When I was young I would have been appalled to attend a party with lots of healthy snacks, but these days with our hightened sense of good eating habits and dietary constraints, we need to educate and ensure our kids eat a more healthy balanced diet.
One way to make healthy food options more attractive to kids is to be creative and offer bright, colourful and fun alternatives to what could ordinarily be seen as boring. Healthy food can also actually taste good so remember to focus on winning combinations that will get the little ones’ taste buds going!
Here are some ideas that can be used for parties or any occasions:
With summer coming, fruit is a fabulous healthy option for a party and kids will love the colourful display if you put together a fruit platter. Slice up strawberries, melons, grapes, mango’s, nectarines, peaches and plums and arrange on a pretty platter. One could also make fruit skewers and have a dipping sauce like yoghurt or something more decadent like melted chocolate or caramel…Mmmmm
Another type of kebab or skewer one could make could be a robot kebab with red, amber and green coloured veggies – try using a cherry tomato, a block of cheese and a gherkin to give the desired effect on a toothpic.
Keeping along the lines of skewers, chicken kebabs can be tasty and healthy too. Grill the chicken with a basting of pineapple juice, brown sugar and soya sauce and the result will be delicious!
Crunchy and sweet young carrots are great for dipping in healthy dips like low fat cottage cheese with chives or hummus – try making your own healthy hummus with chickpeas or buy ready made ones at the store.
Whilst many people would not want to give sushi to young kids for a number of reasons like allergies, safety of preparation, and risk of contamination from mercury, one can adapt the traditional sushi rolls and make more child friendly ones. Use fillings such as avocado, carrots, cucumber, cooked/tinned tuna, lower mercury salmon, and even chicken.
Create a mini version of a hamburger by making a healthy home made burger patty using good quality lean beef mince, a slice of tomato, some lettuce and chutney on a cocktail roll. The kids will love these.
Dried fruit also makes an excellent healthier sweet option to sweets and chocolates and a little snack pack (like those sold at Woolworths) will make a tasty addition to any party pack.
Sandwiches can be creatively designed to bring out the artist in you! All you need is some fresh bread, a healthy filling such as salmon and cream cheese, ham with cheese and mayo, tuna or egg mayonaise, and some inspiration… try thinking about the party theme and bringing in those elements to the design. The options are limitless and will prove to be such a winner with the little ones. For more ideas on fun and funky sandwiches, visit http://www.funkylunch.com/gallery.htm
For healthy drinks, get the children to choose their ingredients and blend their own juices or smoothies in a standard blender (it is not necessary to buy an actual juicer or smoothie for this). Have a variety of cut up fruits and yoghurts for them to choose from. One could always add a bit of frozen yoghurt or icecream to turn it into more of a milkshake.
For other ideas on healthy recipes for children, take a look at Annabel Karmel’s site http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes