Mum guilt. It’s all consuming and overbearing. And it’s everywhere.
Take last Easter as an example. I decided my son could only have a small piece of his Easter chocolate. I felt mum guilt for giving him chocolate in the first place and then I felt mum guilt for only letting him have a small amount.
Mum guilt sucks.
This year was the year of NO GUILT. Well, as little as possible. Because ain’t nobody got time for that.
Even though I’ve been on my wellness journey for some time now I was still sucked into how I thought kids birthday parties ‘should’ be. In my heart I knew I didn’t want my kids eating ‘foods’ that had been crafted out of chemical stuff when there are so so so many delicious and nourishing (and just as fun) foods available to us. Yet I would always fall into the trap because of said mum guilt.
So when my son turned THREE this year I decided to go against the trend and throw a totally healthy kids birthday party. The kind that didn’t include lollies or chocolate (well, not the typical supermarket type) but still included delicious cakes, chocolates (the non-supermarket type ;)), treats and FUN. And it was SO MUCH FUN!
To be totally honest I was a little nervous at how it would be received by our guests and other kiddies who attended. But do you know what? Not one person asked where the lollies or sugar filled cake or packaged food was. Not one. And everybody ate (and enjoyed) the PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CAKE with CAULIFLOWER FROSTING (note, I didn’t tell them until after the cake was finished ;)).
The day ended without sugar-slumping kids and was super fun (and stress free), so I wanted to share with you exactly how to throw a healthy kids birthday party without feeling like your kids are missing out.
No mum guilt, ever!
Step one – Decide on a theme
Themes are fun and just about every kid loves a themed birthday party. From super heros to unicorns to colours or movies, there are so many options. But as a host, themed birthday parties make planing that much easier. Once you have a theme you can plan everything around that theme, which keeps planning simple and straightforward.
Step two – Write a list of the foods you would typically serve at a kids birthday party
Don’t worry about whether they are nourishing foods yet. Simply write a list of the essentials. For example: a cake, chocolate, cupcakes, chips and dips, savoury finger food, drinks. Go wild.
Step three – Google and Pinterest!
Google and Pinterest are two of the best party planning (life) resources available and they are totally free to use! Did you know that when you click on a photo on Pinterest it takes you to the recipe/instructions? There are thousands (and I mean thousands) of delicious recipes and instructions on Pinterest just waiting for you to click on them!
Let’s start with cake. I wanted a delicious chocolate cake this year, but I suck at baking so I needed it to be fool-proof. I wanted it to be filled with nourishing ingredients, yet still taste like chocolate. I wanted it to be rich and indulgent and look amazing. So I searched for ‘healthy rich chocolate cake’ and hunted until I found a cake that not only looked amazing, but also had super nourishing ingredients and looked super easy to make (I’ll share with you soon the actual recipes I used). Once I found the recipe I wanted I created a board on Pinterest (you can make it secret or keep it public) and pinned the recipe. (You can check out my healthy kids birthday Pinterest board HERE).
Go through your entire list of party food and use Google or Pinterest to find healthier, more nourishing alternatives and continue to pin them to your board. At the end of your search you should have a menu ready to go!
Step four – Write a list
It’s so easy to get sucked in when you arrive at the supermarket/store. Companies pay mega money for marketing so don’t feel bad if you end up down the sugar isles. It happens to the best of us.
BUT, if we prepare first we are less likely to fall for marketing tricks.
Open up the recipes you have decided to create and write down any ingredients you don’t have or need more of. If you are a first time healthy kids birthday party planner I would suggest keeping your recipes simple so you’re not having to hunt for hard-to-find ingredients.
Step five – GO SHOPPING! Yay!
Armed with your list, head to the shops and grab what you need. If you are a sucker for impulse buying maybe consider ordering your list online (most big brand supermarkets do online ordering and delivery now).
Step six – Plan out what you need to make and when.
Consider how long foods will keep/store for and what needs to be made fresh. There were a few party items I made for my son’s birthday that could be made weeks in advance and stored in the freezer. Others needed to be made the night before or fresh on the day.
Step seven – Get making!
Self-explanatory. Get busy in the kitchen. If you are trying a new recipe it is often a wise idea to trial it before the party so you’re not dealing with an epic failure (and stress) on the day of the party.
Step eight – BE PROUD!
Seriously. You just created an amazing and healthy kids birthday party. Gloat away! Decorate your table, serve your food on pretty platters and watch as guests (including kids) indulge in your creations. You did this! Not some big company stuffing chemicals into a packet and marketing it to kids, YOU!
The complete list of foods I served at my son’s healthy kids birthday party (and links to the recipes)
- The most EPIC and amazing GF chocolate cake (seriously though, you need to try this!)
- Free-from-everything vegan ‘buttercream’ frosting (actually cauliflower but no one needs to know!). This could also be used as frosting for cupcakes.
- GF low fructose chocolate chip biscuits
- Paleo chocolate crackle
- Home made chocolate (recipe is in my soon-to-be-released toddler recipe book! YAY!)
- Healthy 3 minute hummus
- Vegetable sticks (self explanatory) and an antipasto board
- Salted caramel bliss balls
- Raspberry bliss balls
- Raw peppermint slice cake (recipe coming soon, stay tuned!)
Let’s quickly touch on Goodie bags.
Goodie bags have become part of the kids birthday party tradition. As a mum to a VERY independent and strong willed toddler I kind of secretly love goodie bags when I attend other birthday parties. They work as the best bribery when it’s time to leave! Like ‘hay kid, you get a present too! Let’s get in the car and you can open it’. Yip, the best bribery.
But what I don’t love doing is fishing through the bag to remove 90% of the sugar.
This year I decided to add extra toys in place of sugary items. There are so many fun toys available for kids, especially at discount stores, and they seriously entertain for hours. My son loved these little wall-climbing men that stuck to walls when thrown. He also loves whistles (me, not so much haha).
Awesome goodie bag ideas that aren’t sugary:
- Colouring in sets
- Wall-climbing men or parachuting men (I say men, but they can totally be women)
- Toy cars
- Party poppers
- Farm animals (not the real kind, obviously)
There are hundreds of options! Get creative!
So there you have it! A totally easy guide to creating a healthy kids birthday party without feeling like your kid (and their guests) are missing out!
If you loved this post or found it helpful I would LOVE for you to share it with your friends! Let’s all get inspired to create the most amazing healthy kids birthday parties ever!