terribly are ‘treats’ and regardless of if you have children who are sensitive to additives or not kids can still enjoy beautiful food that does not make them wired, behaviourally challenging and have gastric upsets or mood swings.
Food Colourings – Are they so bad?
Mostly blue food colouring is the absolute worst thing you can give a child. Blue or E133 can cause asthma, hayfever, allergic reactions and is known to make the DNA in your cells mutate and turn them cancerous.
Yellow (E104 & E110) is actually banned in the US and is known to came tantrums, hyperactivity sometimes even vomiting or nausea and is also a carcinogen.
Orange E102 can cause headaches, behavioural problems and has suspected neuro-toxicity. This is often found in yoghurt, ice-cream and lollies.
So why are my cakes Blue, Yellow & Orange?? Well it’s all about ‘octonauts’ in my house and my boys wanted an under the sea cake.
My boys birthday cakes are completely 100% organic, the colours were made without using synthetic antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilisers, refined sugars or artificial ingredients. The colours are not as bright at the artificial ones but I don’t think it matters one bit!
Amazing colours are possible using things that exist in nature such as spirulina, safflower, lemon, carrot, pumpkin, purple sweet potato &
beetroot. It is possible and there are lots of natural colours you can buy and also make yourself from foods. Hoppers make a fantastic range of natural additive free food colours or make your own from actual food!
Take Home Bags:
My children at 4 have never eaten a lolly. I realise how extreme that sounds as I write this but it’s quite simply because I believe the first 5 years of life are so important for calibrating their taste buds. I have never exposed them to artificially processed sweets as I want them to be able to appreciate the taste of real food. I truly believe this is why my kids have no issues snacking on raw veggies. They love it and our daily snack is carrot & cucumber sticks.
My kids actually don’t even recognise lollies as food. We often walk through the supermarket the isle is that contains all thecrap and there is no issue. No, I don’t feel they are deprived or sheltered and yes, this has not been easy (amazing how many people will try to give your kids lollies for the moment they have teeth)
I’m not so naive to think this will last much longer but I figure while they are so young there is absolutely no need for them to be consuming artificial processed foods that rot their teeth and weaken their immune system while I can still control it. I refused to put ‘lollies’ in the kids take home bags. We put balloons, fun party things, organic muesli bar, organic sultanas, additive free cookie, a ball, bubbles and a few other bits and pieces. I did put one organic lollypop in at my husbands insistence! I also like the idea of my boys choosing something little from their toys (little plastic animals or a little car) to give to each child who comes to their birthday. We all have SO MUCH STUFF, SO MANY TOYS and I like the idea of my children giving to others on their birthday and not just receiving.
Other people’s parties:
So it’s all very well to keep the crap to minimum at your own party but what do you do when you go to other parties that have very few nourishing options?
I normally feed my kids up well prior to the party so they never go in hungry. Sometimes I take my own food which my kids consider their own treats in a little lunchbox – I put in things they don’t normally have that are healthy but they consider a rare treat so they don’t feel like they are missing out..
I usually just explain to the person having the party before hand that I might bring a few things as my kids are sensitive to additives & colours. Sometimes I ask if they will be serving fruit and if not I offer to bring a fruit platter.
I also educate my boys all the time to make good choices. We talk alot about artificial colours, flavours and refined sugar at home so they will normally ask me ‘does this make my body strong or does this have chemicals?’ If they are going to have cake that has artificial ingredients in it – then I ask for a very small piece and relax about it all.
I do what I can but there are times it’s hard to avoid it all. I also explain to them later if they have had a tantrum, poor behaviour or tummy ache – that it is often connected to what they have eaten and when we eat heavily processed foods it does not make our bodies happy.
I also don’t judge other people’s food choices as we all have different ideas about what we feed our kids. If anything I sometimes feel that I get more judgement for choosing to feed my kids this way – but I know that feeding my kids processed chemicals is not right for us. I will do my best to avoid them consuming it – even when it makes me unpopular.
I hope this gives you a few party ideas. Don’t forget to join our free newsletter for lots more ideas, product comparison and beautiful nourishing recipes. Party On! Alisa 🙂